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Date [ 2014-06-02, 05:04 ]

 A massive remodeling in the works for two museums.

NMS Slated for a revamp.

(Singapore=Koreanpress) Benjamin Kim =  The National Heritage Board(NHB) will embark on the revamping of the National Museum of Singapore(NMS) and the Asian Civilisations Museum(ACM), starting  from this year to 2015. The total estimated cost is put at S$35 million.

National Museum of Singapore
Originally built as the former Raffles Library and Museum in 1887, Singapore’s oldest museum was expanded in 1906, 1914 and 1916. It underwent its largest and latest redevelopment from 2003 to 2006. A new purpose-built extension was built to complement the refurbished building, which now houses the Singapore History Gallery. The museum re-opened in 2006 as the National Museum of Singapore.

In the lead to Singapore’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2015, the national museum will be undergoing another timely revamp so as to better share the Singapore Story. It will be a celebration of the multiple voices in the nation’s historical narrative and the many facets of Singapore’s multicultural “everyday heritage”.

The revitalised national museum aims to be a museum for the people – a civic space which Singaporeans will enjoy visiting, allowing for reflections on what Singapore has achieved in the past, and inspiring confidence in the future. It therefore aims to connect well with visitors through greater interactive and participatory experiences as well as enhanced coherence and integration of its narratives and displays.

The revamp will present a more comprehensive overview of Singapore’s history and development as a country in its galleries and spaces, which includes developing the nation’s post-1965 chapters that many Singaporeans can personally relate to. Read that as having left Malaysia and truly becoming independent on August 9, 1965.
The galleries to be revamped will close from the last quarter of 2014, and shouldre-open in the second half of 2015. However during this period, visitors can still continue to enjoy several interesting exhibitions and programmes held at the museums’ available spaces.

The existing office space on Level 3 of National Museum will be converted into a new Wing, called PLAY@NMS. It will be a multi-sensory environment dedicated to children, with interactive exhibitions that encourage learning through play. Programmes thoughtfully created based on the collections in the National Museum’s permanent galleries will be made available, to stimulate the young visitors’ natural curiosity and creativity. PLAY@NMS will be a multi-purpose space for interactive exhibitions, workshops as well as educational-play.

Asian Civilisations Museum
The Asian Civilisations Museum was first opened at Empress Place in 2003. From the third quarter of 2014, the museum will undergo a revamp in phases to better promote greater cultural understanding among different communities. By exploring Asia’s heritage and its interconnections with the world, the museum also aims to foster a deeper understanding of the diverse heritage cultures of Singapore and its neighbours.

The museum will focus on enhancing its building to increase its accessibility to the general public, especially drawing in crowds from the Empress Place and Singapore River precincts. The NHB is also exploring the conversion of the ACM waterfront area into a new entrance lobby-cum-gallery space, opening onto the Singapore River. The new space would link ACM more closely with the river – the historic heart of Singapore.  The board is working with URA on its design and construction.

Also planned is the expansion of the China Gallery into a 3-level space, which will cover approximately 900sqm, with a new modern wing to the otherwise classical frontage of the ACM. Aside from injecting this new aesthetic element, it will also yield more gallery space to allow for a particular focus on ACM’s Fujian collection. This project is supported by donations from the Hong Leong Foundation.

The revamp will also add additional exhibition spaces within the main wings of the ACM over the next few years for new collections and acquisitions, such as the Tang Collection. Like the revamp of the NSM, the aim is to enhance visitor experiences through elements such as aesthetics, lighting, technological features and signages to facilitate traffic flow.

Another new gallery will be created at the main entrance of the ACM to provide a welcoming and interactive introduction to its visitors for experiencing the museum. The specific regions of Asia will be introduced here, to provide an initial level of familiarity with the galleries.

New retail spaces will also be integrated with the galleries. They will increase accessibility to the Museum and improve the visitor experience by providing popular, relevant and affordable shopping and dining choices.

The revamp of ACM’s main entrance area is slated to take place from the second quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015. Note also that the permanent galleries of ACM will be closed for upgrading works in phases from early 2014. The last phase of work is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2015.

So by the end of next year, Singaporeans as well as foreign visitors will be able to enjoy and experience slices of Singapore’s history all dressed up anew and eagerly served.

abc@koreanpress.net

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