A Cultural Day

An activity planned a few weeks ago – checking out the Singapore Biennale.

82 artists were invited to illustrate and reconsider the worlds we live in and those we want to live in.

27 curators shaped art exhibitions under the theme If the World Changed.

Together with my friends I discovered the National Museum of Singapore and the Peranakan Museum. We still have a few more exhibitions to visit, so this is just the beginning of our adventure.

What I found really interesting was the first exhibition we saw, called Crystal Palace: The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nuclear Nations. Conceived in response to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, the work comprises of 31 antique chandelier frames fitted with UV lighting that makes their uranium glass beads glow in the dark. Each chandelier signals one of the 31 nuclear nations in the world, and their respective sizes correspond to the number of nuclear plants in the nation.*

I was surprised to see some countries among the 31 nuclear nations. Just to give you an idea of how it looks like, here’s a picture I snapped with my phone. It is quite impressive and it’s worth seeing if you’re in Singapore.

31 Nuclear Nations

Then we ventured to the Peranakan Museum. The visit was really informative and broadening in terms of Asian culture and heritage. In Malay, Peranakan means child or born of and is used to refer to people of mixed ethnic origins. It’s really interesting to see different influences merging and creating this new eclectic culture.

Nine galleries showcase a great collection of Peranakan art and objects, grouped by different themes, such as Origins, Weddings, Language & Fashion, Religion, Public Life, Food & Feasting. I guess that the word we used the most today when describing the different objects we saw was intricate. Whether it was an embroidered garment, beaded shoes, pieces of jewelry or religious items, the complexity and the fine details are the common theme.

And after an couple of artsy hours, we followed a Singaporean tradition and had a long Sunday lunch. Peranakan cuisine this time, so that we experience another aspect of this culture. 🙂

*Description provided by Singapore Art Museum


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