Home Truly, Growing Up with Singapore, 1950s to the Present at the National Museum is an exhibition showcasing Singapore from its early days leading up to independence to today. It is a temporary exhibition running for a limited period from 19 Dec 2020- 29 Aug 2021.
The exhibition is done in collaboration with The Straits Times. It is as part of the local newspaper’s 175th anniversary. Also, the gallery is tucked in its own exhibition gallery located in the lower Basement Level.
You might remember these galleries previously hosting Cai Guo Qiang’s Art showcase “Head On” many years back. The gallery is open from 10am- 7pm as per the museum regular opening hours.
A smart exhibit
Moreover, in line with Covid-19 measures to reduce the interaction on common surfaces, you be presented with a pen upon entry. It has a capacitive stylus on its back to interact with touch screens. This is in addition to penning down your thoughts on various “thought sheets” in the exhibits.
Also, an attached RFID keychain token on this pen allows you to interact with the various kiosks scattered around the exhibits as you go along. These usually involve taking a poll of your choices. You are able to review your responses to that of other patrons at the end of the exhibits.
Collections of history
Furthermore, the exhibition features mostly photographs, artefacts and commemorative items from significant milestones in Singapore’s history. These are contributed from personal collections by members of the public.
Examples includes classic public transport bus tickets and scenes of the day where Singapore’s first MRT line opened in the late 80s. Also, there is a section dedicated to Singapore national day parades since independence. This is in addition to Army National Service with a small collection of dating as far back at 1963.
Additionally, there is a focus on Community living. There is a recreation of a HDB void deck and a school tuckshop where you can sit down and pen down your thoughts on the section you are in. There are also scenes of Great world amusement center.
In addition, there are also audio-visual footage, such as music and videos from old Singapore TV shows. Examples includes Growing up and Phua Chu Kang.
Moreover, interestingly, there are no mentions to old classic shows such as Under one roof, and variety shows such as Gotcha and the Pyramid game. These were staples of Singapore evening primetime TV or the 90s. Also, interestingly, there is mention of the buzzing S-league scene of the 90s. Probably provided by a fan, remembering possibly the era of the peak of Singapore home-grown soccer.
Visual and smells?
There are also scent exhibits, this is brought to you by third party companies in partnership with the museum. Also, the scent rotates through the duration of the exhibition. Interestingly, there was a turmeric curry smell on my visit.
Also, the displays ends with a segment devoted to saying thanks to our front line medical staff during the COVID-19, as well as scenes of Singapore during the circuit breaker lockdown.
Lastly, a large seating area with a word cloud. It covers feedback and thoughts of visitors greets you at the end of the exhibition. You can get your thoughts onto the board through penning it down or through a microphone at the screen which recognizes your speech.
All in all, you are good for the exhibition for about an hour, and probably an hour and a half if you were to scrutinize every exhibits. Also, admission is to Home, Truly: Growing Up with Singapore, 1950s to the Present is free for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents. It is one worth visiting when you are around town.
Home, Truly: Growing Up with Singapore, 1950s to the Present
Exhibition date: 19 Dec 2020 – 29 Aug 2021
National Museum Exhibition Gallery, Basement Level
10am – 7pm