Step Back in Time with Singapore HeritageFest 2024’s SPACES & STORIES at Asian Civilisations Museum

Have you imagined what the Civic District was like in the past? With such a vibrant tapestry of historic buildings, iconic Singapore landmarks, and museums, the Civic District is anything but dull! So, if you’re a history buff itching to know more or just curious about a little piece of Singapore’s rich built heritage, the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM)’s aptly titled SPACES & STORIES is one event you don’t want to miss!

As part of the Singapore HeritageFest 2024’s goal to celebrate Singapore’s built heritage, SPACES & STORIES will explore the history and architecture of the Civic District across time. Through drop-in activities, tours, and workshops, travel to the past and uncover ACM’s historic site at Empress Place!

So come along with me as I share more about the abundance of activities for you to explore and participate in this Singapore HeritageFest 2024 at ACM!

Siding Spring and Plains of Notations

Designed by Hazel Lim-Schlegel and Andreas Schlegel, Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer at LASELLE College of the Arts respectively, with input from their young daughter, Hanna Schlegel, Siding Spring and Plains of Notations features vibrant and abstract sculptures at the ACM Green! 

Here, inspiration from frames, doorways, motifs, and intricate patterns discovered among the displayed objects comes to life. Festival-goers of all ages are encouraged to trace patterns, gaze through portals, and create sounds as they move between the sculptures’ shapes and forms—a great way to experience playful exploration during Singapore HeritageFest 2024.

Sound Journey in the Galleries with Space2B

HeritageFest ACM 2024: Sound Journey
Sound Journey in the Galleries with Space2B is the perfect opportunity to melt away any stress or anxieties you may have

Enter ACM afterwards for a meditative sound experience, courtesy of Sound Journey in the Galleries with Space2B at the Ancestors and Rituals Gallery! If you’re familiar with wellness trends, you might know of sound bath meditation. This form of meditation uses therapeutic sounds from instruments such as singing bowls and gongs to pull you into a deep meditative state.

Typically, a sound bath meditation experience will have you seated on a yoga mat as you relax to the instruments’ resonant sounds. Similarly, in Sound Journey in the Galleries with Space2B, multiple instruments follow you as you explore galleries’ displayed architectural objects like a temple gateway model and the granary roof.

So if you’re looking to enter a state of zen, try out Sound Journey in the Galleries with Space2B, which will transport you to a realm of relaxation and healing.

Painting by the River with Tung Yue Nang

If you want to inspire some creativity, head over to the Singapore River to spend a morning with Chinese ink artist Tung Yue Nang! Over the past decade, Tung Yue Nang has combined Western compositional techniques with a delicate Chinese brush and ink execution to truly bring out the unique beauty and richness of Singapore’s beloved cultural landscapes. 

HeritageFest ACM 2024: Painting by the River
The amount of detail put into his artwork is nothing short of jaw-dropping!

His works relay architectural environments and human figures with great accuracy and detail. His mastery is shown in the multiple accolades he’s won throughout the decades, such as the Beautiful Singapore River Art Competition in 1977!

It is rare to see a masterpiece come to life with your own eyes, and you’ll be given the opportunity to do so with Painting by the River with Tung Yue Nang as he paints a scene of the surrounding architecture and the people he meets. Do drop by to witness a master at work, have a chat, or just say hi!

A Wes Anderson-ish Singapore: Short Film Screening and Intro to Architectural Photography with Kevin Siyuan

For all my cinephiles, if you’re not a stranger to the American filmmaker Wes Anderson and his distinct style, this one’s for you! You can catch a screening of the first volume of A Wes Anderson-ish Singapore, which explores Singapore’s built environment through a photographic lens in the ACM! 

HeritageFest ACM 2024: A Wes Anderson-ish Singapore
Spot the influence in style and visuals from Wes Anderson in this film by Kevin Siyuan!

But there’s more! Afterwards, filmmaker Kevin Siyuan will provide helpful tips on architectural photography to level up your photography game! Once the workshop’s over, you can explore the ACM building to practice capturing photos of the museum’s unique spaces.

Archaeology After Dark: Curator’s Tour

Looking for an activity more suited to the history buff in you? Archaeology After Dark: Curator’s Tour with curator Michael Ng is where you can uncover the history of Singapore and Empress Place, which is revealed through objects found during excavations in 1998 and 2015! 

HeritageFest ACM 2024: Archaeology After Dark
History buffs rejoice!

Empress Place is where the ACM moved into its current home — the historic Empress Place building. Learn more about the history behind ACM’s location through this insightful tour with Michael Ng as he digs deep (pun intended) into its story!

Our Civic District: A Tour with The Urbanist Singapore

Have you ever wondered what stories buildings would tell if they could talk? In Our Civic District, A Tour with The Urbanist Singapore, this walking tour takes you on a journey to the heart of Singapore’s history at the Civic District!

HeritageFest ACM 2024: Our Civic District
Uncover Singapore’s iconic landmarks’ history and transformation with Our Civic District: A Tour with The Urbanist Singapore

Through this tour, you can learn about the city’s iconic landmarks and uncover how these landmarks have transformed over time. 

This insightful walking tour is guided by Yong of The Urbanist Singapore, whose passion for sharing Singapore’s history, heritage, and urban design has been featured in the Singapore newspaper Lianhe Zaobao! So you know you’ll be in good hands, as the tour guarantees a fruitful learning experience!

LEGO workshop with Artisan Bricks

If you’re like me, you might have collected the iconic construction toy LEGO as a child. These toys, mainly consisting of interlocking plastic bricks, allowed me to build a mini world of my creativity, and you can do the same in the LEGO workshop with Artisan Bricks!

Brick Artist Jeffrey Kong of Artisan Bricks, a company that provides Lego consultancy services, will be your guide in this workshop. With his expertise in crafting LEGO builds of Singapore landmarks and architecture, you’ll learn how to build a mini temple gateway of your own.

HeritageFest ACM 2024: LEGO workshop
Build your way through Singapore’s unique architecture through the LEGO workshop with Artisan Bricks

Then, discover the architectural features of Hindu temples, such as the famed Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple. You can also check out a similar model of a temple gateway in the Ancestors and Rituals Gallery at ACM to see how your own brick creation compares!

This workshop is family-friendly, so bring the kids along to create the building blocks to their knowledge of architecture and Singapore’s unique built environment.

Want to travel back in time to see ACM in a different light? If you’re interested in uncovering the history, architecture, and stories of the Civic District over time, join any of the programmes at SPACES & STORIES now!

For more information on SPACES & STORIES, you can visit ACM’s official website!

SPACES & STORIES — Singapore HeritageFest at Asian Civilisations Museum 2024

📍Location: 1 Empress Pl, Singapore 179555
⏰Opening Hours

  • Saturday to Thursday, 10am to 7pm
  • Friday, 10am to 7pm

Visuals courtesy of Asian Civilisations Museum.

Glenda Chong

Down to yap about anything related to K-Pop and pop culture anytime, anywhere.

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