Singapore STories – Then.Now.Tomorrow. – @ ArtScience Museum

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This exhibition is organized by Singapore’s daily English-language newspapers, The Straits Times, which is celebrating its 170 years this year. The exhibition digs into its archive to bring us through the history of local news, with themes borrowed from the newspapers’ current sections of Business, Home, Sports, Life and Forum (although I don’t remember seeing this section.)

I went through the mostly pictorial exhibition, looking back in time, hoping to remember where I was at that point in time or if I could ever recall reading the piece of news. After all, unlike my three children, I was an avid newspapers reader, reading most of the news from cover to cover, hoping to spot an interesting one for my weekly newspapers report.

Some of the news brought back some nostalgia. The report on Jurong and how the first chimney for Mobil Oil Refinery was erected in 1972, much later than I had thought. My mother had worked in Mobil immediately after graduating from secondary school.

Even though the collapse of Hotel New World was big news, I have no impression of the day-after newspaper’s front page. What left an impression though was a report of the result of a referendum to vote if Singapore should merge with Malaya. The results was a Yes, after all, everyone was sure Singapore could not survive with the withdrawal of the British. We were kicked out of Malaysia two years later after merger and the rest is history.



Some of the reports I only learned recently, like this this protest against NS by Chinese High School Boys above, when I watched the play Another Country by Wild Rice.


Not all are newsprint exhibits. One exhibit is the actual assignment book for photographers. I was intrigued by the neat penmanship of the recorder, until I read that this shows the assignment for the wedding of Mr and Mrs LKY. I can imagine the newspapers had a segment of wedding couples but who gets to be on it? Afterall, LKY wasn’t famous then, or was he?

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Another fun exhibit was a contribution by readers on how they would imagine Singapore in the future, which was then compiled into this huge picture.


Other than an exhibition guidebook and copy of exhibition souvenir newspapers, there were these paper dolls (of both males and females) for big kids like me. I brought them home for my 6-year-old nephew and was amused he didn’t know how to dress the dolls.

This free exhibition ends Oct 4. Don’t miss it.

About vickychong

Just an ordinary woman.
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