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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 5:40 pm 
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The June 2003 newsletter (25) of the the Oxford Asian Textile Group (OATG) has an article (pages 12-15) 'A Feast of Textiles at the New Asian Civilizations Museum in Singapore' written by Patricia Moncrieff, Heritage Conservation Consultant, Perth, Western Australia. The article refers to the National Heritage Board of Singapore's inaugural opening on 1 March 2003 of a new Asian Civilization Museum at the recently refurbished Empress Place Building. This is located alongside the Singapore river in the oldest pedestrian area in the heart of the city. The Museum comprises galleries representing the history and cultures of multi-ethnic groups from South-East Asia, East Asia, West Asia, South Asia and the Singapore River. The article refers to various textiles incorporated in the exhibition including: "many sets of Hill-Tribe costumes from Thailand, representing the Akha, Yao, Lolo and Karen tribes..." I hope I may have a chance to visit the exibit myself at the end of next month.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 3:45 pm 
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Following up on my previous post of information on the opening of the new wing of the Asian Civilizations Museum in Empress Place, Singapore I visited the new museum a couple of days ago.

I had a look at most of the museum and, in particular, focused on the South East Asian exhibits. I am afraid that I was very disapointed and frustrated. There were some good quality exhibits but it was very difficult to see them in the overall gloom. Yes, I know that textiles fade in light but the surprising thing was that the brightest lights seemed to be on the textiles and almost nothing on the labels which were either poor definition black on white or, worse, white print on black. Most of the labels were well below knee height (and I am not very tall) which meant crouching down on the ground peering at the indistinct script. I also found that the labels were not very informative even if you did manage to read them. e.g. Yao, mid 20th century, northern Thailand. There was no attempt at detailed identification of the hill tribe costumes either as to likely tribe other than Yao, Miao, Hmong etc or dating. Stone work, jewelry was also in the gloom - surely some more light would not hurt these exhibits?

There were several electronic displays which were quite effective but I am afraid that these do not replace good, clear and accessible labelling. It seemed to me that the overall display had been designed by someone with little interest in the exhibits themselves rather in producing an 'effect'.

Talking to the gallery owners in Tanglin Shopping Centre who asked me what I thought of the exhibit they all said that there had been considerable criticsm expressed in Singapore along the lines of my comments. It is hoped that there might be some response to the (constructive) criticism.

See http://www.nhb.gov.sg/ACM/acm.shtml for information on-line from the Singapore National Heritage Board.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 6:54 pm 
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I am posting a link here to another post on the forum with information on a 3 month exhibition from 1 April 2004 at ACM National Gallery of Australia's major 2003 exhibition "Sari to Sarong: 500 years of Indian and Indonesian textiles" which should be well worth a visit if you are in Singapore during the period. See: http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... ?p=403#403 Unfortunately this looks like another 'miss' for me on seeing this exhibition!

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