SOAS University of London

Vintage Singapore: Souvenirs from the Recent Past

An exhibition from the collection of the National Museum of Singapore
22 January - 21 March 2009

Rising from the ashes of World War 2, post-war Singapore emerged as a Phoenix in search of a Renaissance. Instinctively seeking change, Singaporeans sought new beginnings in  areas as diverse as governance and culture. Looking inward, innovative solutions for housing and industry meant fundamental changes to the Singaporean way of life. Conversely, engaging the world as a small independent country dictated that Singaporeans necessarily absorbed more than they could give. Back in this heady period when the twain did actually meet, a new Singapore sprang forth.

Vintage Singapore pays tribute to the dynamism that pulsed through her post-war arteries. While the memories of old Singapore becomes ever distant, this exhibition showcases rare footage and iconic objects of the period as 'tangible memoirs' of the glory days from the 1950s to the 1970s; public housing, film, fashion, food etc. Through displays of unabashed nostalgia, this exhibition 'looks back' so as to highlight some anchors for the Singaporean identity as the nation rides the rapids into the future.

A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies this exhibition.

Visit the National Museum of Singapore's site.