On 22 April 1997, at Armenian Street, The Asian Civilisations Museum first opened at the Old Tao Nan school building. The exhibits were largely centred on Chinese civilisation. With the restoration of the Empress Place Building, the museum established its new flagship museum there on 2 March 2003, rapidly expanding the collection to other areas of Asia. The place where ACM first opened closed for renovations and reopened as the Peranakan Museum.
On 16 September 2006, the museum launched its new logo and a new slogan “The Asian Civilisations Museum- where Asian cultures come alive!”.
In 2005, there was the first exhibition in the museum, called "Power Dressing: Textiles for Rulers and Priests from the Chris Hall Collection". As years passed, there were a lot more exhibitions in the museum.
Today, it is one of the pioneering museums in the region to specialise in pan-Asian cultures and civilisations. The museum has an Asian-themed restaurant. There are also ballrooms and halls for functions. There is a museum shop with museum-inspired souvenirs and a range of books on Asian art.
The photo above shows one of the pieces shown in the museum, stating about the history of the Singapore River and the Clean Rivers Project that took place on 1977.
During the 1880s, there was heavy traffic on the Singapore River due to due to rapid urbanization and expanding trade and at the same time, disposal of garbage, sewage and other by-products of industries which were located along the river banks caused the pollution of the river. Transport, boat building and repairs, waste, oil spills and wastewater also contributed to the water pollution.
On October 1977, the government started taking action to clean the Singapore River. Ten years later, the clean-up of the Singapore River and Kallang Basin was completed. After the clean-up, a lot of activities started taking place, for example, wayang performances on a bumboat, variety shows staged on pontoons anchored in the river, and boat races.
Today, the river is now part of the Marina Reservoir after damming the Singapore River at its outlet to the sea for a new reservoir of freshwater. The dam is known as Marina Barrage.
As for activities, speedboats, dragon boats, pedal-boats and sampans can be seen plying on the clean waterways of the Singapore River these days.
Here is a picture of the boats that can be seen along the Singapore River on 20 March, 2012.
In 1997, Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew started the Clean Rivers Project which was then initiated by the Ministry of Environment in October that year. It was a $200-million project aimed to decrease the amount of water pollution in Singapore in 10 years' time. Tons of debris had to be cleared and the whole landscape of the Singapore River had to be changed. On 31 August 1983, the last 300 lighters were moved to another location Pasir Panjang. Those lighters were the most important things that made up the riverscape. It's history as a trade waterway finally came to an end. The Singapore River became more peaceful and calm.
Way before that, the river was a boatyard. It was called Hallpike's Boatyard. The area around the river were always noisy as boats were being repaired there. The noise was so loud that it could still be heard from the court house which is now the old Parliament House. This was the reason why the court house was moved further down the river. Hallpike's Boatyard played an important role in launching Singapore's 1st homebuilt steam vessel. Today, the boatyard no longer exist. The Old Parliament House is now the oldest surviving building in Singapore.
Fort canning hill is part of the landscape around Singapore River for centuries. In the 1820s, it was believed to be the resting place of Malay kings and many ghosts. Sir Standford Raffles was amazed by this and stayed in a bungalow facing the Singapore River.
Raffles Place, also known as Commercial Square, is where business houses were set up and became a place of attraction especially to the Europeans. Firms from all over the world were set up here. Even famous firms like the large Japanese shipping company Nippon.
Fullerton Hotel (Fullerton Building)
The landmark is named after the first governor of Singapore, Robert Fullerton (1826 - 1829). The building was officially opened in June 1928. During its remarkable lifespan, it has housed the General Post Office, the Chamber of Commerce, the Singapore Club and various other offices, making it the most important civic buildings in Singapore. In the late 1990s, the building went through a major refurbishment and became the luxurious hotel you see today. Because of its long history, the hotel is also said to be haunted!
Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts; MICA (Old Hill Street Police Station)
This landmark was once Singapore's first jail. During the Japanese Occupation, Hill Street Police Station was used by the Kempeitai as a holding area for prisoners and some say, as torture chambers. After the war, it reverted to being a police station. The Arms and Explosives Branch of the Police Department operated there from 1949 to 1981.
Asian Civilizations Museum (Old Tao Nan School Building)
The museum first opened its doors at the Old Tao Nan School building on 22 April 1997 at Armenian Street, with exhibits largely centred on Chinese civilisation. With the restoration of the Empress Place Building, the museum established its new flagship museum there on 2 March 2003, rapidly expanding the collection to other areas of Asia. The Armenian Street branch closed for renovations on 1 January 2006 and reopened on 25 April 2008 as the Peranakan Museum, specialising in Peranakan culture.
No. The Singapore River is a famous tourist attraction and it is where different, historical buildings are built. We doubt the future government would do anything to change the course of Singapore River as it is home to our heritage. Despite the coming future, I am sure the government would like the future generations to recognize our histories.
There are two areas:
➢ Insular(“island” Southeast Asia)
➢ Mainland(“continental” Southeast Asia)
The culture in Southeast Asia is very diverse. The culture is a real mix of Indian and Chinese, in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore, the culture is a mix of Arab, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Indian and the indigenous Malay culture. Also Brunei shows a strong influence from Arabia.
The arts in South-East Asia is mostly expressed through theatre or dance. Apsara Dance, famous for its strongly hand and feet movement, is a great example of Hindism symbol dance. Puppetry and shadow plays were also a favoured form of entertainment in past centuries as the famous one known as Wayang from Indonesia. The arts and literature in some of Southeast Asia is quite influenced by Hinduism brought to them centuries ago.
Buddha With Disciples
18th century, Shan State, Burma
This group of marble figures includes the Buddha with his hands raised in abhaya mudra (fearlessness gesture) and tour monks, initially skeptical of the Buddha’s methods, they became his earliest disciples after he attained enlightenment.
Bronze crowned Buddha
16th century, Thailand
This crowned Buddha adorned with armlets, bracelets, necklace and a belt was produced around the first half of the 16th century. One interpretation is that the figure depicts an episode from a Pali text entitled ‘Jambupatisutta’, where the buddha successfully converts the heretic king, Jambupati.
Multi-armed Statue - Guan Yin
18th century or later, North Vietnam
Mahayana Buddhism was transmitted in Vietnam from China during the early 1st millennium CE, and by the 2nd century CE. Guan Yin, the female form of the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara become very popular in China during the Song Dynasty(960-1279) due to her power to alleviate all forms of suffering. She was also popular in Vietnam and images such as this emphasise her qualities.
This blog was created for the (Year 1) students, by the (Year 2) students to help the juniors gain knowledge of the change and continuity in Geography and History- starting from the Singapore River.
We do hope the blog provides useful information that may be of interest to the Year 1s. Start reading! (-: