Monday, September 02, 2019

City Hall: If Walls Could Talk (National Gallery Singapore latest Exhibition)

Open to public today (1st September 2019), i was one of the fortunate few who was invited by National Gallery for a sneak preview and i was not disappointed ! I was brought into a staging area where you can take a picture of yourself (it will be use as part of the immersive multimedia display later on, trust me on that.  Built in 1929, it was known as the Municipal Building before being renamed City Hall in 1951, were plays witness many, many, many key events in Singapore's History. Today of course, City Hall and the Old Supreme Court lives on as the National Gallery Singapore. 

Municipal Building c1930 (source: Archives Online, National Archives)

The appealing factor about this exhibition is the way the story is told- there is still the human touch of a storyteller being used to tell the story of the building as the key events in Singapore history that took place in City Hall are played out. There are elements where participants are even asked to interact with the table top screen to move to the next segment, such as putting out the flames and smoke of the Japanese air raid of Singapore.

As the door opens for you to step into the beautiful City Hall Chambers,
equipped with immersive multimedia 

Story of Lim Boh Seng's funeral at the steps of City Hall with pictures of  his
octagon shaped Memorial at Esplanade Park 

Majulah Singapura and its composer Zubair Said

City Hall bore witness to many National Day Parades that took place over the years

Before the end of the 20 minute show, the photo booth photos taken in the waiting area are then displayed on screen as City Hall finally transforms itself to what it is today, the National Gallery Singapore. From there you can further explore on your own through the many art galleries, or visit the "Social Wall", that is DIY user journey interactive that will recommend you to see and experience the treasures of the National Gallery based on your journey choice, e,g. Places and Inspiration, Changes & Uncertainties, Portraits of Lives, War & Adversity, Architectures & Stories, Changing Landscapes and if you have no bloody idea what you want to experience, just choose, Surprise Me !

Continue your experience by visiting curated theme journeys in a DIY manner

Based on a selected theme, we went through the Gallery looking at the beautiful art work by many artist, both local and foreign, with Singapore has its common theme. The artwork that caught my eye was not related to the pre-selected journey, but rather my own personal journey that was trigger by earlier multimedia segment that featured Lim Boh Seng's State funeral. It was an oil on canvas painting of Lim Boh Seng's father, Lim Chee Gee alias Lim Loh, a Singapore pioneer building contractor and what is equally important is that his portrait was painted by the famous Xu Beihong.

Lim Loh, father of Lim Bo Seng

Whether you are interested in history or art or both, this exhibition will be able to satisfy that journey of discovery for you in rediscovering Singapore's rich history and artwork starting with multimedia specially curated by the various Gallery Curators and Historians working together. Make your way to National Gallery Singapore. The exhibition happens from 1 September 2019 all the way to 29 August 2021 at the 3rd floor, City Hall Chambers. General Admission ticket applies. For more information visit their website.


City Hall: If Walls Could Talk- your journey continues here 






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