Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Vintage Singapore exhibition - SOAS Brunei Gallery

After spending some time away from home, I tend to jump at anything that reminds me of Singapore.

"Hey, did you see that Tiger beer advert?"
"Erm, yes?"
"Do you know that that's from Singapore?"
"Er, so?"
"Nothing actually, just thought that you should know."

The funny thing is that I don't even drink beer, much less Tiger. Unless you count those cans that I had forced down my throat during my initiation in the army. What happened after that fateful night was a blur but I remembered my buddy handing me a (small) towel to protect my modesty thereafter.

Anyway, you can imagine my excitement when I visited the Vintage Singapore exhibition over at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), which is part of University of London (UOL). The exhibition displays not only the electrical appliances but also the cookery, movie posters, fashion, magazine and even some tv programs that were popular in the 50's till 80's in Singapore.
The REAL reason why Singaporeans are returning to Singapore

I spent some time gawking at the video on Busy Bee, a mascot that I grew up with that promoted the virtues of… well, working hard. Memories of Sharity Elephant (for charity) and Courtesy Lion (for politeness) came flooding back.

There's even this National rice cooker, which I'm sure is still lying somewhere in my parents' place. I spent countless hours just staring at the cooking waiting for the indicator to 'pop'. Well, that was before the days of Internet.

Right at the basement, there's a mock set up of a coffee shop that men from my parents' generation will gathering every evening for a simple cup of coffee or a bottle of beer. Also on displayed are porcelain cups and saucers that were used back then.

Though the Vintage Singapore exhibition spans two floors (ground and basement), the number of exhibits is rather small. Then again, it's free of charge and it will definitely give you a taste of how Singapore was like not so long ago. For more information, please refer to the official website.

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jakill said...

I'd like to see that. It should bring back some memories for me too. Thanks for sharing it.

Dutchie said...

Hello jakill,

U reminded me of some English n Australian friends I've made when they visited Sg. They were actually neighbours of my best friends who were married there. So nice of them to look me up (with gifts from my homesick friends). We became fast friends even tho there was a gap of 5 decades. They still held such fond memories of their lives in Sg during WW2 in spite of the trying times then. Most of them r gone now but I hv kept all the mementos they sent me, to remember them by :-)

Dutchie said...

CK, u got me curious abt those initiation rituals in the army ! Perhaps u could enlighten us *wink* ?

Hm .. there is little here to remind me of home. Our local supermart has only the spring roll skins that is made in Sg n I hv the last pack of bah kut teh we bought in Amsterdam. Yes, seeing Sg printed on it does bring a tug at my heart :-0.

Joerup said...

OMG! I WANT TO GO! Thankz for the info!

Sharzilla said...

WOW that is amazing. Definitely will be popping by to have a look!

drcrab said...

hi CK! do you know how long the exhibition's on for?? Might hop along to it if we have a free weekend! thanks.

xiaocangshu said...

I think the National Museum has more mock-up exhibits now, from what I heard since my last visit in secondary school.

C K said...

I'm sure it will. Cheers!

Hmm... I don't think that's meant for polite company if you know what I mean. Anyway, it's pretty traumatising so I prefer to leave it as it is. :)

I know what you meant about seeing the S'pore label. I was at a vintage clothes store some time back and found a 'Giodarno' made in S'pore t-shirt. Can you believe that it's sold for £10? lol.

Like I meantioned to you, it's really a small display so don't expect too much from it. Hope that you'll enjoy that nevertheless.

Hey, thanks for stopping by! Well, do take a peek at the exhibition if you're in the vicinity and let me know whether it brings back some memories.

It's open till 21st March. Must lower your expectations a bit, it's a really small set up. :)

Hey, where have you been all this while? lol, Happy CNY to you.

Really? I didn't know that. Curiously, I didn't really visit the museums back home. Will probably pay them a visit during my next trip back home.

Cashmere said...

Oh.. That is so interesting to see!
Now I'm curious... what is the national rice cooker? Any pictures?