Wednesday, 15 April 2015

About Michael Sullivan | NUS Museum's Anniversary Lecture by T.K. Sabapathy


Date: 30 April, Thursday 
Time: 7pm (Registration at 6.30pm) 
Venue: University Cultural Centre Theatre 
Register:
aboutsullivan.peatix.com

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** Event is strictly by registration only as limited seating is available **

This April 2015, the NUS Museum will mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the University of Malaya Art Museum, the predecessor institution of the NUS Museum. The occasion is marked by our Anniversary Lecture, About Michael Sullivan by T.K. Sabapathy on Thursday, 30 April, 7pm at the University Cultural Centre Theatre.

About Michael Sullivan
In 1954, Dr. Michael Sullivan was appointed as Lecturer in the History of Art at the University of Malaya. Consequently, he became also the founding curator of Singapore's first art museum and teaching collection - the University of Malaya Art Museum, located then at its campus at Bukit Timah. The study of history of art and displays of artefacts in a museum were envisaged as widening the scope of learning in a university in Singapore and the then Malaya. Today this collection forms the seed of the NUS Museum's South and Southeast Asian Collection.

Though trained primarily as a historian of Chinese art and with little formal education in museology or curating, Sullivan, in his short time here between 1954 and 1960, helped develop several important coordinates for the museum's developments. This lecture by T.K. Sabapathy, a former student of Sullivan, deals with the latter's tenure in the then University of Malaya from 1954-1960, his teaching of history of art, his research and writing on art in Southeast Asia and the establishment of the university art museum. In all these respects, Sullivan inaugurated the academic study of art and its histories in Singapore/Malaya. This illustrated lecture will feature both personal recollections and considerations of Sullivan as educator, curator and writer. It will be published later by the NUS Museum.

About the speaker
T.K. Sabapathy has been teaching courses in the history of art since 1966 in institutions in the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Singapore; he is currently an associate adjunct professor in the Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore. He was a student in Sullivan's class of 1958-1960, subsequently pursuing graduate studies in art history in the University of California, Berkeley, and in the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Sabapathy has researched into and published extensively on modern art and artists in Southeast Asia.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Exhibition Opening | Scholars & Ink: Artists from NUS and the Alumni

 
Register: 
scholarsandink.peatix.com

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Programme
6:30pm        Arrival of guests
7:00pm        Welcome address by Guest-of-Honour, Professor Tan Chorh Chuan (President, National University of Singapore)
7:20pm         Exhibition tour and refreshments

Scholars & Ink features artists from the extended community of the National University of Singapore, graduates and academics across faculties of the University. The title of the project plays on the association Chinese ink has long had with a literati culture in Chinese history. Scholars & Ink proposes ways of seeing modern and contemporary ink painting through the classical “Six Principles” and “Six Essentials” of Chinese ink paintings espoused by Xie He (479 – 502) and Jing Hao (c. 855 – 915) respectively. The diversity of artistic approaches, highlighted by their purposeful and varied references to ink conventions and contemporary strategies, is significant as an entry point into the longstanding ink tradition and its practice today, marked by simultaneous continuities and transformations.

The Singaporean artists featured in the exhibition include:
Dr Tan It Koon, BSc (1st Class Hons), PhD, MCB
Dr Ho Chee Lick (Snr Lecturer, Dept of Chinese Studies, NUS)
Yeo Shih Yun (BBA, 1988)
Hong Sek Chern (MA, SEA Studies)
Ling Yang Chang (BA (Econs), 1987)

The exhibition runs till August 2015.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Malaya Black & White | Ricochet

Image credit: https://exploringdavidbowie.wordpress.com/
Date: Wednesday, 15 April 2015
Time: 7pm
Venue: NUS Museum 
Register: ricochet.peatix.com

NOTE:
The event is SOLD OUT. In the case of cancellations, these spaces will be made available on the Peatix event page.
Check for updates here: http://ricochet.peatix.com/


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"I am supposed to say something to the children in the Singapore audience. These children who are doomed to ride the up escalator forever."
David Bowie, Serious Moonlight World Tour Book

In December 1983, David Bowie's massive 'Serious Moonlight' tour arrived in Asia for three shows in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore, virtually uncharted territory for major rock acts at the time. Young documentarist Gerry Troyna was hired to capture the trip and not make a traditional 'rockumentary'. The resulting triptych depicts Bowie's strange encounters with other cultures. In Singapore (which is the most compelling part of the film) he grapples with the city's contradictions, befriending Chinese Opera performers, drifting through alienating shopping malls, culminating in the troubled, almost cancelled concert in the National Stadium (organised by Goh Poh Seng).

This screening is part of the 'Beyond Saint Jack' segment under the NUS Museum's Malaya Black & White film series.

About ‘Beyond Saint Jack’ - The strange cinematic visitors of Singapore and Malaya
Singapore/Malaya’s heyday of foreign production from the mid 1960s to the early 1980s led to a motley filmography of B-movies, commercial disasters, miscellaneous TV episodes, lost films and bizarre curios. While they resist canonisation, these films are a fascinating portal into how the region was perceived by the rest of the world both before and after the end of the colonial era; and the eagerness for Singapore and Malaysia to be represented and acknowledged by the West. A recurring motif of their narratives is the Western visitor in Singapore. This season of 10 films showcases the predecessors and descendants of Saint Jack (1979): old hands, good men, legal aliens, rugged individualists, ex-soldiers, detectives, has-beens and rock stars. Characters who have found themselves ensnared in traps beyond their control, stumbled across exotic, bewildering cultures, or entered zones of erotic possibility.

Beyond Saint Jack is guest-curated by author and critic Ben Slater, who will be present to introduce and discuss each film.

About Ben Slater
Ben Slater is the author of Kinda Hot: The Making of Saint Jack in Singapore (2006), a major contributor to World Film Locations: Singapore (2014) and the editor of 25: Histories and Memories of the Singapore International Film Festival (2014). He’s also the co-screenwriter of the feature film Camera (2014) and a Lecturer at the School of Art, Media and Design, Nanyang Technological University.

Find out more about the Malaya Black & White project:
malayablackandwhite.wordpress.com

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Call for Internship Applications - May-July 2015



Positions Available

1.    Ng Eng Teng Collection Curatorial Intern

This internship requires the interns to work with the curator on several projects concerning the Ng Eng Teng Collection at the NUS Museum: (1) assist in research and reworking of the current permanent exhibition Sculpting Life; (2) incubate a prep-room project concerning materials collected from Ng Eng Teng’s former studio; (3) assist in the conceptualising of a publication project for the Ng Eng Teng Collection. The Ng Eng Teng Collection is a donation from the late Singapore sculptor and Cultural Medallion recipient of over 1,000 artworks.

Requirements:
Good attitude towards research
Strong interest in curatorial work
Excellent (close) reading and writing abilities
Third-year student and above

Positions Available: 2

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2.    Museum Outreach Intern

This internship requires the intern to work with the Museum Outreach team in conceptualising and executing the Museum’s programmes for 2015. These programmes may include talks, seminars and film screenings. The intern will also work on developing publicity content for online and offline platforms. The intern should be prepared to work during the Museum’s evening and Saturday programmes.

Requirements:
Meticulous with a keen attention for details
Good organizational and time-management skills
Pleasant, out-going personality
Proficiency in design software an advantage but not a requirement (please submit a design portfolio if applicable)

Positions Available: 1

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3.    Education Outreach Intern

This internship requires the intern to work with the Museum Outreach team to research, compile and consolidate the Museum’s education resources for its current exhibitions and collections. The intern will also assist in the organisation and execution of the Museum’s programmes for 2015. These programmes may include talks, seminars and film screenings. The intern should be prepared to work during the Museum’s evening and Saturday programmes.

Requirements:
Strong interest in Southeast Asian, Singaporean art and history. Prior knowledge is helpful but not a requirement.
Familiarity with research methods an advantage
Able to work independently and collaboratively
Meticulous with a keen attention to details
Good organizational and time-management skills

Positions Available: 1

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4.    Baba House Conservation Intern

This internship will focus on conservation documentation of the NUS Baba House at 157 Neil Road and creating a bibliography on painting technical analysis to facilitate the study and conservation of an oil painting. The intern will conduct research on the notes, images and drawing from the Baba House conservation project (2006-2008) with the aim of putting together a display which highlights the conservation work that was carried out. The research shall include identifying the major aspects of the conservation (e.g. plasterwork, wood carvings, analysis of wall paint, etc), the key issues discussed and decisions made.

Requirements:
An interest in materials (wood, plaster, etc) and their use in art and architecture
A basic understanding of the methods used in the scientific analysis of materials
Meticulous with a keen attention for details
Able to work independently and collaboratively

Positions Available: 1

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5.    Baba House Outreach Intern

This internship requires the intern to work with the Baba House team to conceptualise and execute outreach programmes, including walking tours, children’s and docents training programmes. The intern will learn to conduct heritage tours for the Baba House, assist in house operations and develop content for offline and online platforms. The intern should be prepared to work during the Baba House’s evening and Saturday programmes.

Requirements:
Interest in Peranakan culture
Articulate and comfortable talking to an audience
Pleasant, out-going personality
Meticulous with a keen attention for details
Good organizational and time-management skills


Positions Available: 1

------------------------------

How to Apply


Application Timeline

24 March – 12 April 2015
Open call for application.

12 April 2015
Deadline for submission of applications. Please return a copy of the attached internship application form with a copy of your CV and a recent essay/writing sample via email to museum@nus.edu.sg with the subject header “NUS Museum Internship Programme”. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

16 April 2015
Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for the arrangement of internship interviews. We regret that applicants who were not selected will not be notified.

20 April – 30 April 2015
Internship interviews will take place during this period. Please note that interviews for Position 1 will be scheduled only during 28 – 30 April 2015.

4 May 2015

Shortlisted applicants will be informed of the results of the interviews.



Duration

The official duration of the internship is from 11 May – 31 July 2015 (12 weeks) during the official NUS vacation period. However, this period may be negotiated if you have other commitments or your university’s vacation period differs from NUS. Please state your preferred duration or unavailability in the appropriate section of the application form. It is preferred that applicants are able to commit to at least 10 weeks of the internship for sufficient immersion.

Stipend

Interns will be provided with a stipend of $500 per month.

FAQs

For more information, please check out our list of FAQs at http://on.fb.me/1EvbVcM

For further enquiries, please contact Ms Michelle Kuek at michellekuek@nus.edu.sg or call 6516-8428.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Installation | The Library of Pulau Saigon





Duration: 27 March - December 2015
Venue: Archaeology Library, NUS Museum

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The Library of Pulau Saigon presents new works by artist Debbie Ding created in response to the state of existing literature on Pulau Saigon – a former islet located along the Singapore River until its complete assimilation into the main island in 1990. Trading books and libraries for tools, machines and the heuristic space of a laboratory, the artist has produced a speculative island of archaeological artefacts/ambiguities to be situated within the NUS Museum’s Archaeology Library. Given the paucity of information and public records on Pulau Saigon, this installation may be regarded less as an attempt to reconstruct the past of the islet, than a means to project further questions about Pulau Saigon and what it might continue to hold for us. This project grew out of the artist’s earlier work on the Singapore River.

About the artist
Debbie Ding is a visual artist and independent researcher. She facilitates the Singapore Psychogeographical Society, which is devoted to promoting a better understanding of the world through ludic adventures, independent research, digital documentation, and data/archival activism. Some of her previous projects and collaborations include: The Singapore River as a Psychogeographical Faultline (http://psychogeography.sg/river), Ethnographic Fragments from Central Singapore (http://fragments.psychogeography.sg), New Biologist (http://newbiologist.co.uk), and Last Meal (http://farmfarm.net/lastmeal).

Diary of an NUS Museum Intern: Danuh Tyas

Note: Diary of an NUS Museum Intern is a series of blog posts written by our interns about their experiences during the course of their internships. Working alongside their mentors, our interns have waded through tons of historical research, assisted in curatorial work, pitched in during exhibition installations and organised outreach events! If you would like to become our next intern, visit our internship page for more information!   

In December 2014, we invited two students from Soemardja Gallery to participate in our internship programme. Soemardja Gallery is the oldest university gallery in Indonesia; it serves as an educational complement to the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) Department of Fine Art and as a cultural resource for the institute and Bandung arts communities. During their internships, Muhamad Ady Nugeraha and Danuh Tyas interacted with fellow interns, as well as worked on research leading towards the building up of an archive on Bandung-based artist Tisna Sanjaya.

~

Archives, Awareness and One Question 
by Danuh Tyas 
Bandung, February 2015 


Hmmm... What did I do during the two-week internship at NUS Museum...? It might be a simple experience, but it might also be an interesting one. For a whole two weeks, my time was filled with activities related to Tisna Sanjaya – an artist from Bandung and also my lecturer at college. In the time of those two weeks, I tried to archive the data about him. 

Creating the archives actually wasn’t a complicated job, it was rather simple, but many people might forget or not think about the necessity of such a thing. During the two weeks, I was searching and collecting data such as articles, news, photos, interviews, and statements about Tisna, and then processing them into neat and easily accessible archives. The most important thing that I gained from the process of searching data and preparing the archives is about ‘awareness’.  Simple awareness, yet often unconscious: that the collected data that has not been processed is not yet an archive, and the task to compose the archives of an artist, may capitalise simple things–at least it happened for me– such as when I spent time in front of the computer screen relying on an internet connection to search for data. In my opinion, it actually would be better including books for reference; we can’t depend too much just on information off the Internet.

I think that this kind of awareness is often forgotten in the present. In my head, I often imagined that archives are those stacked and dusty objects or documents in the corner of the library or warehouse. That kind of "old-school" imaginations of archives actually makes me happy to search, “hunt”, and collect the old and dusty documents or objects like that. It is pleasant to feel like I am  “treasure hunting”. The problem is, when I had to find and collect various kinds of documents and objects, I forgot to process it further, so that all kinds of thse documents and objects eventually were just stacked neatly in a drawer, without further processing.  And now I have just realised, what I have collected in all this time, has not yet become an archive. Yes, that is so ...

And oh, there is another form of awareness that I found interesting after I compiled the archives of Tisna. It’s about the awareness of processing data and compiling them into the archives. In the process I also had to consider a simple system that would be easy to understand for others accessing it. Therefore, it is the need to arrange archives that come equipped with complete information and ordered as neatly as possible. And for this point, I think all this time, I have not put a single thought to it... 

Finally, two weeks of my internship ended and I have returned to Bandung to think about many things, plus the ‘awareness’ that I’ve got. I think that both “archives” and “compiling archives” itself are important things, especially for spaces like museums or art academies; as institutions (place) that produce, share and disseminate knowledge about art. In addition, I am also thinking about how important the existence of archives about the artists, records, and documentation of various art activities are for the country itself, such as in Indonesia –where I come from - where its art history is not yet considered as old and there are many fractures, ruptures within a maze of information. I also think that compiling archives may not only be of the author's own interest, but it also concerns the interests of others. In addition, it should think about a accessible yet simple system for people or other later usage, and thus a compiled archive should also allow various possibilities for research  and a variety of knowledge to be produced and distributed. Last but not least, there is an important question (yet it might be a personal one) that is floating in my head: after searching, collecting and processing data; after making and compiling neat and easily accessible archives, then - as students, academics, researchers, curators or others - with archives that I have and have collected; “What would I make...?”

Monday, 9 March 2015

Diary of an NUS Museum Intern: Liang Siyi

Note: Diary of an NUS Museum Intern is a series of blog posts written by our interns about their experiences during the course of their internships. Working alongside their mentors, our interns have waded through tons of historical research, assisted in curatorial work, pitched in during exhibition installations and organised outreach events! If you would like to become our next intern, visit our internship page for more information! 

In January 2015, three JC 1 students, Dana Gan,  Kim Soh Won and Liang Siyi, interned with us for a month as part of Temasek Junior College's Wonder. Observe. Weave! (WOW!) Attachment Programme. Across their four-week attachment, they were tasked to do research and craft educational activities for the primary level based on our new Sherd Library.
 
~
 
Four weeks of internship came to an end much more quickly than any of us had expected. In retrospect, the whole month of WOW! Attachment in NUS Museum has definitely been a meaningful and memorable experience. Throughout the attachment, we worked as a team to draft a proposal for school activities in the museum mainly and also went on several intriguing learning tours to places beyond the NUS Museum to broaden our vision. During our time here, there were a large number of relevant archives and documents provided by our mentor for us to read and hence gain a better understanding on the history behind the artefacts. The research tasks daily might have been tedious and energy-consuming at times, but were actually very helpful in providing us a clear view of the connections among the numerous artefacts of different backgrounds and gave legitimacy to the museum activities we proposed. 

Before I came for this internship programme, my understanding of a museum was rather limited and consequently I was enlightened when I learnt about the projects we were assigned to for this month – to think of all the possible ways for young school students to interact with seemingly static museum exhibitions. This was so much of a freeform challenge that we were able to let our imagination and creativity run free but eventually we came up with the objectives of interaction and comprehension. My team mates and I started by doing extensive research on the targeted artifacts and gathered a large amount of information. Later, we consolidated our findings and tried to obtain some inspiration for the activities. 




One of the final outcomes of our work was an activity named “Complete the World Trade Route”. The activity was basically about interpreting the different trade routes which terminated at Singapore all around the world during the 15th to 19th centuries (the period when most of the ceramics pieces in the Sherd Library were manufactured). First off, we provided detailed descriptions of some selected sherds with very typical characteristics and hoped that the students could from there make reasonable deductions towards the possible origins of the artifacts. We believe that this form of activity can be more appealing to young students than giving them a dull and monotonous presentation of the history of the sherds. We hope that all of these activities will be appreciated by the students who travel to this museum and look forward to a unique and memorable experience.

Besides the main project we spent most of our time on, the learning journeys to NUS Baba House and National Museum also made up a great part of our unforgettable learning experience. In the third week of the attachment, we were given the opportunity to join a guided tour in the NUS Baba House, a heritage house owned by a traditional Peranakan family in the past. Our first impression of the exquisite blue-coloured housing was its splendid carved motifs and decorations covering every single corner of the house which seemingly had a kind of magic to take us on a flashback to those good old days. Our guide was a graceful and cultivated lady who was familiar with every single piece of history about the house and presented them in a smooth and appropriate pace so much so that everyone were fully immersed in the charm of the stories.

For the second trip, we went to the National Museum of Singapore to visit the ongoing exhibition “Singapura: 700 Hundred Years”. The exhibition introduced a number of historical sites in Singapore such as Old Parliament House, Empress Place and Istana Kampong Glam with detailed illustration. We are very lucky to encounter this exhibition at the right time since a great number of artefacts were excavated from these sites in Singapore and many of them were currently displayed in NUS Museum as well. 

All in all, this full month of internship in NUS has been a truly enlightening experience which has exposed me to various aspects in life and caused me to appreciate all of the roles of and hard work by the museum staff to keep the museum in well maintenance. I would like to thank our mentor Ms Michelle Kuek for her patience and kindness in guiding us throughout the whole internship month as well as all the other staff in the museum whose selfless help made up our most memorable moments in NUS.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Diary of an NUS Museum Intern: Kim Soh Won

Note: Diary of an NUS Museum Intern is a series of blog posts written by our interns about their experiences during the course of their internships. Working alongside their mentors, our interns have waded through tons of historical research, assisted in curatorial work, pitched in during exhibition installations and organised outreach events! If you would like to become our next intern, visit our internship page for more information! 

In January 2015, three JC 1 students, Dana Gan,  Kim Soh Won and Liang Siyi, interned with us for a month as part of Temasek Junior College's Wonder. Observe. Weave! (WOW!) Attachment Programme. Across their four-week attachment, they were tasked to do research and craft educational activities for the primary level based on our new Sherd Library.

~  

I had a really fulfilling experience during these four weeks in NUS Museum. It not only changed my view and understanding of museums in general but also helped me gain more knowledge and interest in areas such as Southeast Asian and Singapore history. Prior to this internship, I used to have the perception that a museum is a rather boring place; this was probably because I always looked through the exhibits without truly understanding them and why they were displayed in such a manner. However, the activities I have done in this one-month internship have completely changed my view of museums. Now, I believe that I am able to better appreciate why exhibits are displayed in a particular manner and also the process behind making worksheets for students who visit the museum for excursions.

 Our main focus of our attachment was to research on Bakau shipwrecks and make worksheets for primary and secondary school students. The research on Bakau shipwrecks has really helped me understand shipwrecks better and realise that they are not merely broken pieces of shards found in the sea, but also a clue to the cultures and trades that took place at the point of time. The quote that I really loved from Kwa Chong Guan’s Locating Singapore on the Maritime Silk Road was “The snapshot nature of shipwreck data provide time-capsules which allow, with data from a sufficient number of wrecks spread over a substantial period of time, a moving image of the development of this maritime trade to emerge.” This quote enabled me to really understand that archaeologists use the discovered shards as a clue to trace back to the past in order to find out more about the lifestyles then. After thorough research, I revisited the NUS Museum and to my surprise, I, who previously found museums a rather boring place, was engaged by the exhibits the whole time.


Besides researching, my two group members and I created three worksheets for primary and secondary school students. In order to understand how students usually learn at their respective levels, we looked through the History and Social Studies textbooks they use in schools and this enabled us to roughly understand how the questions are asked and phrased and the types of activities that are suitable for students of different grades. We tried to create activities that involve a lot of interaction with the museum displays – shards from Singapore and Southeast Asia as well as the shipwrecks. The activities we have come up with require observation, comparison and most importantly inference skills as well as creativity and imagination. 

For instance, for primary school students, we asked them to freely express their opinions about the ceramic wares they observe in the museum. We felt that instead of asking primary school students to solve difficult questions which require prior knowledge on the topic, it would be better to encourage them to appreciate and observe the exhibits more carefully by asking them to describe the exhibits and give their feelings about it. For upper primary school students, we added in inference questions, which are guided step-by-step as we were afraid that the students would not be able to derive the answer. For instance, first, we asked the students to describe unique patterns they can observe on the shards, then asked them to infer the country of origin based on the answer they gave in the previous part. 

Questions for secondary school students were similar in nature, but less guided as we wanted to drill their thinking skills. For instance, questions such as “What can you infer from the proximity of these sites where the shards were found?” and “Why do you think a number of ceramic wares were found in these areas? Explain your answers for every location.” were asked directly without any guiding questions or clues. We believe that these activities will be able to guide the students to better understand the history behind the shards that are displayed in the museum in a more interesting way. 

  
We also had a chance to visit the National Museum, where I learnt that surprisingly, many archaeologists have been quietly excavating in Singapore for the last three decades - they have been investigating the activities and life of the early settlers on the island. I felt that the National Museum’s exhibition on Singapore archaeology was rather similar to that of NUS Museum and thus I was able to relate to and enjoy their exhibition even more. 

We also had the chance to visit the NUS Baba House, a heritage home run by NUS Museum, for a one-hour heritage tour. This was indeed my favourite and the most memorable experience throughout this internship programme as we could experience the lifestyle of a typical Peranakan family in 1920s and I personally felt as though I was walking through history as I toured the house. All in all, this tour has definitely raised my interests in the Peranakan culture and I would love to revisit soon. 











All in all, I have definitely grown to love museum exhibitions, especially the archaeological findings. The museum to me is no longer a boring place, but a place where I can truly appreciate the past and drill myself to make conclusions based on what I observe. Though NUS Museum is not large in terms of its size or number of exhibits, there is no doubt that it is a good start for visitors to gain interest in Singapore and Southeast Asian history as well as museum exhibitions in general.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

March 2015 | Malaya Black & White film screenings

This March, the Malaya Black & White film series returns with a brand new season, Beyond Saint Jack, guest-curated by author and critic Ben Slater. The season will kick off with the screening of Saint Jack (1979) on 11 March followed by Pretty Polly (1967) on 18 March at the NUS Museum. 

NOTE:
Both events are SOLD OUT. In the case of cancellations, these spaces will be made available on the Peatix event page.

Check for updates here: http://saintjackprettypolly.peatix.com/


CLICK TO ACCESS E-FLYER
CLICK TO ACCESS FACEBOOK EVENT 

Date: Wednesday, 11 March 2015
Time: 7pm
Venue: NUS Museum 
Register: SOLD OUT

saintjackprettypolly.peatix.com

 Rated M18.
*Please bring some form of identification for entry.

Banned for nearly 30 years in Singapore, Peter Bogdanovich’s adaptation of Paul Theroux’s novel is the most notorious film (entirely) shot in the Lion City. Ben Gazzara is unforgettable as Jack Flowers, a moral pimp, scheming and dreaming across the slippery landscape of a rapidly changing 1970s Singapore. Jack’s the archetypal ‘old hand’ in exotic climes, and yet he’s a melancholy and generous figure – straddling local and expatriate milieu, authentically captured by Bogdanovich, a brilliant European crew, and a cast of mainly non-professionals discovered in Singapore. This screening is accompanied by a segment from the BBC TV series ‘Moving Pictures’, depicting the film being shot on location in 1978.

Date: Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Time: 7pm

Venue: NUS Museum
Register:  SOLD OUT
saintjackprettypolly.peatix.com



 

Rarely seen today (it’s not on DVD!), this big-budget adaptation of Noel Coward’s acidic Singapore-set short story was shot almost entirely in Singapore in early 1967. Despite a great deal of local excitement about teen megastar Hayley Mills and Bollywood king Shashi Kapoor making a film here, Pretty Polly was not successful, but it remains a fascinating depiction of Singapore as a hedonistic playground for swinging grown-ups, where Mills experiences romantic liberation. Trevor Howard is the long-term expat uncle (who works at a rubber plantation) with his younger Chinese lover, a cynical remnant of the end of empire.  

About ‘Beyond Saint Jack’ - The strange cinematic visitors of Singapore and Malaya
Singapore/Malaya’s heyday of foreign production from the mid 1960s to the early 1980s led to a motley filmography of B-movies, commercial disasters, miscellaneous TV episodes, lost films and bizarre curios. While they resist canonisation, these films are a fascinating portal into how the region was perceived by the rest of the world both before and after the end of the colonial era; and the eagerness for Singapore and Malaysia to be represented and acknowledged by the West. A recurring motif of their narratives is the Western visitor in Singapore. This season of 10 films showcases the predecessors and descendants of Saint Jack (1979): old hands, good men, legal aliens, rugged individualists, ex-soldiers, detectives, has-beens and rock stars. Characters who have found themselves ensnared in traps beyond their control, stumbled across exotic, bewildering cultures, or entered zones of erotic possibility.  

Beyond Saint Jack is guest-curated by author and critic Ben Slater, who will be present to introduce and discuss each film. 

About Ben Slater
Ben Slater is the author of Kinda Hot: The Making of Saint Jack in Singapore (2006), a major contributor to World Film Locations: Singapore (2014) and the editor of 25: Histories and Memories of the Singapore International Film Festival (2014). He’s also the co-screenwriter of the feature film Camera (2014) and a Lecturer at the School of Art, Media and Design, Nanyang Technological University. 

Find out more about the Malaya Black & White project:
malayablackandwhite.wordpress.com/

Monday, 23 February 2015

Diary of an NUS Museum Intern: Dana Gan

Note: Diary of an NUS Museum Intern is a series of blog posts written by our interns about their experiences during the course of their internships. Working alongside their mentors, our interns have waded through tons of historical research, assisted in curatorial work, pitched in during exhibition installations and organised outreach events! If you would like to become our next intern, visit our internship page for more information! 

In January 2015, three JC 1 students, Dana Gan,  Kim Soh Won and Liang Siyi, interned with us for a month as part of Temasek Junior College's Wonder. Observe. Weave! (WOW!) Attachment Programme. Across their four-week attachment, they were tasked to do research and craft educational activities for the primary level based on our new Sherd Library.

-
 
The internship in NUS Museum for the past one month has been filled with many new enriching experiences. We focused on is the archaeology section in the museum. This section consists of sherds from Singapore historical sites (eg: Fort Canning), shipwrecks (eg: Pinggang shipwreck) as well as other Southeast Asian countries. 


Our main task was to come up with a proposal consisting of different worksheets for students from lower primary, upper primary and secondary schools so that they can have a better understanding of the museum and the exhibitions going on. The three of us have edited the proposal four times and we have really made great progress every time after discussing with our external mentor, Ms Kuek.

 The following is a map we created showing the locations of historical sites in Singapore:
“What can you infer from the proximity of these sites where the sherds were found?”
We developed this question because we would like the students to infer that the five historical sites all gathered near the Singapore River. It indicates that trading has taken place in the regions near the Singapore River and objects from different countries were once exchanged there and that is why a large number of shards of different origins could be excavated in these regions.This question requires the students to be observant and we believe that the ability to observe and infer is essential for students.

In the process, we learnt how to stand in the shoes of students and hence create activities that are interesting for them. Secondly, we have realized how important teamwork and cooperation are in the process. The task has enabled us to value our working (studying) partners more which I think is essential for our upcoming Project Work course in JC1. Hence, I believe the WOW! Attachment has really prepared me for JC. 

Apart from these tasks, we also went on two field trips to the National Museum of Singapore and the NUS Baba House. Firstly, for the National Museum of Singapore, we went for the archaeology exhibition on the B1 floor, hoping to learn some additional information about Singapore historical sites and archaeology. We also went for the “Singapura: 700 Years” exhibition near the archaeology exhibition, hoping to learn more about the Singapore history (since the three of us are foreigners).


The NUS Baba House trip was the most fun field trip I have had in the two years I have been in Singapore. The NUS Baba House showcases Peranakan history, architecture and heritage. The guide was enthusiastic and humorous and we have really learnt a lot about the Peranakan life in the past. The decor inside the house was truly amazing and it gripped our attention right away. We also gained understanding of the female discrimination during the time. I think we should not take the relative gender equality we have nowadays for granted. We should look more to history and continue to make efforts to make this world a more equal, harmonious place.

Lastly, I also attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition Curating Lab: Phase 03 at NUS Museum. That night was unforgettable. After the ceremony, we had a better understanding of contemporary art and the debates over its importance and position in society.

This month’s experience has been really great and exciting, and I am thankful for the chance to be an intern at NUS Museum.