SINGAPORE - Artefacts from the ninth century, including some of the oldest-known of China's distinctive blue-and-white dishes, are among the items on display at the Asian Civilisations Museum's (ACM) new and refreshed permanent galleries.
The museum has created two new wings with three new galleries. The new Riverfront Wing, which re-orients the museum towards the Singapore River, houses the Khoo Teck Puat gallery that features the famous Tang Shipwreck collection.
Meanwhile, the new Kwek Hong Png Wing houses the museum's new Contempory Project Gallery, dedicated to contemporary art displays, as well as "The Scholar in Chinese Culture" gallery.
The new galleries are targeted at visitors who are "keen to explore and understand the region's rich heritage," said Dr Alan Chong, director of the ACM. The galleries have been curated to follow broad themes that highlight cross-cultural connections, rather than segmented by geography or cultures.
For example, the Tang Shipwreck, which was discovered off Belitung Island in the Java Sea in 1998, provides early proof of strong commercial links between China, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
The wreck contained a remarkable cargo of more than 60,000 ceramics and luxurious gold and silver objects, including Changsha bowls, which are ceramic bowls featuring designs of flowers, leaves, birds and clouds. There is also a white and green pitcher whose handle is in the shape of a tiger that originated in the Henan province in China, and whose style inspired many Middle Eastern designs.
ACM, which will be unveiling its revamped space and new galleries to the public on Saturday, Nov 14, is aiming to cultivate a more personal relationship with its visitors - both young and old.
The museum has also developed two new mobile applications to complement its visitors' walk-through experience, while providing a fun environment for families with young children to explore the museum.
The ACM app enriches visitors' museum experience with a selection of self-guided tours, behind-the-scenes views and interactive maps. Meanwhile, the ACM VR App gives a dramatic virtual reality experience of the Tang Shipwreck, allowing viewers to step into the shoes of a crew member on the ill-fated ship.
The new galleries are the star attractions that will play an integral role in the museum's '24HRS @ ACM' event on Saturday, which commemorates the completion of the first phase of ACM's $25 million revamp.
The event, that starts at 7pm on Saturday and ends at 7pm on Sunday, will provide the public a chance to stay at the museum while enjoying a picnic under the stars, film screenings, trivia games, as well as tours of the museum by Dr Chong that will begin at midnight.
Asian Civilisations Museum opens on Nov 14.