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Fri, Feb 19, 2010
my paper
Night out at the museums

By Clara Chow

NIGHTS at museums have always held a certain allure for both young and old.

These days, after hours at museums are no longer the mere stuff of fantasy.

The Singapore Philatelic Museum, for example, holds sleepovers for schoolchildren, allowing them to tour its galleries in the dark and be entertained by mysterious "talking stamps".

And, as the historic, culturerich Bras Basah district blooms, evenings in and around Singapore's museums are becoming more vibrant, as they host educational activities and whimsical entertainment events.

From 6pm to 9pm daily, admission to the National Museum's Singapore Living Galleries is free (last admission at 7.30pm).

On Fridays, admission to the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) is also free after 6pm, with a special guided tour at 7pm. As for the Peranakan Museum and Asian Civilisations Museum, both have discounts on admission on Fridays, 7pm to 9pm.

Here's my paper's guide to five of the best things to do after 6pm at key museums in the Bras Basah area.

PUPPET TALES: Characters from Indian epic Ramayana come alive at the Peranakan Museum.

MUSEUM GOODIES

Some exhibitions just give you a certain frisson when viewed after dark.

The Peranakan Museum's current exhibition, Ramayana Revisited: A Tale Of Love & Adventure (until Aug 22) is one.

Exploring the classic Indian epic, it features 100 original artefacts from the Asian Civilisations Museum's permanent collection that explore the timeless popularity of the Ramayana in the visual, narrative and performing arts of South-east Asia.

Contemplating demons, fallible heroes and the struggle of good over evil is particularly fitting as the light fades outside, and the shadow puppets come to life at the appropriate hour.

Special curators' tours are available on April 22 and May 13 at 7.30pm, at $25 per person.

Registration prior to the event is required, either online or at the museums.

Similarly, leading Chinese- Indonesian artist FX Harsono's upcoming exhibition at SAM, Testimonies, is given an added dimension at dusk, because of its themes of socio-political change, identity in flux and quietly disturbing truths.

Come March 4, from 7.30pm to 9pm, visitors can listen to the 60-year-old artist's talk at the SAM auditorium.

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