Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/155630
Title: COLLECTING EVERYDAY OBJECTS: IMAGINING AND REIMAGINING CULTURAL HERITAGE IN SINGAPORE
Authors: SHIN SUZIE
Keywords: Everyday objects
daily life objects
folklife collection
National Museum of Singapore
Memories of Yesteryear exhibition
Objectum exhibition
cultural heritage
micro-history
social history
public and private collecting practices
Issue Date: 19-Nov-2018
Citation: SHIN SUZIE (2018-11-19). COLLECTING EVERYDAY OBJECTS: IMAGINING AND REIMAGINING CULTURAL HERITAGE IN SINGAPORE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This paper places everyday objects from the 1950s and 1960s and their collectors as the central agents of imagining and reimagining Singapore’s cultural heritage. For the National Museum of Singapore, a public collector, everyday objects serve a distinctly political and nationalist agenda. On the other hand, private collectors at the grassroots level collect as a way of salvaging the remains of disappearing landscapes brought about by urban redevelopment. Nevertheless, both share the desire to preserve a sense of national heritage, and there is a symbiotic relationship between state collecting and private collecting in the preservation of heritage. This is exemplified in the exhibition Memories of Yesteryear (1995/6) held at the National Museum, where it was conceived to commemorate the 30th year of Singapore’s independence and where thousands of daily life objects were amassed from private collections. Our encounter with daily life objects activates symbolic values personal to us, which is a crucial process of memory and identity making. Memory and identity are essential components of constructing cultural heritage, and this is conceptualised in a contemporary exhibition titled Objectum (2013) that reinterpreted Memories of Yesteryear. The emotional and personal values inherent in daily life objects remind us that the creation of heritage too, is an emotional and personal process. The circulation of everyday objects in public and private spaces and collections ultimately bring narratives of ordinary people into the historical and cultural discourse mandated by the state. The immortalisation of these objects in the National Museum and Collection is hence a key movement towards a more inclusive and imaginative construction of Singapore’s cultural heritage.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/155630
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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