This SG Museum Has Islamic Art, Rare Treasures From A 9th-Century Shipwreck (& More!)


Faruq Senin •  Feb 02, 2021

[UPDATED 16 Feb 2021]

Even as we can’t travel abroad right now, the good news is that there are plenty of things to do in Singapore. Looking to uncover a new spot in Singapore over the weekend? We’ve got you covered! The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) is open on weekends and there are 3 new special exhibitions that you can look forward to this February 2021. On top of that, you can use yourSingapoRediscovers Vouchers to enjoy bundle promos and exclusive merchandise!

3 new special exhibitions at ACM

What’s interesting about these three special exhibitions is that they shine the spotlight on the community of people behind ACM. Through stories and the perspectives of staff, tenants, partners, artist and collector, you’ll get to see the lesser-known human side of the museum. This is the best time to visit ACM as you’ll get to enjoy the special exhibitions on top of their 10 permanent galleries!

Credit: ACM

One of the special exhibitions is Faith Beauty Love Hope - Our Stories, Your ACM where more than 60 artefacts have been picked from ACM’s extensive collection by those who work at or with the museum. These include contributions even from a security supervisor and student volunteers! Plus, the accompanying text labels are personal anecdotes which reflect the community’s feelings towards the COVID-19 pandemic. 

One of the unique artefacts that you can look forward to in this exhibition is a bird caligram (image formed using only letters and words) from the words "basmalah" in Arabic which is recited by Muslims to ask for God's blessings. Another interesting artefact is a panel tile from 18th-century Iran which depicts a verse from Surah Yusuf in the Quran which tells of Prophet Yusuf's trials and tribulations.

#HHWT Tip: You can also submit your own story via a digital repository at the end of the exhibition or online!

Location: Special Exhibitions Gallery, Level 2

Date: Till 28 Feb 2021

Credit: ACM

The next exhibition, thINK: Chinese Calligraphy, Connoisseurship, and Collecting highlights historical objects, books and letters from important personalities from China’s Ming and Qing dynasties. 

Credit: ACM

These objects are from the collection of ACM’s long-time lender, Dr Yuan Shao Liang who has supported the museum since it first opened in 1997 at the Old Tao Nan School. Through these objects that are centuries-old, it shows visitors the intimate relationship between collectors and the things they keep as well as the making of a legacy. 

Location: Contemporary Gallery, Level 1

Date: Till 25 Apr 2021

Perfect Stranger is another special exhibition at ACM which should be on your list! This simple yet moving exhibition consists of 60 blocks of paper inscribed with words on a gradient of colours. This exhibition was actually inspired by local artist Dawn Ng’s personal question-and-answer project with a stranger, Israeli psychologist Zehavit Efrati, where they exchanged thoughts every day over the course of a year. You’re free to walk through the artworks and explore these thoughts at your own pace. Who knows? You might even feel a deep connection to some of them. 

Location: Shaw Foyer, Level 2

Date: Till 28 Feb 2021

P.S. HHWT will be having our Lunar New Year virtual event, Hello Spring Festival (5-19 Feb 2021)where you’ll have the chance to enjoy exciting activities, staycation giveaways and more right from the comfort of your own home! 

Use your SingapoRediscovers Vouchers and visit the permanent galleries as well

Alternatively, you can also purchase ACM's SingapoRediscovers Vouchers (SRV) packages from now till 28 February 2021 to enjoy full admission to ACM’s permanent galleries and its 3 new special exhibitions. At just $10, you can get discounts and a gift redemption from the ACM Museum Label shop too (total worth $24):

  • 1 x pax admission ticket (usual price SGD12)
  • 1 x MUSEUM LABEL merchandise redemption (worth SGD12)
  • 1 x 15% off MUSEUM LABEL merchandise

ACM’s Permanent Galleries

Credit: ACM

As the leading museum in Asian antiquities and decorative art in the region, ACM’s permanent galleries are not to be missed! 

On the Ground Floor, you’ll find the galleries of Trade which feature a 9th-century Tang Shipwreck display and over 1000 pieces of ceramics, gold and silver from the Indian Ocean trade routes. 

Credit: Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth on Facebook

The shipwreck was discovered off Belitung Island and contained more than 60,000 ceramics produced in China during the Tang dynasty (618–907), as well as gold and silver. Some of the items are exceptionally rare and the details prove the ingenuity of artists during that time. The ship was actually bound for Iran and Iraq which shows the strong commercial links between China, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

Head up to Level 2 and you’ll be greeted with sacred art consisting of sculptures, paintings and ritual objects that highlight faith and belief systems that were spread across Asia by land and by sea. From Islamic Art to Christian Art, Buddhism, Hinduism and more, this gallery is fascinating, even if you’re not an art enthusiast!

Finally, on Level 3, check out ACM’s newly refurbished permanent galleries focusing on Fashion & Textiles, Jewellery and Ceramics. From a 1930s French-inspired qipao to a mother-of-pearl keris, this section shows how cross-cultural exchanges have impacted costumes and decorative art in the region. 

Halal food near ACM

Feeling hungry after your visit to the museum? Check out our guide to halal food in Singapore's Civic District!

Join Hello Spring Festival's Mini Draw 2 to win attractive prizes!

It's the last week to enjoy HHWT's virtual Lunar New Year event, Hello Spring Festival which will end on 19 Feb 2021! Besides exciting articles and access to our live shows, participate in our Mini Draw 2 by clicking on the red packet Lucky Draw booths and stand a chance to win attractive prizes! The lucky draw ends on 19 Feb 2021!

Asian Civilisations Museum

Admission:Check out the SRV bundles to enjoy more discounts!

Address: 1 Empress Pl, Singapore 179555

Website | Facebook | Instagram

By Have Halal Will Travel, for the Asian Civilisations Museum.