past events

Month      Year     

Night at the Museum: The Great Escape from Asian Civilisations Museum
The Asian Civilisations Museum challenges you to the first ever escape game in the museum! Beat the clock with your escape in the first ever Lockdown Game in a real museum in Singapore – and probably the world! Embark on an adventure to solve puzzles, uncover mysterious “secrets” of the museum and learn the hidden meanings behind ancient objects as characters come to life in the museum.
12 & 13 December 2014

State of Play of Indonesian Textile Studies: Ancestor Figures and Tree of Life
Indonesian textile studies is a relatively new field. Early 20th century interest produced publications by several Dutch scholars, but until the 1980s, not much fieldwork was done, nor were rigorous anthropological and art historical methods used. Traude Gavin will explore two notions in Indonesian textile studies: ancestor figures and the Tree of Life.
12 Dec 2014
Friday Evening Lecture: Architecture of the Buddhist World
From its origins in India in the 6th century BC, Buddhism spread across Asia, commingling with local traditions. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this lecture explores the diversity of architecture in the Buddhist world, with particular emphasis on Southeast Asia.
28 November 2014 (Friday), 7 to 8.30pm
Curator Tours (China Mania!)
Join our exhibition curators for behind the scenes stories that will unveil the mysteries of China Mania!
19 Sep & 21 Nov 2014, 7.30pm
Lunchtime Concerts at ACM
Featuring talented young musicians from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, the popular lunchtime concerts return in October with exciting classical and jazz music from winds, strings, brass, and woodwinds.
3, 10, 17, 24, 31 October & 7, 14 November 2014 (Fridays) 12.30pm – 1.30pm

Storytelling Tours by the Story Whisperers
Listen to tantalising tales about the tree of life by the Friends of the Museum, Story Whisperers.
Every first Saturday of the month, 3pm

Saturdays@ACM: Crafty Kids
Join us on a journey to Explore, Discover, and Create! Be captivated by Asian stories, watch fantastical performances, make art, and get crafty.
1 Nov 2014
Friday Evening Lecture: More Than Half a Century of Heritage Planning
Much has been done in Singapore over the past 50 years to make a case for saving vernacular buildings in Southeast Asia. This talk will present the history of urban conservation in Singapore by discussing planning challenges and strategies used at different stages of the city’s development.
31 Oct 2014 (Friday), 7 to 8.30pm
ACM After Dark
Don’t be scared away by our “bone” China!
25 Oct 2014 7pm till late

A is for Art: Earth, Water, Fire (A showcase of works from schools)
Join us to celebrate the efforts of teachers and students from 27 different schools. This exhibition features works that have been done under the mentorship of Master Potter Chua Soo Kim and are closely linked to ACM’s ceramic collection.
29 August – 26 October 2014
Director Tour (China Mania!)
Join director Alan Chong on this private tour of China Mania!
10 Oct 2014 7.30pm
Friday Evening Lecture: East Indies – The English East India Company and the Founding of Singapore
This lecture is based on the speaker’s book ‘East Indies’ – The English East India Company and the founding of Singapore (2013). The histories of port cities will be discussed, beginning in Malacca, which was one of the world’s largest trading ports in the 16th century, then moving to Batavia.
26 September 2014 (Friday), 7 to 8.30pm

Bulan Bahasa Weekend Festival
Islamic scripts on Chinese porcelain? Find out why in China Mania! Explore and learn more about Malay culture and language through exciting performances and guided tours.
6-7 Sep 2014

Daily Life in Myanmar’s Ancient Cities
Three huge brick-walled cities in Myanmar are currently going through the UNESCO World Heritage nomination process. Many fascinating finds have been unearthed during excavations at the sites. This presentation builds a picture of those long-lost societies through the material goods they left behind.
25 Jul 2014

River Nights
The Singapore River takes centre stage at River Nights, the opening event for Singapore HeritageFest 2014. Celebrate the Singapore River’s changing identity – from a trading artery to a magnet for locals and tourists, drawn to its colourful nightlife. Two nights of festival programmes include music, dance, comedy and food for all.
18 & 19 July 2014

Dutch Residents in Asia:
Their Homes and Interiors, and their Trade in Works of Art

What furniture and works of art might you find in the home of a Dutch person living along the Tijgersgracht (Tiger canal) in Batavia in 1720? Jan Veenendaal will discuss the kinds of art and furniture that the Dutch living in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka during the colonial period brought home with them.
15 July 2014

Martha@ACM by Richard Move
Richard Move is Martha Graham, the 20th century modern dance icon ‘live’ at the Asian Civilisations Museum. Responding to the physical site itself, Move tells stories that Graham personally wrote and spoke of.
27 and 28 June 2014

From Majapahit to Bali: Genealogies of Indonesian Culture
This talk examines the nature and legacy of Majapahit, one of Southeast Asia’s greatest kingdoms, existing between 1293 and 1527. Professor Adrian Vickers will look at the different ways that Majapahit has remained important to Southeast Asian culture.
23 June 2014

Ancient Artefacts, Modern Worship, and the Origins of Buddhism in Northeast Thailand and Central Laos
This talk traces the evidence for Buddhism in northeast Thailand and Central Laos from its earliest appearance in the 6th and 7th centuries to the local manifestations it exhibits today.
13 June 2014

Coveted by Princes and Citizens: Sri Lankan Ivory Carvings for the European Market, 1550–1700
In 1505, when the Portuguese encountered Sri Lanka, they came in contact with a rich and ancient material culture. They were particularly enchanted by ivory carvings.
11 June 2014

Children’s Season Holiday Workshop - Master class for Kids: 3D Sculpture
Explore various methods and materials. Learn to make 3D Sculpture with artist Luis Lee. Take home your creation and a museum goodie bag.
4 and 6 June 2014

The Enchanted Tree Weekend Festival
Step into a colourful world of tales and art this weekend. Set your imagination ablaze as you venture into the ancient world of the enchanted tree. Create your own sand art, explore nature-inspired artworks and watch a performance by kids.
31 May and 1 June 2014

Friday with Friends! - Traditions and Transitions: Tracing Clay Practices in India from Ancient to Contemporary
India has a vast and varied clay tradition. Its forms, spiritual associations, and ritual roles have always been part of Indian life. Madhvi Subrahmanian will discuss some of the clay traditions and contemporary ceramic practices in India in terms of her personal journey.
30 May 2014

This Saturday, make your very own accordion horse to take home and watch a special performance by the Siong Leng Musical Association.
3 May 2014

Mandarin talk: The Benefactress of Famen Temple: Empress Wu Zetian and Buddhism in the Early Tang
The importance of the Famen Temple in the early Tang period was because of the attentions of a royal couple – Emperor Gaozong (628–683) and his wife Empress Wu Zetian (624–705). This presentation explains the intimate relationship between the Famen Temple and the Tang royal house, and explores the far-reaching impact of Buddhism on politics, academics, art, and culture in the Tang dynasty.
28 Apr 2014

Curator Tour
Join curator Kan Shuyi to learn about the courtly arts and worldly culture of Tang China on this private tour of the exhibition, Secrets of the Fallen Pagoda: Treasures from Famen Temple and the Tang Court.
21 Feb, 21 Mar & 25 Apr 2014

The Famen Temple and the World of Tang Buddhism
By focusing on the Famen Temple relic venerations, Professor Tansen Sen explains the changes in Buddhist practices in Tang China, which eventually resulted in the transformation of Buddhism from a foreign religion into a local tradition.
23 Apr 2014

Friday with Friends! – De-mystifying Chinese Portraits
This talk will discuss Chinese portrait paintings, and examine how and why Western modes crept in during the Qing emperor Qianlong’s reign (1736–1795).
3 Apr 2014

Mandarin Seminar: The Famen Temple and Tang Culture
The precious finds from the Famen Temple reflect the richness and cosmopolitanism of China during the Tang dynasty (618–907). One of the most revered Buddhist sites in China, the temple is renowned for housing the finger-bone relic of the Buddha as well as hundreds of exquisite objects. In this seminar, four scholars from Xi’an, China, will explore topics related to the Famen Temple and Tang China.
29 Mar 2014

Friday with Friends! - The Half Naked Fakir
In 1931, Winston Churchill angrily exclaimed that it was "alarming and nauseating" to see that Gandhi had "now become a seditious fakir. striding half-naked up the steps of the Vice Regal Palace ". In this lecture, Marina Thayil will discuss this revolutionary in a loincloth, and examine the reasons for Ghandi's personal choice of attire and his search for integrity in identity and appearance.
28 Mar 2014

Lunchtime Concerts at ACM
Featuring talented young musicians from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, the popular lunchtime concerts return in March with exciting classical and jazz music from winds, strings, brass, and woodwinds..
14, 21 & 28 Mar 2014 | 4 & 11 Apr 2014

Secrets of the Fallen Pagoda Weekend Festival
Experience the glamour of the Tang dynasty at the Asian Civilisations Museum! Enjoy beautiful displays of spring festival flowers, fun-filled performances from the golden age of Chinese art and crafts....
8 & 9 Mar 2014

Ladies Night
The Asian Civilisations Museum celebrates International Women’s Day with a delectable selection of pampering pursuits. Nourish, discover, and indulge in a range of lifestyle programmes at our Beauty Quarters....
8 Mar 2014

Friday with Friends! - Conceptual Art: Integrating Nature and Culture
Get to know Kumari Nahappan, one of Singapore's most compelling female contemporary artists. In this talk, she will offer insights into her thoughts on art and its practice. Expect to gain a deeper understanding of how the artist draws on nature and her deepest cultural references to build the contextual frameworks for the creation of her art in a very contemporary language.
28 Feb 2014

Batak Houses of Northern Sumatra
Old vernacular Toba Batak and Karo Batak houses still stand in villages and hamlets surrounding Lake Toba in northern Sumatra. This talk introduces the differences between the two types of houses, and is illustrated by photos taken in the 1990s.
19 Feb 2014

Chinese New Year Celebration
Join us for an afternoon of Chinese New Year celebrations, with activities for the whole family. Prepare for prosperity with exciting lion dance performances and special tours to discover auspicious symbols..
8 Feb 2014

In Conversation with Tim Yip (Mandarin)
Join artist Tim Yip, Oscar winner for Best Art Direction on Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, as he talks about his philosophy on fashion, set and costume design with reference to Tang dynasty culture..
8 Feb 2014

In Conversation with Tim Yip (English)
Join Alan Chong, director of the Asian Civilisations Museum, in conversation with artist Tim Yip, Oscar winner for Best Art Direction on Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
7 Feb 2014

Jacques de Coutre in Southeast Asia, 1593-1603
In 1593, a young Fleming from Bruges named Jacques de Coutre arrived at Melaka. His autobiography and other writings offer important insights on Asian societies, customs, trading networks, and objects of trade. This lecture will introduce the new translation and edition, and reveal what grand plans Jacques de Coutre had for Singapore around 1625.
29 Jan 2014

ACM-NUS China Affair Lecture Series - Cultural Diversity: The Tang Dynasty and the Silk Road
The Tang dynasty is one of the most prosperous eras in Chinese history. It was also when the trade route, historically known as the "Silk Road", was opened up. This lecture examines the historical background of the Tang dynasty in relation to the opening of the Silk Road, and its contribution to the cultural diversity of the Tang dynasty.
25 Jan 2014

Friday with Friends! - The Kitchen God and Other Paper Tales of Chinese New Year
One of the most endearing of all Chinese New Year traditions is sending off the former year's Kitchen God, and hanging a new picture of him at the start of a new year. Who is this Kitchen God, who did he report to, and who is he with in these colourful traditional posters? In this lecture, Patricia Bjaaland Welch will discuss some of the most beloved Chinese New Year traditions.
24 Jan 2014

Ananda Coomaraswamy: A life in photography
Ananda Coomaraswamy, the first American curator of Indian art and a fascinating promoter of Asian culture, was involved with photography in different capacities throughout his life. This talk will trace how photographs played a vital role in Coomaraswamy's scholarly research on Ceylonese decorative arts and Indian sculpture, among others.
22 Jan 2014

Whose and what body? Or, what do the Famen Temple reliquaries tell us?
Magnificent reliquaries donated by the emperor, and uncovered from the Famen Temple crypt in 1987, provide tantalising clues. Like Russian dolls, they are packed boxes within boxes, and they diagrammed the graduated dissolution of an individual body into a transcendent state. Professor Wang will unpack the reliquary boxes to reveal the intricate design of this artistic and bio-political engineering.
18 Jan 2014

Physical and Chemical Analysis of Ancient Chinese Bronzes and their Authentication
This lecture will explore the ancient Chinese metallurgical industry and the creation of bronze - an alloy made of copper, tin, and lead. Through physical and chemical analysis - examining the surfaces and the interior structure - one can better differentiate between authentic pieces and fakes.
14 Jan 2014

Friday with Friends! - Dispelling the Darkness: The True Story of Darwin, Wallace and the Discovery of Evolution in Southeast Asia
Alfred Russel Wallace independently discovered evolution by natural selection in Southeast Asia. This lecture is based on the most thorough research ever conducted on Wallace's voyage. It turns out the story is very different to what we have been told.
13 Dec 2013

Devotion and Desire Curator Tour
Join curator Clement Onn for an insider tour of our latest special exhibition. Learn how the cultures of Asia have interacted with each other and the wider world, and see objects that were created from those contacts.
07 Jun 2013 - 06 Dec 2013

Drawing in the Galleries
Discover rich patterns or details in art and train your hand, eye, and mind in this series of drawing workshops. An instructor will provide insights on drawing techniques based on the Devotion and Desire exhibition. This series is open to participants of all levels.
15 Nov, 29 Nov 2013

Open Saturday: ACM, Ahoy!
Cultures converge at the Asian Civilisations Museum in a day of fun-filled performances, all-day food bazaar of local delights, film screenings, and craft activities.

From north to south, east to west: meet interesting characters in special tours or enjoy workshops and performances inspired by the Devotion and Desire collection. Tickle your senses with sights, smells, and sounds from Asia and the wider world.
16 Nov 2013

Lunchtime Concerts at ACM
The popular lunchtime concerts return in October to the Asian Civilisations Museum with exciting music from winds, piano, strings, voice, woodwind, and jazz.
1, 8, 15 Nov 2013

Director Tour – Devotion and Desire
Join Director Alan Chong on this private tour of Devotion and Desire to explore the museum’s recently acquired treasures. Discover surprising connections between Asian cultures, and between Asia and the wider world, in this behind-the-scenes look at the museum’s latest special exhibition.
14 Nov 2013

Beauty in Everyday Things: Crafts of Myanmar (Burma)
A visitor to Myanmar cannot but be impressed by the wealth of traditional arts and crafts still in existence throughout the country. One can still see craftsmen turning out objects made of materials ranging from bamboo, palm-leaf, and textiles to lacquer and silver. In this lecture, Sylvia Fraser-Lu will explore the wide range of crafts practised in Myanmar.
12 Nov 2013

ACM-NUS China Affair Lecture Series:The Southern Film Company and the Popularity of Chinese Opera Films in Southeast Asia (1950s-1960s)
The Southern Film Company in Hong Kong was the main import agent of Chinese opera films into the Hong Kong and Southeast Asian markets during the 1950s and 1960s. This talk will examine how Chinese opera films were imported into these markets, and the impact of China’s cultural policy towards Hong Kong and Southeast Asia in the film-importing business.
9 Nov 2013

Enjoy art from a different perspective through engaging tours, and explore our Cabinet of Curiosities to get up close and personal with our handling collection. Create and bring home a craft inspired by the Devotion and Desire exhibition.
2 Nov, 7 Dec 2013

ACM After Dark
The Asian supernatural comes to life at the museum after dark.
26 Oct 2013

Friday with Friends! – The Toraja of Sulawesi: An Indonesian “House Society”
The Sa’dan Toraja people of highland South Sulawesi are famous for their rich ceremonial life and the architecture of their extraordinary houses. But what do the houses mean to people? In this illustrated talk, Roxana Waterson will show how kinship, social memory, myth, and rituals revolve around houses and their places in the landscape.
25 Oct 2013

ACM-NUS China Affair Lecture Series – China, Singapore, Assassination: An Untold Story of the Lim Boon Keng Gunshot Incident in 1928
This lecture discusses the origins and significance of Lim Boon Keng’s gunshot incident in 1928, and the impact of China’s politics on Chinese communities in Singapore in the early 20th century.
19 Oct 2013

ACM-NUS China Affair Lecture Series – Teochew Opera Movies in the 1960s: An Outsider’s Point of View
During the 1960s, Hong Kong studios produced over 150 Teochew opera movies targeted at the Southeast Asian markets. Focusing on the productions of two Hong Kong movie companies, Sun Luen and Chiu Ngai, this lecture examines the political and business interactions between China, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia as reflected in the Teochew movie industry.
5 Oct 2013

Friday with Friends! – The material culture of Bukit Brown Cemetery
Opened in 1922, the 213-acre Bukit Brown Municipal Chinese Cemetery is a significant spatial manifestation of the period that consolidated overseas Chinese identity in Singapore. Besides natural heritage, the cemetery’s material culture – tombs, settings and embellishments – is rich field data for tracing the early political and social history of the diasporic Nanyang community in Southeast Asia. This talk discusses the material culture in terms of the different types of tombs found in the cemetery.
20 Sept 2013

A symposium at the Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore
Is there such a thing as Asian art? Is the notion of pan-Asian art history a legitimate historical construction? Ever since Okakura Kakuzō used the phrase “Asia is one” in 1903, scholars and curators have struggled with conceptualising the continent as a whole. This symposium, held in conjunction with the special exhibition Devotion and Desire: Cross-Cultural Art in Asia, considers some of the impulses that might tie together the art histories of a vast continent that embraces many cultures, religions, and languages.
14 Sep 2013

Pesta Bulan Bahasa 2013
Join us for a weekend of traditional and contemporary Malay performances, talks and workshops. Explore cross-cultural art by viewing the Devotion and Desire exhibition, and receive an ACM collectible.*
*While supplies last. Terms and conditions apply.
7 & 8 Sept 2013

Art & Wine @ TPM
Join us to discover interesting facts about the Peranakan culture and learn to decipher the complexities and flavours of fine wines.
26 Jul 2013

Asia at the Missions of Northern New Spain (Mexico)
Objects from Asia could be found at the Jesuit and Franciscan missions in Mexico and parts of the United States in the period when Spain controlled the region. This lecture will explain the importance of New Spain in the network of trade and exchange controlled by the Spanish Empire, especially the role of missionaries.
25 Jul 2013

ACM-NUS China Affair Lecture Series: Mo Yan and Contemporary Chinese Literature
Chinese literature and Sinophone literature have flourished rapidly during the past three decades, constituting the greatest and fastest development since the late Qing Dynasty.
29 Jun 2013

Curious about Curios
Explore some of the most beautiful and rare cross-cultural objects from the Devotion and Desire exhibition and create your own mini curio to start your own collection.
12 Jun 2013 - 26 Jun 2013

Museums in Korea: Insights and Challenges
The history of Korean museums began in 1909, when King Sunjong (reigned 1907–1910), the last in the Joseon dynasty, ordered the first-ever public exhibition of royal artworks. In this lecture, Dr Kim Youngna will present the history and current state of museums in Korea, and discuss how they are adapting for the future, as museums become increasingly diverse and essential to a rapidly globalising society.
22 Jun 2013

The Young Collector Weekend Festival
Explore the special exhibition Devotion and Desire and enjoy enchanting cross-cultural performances.
08 Jun 2013 - 09 Jun 2013