25 Dec 2020 - 31 Dec 2020

Whole day

Getting Here

Online

ACM is a 5-minute walk from Raffles Place MRT Station (Exit H) 

 

 

Admission
Free

Opened in 2018, the Christian Art Gallery showcases works of art that are the product of cross-cultural exchanges between Asia and Europe, through trade and the spread of the Christian faith. Discover objects in this gallery that come from different parts of Asia in this onsite and digital trail.

 

Instructions: 

  1. FIND the object with the floorplan provided.
  2. LOOK closely at the objects using the guiding questions. 
  3. READ the object labels in the gallery for answers. 
  4. CLICK on the provided links to explore more about the object at home with our digital resources.

 

Tour duration: Approximately 30-minutes  

 

Route: 

Lobby -> Level 2, Christian Art Gallery

From the lobby, take the stairs or lift to Level 2. Refer to the floorplan here to locate the objects.

 

SG - Map 

Enter the Christian Art Gallery, which displays objects that combine well-established European imagery with Asian artistic traditions to convey Christian stories. These objects were used to embellish churches and homes, and motivate new converts.

 

Along the red wall with the introduction of the gallery, spot a display of hanging ornaments in the display case.

  • Object 1 – Hanging ornaments


    SG - Ornaments

    Hanging ornaments

    Turkey, Kütahya, 18th century

    Fritware

    2013-00584


    What do the shapes of these ornaments remind you of?

    - What designs do you see painted on them?

    Where do you think there would have been hung?

     

    These ornaments are made of a glassy ceramic called “fritware”, which is similar to porcelain. They are decorated with winged angels and crosses. They are hollow, and pierced at the top and bottom so they can be hung as decoration or strung together. These ornaments were made for the Armenian community and churches in Turkey and Jerusalem.

     

    In Singapore, the Armenian Apostolic Church of St Gregory the Illuminator – commonly called the Armenian Church – is Singapore’s oldest Christian church (1836). Located on Hill Street, it is just around the corner from ACM’s sister museum, the Peranakan Museum, which is on Armenian Street (named for the church).

     

    Now walk past the red wall to the display case in the corner of the room, just before the entryway. Look for a lectern with the monogram "IHS". Examine it closely and consider the questions below. Find another lectern on display just opposite the hanging ornaments and compare materials and styles.

  • Object 2 – Lectern with the Jesuit monogram
         
    SG - Lectern

    Lectern with the Jesuit monogram

    Japan, or perhaps China or Southeast Asia, late 16th or early 17th century

    Wood, lacquer, mother-of-pearl, metal

    2017-01084


    What is a lectern used for?

    What materials is it made of?

    Who are the Jesuits?

     

    The “IHS” (for the Latin lesus Hominum Salvator – Jesus, Savior of Mankind) with three nails is the emblem of the Society of Jesus, whose members are called Jesuits.

     

    Coated with lacquer, enhanced with gold and mother-of-pearl inlaid designs, this bookstand probably held a missal, the book of instructions used to celebrate the Catholic Mass. The object was most likely made in one of the port cities of Southeast Asia or China, imitating similar Japanese objects, which were in high demand at this time.


    Click here for more details.

    Walk through the entryway and turn left, look at the first display case you find. Spot the Figure of the Virgin and Child in white.

     
  • Object 3 – Virgin and Child 

     SG - Virgin

    Virgin and Child

    China, Dehua, 1690–1710

    Porcelain

    2007-00872

     

    - List some similarities and differences between this Virgin and Child and other sculptures of the same figures in the gallery.

    What kind of expression is she making?

    Who do you think these figures are?

     

    Chinese porcelain Virgin and Child sculptures like this might have been inspired by figures of Guanyin, the Chinese deity. When Guanyin is depicted with a child, she is known as the “giver of children”. Potters of the Dehua kilns may have used that type of Guanyin as models for Christian Virgin and Child figures.

     

    The scrolling clouds on the base are a typical Chinese design but the Virgin wears a cross on her chest, a clear sign this was made for a Christian audience. The Christ Child makes a sign of blessing and holds an unidentified object. These pure white porcelain figures made at Dehua were known in the West as "blanc de Chine" (white from China). These porcelain figures were exported to Europe in large quantities during the Qing dynasty.

    Click here for more details.


We hope you enjoyed learning about cross-cultural Christian art through the objects in our galleries. Diversity, multiculturalism, and religious harmony are core values in the Singaporean identity. Do come by the museum to discover more objects in the Christian Art Gallery or explore it from the comfort of your home here.

 

While at the museum, visit the new special exhibition, Faith Beauty Love Hope  Our Stories, Your ACMwhich presents voices of the many diverse groups of professionals and supporters who work at or with the museum behind-the-scenes to bring exhibitions and programmes to the public. The exhibition hopes to provide visitors and staff alike with an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate our strengths in this time of challenges and disruptions.