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Collecting Contemporary Singapore

[This Open Call is ongoing till 31 December 2024] The collection of the National Museum of Singapore has its origins in the 19th century with the establishment of the Raffles Library and Museum. Today, we have continued to build upon this collection to encompass a broader social history of Singapore, and major moments in the nation’s recent history– including milestones and events that affect everyday life in Singapore.

The National Museum is expanding our public engagement efforts to crowd source objects and related stories/photos from residents in Singapore, to broaden our contemporary collection. We will focus on different themes each year to encourage residents to contribute and reflect upon life in Singapore in recent times. These contributions may reveal different perspectives of contemporary Singapore that will shape and inform the curation of the museum’s future exhibitions. Selected objects may also be featured in relevant exhibitions presented by the National Museum.

The 2024 theme for this campaign, Collecting Contemporary Singapore, will focus on plastic and sustainability, in conjunction with the Plastic: Remaking Our World exhibition. Plastics have shaped our daily lives like no other material: from packaging to footwear, from household goods to furniture, from automobiles to architecture. At the same time, sustainability is a key contemporary issue that informs the way we live.

We invite you to contribute your objects – and their stories – focusing on the following themes. In addition to archiving relevant contributions, there may also be future avenues to present or display these stories and objects at the National Museum of Singapore.

  • Plastic objects that have a uniquely Singaporean origin, design or use (e.g. made-in-Singapore products; objects designed in Singapore such as the Unica stool; vintage Tupperware and similar food containers)
  • Initiatives to save the environment in Singapore (e.g. objects from environmental campaigns such as Keep Singapore Clean, including posters, brochures, memorabilia etc.; objects from climate change events such as posters, placards etc.)
  • Sustainable living in Singapore (e.g. innovations that helped you to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”; objects made of alternative environmentally-friendly materials such as bioplastics)

  • For further queries, please contact the museum’s Curatorial team at NHB_NMS_Curatorial@nhb.gov.sg.
    Please note that unsolicited donations sent through the mail or otherwise without prior correspondence with our curators will not be accepted.

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