LED Wall,
opposite The Salon
Daily from 10am - 7pm
Free Admission

Moving Memories, 2017
Presented by the National Museum of Singapore

Moving Memories presents seven of Yip Yew Chong’s life-sized murals which seek to express the romance of “places and moments… that blend sights, sounds, smell and tastes”.

An accountant by day, Yew Chong sees painting as a way to express himself. His murals interweave his personal memories with that of residents in Singapore, and have captured the imagination of many.

Savour these moments of our tangible and intangible heritage, such as barbers in back lanes, traditional kopi-making and roadside communal satay eating, as they come alive through animation, soundscape and projection.

The murals featured in this installation are:

  • Barber, September 2015
  • Coffee Story, December 2016
  • Pasar, April 2016
  • Provision Shop, December 2015
  • Kampung, November 2015
  • Satay Club and the Kampung Scene from Thian Hock Keng mural, July 2016 and April 2017
Images are courtesy of Yip Yew Chong
Location: 39 Everton Road
Created in September 2015

Street barbers were once commonly found in Singapore’s back alleys, offering haircuts that cost between $3 and $8 in the 21st century. They operated from their stalls, a simple set-up comprising a shelter made of tarpaulin sheet, a chair for their customers, and tools of their trade laid out on a counter.

In this mural, an elderly barber is cutting his young customer’s hair. On the shelf is a red jar of Brylcreem (a hair styling product), to be applied to the boy’s hair after the haircut to give it a smooth and shiny appearance.

This mural was one of Yew Chong’s first works based on his memories of growing up in Chinatown.
Coffee Story
Location: 29 Sultan Gate
Created in December 2015

The kopi (coffee) uncle busies himself over the stove and counter, preparing breakfasts and afternoon teas for his customers. He brews his coffee and tea using the coffee sock, and roasts coffee beans in an old drum which has darkened with black soot over time.

A whistling sound is heard as the water in the kettle comes to a boil. Slices of bread are toasted, before they are slathered with kaya (coconut jam) and butter. A hot drink, soft-boiled eggs and a plate of kaya butter toast make up a sumptuous breakfast or tea-time snack for any customer.
Location: Eng Watt Street Block 73
Created in April 2016

The Pasar (“market” in Malay) refers to Tiong Bahru market. Before it was set up, hawkers plied their trades on the streets; a hawker here sells putu mayam off his bicycle. These hawkers moved into a fenced area – such as this hawker selling curry noodles and laksa from his makeshift stall – which became the market over time.

This mural holds fond memories for Yew Chong, who grew up in Chinatown and made Tiong Bahru his childhood playground. Putu mayam – an Indian snack dish made of flour, water and coconut milk and served with orange-coloured sugar – is his daughter’s and late father’s favourite dish, while laksa is Yew Chong’s favourite breakfast food.
Provision Shop
Location: 8 Spottiswoode Park Road
Created in December 2015

Provision Shop presents about 30 years of history: the sale of ice that was common in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as biscuit tins and machines used to grate coconut which were common in provision shops in the 1970s and 1980s.

Prior to the proliferation of supermarkets, provision shops catered to the people’s needs, selling a variety of goods such as dried foodstuff, sundries and kitchenware, freshly-grated coconut and ice blocks.

“Hui An” (惠安) on the shop’s signboard refers to a county in Fujian province in China, where many of the early Chinese immigrants journeyed from in the 19th century to Singapore, which is represented as “Sin Chew” (新洲) on the bamboo blind of the provision shop.
Location: Bungalow wall next to 450 Upper Changi Road
Created in November 2015

Within a coconut grove lives a Malay and a Chinese family side by side. The idyllic village life is captured in this mural: animals roamed freely and residents could enjoy fruits – such as durians, jackfruit and rambutans – harvested from nearby trees. The Encik enjoys a view of the kampung (“village” in Malay) with his grandson. The Chinese neighbour savours durians outside his home.

The kampung was a community space where children played together, and where residents helped and shared with each other. Such neighbourly friendliness has been captured in this mural – where the pair of women exchange fruits over pleasantries.

Visit the Growing Up gallery on level 2 of the National Museum of Singapore to learn more about life in the kampung in the 1950s and 1960s.
Mural Satay and Kampung
Satay Club and the Kampung scene from Thian Hock Keng mural
Location: 11 Jalan Pinang (Hotel Nuve) and Thian Hock Keng rear wall along Amoy Street
Created in July 2016 and April 2017

The first Satay Club, which began in the 1940s, stood on Hoi How Road, a short road opposite the Raffles Hotel which led to the sea. Around sunset, Satay Club would come alive as stalls opened for business. Customers parked themselves around the low wooden tables that surrounded the stalls, savouring freshly-grilled satay over conversation and dipping the satay into communal pots of gravy. The satay seller would fan the fire to grill the meat, while taking orders from customers.

In the background is an idyllic kampung, with attap-roofed houses flanking a stream. This scene is reminiscent of the many kampungs that dotted the landscape around Kampung Gelam near the Kallang Basin.

Family Time

Visit our permanent galleries with your little ones and play spot-the-artefact! Our colourful Early Learning Resources introduce pre-schoolers to our artefacts according to the themes of Numbers, Colours, and ABCs. Available at $8 per set from the Museum Label shop. For more children's activity booklets, click here.

Museum guide

Download our museum guide (English, Chinese, Bahasa Melayu, Tamil) to find out about the many treasures in our various galleries. In this guide, you will also find the floor plan for easier navigation. Enjoy your visit!

You may also like

Amusement Park website preview
Exhibition 04 DEC 2021 - 09 JAN 2022

New, Great and Happy: The Amusement "Worlds" of Singapore

Relive fond memories and learn interesting fun facts about amusement parks in Singapore. Enjoy some of the classic amusement park games and rides, provided by local carnival veteran Uncle Ringo, at the National Museum’s re-created amusement park!

Stamford Gallery, Daily from 10am – 7pm
Programme 20 NOV 2021 - 26 DEC 2021

Children’s Season at the National Museum 2021: Get Curious! Stories of You & Me

Get ready for fun-filled school holidays at the National Museum! Get Curious! invites families to explore our galleries and discover the exciting stories of our artefacts. Titled “Stories of You & Me”, this edition of the festival also invites different generations within the family to exchange stories and experiences with each other!

Various Venues, Various Timings
Varies with Programmes
PSM50 thumbnail
Exhibition 13 NOV 2021 - 02 JAN 2022

PSM50: Celebrating the Golden Jubilee of Singapore’s Preservation Journey

To mark 50 years of preservation in Singapore, the Preservation of Sites and Monuments division of the National Heritage Board presents an exhibition which highlights milestones in Singapore’s preservation journey and showcases all 73 National Monuments through various artworks and exhibits. Learn about the history and significance behind these treasured buildings

Longer Concourse, Level 1, Daily from 10am – 7pm; Last admission at 6.30pm; The exhibition will be closed to the public on 15 November from 10am to 1pm for a private event.
Free Admission
Guided Tours Thumbnail
Programme 01 APR 2020 - 31 DEC 2021

Senior Programmes at the National Museum

The National Museum is committed to supporting the health and well-being of seniors, including persons living with dementia, through meaningful and engaging programmes and resources that are based on the museum’s collection and galleries.

Various Venues, Various Timings
Varies with Programmes