Monday, September 7, 2009

National Museum - the old and the new

A modern, whimsical touch to the National Museum, these eight gorgeous swinging chandeliers by Suzann Victor. You can view the video recording at the bottom of this post. Who would have thought up chandeliers that swing, and these do in sequence or in a staggered pattern. Hypnotic gazing...these are located at the new extension wing added to the old building just beyond the glass bridge.
The museum shop is a hodge-podge of vintage stuff..note the paper tear out calendar at the back..This used to hang in my father's house and everyday we'll tear one sheet to start a fresh day. I can still visualise the old vintage clock above this calendar hanging on a wall of our old house. Pity, we don't have these anymore, just boring desk calendars. Some old printers still print this type of calendar. I've seen smaller versions around, and of note are the horse racing dates printed on them.

I was kinda thrilled to see this. It's called tikam tikam and I still remember these at the mama shop (ie neighbourhood Indian shop selling daily necessities). You pay like 5 or 10 cents I think, and tear out one ticket and the prize is printed on it. Prizes like a sweet or a toy. Such were the thrills of childhood.
These moulds are for making traditional biscuits and kueh and I can make out the designs. The ones on the top right are for making love letters which are a rolled up pancake biscuit roll made specially only on Chinese New Year. It triggered memories of my old neighbour who would make batches and store them into reused biscuit tins when the season came. Such practices and rituals add fun and excitement in the preparations preceding the new year. You don't see people making love letters nowadays. They're made in factories and everyone just buys them off the shelf.
In my childhood, there weren't any canned drinks. All soft drinks come in glass bottles like these and the popular brands were Green Spot and Kickapoo. I remember buying these drinks during school recess.
Posters of old Malay movies. The museum screened part of the Pontianak movie which is about a female Malay ghost. Of course, when we see these movies, we're struck by how 'backward' special effects were back then, like Pontianak flying. None of the digital technology that propel special effects to sophisticated realism nowadays.
Look up as you enter the museum and you'll see the stained glass windows in the dome of the National Museum. Aren't they lovely to behold?
The very iconic spiral staircase, reputedly haunted.
Well, this is the far view of the grand old building that's our National Museum. It's been standing at Stamford Road since 1887.

I leave you with swinging chandeliers. There's also a media screen which flickers on and off catching your reflection on the large screen. I was lucky enough to capture a recording when it flickered on, so did this family.

That's my World


  1. Beautiful images. It's really nice to visit museums and learn about the past.

  2. Museums are so important to preserve history. A nation without history is a poor one and can never belong to a country. History teaches us a lot.

  3. Beautiful. Tradition and new utensils.

  4. I see lots of familiar stuffs from my childhood here! Nowadays people just use the electric tabletop baulu and love letter maker, no need to use the charcoal anymore! No smell no mess but electricity bill sure to sky rocket! lol

  5. Your images of the cake moulds and glass bottles do bring back a lof of childhood memories. I used the moulds before to make love letters. Some people used the bottles as milk bottles to feed babies. I used to store my pet fighting fish in an F&N glass bottle. I guess we already practised the 3Rs back in the old days.

  6. Hi Jama and Autumn Belle,

    Thanks so much for your interesting inputs..



Great to see you ~Irene