Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Museums for Free

Gong Xi Fa Cai! If distributing countless hongbao in the Year of the Ox has left your wallet considerably lighter and narrowed down entertainment options for the family, take advantage of some freebies in town this festive season. There are only so many pineapple tarts and fizzy drinks you can devour at one sitting. In between visiting relatives, stop by the National Museum’s Chinese New Year Open House. In addition to free admission to all its galleries and activities, free gifts will also be given out. While you are soaking up all that good, useful information, your little ones can enjoy the interactive guided tour History Alive! for children aged five to nine.

27 Jan, 10am-5pm
National Museum of Singapore
93 Stamford Road
27 Jan, 10am-5pm
Tel: (65) 6332 5642

If you need a break from the endless snacking and gossipy rellies, there is also free admission to the Singapore Philatelic Museum on the 2nd day of the Lunar New Year. Among its offerings: the main exhibition, aptly named A Cow and Bull Story, where you can find out more about our bovine friends; The Eternal Cow guided tour featuring paintings and sculptures by P. Gnana (2.00pm-2.30pm); a Chinese lion dance performance (3.00pm-3.30pm); and a guzheng performance (4.00pm-4.30pm).

Singapore Philatelic Museum
23-B Coleman Street
27 Jan, 9am-7pm
Tel: (65) 6337 3888

That’s not all. On 27 Jan, visitors will also enjoy free admission to the Singapore Art Museum, Asian Civilisations Museum and Peranakan Museum. So, take your pick and enjoy the cultural buffet!

The exhibition of Korean Contemporary Art (on until 15 March) at SAM features more than 40 works by 12 artists and seeks to examine the development of contemporary art in that country over the last five decades.

Singapore Art Museum
71 Bras Basah Road
Free admission to all exhibitions and activities from 1pm-5pm
Tel: (65) 6332 3222

Neither East Nor West: Asians in Monochrome (on until 1 Feb) is a photo exhibition documenting fashion, famous figures in the early 20th century (having a portrait taken then was a tremendous luxury afforded only by the Who’s Who of that time), historical events and photographic technology. This exhibition features portraits from the Lafayette collection, including those of important Asian dignitaries who played a significant role in bridging the gap between East and West, as well as Europeans who were relevant to the development of Asia.

Asian Civilisations Museum
1 Empress Place
Free admission all day, 9am-7pm
Tel: (65) 6332 7798

Head for the star attraction Serenity in Stone: The Qingzhou Discovery, (this exhibition runs through 26 April; admission charges apply on regular days). Not to be missed, the exhibit features rare sculptures from one of the most important archaelogical finds of the 20th century. Over 400 stone sculptures dating back more than 1,400 years were unearthed in Shandong province, China, in 1996. The 35 serene-looking sculptures displayed in this exhibition are among the best preserved of the items from the Qingzhou find, and are striking for their sheer size and exquisite workmanship.

Peranakan Museum
39 Armenian Street
Free admission all day, 9.30am-7pm
Tel: (65) 6332 7591

Oh, and one final piece of good news: Those born in the Year of the Ox (1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997) enjoy free entry to the Peranakan Museum and Asian Civilisations Museum, from now until 9 Feb.


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