As part of its 170th anniversary, The Straits Times has collaborated with the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands to unveil an exhibition, “Singapore STories: Then, Now, Tomorrow”, that chronicles the nation’s metamorphosis through powerful photographs and stories. It is the first exhibition co-curated by the museum that is free to the general public! Embark on a journey that weaves together unforgettable moments in 170 years of Singapore history through the lens of her oldest English-language daily newspaper.


Photo credit: The Straits Times The day The Straits Times was born – 15 July 1845. Photo credit: The Straits Times

One of the highlights at Singapore STories is a display of artefacts from the archives of The Straits Times. Amongst these is a photo assignment book from the period between September 1949 to December 1950, which includes an entry dated 30 September 1950 that covered the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Lee Kuan Yew at Raffles Hotel. Prior to the arrival of technological impact and the process of computerisation, which we are all too familiar with today, photographers had their assignments recorded in such books from the 1940s until the mid-1980s! How’s that for patience and dedication to one’s profession?

5 June 1952, the Queen's Birthday Parade. Photo credit: ST Photo5 June 1952, the Queen’s Birthday Parade. Photo credit: ST Photo

Visitors to the exhibition will also get the chance to view an original and rare copy of The Straits Times Annual (1905 – 1906), which features stories and photographs on life in Singapore and Malaya. Interestingly enough, The Annual was launched to target the market for Christmas gifts! It saw its revival in the 1930s and was published again from 1950 till the early 1980s. In addition to these artefacts which display The Straits Times’ historical transformation, the exhibition also brings to attention headlines, articles and pictures from the newspaper, which tell stories of Singapore – inclusive of famous and lesser heard of ones.

Visitor experience at Singapore STories will be much enhanced via the interactive activities incorporated throughout the six themed galleries, namely, Business, Home, World, Sports, Life and Forum. Children in particular will enjoy the Sports gallery, which encourages visitors to build their own futuristic sports complex using blocks and joints! Visitors can also choose to test their knowledge of acronyms commonly used in Singapore in the Home gallery.

Warren Fernandez, Editor of The Straits Times, commented, “The Straits Times has been covering the significant moments in the life of this island since 1845. These stories, photos and pages form part of our rich archives. With the help of our friends at ArtScience Museum, we have brought these alive in an interactive exhibition. Visitors will get to walk through the pages of The Straits Times and feel like they are living history.” I would most definitely have to agree with his last point as I felt as though I had been transported back to the past, thanks to the displays depicting vintage mastheads and black and white photographs!

1 June 1948, flood in Cecil Street. Photo credit: ST Photo1 June 1948, flood in Cecil Street. Photo credit: ST Photo

Singapore STories: Then, Now, Tomorrow is truly an exhibition to be relished by Singaporeans from all walks of life and of all ages. It is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to educate your kids on Singaporean history through an interactive manner! If you are looking for an activity to keep yourself or your children occupied the following Saturday, 18 July 2015, a public workshop is being held at the ArtScience Museum. Titled “Printing From The Past: Letterpress & Typesetting”, this hands-on workshop provides participants an introduction to letterpress printing and basic typesetting. They will learn the stages of typesetting, which include layout, lockup, make-ready, ink and colour, and packing.

Photo credit: Marina Bay SandsPhoto credit: Marina Bay Sands

“Printing From The Past: Letterpress & Typesetting” Workshop Details

Dates: 18 July (Saturday), 15 August (Saturday) and 9 September (Wednesday)
Times: 2 – 3pm, 3.30pm – 4.30pm, 5 – 6pm

Limited to 12 pax per session. $15 per person. Tickets can be pre-purchased from the Marina Bay Sands website.

So head down and print away! Singapore STories: Then, Now, Tomorrow opens to the public on 17 July 2015. It will run till 4 October 2015. Admission is free!