An afternoon at the National Museum of Singapore
Carrier Bags in Singapore from the 1950s to the 1960s
National Museum of Singapore
Till 18th April 2010
This exhibition which features over 60 vintage carrier bags, offers an insight to the history and evolution of these bags. Nowadays, not only do people take these shopping bags for granted, but they also expect to be given a free bag for their purchase. Have you ever thought about how a simple carrier bag could have cemented its status as a fashion”must-have” accessory? More than just a tool that one can use to store his/her belongings, this retail icon was also an indicator of one’s social status. Let’s compare. Which would you prefer – To be seen carrying a Chanel or Topshop shopping bag? The attractive visuals on the packaging were important in transforming the bags into “walking advertisements”. Given its mobility, these advertisements on bags helped to reach out to the mass consumers by marketing the stores and reinforcing the branding. As quoted ( from the exhibition), “The customer with the bag becomes a silent salesperson who affirms the product of shop featured in the advertisement.”
Back in its heydays, Duxton Road was the prime area for paper bag makers ( often, family clans) to run their business. Unfortunately, the industry soon faced tough competition from the plastic bag industry which eventually resulted in many people having to wind their businesses and seek greener pastures elsewhere. End of the paper bag era. Beginning of the mass production of plastic bags.
Here’s a look at the carrier bags that come in all shapes and sizes!
Quest for IMMORTALITY
The World of Ancient Egypt
National Museum of Singapore
Till 4 April 2010
50% discount with MasterCard payment
An excerpt from the brochure (NHB)
“The Ancient Egyptian world is often characterized by a fascinating and remarkably supple mental universe. Quest for Immortality – The World of Ancient Egypt offers an insight to the ancient Egyptian’s attitude to life and the afterlife, and the preparations they made to ensure their transition from earthly existence to immortality. Discover the Egyptians’ means of equipping the dead – through mummification, provision of sustenance, magic and ritual – and explore the evolution of their burial rites as well as the changing relationship between man and ritual through time.”
Some of the 230 artifacts ( dating 4000 BCE to 950 BCE ) on display:
An insight to the daily lives and beliefs of ancient Egyptians.
The statue of the Sky God – Horus and Horemheb, the last pharaoh of the 18th dynasty. “This statue depicts the pharaoh as the mortal manifestation of the powerful Sun God, and is amongst the many that were crafted to depict the pharaohs’ direct lineage with the divine.”
A book that contains information – in the form of hymns, spells and instructions – to “ensure a smooth progression from life on earth to the afterlife”. Using a combination of both drawings and text, the book was created to teach the dead to navigate their way in the underworld and overcome any obstacles that might come their way.
Decorated with the heads of the 4 sons of Horus ( Human, Jackal, Falcon & Baboon) , these jars contain the intestine, liver, lungs and stomach of the deceased. The ancient Egyptians believed that these 4 internal organs were essential in order for the dead to survive the afterlife. The heart, which was seen as the “window to the soul” , was kept in the body as it would be used to judge a person in the underworld ( by God of Death- Anubis). On an ironic note, the brain was not important and would be removed from the skull via the nose and discarded.
One of the 3 mummies ( btw, they are real. Overheard someone commenting that the mummies are fake. Please get your facts right man. ) that are on display at the museum. Of the three mummies, 2 are in cartonnage covers ( above pic) and the 1 wrapped in linen ( bottom pic ) is the closest that you’ll get to see a mummy. Looking at the CT scans and X-rays, you will realize that the Mummy of Nes-Khons was buried with 2 infants placed between her legs thus indicating that she could have died during childbirth. Extra Info: The mummies at the museum date back to 6000 years ago!
Egypt ‘ 2007
The visit to the exhibition brought back fond memories of my trip to Egypt. A land of rich culture and history, Egypt offers a treasure trove of antiquities for both first-timers and seasoned travelers. For first time tourists like us, we were eager to visit the popular landmarks that are so prevalent to ancient Egypt – such as the tombs, temples, pyramids and museums ( where we feast our eyes on a collection of mummies – mummies that had their skull, hands & feet exposed). More than just a country “steeped in the past” , Egypt also offers an exciting variety of activities for us to participate – from swimming in the tranquil and picturesque Red Sea to riding a camel in the middle of a “broad ocean of gold dunes and rocky lowlands” to enjoying a relaxing ride on a traditional felucca along the world’s second longest river – Nile. An unforgettable albeit short journey to discover a country with 5000 year-long civilization. Eternal Egypt.