Faith Beauty Love Hope
ClientAsian Civilisations Museum
Surface area15,000 sq ft / 1,400m2
The exhibition Faith Beauty Love Hope - Our Stories Your ACM spotlights the people behind the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) through their stories of faith, beauty, love and hope. Inspired by the best of ACM’s vast collection, staff and stakeholders of the Museum personally selected 60 objects that were close to their hearts and that they related to.
Visitors can discover artworks through intimate insights shared by the contributors. The exhibition hopes to provide visitors and staff alike with an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate humanity’s strengths in this time of challenges and disruptions due to the global pandemic. It also reflects the voices of the many diverse groups of professionals and supporters who work at or with the museum, behind-the-scenes, to bring exhibitions and programmes to the public.
In view of the pandemic, the exhibition revolves around the four main themes of faith, beauty, love and hope, which embraces empathy, resilience, amazement, fear, joy, consolation, connection and many more states. Our team captured the essence of the themes through a colourful and emotional identity, inspired by cinema and stage performance.
The brief given was for the exhibition to be “heart-achingly beautiful”. As this was not a show like any other, our team decided that the design needed to be something unconventional as well. Instead of the usual spotlight on the artefacts, the design was instead centred around evoking and bringing out the emotions of faith, beauty, love and hope. Each emotion was paired with a specific colour and its corresponding graphic representation.
We carefully selected a design that we knew we could execute in the limited time and yet still deliver on the client's brief - a bold exhibition that moves you! The outcome was an immersive design — through sightlines, vibrant colours and ceiling-high graphic banners — and also a reflective and yet hopeful exhibition.
Imagine how honored and excited we were to be invited by the ACM to select an object for the exhibition! After careful consideration we (GSM Singapore) chose this 17th Century jade mountain from China. Si Ying Ng, one of the designers on the gallery design, explains why this object resonates with our team:
“In our roles as designers, we attempt to see with many eyes: from the perspective of the audience, curators, fabricators and more. What we see from this mountain is the ability and skill to identify potential in a formless stone, letting the raw material guide its final form. What we see is the dexterity with tools and the attention to every line carved. Each stroke to the stone is a careful consideration taken with risk and yet, struck with boldness. What we see is a pair of hands that has had thousands of hours of practice, of hands that has surpassed failures, doubts and rejection. What we see is someone who, despite all that, has created a simple form with a clarity of body that has much to say. This creation embodies the qualities we aspire to have as designers, and inspires us to see with new eyes, every work and material placed in our hands.”
To engage the visitors further, at the end of the experience, everyone is invited to reflect on the exhibition themes in connection with an ACM object. The testimonials are collected and subsequently displayed on a digital social wall, showcasing an endless-scrolling collection of different stories from anyone and everyone. Visitors can thus contribute to the many living stories of the museum. The ACM also invites the museum fans to share their story via a dedicated website where they can select an artifact.
Our team conceived and built the exhibition in record time while also carefully considering the circulation strategy that would enable visitors to enjoy a comfortable socially distant experience. Set design, graphic design and technical direction services were also provided to the museum. GSM Project and ACM’s partnership has resulted in multiple exhibitions over the years including most recently “Guo Pei: Chinese Art and Fashion” (2019 Best Design by GFFA) and “Raffles in Southeast Asia: Revisiting the Scholar and Statesman” presented in 2019, and “Angkor: Exploring Cambodia's Sacred City” in 2018.
GSM Project’s team is grateful to have designed the temporary exhibition Faith Beauty Love Hope - Our Stories Your ACM presented by the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore in Winter 2021, highlighting the favourites of the museum’s collection through the intimate stories of museum staff and stakeholders.