We participated in the revamp of Reflections at Bukit Chandu, a World War Two Interpretative Centre managed by Singapore’s National Heritage Board, which presents the story and sacrifice of the Malay Regiment who fought in the Battle of Pasir Panjang in 1942.
Using wartime artefacts and images, enhanced by interactive viewing stations and multimedia projections, visitors enter an immersive narrative journey that brings them back in time to Bukit Chandu when the hill was a battlefield and the site of the Malay Regiment’s final stand.
A tribute to the Malay Regiment
From 8-15 February 1942, 1,400 men of the Malay Regiment battled the Imperial Japanese Army at Pasir Panjang. These soldiers included Lieutenant Adnan Saidi and his platoon, who faced down the Japanese at Bukit Chandu and fought to the very end, refusing to surrender. Their courage and sacrifice has inspired future generations in Singapore and Malaysia.
Multiple stories in one house
The Interpretative Centre is based in a restored colonial bungalow. This conserved heritage building is located a stone’s throw away from the site of the Battle of Pasir Panjang. Before the war, the area was known as Bukit Chandu (‘Opium Hill’ in Malay) as there was an opium factory next to it. Bukit Chandu forms part of the Pasir Panjang Ridge, a series of low-lying hills that run along Singapore’s southern coastline. This natural terrain inspired us to create an experience that reflects the landscape’s historical significance as a battle site, maritime landmark and opium factory.
Diving in history with multimedia
Our team proposed a multimedia approach, including digital interactives with artefacts, an immersive projection show in which archival footage is overlayed with animated illustration, and outdoor installations that invite users to capture photo moments. We also recreated the interior of an opium factory as a 3-dimensional diorama with a soundscape that evokes the mechanical environment and daily routine of workers from the former opium factory.
Sharing common memories
Strengthening national identity, the outcome of the visit gives a sense of belonging to the visitors. The commemoration of heroism is a reminder to new generations to reflect on Singapore's wartime experience and honour the fallen soldiers of the Malay Regiment for their acts of valour. Their motto – Ta'at Setia or "faithful and true" – continues to bear great relevance till this day, and serves as an encouragement for solidarity and to defend the country.
Our exhibition design for the permanent gallery and outdoor installations of Reflections at Bukit Chandu helped to raise the significance of the site and highlight different facets of its history through emotive storytelling, compelling audiovisual displays and engaging multimedia experiences. As part of the project, we also provided research and curatorial services as well as arranged the AV/IT production for the multimedia displays.