How can a museum gallery showcase seven centuries of history without using a single printed word to describe any of it? This was one of the many fascinating challenges facing GSM Project during the design of this award-winning permanent exhibition for the new wing of the National Museum of Singapore.
Combining a narrative approach with state-of-the-art technology, all the while remaining true to Singaporean traditions of storytelling, this exhibition redefines the conventional museum space by inviting visitors to stroll through the history of Singapore from the 1300s to the present day.
At the start of this journey, visitors choose one of two paths. One focuses on major historical events; the other presents a more personal view of history through the eyes of the average person. Visitors then tailor their experience based on their own interests. With their Companion in hand, visitors are immersed into vivid stories that offer various perspectives on history and draw inspiration from paintings, photographs, film footage, personal testimony, and literature.
By creating a space that focuses on storytelling rather than exhibits, GSM Project succeeded in giving the nation’s oldest museum a fresh face—one with which Singaporeans can identify, and one which appeals to a broader audience as well.