Explore the exchange of cultures, ideas, and technologies among multi-racial communities in port cities across Asia
Centuries before the proliferation of social media, networks of people, cultures, and information flowed freely between port cities such as Batavia (Jakarta) in Indonesia, Goa in India, Canton (now Guangzhou) in China, and, of course, Singapore. Spawned by advances in ship technology and knowledge of sea routes, these cities were thriving, cosmopolitan hubs of trade. They’re great examples of early globalisation and the hodgepodge – or “rojak” – of ethnicities, language, culture, lifestyles, and fashion. The vitality found in Asian port cities is depicted in scrolls, paintings, jewellery, furniture, and many everyday items. Considered exotic in the West, these commodities were sought-after by merchants worldwide.
At Asian Civilisations Museum’s Port Cities exhibition, those curious about vibrant Asian port cities and their global citizens can make a journey back in time through objects and fascinating stories about ethnic communities and immigrants who made their homes in these foreign environments. We rounded up eight highlights you should definitely check out.
To hear these tales come to life, sign up for a curator tour happening on 17 February ($25 per session) or download the free ACM app and listen to a 45-minute audio guide.
Entry to all ACM exhibitions is free ’til 5 March 2016.
Port Cities exhibition runs from now ‘til 19 February 2017 at the Asian Civilisations Museum.
Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555, p. 6332 7798. Open Mon-Sun 10am-7pm (9pm on Fri).