The Bizarre Honour brings a group of local artists together in collaboration with OH! Open House, to put up an exhibition that unfolds Singapore’s history and its contentious relationship with nature. This exhibition oversees the transformation of a two-storey terrace house in Chip Bee Gardens into a museum of curiosities.
But this isn’t any ordinary museum. Void of labels, guides and explanations, visitors will spend 30 minutes exploring a maze filled with narratives of the past and present. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?
The museum features more than 300 exhibits and artefacts that date from the colonial period to contemporary times and visitors are only equipped with personal dossier – comprising memos, photographs and other classified information pertaining to exhibits and experiments – to unravel the stories behind each piece.
The museum is in line with this year’s Singapore Art Week, but contrary to the other larger exhibitions and programmes, The Bizarre Honour only allows two visitors in the maze at a time. This certainly promises a more immersive experience.
Visitors are encouraged to lose all sense of time. That means, no phones and no watches – just you, your friend (or another stranger), and the mysteries within the house.
While most of the exhibits forbid touching, there are a couple of interactive platforms that visitors can engage in. Some of which include peeking through a microscope, viewing the images from the Kodak Ektalite 1000 Slide Projector, and reading from a compendium of messages dating from World War II, up till the early 2000s.
These platforms are marked by a tag as shown in the image above.
Several potted plants are positioned at various intersections within the museum and visitors are required to physically pry through overlapping leaves before being granted access to other exhibits. It’s an ingenious touch, turning your ordinary museum walk into an expedition of sorts.
In one corner, you’ll find a stairwell exhibit which gives off a really strong Harry Potter vibe. In another, a segmented area is filled with Japanese-related memorabilia, portraying a very ironic view of Singapore during the Japanese occupation.
My favourite part of the whole expedition was when I chanced upon this particular quote on the wall. I was taken with the meaning it brings to the exhibit itself as well as to humans in general.
At the end of the day, you’d come to realise the extent of the correlation between art and history. We all know that Singapore’s history is tainted with past conquests, violence and struggles, but what we do not know is that there’s still so much ground left undiscovered and even more stories waiting to be heard.
With limited slots left, hurry and sign up now!
Dates: Now till 26 February 2017 (Fridays to Sundays only)
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