SINGAPORE: Travellers keen on a last-minute culture fix before flying off from Singapore will now have a chance to do so at the new Peranakan Gallery at Changi Airport’s Terminal 4, which opens tomorrow (Oct 31).
The new exhibition space measures 150 sq m and is located on the second level of the departure transit area, within walking distance from the terminal’s main Heritage Zone area, which will also feature the digital performance Peranakan Love Story.
This is the first collaboration between Changi Airport Group (CAG) and the National Heritage Board, which oversees the Peranakan Museum along Armenian Street.
Divided into four sections, the gallery features a selection of photographs; a cross-section doll house model of a Peranakan shophouse; traditional furniture such as a wedding bed; a selection of crockery from the national collection; and a fashion showcase of traditional sarong kebaya and Singapore Airlines’ own kebaya-inspired uniforms.
There is also a section that looks at Peranakan culture from a contemporary perspective. The exhibits on display include a video on the iconic play Emily of Emerald Hill; a selection of reinterpreted porcelain ware by President’s Design Award-recipient Hans Tan; and photographer Suasti Lye’s The Modern Nyonya photo series.
According to Bernard Tan, deputy director for audience and contemporary art at the Peranakan Museum, the new gallery is not an attempt to replicate the museum at Armenian Street.
Instead, it is designed for business travellers or those transiting through “who have five minutes to spare”.
“It’s meant to be a snapshot of what Peranakan culture is,” he said, adding that in the future, they are mulling over other possibilities for the gallery, such as presenting Peranakan performances or activities.
Poh Li San, CAG’s vice president for T4’s programme management office, pointed out how the new gallery space “works well within the Heritage Zone” and reckons there will be enough people to check out the new space.
An estimated 8 million passengers are expected to pass through the terminal on its first year, half of which would be departing passengers.
For now, the gallery is expected to be up for three years, with changes made to the exhibition set-up every six months.
Aside from providing travellers with a quick Peranakan experience, Peranakan Museum general manager John Teo said that the gallery itself could be a space to “test bed” ideas for museum’s own future exhibitions.