The exhibition explores the 200 years leading up to the establishment of an entrepôt in Singapore in 1819, beginning with the bustling world of trade in the East Indies that attracted the Dutch and British East India Companies from the early 17th century. The European entry into the region, for better or worse, was only part of its longer history. This exhibition is a telling of that story, and a reflection of the broader forces at play that culminated in the events of 1819.
Visitors will be taken through an immersive narrative, beginning with an inquisition into how maps and charts were used in the era not just as navigational tools, but as political documents reflecting the commercial and territorial interests of mapmakers and traders whose activities facilitated the shipping connections and exchange of goods, spices and tea between Asia and Europe. Visitors will also gain fresh insights into the region’s natural history, documented through landscapes and portraits. The experience will conclude with an exploration into the broader international events that shaped the history of the region.
By delving deeply into this period, the exhibition offers a fresh insight of Singapore’s past by presenting a piece of history that has not been extensively covered before and offering new perspectives. The exhibition also aims to get visitors to reflect on Singapore’s legacy and to see its relevance today.
An Old New World will also feature accompanying programmes that inspire visitors of all ages to discover interesting titbits of our history through a variety of innovative and multigenerational offerings.
Venue: National Museum of Singapore, Exhibition Galleries, Basement Level
When: 21 Sep 2019 - 29 Mar 2020,