The special exhibition Modern Women of the Republic: Fashion and Change in China and Singapore uses fashion as a barometer of societal change to shed light on the changes in women’s status, roles and lifestyles since the late 19th century. The exhibition will display close to 100 artefacts and photographs, focusing on Chinese women’s clothing and accessories from China and Singapore that span almost a hundred years.
Fashion was a means of self-expression for women from as far back as the late Qing period, through post-independence Singapore, and even till today. Whether it was loose-fitting robes, form-fitting cheongsams or “civilised new outfits”, the stylistic evolution of women’s clothing reflects social and political changes that took place over the century and also shapes what we now know as the “modern woman” and her roles in society.
By examining the changes in women’s fashion during this period, SYSNMH hopes to trace the rise of the “modern woman” in China and Singapore. It also hopes to examine the various factors that shape our understanding of what constitutes a “modern woman”. It does this over three separate sections – from charting political changes in society from the 1890s to the 1930s, to covering the evolving notion of a modern woman from the 1930s to the 1960s, and finally to exploring how fashion empowered working women in Singapore from the 1950s to the 1970s.
Venue: Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
When: 12 Jun - 12 Dec 2021, 10am - 5pm