How to Build a Museum: Singapore’s
Asian Civilisations Museum
May 22, 2017 | Episode #17
SINGAPORE – In Episode #17 of his podcast, Thomas Fraser talks with Kennie Ting, the Director of Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum, about how to build a museum. Singapore has made significant strides in recent years to encourage the development of museums and other cultural assets through a combination of government policy and government and private sector support. The results of these policy initiatives are impressive. Ting also discusses how he and his colleagues are approaching making the ACM more attractive to younger, more digitally savvy museum-goers. “Whenever we do exhibitions, [we try to make sure] they are Instagram-able.”
A centerpiece of the collection of the Asian Civilisations Museum is the Tang Shipwreck. Discovered off Belitung Island in Indonesia in 1998, the ship contained some 60,000 Chinese ceramic pieces dating from the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and additional objects. Analysis of the remnants of the ship and its contents indicate that the ship had been built in the Persian Gulf or the western portion of the Indian Ocean. Sometime in the middle of the ninth century the ship sailed from the Persian Gulf to China and was on its way home when its journey ended. The Tang Shipwreck exhibit is a gem.