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Tropical Punch Tour: Singapore Part 5
A visit to the Asian Civilizations Museum.
Author: garry
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Asian Civilizations Museum, Singapore


A Chinese buffet in City Centre, Singapore. Hold the napkins.


I stopped by a Chinese buffet diner for lunch, ordered some food and asked for a napkin. The cashier pointed at some packages of them, so I tore one open and pulled out a napkin. Then she made me pay for the whole package. It was only 30 cents, but still I must say, that was a new one on me. I'll bet you've never had to pay for a napkin in a restaurant in your whole life. Now I can say I have.

Singapore flexes its muscles! A military parade in Centre City.


A military parade in Centre City, Singapore, take two.


Then I tried to cross a bridge down the street, but some military dudes had it closed off for some kind of parade. I shot a few photos of the Singapore armed forces and their various vessels of national defense. It was amazing to watch a squadron of huge tanks rumble by, as their big engines and treads emanated massive Iannis Xenakis-like drones across the cityscape.

A street musician jams on the Cavenagh Bridge in Singapore.


A Salvador Dali statue in City Centre, Singapore.


Next, I shot some photos of skyscrapers around Marina Bay and City Centre. There is no shortage of these big contraptions in Singapore! They seem to be endless. I came across some rad street musicians, including one by himself who played a lap guitar in the middle of the bridge, and another group of 10 teenagers, most of whom sang and clapped while two of them haphazardly danced and did cartwheels. They would do this for a couple of minutes at one spot, then move on to another.

Two of three video projections at the Asian Civilizations Museum in City Centre, Singapore.


A big ol' Buddha head at the Asian Civilizations Museum in City Centre, Singapore.


I ended up the day at the Asian Civilizations Museum. It was the last day of a big exhibition called Treasury of the World, Jewelled Arts of India in the Age of the Mughals, thus the hours were extended until 1:00 a.m. and admission was free after 5:00 p.m. So, I went for a drink and a snack to kill some time and save $8.00.

A sitting Buddha at the Asian Civilizations Museum in City Centre, Singapore.


A set of bejeweled Indian Mughal swords at the Asian Civilizations Museum in City Centre, Singapore.


Several exhibitions were running at the same time, including a multi-media look at the history of the small and humble yet important Singapore River, an amazing photo exhibit of a Borneo tribesman who struggles for existence amid deforestation, and the aforementioned Treasury of the World, which covers the ultra glitzy jewelry and weapons made by artists and craftsmen in India for the rulers of the Mughal empire from the 16th through the 19th centuries.

A 1960s era Javanese gamelan at the Asian Civilizations Museum in City Centre, Singapore.


Just one example of the exquisite calligraphy art of Islam at the Asian Civilizations Museum in City Centre, Singapore.


Most of the museum is filled with six huge galleries that examine the history of art throughout Asia, including carvings, ceramics, handmade books, pottery, sculptures, statues, textiles, video projections, weapons and much more. And it's all presented in really buttery-looking, dark exhibits with dramatic lighting. There is so much to look at and read, there's no way to do it all in one day. After five hours, I was exhausted and called it a night.

Roll over photos for captions.
All words and photos ©2010 Arcane Candy.