Semangat yang Baru: Forging a New Singapore Spirit, features stories about the dilemmas and decisions faced by our founding leaders and generation during Singapore’s nation-building years of the 1950s to 1970s.
Venue: National Museum of Singapore
Dates: 21 Apr - 29 Oct 2023
“Semangat yang Baru” are words from the National Anthem, meaning ‘new spirit’. The Founders’ Memorial’s pilot exhibition explores how values and principles such as multiculturalism, integrity and openness became the foundation upon which independent Singapore was built, and invites Singaporeans to reflect on how these ideals remain relevant today.
A Pilot For The Memorial
The exhibition is a pilot for the Memorial to test how it would present its narrative for its eventual interpretive gallery. In curating this exhibition, the Memorial conducted in-depth discussions with close to 200 participants, including academics, educators, community leaders, youth and seniors, on what stories could be featured and how these could be presented in a way that is authentic and resonant.
There are five sections in the Semangat yang Baru: Forging a New Singapore Spirit exhibition:
- Prelude - The 1950s, which introduces visitors to the tumult, uncertainty and ferment that characterised the post-war era
- What do we stand for?, which delves into the values that were critical to the founding stage of our nation and consists of a sub-section called Interlude - We Pledge Ourselves on the design of our National Symbols
- How do we move forward?, which revisits how the founding generation of leaders and people collectively embodied and expressed the new spirit as a nation by stepping forward in new and bold ways
- Difficult Moments, a wall installation where visitors are invited to pen their thoughts on the painful sacrifices, hurts or difficult trade-offs that come to their mind when reflecting on Singapore’s early nation-building years
- Coda, Who could we be as a People? a concluding section where visitors are surrounded by a projection of photos showing the Singapore spirit in action then and now, together with a live visual and audio projection of responses gathered from visitors.
An Interactive Experience
Through the innovative use of technologies such as cloud infrastructure and 5G connectivity, the multimedia featured in the exhibition promises an authentic and personalised storytelling experience. Virtual guides known as “Character Companions”, derived from real-life figures and stories, provide personal perspectives on larger historical developments, and help visitors to understand the trade-offs and impact of policy decisions on individuals and communities.
The exhibition is co-presented with the National Museum of Singapore and will be located at the museum’s Exhibition Gallery 1 from 21 April to 29 October 2023. Admission is free for all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents.