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Archive for July 6th, 2016

When I came back to linger at the British Museum‘s exhibit in the National Museum of Singapore, I hopped to the ancient Western Civilization from African artifacts. These jars are Mycenaean.

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Obviously Greek

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Cyprian or Turk, cannot remember.

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Not so ancient but still old. This is a medallion, Queen Elizabeth I of England.

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And this is a very intricate German clock

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Now to Asian Civilization

From India, I believe.

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Funny how the rest of Asia is sewed together by the epic of Ramayana. Some of the artifacts from Southeast Asia have references to it. Even Lanao in Mindanao has its Ramayana. Unfortunately, there was no guided tour when I came back to the Asian exhibit. This I think is from Southeast Asia.

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This one, I’m sure, is from Thailand (I carefully read the label). It’s a five-headed water creature coming out of the mouth of a dragon.

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I skipped the Philippines, which embarrassingly was just a 16th century rebulto of St. Joseph. I was expecting something more, like the Laguna Plate with the ancient script. But no, it was so bland.

Didn’t take photos of ancient China, Vietnam etc. because frankly I’ve seen much better artifacts. Especially since I’ve been to the National Palace Museum in Taiwan, which houses the treasures from the Imperial Palace. Yes, the one in Beijing. Yes, the treasures that Chiang Kai Chek brought to Taiwan when the mainland was being overrun by Japanese troops, and then later the Communist Party took over.

And now on to Melayu and Polynesia. My sister (having worked at the ADB and lived in Australia for a couple of years) told me that people from Melayu (in the Pacific Islands) are offended if they are called Polynesians. They are two different sets of race. The former is smaller in built, like the rest of Asians and the latter are bigger, like the Samoans and Maoris.

This one is a macabre shield from one of the Polynesian island chains. This is displayed in front of a warrior’s house and the protruding sharp thingies there on the sides are where they hang the skulls of those they killed.

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Other totem poles and house guards from Melayu-Polynesia. They look like they came from Ancient Aliens in History Channel.

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It’s not all grim and scary at the museum. There are cutesie stuff for the little kids and there are activity areas at the second and third floor of the Singapore National Museum.

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Dinosaur made of little toys

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And I want one of these

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If you have the time to spare, I recommend you visit the Treasures of the World exhibit. It’s for a limited time, I think.

Next time I’ll check out the National Gallery. It seems like my visits to Singapore would be more frequent than expected now that I have bigger responsibilities at work.

 

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My sister and I didn’t finish the guided tour of the British Museum exhibit because we thought we were already running out of time and we still had to get to the Singapore exhibit and get our money’s worth.

Sadly, it wasn’t worth it. Just had a photo op just for the sake of it.

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So we went back to the British Museum exhibit and lingered. Check out these artifacts from Central and South American civilizations.

This one, i believe is Aztech. Celebrates the corn. Yes, the corn. Staple food.

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The guy on the right is a rain god (I think still Aztech). He carries on his back a container for water and that long thing protruding from his back is the spout. When called upon, the rain god waters the earth from that pack.

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Mayan pictograms

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African civilization

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This creepy guy is some kind of a god. People with disputes stick nails into his body and apparently this guy tells who is the liar between the warring parties. It allegedly sends out vibes through the arbiter.

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This shield-like thing is installed at the front door of a house. I didn’t get to hear the story. too bad.

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And I went back for more ancient Egypt. This one I think is a cat and cats are worshipped in ancient Egypt. It’s a tiny thing so I had to stoop and do a close up but it’s too dark to make out the rest of this artifact.

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And this guy is not some royalty. A middle class Egyptian who had his likeness engraved on stone (can’t remember if it was on a tomb). The guide said physically this pose is impossible to do but Egyptians believe that it’s better to strike a pose that is flattering, to display your asset. In this case, the guy’s asset is his profile, i.e. the nose. so his face is facing right but his torso is facing the front. Then his knees are again facing the right.

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to be continued

I’ve been visiting Singapore every now and then (at least twice a year) and I haven’t been to any of its museums or galleries. I always told myself I will check them out once I get back but somehow I never found the time. You see, I always visit a museum of the country I’m visiting but for some reason I always skipped Singapore’s.

So last weekend, my sister and I went to the National Museum of Singapore. And to our surprise, some of the British Museum‘s treasures were on loan that time. Yowza! Two exhibits in one place. To see the British Museum’s Treasures of the World, you have to pay SGD 20 and another SGD 20 for Singapore’s own exhibit. I wasn’t that hot about the Singapore part since I thought I can read about its history in books and its history isn’t that long and winding as that of let’s say the Philippines. But my sister wanted to go so I went along so I won’t be called a killjoy. They have a promo that if you pay using your HSBC credit card, you’ll only pay SGD 10 for each. *clap clap*

This is the best part of the exhibit. The mummy. Although it’s not a mummy of some royalty like King Tut, it’s still a mummy. This teenage boy was already mummified during the Roman occupation of Egypt, hence, the “life-like” art/mask on the mummy.

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Even if they already adopted the art style of their conquerors, the Egyptians still maintained their traditional art. The teenage boy’s mummy cover was made according to tradition.

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The jars used for storing internal organs

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This is Sekhmet, the Egyptian war goddess.

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Ancient tablet writings found in…oh gosh I forgot where. Somewhere in greater Mesopotamia.

Assyrian, if I remember it right.

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And another one, from the same region.

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From present-day Afghanistan. Sadly, the Taliban and now the ISIS may have destroyed the bigger versions of this.

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I don’t remember exactly where these came from because I get mixed up. This one, if I remember it right, came from Syria.

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to be continued


life in business journalism

crazy. exciting. boring to some but hey, you get to understand the world better when you're a business journalist. you learn to be patient with tons of documents, make sense of numbers and charts. all geeky stuff. this is my story, behind the scenes.
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