Mini museum revisits a cultural moment
Take a trip back to a pivotal time in Singapore’s history with this mobile exhibition. (Photo: Singapore Art Museum)

Mini museum revisits a cultural moment

Feel the restless energy of Singapore in the run-up to independence through the lens of a travelling exhibition commissioned by Singapore Art Museum.

In Slander!, artist and musician Jeremy Sharma revisits a number of movies produced and shot in Singapore between 1958 and 1963, when the winds of change were blowing hard. Rapid urbanisation, an undertow of fractious race relations, the impending end of British rule and the search for a national identity in a post-colonial world imbue these films with a restless energy. The exhibition is a distillation of this critical cultural moment.

Its title refers to Korban Fitnah (Victim of Slander), directed by Usmar Ismail and released in 1959. It’s the tale of a spurned lover whose malicious lies lead to an attempted suicide and prison. Sharma extracted video data from the film and processed these signals through LED nodes in lightboxes, deconstructing the cinematic images so they appear as snatches of a collective Singaporean memory.

The mission of Singapore Art Museum’s Mini Mobile Museum is to take art into the public domain, making it easy for people to engage with the work of contemporary Southeast Asian artists. Pay a visit to Tampines Library this month to experience Sharma’s manipulated film footage, digitised images, objects and printed materials for yourself.

Find out more about SAM Mini Mobile Museum: Slander! here.

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