Release Date : 06 Aug 2013

The Singapore Memory Project presents personal stories and photographs from Singaporeans through a series of interactive displays

Singapore, 6 August 2013 – The Singapore Memory Project (SMP) today unveiled Hands: Gift of a Generation, a multi-sensory exhibition which evoked our senses and made cherished memories come to life.

Launched by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information today, the exhibition is a significant showcase for SMP which was launched in 2011 to capture and document precious moments and memories related to Singapore. Depicting first-hand accounts of Singaporeans from all walks of life, the stories reflect the transformation of Singapore through the years. The exhibition also pays tribute to the struggles of early pioneers and celebrates the life experiences of everyday Singaporeans through a selection of more than 400 memories. The exhibition also showcases the life stories and hard work of 30 Singaporeans depicted through the photographic portraits of their hands. Representing diverse backgrounds and professions, their hands signify the sacrifices they made as well as the triumphs and joys they experienced.

Among the memories shared include that of Mr Low Kim Heng, a restaurant chef who has seen the evolution of the culinary scene in Singapore. A former hawker's assistant in the 1960s, his story recounts the hawker scene of yesteryears. From the coffeeshops and shophouses in Chinatown serving street food to the restaurants at Orchard Road, visitors can experience the changing dining habits of Singaporeans. Visitors can also read about the story of Madam Jumiah Yunus, a midwife for 33 years who has helped couples deliver their babies both at home and at the hospitals. She shared her experiences of delivering the babies at homes and the sense of fulfillment as she bonded with the families. Visitors can also experience the multiculturalism of Singapore as reflected through the memory by Cultural Medallion recipient, Ms Santha Bhaskar who highlighted how the shared love for the arts can transcend boundaries. She recalled how she performed in an adapted version of the play “The Butterfly Lovers” where she danced to the tunes of Indian music in Chinese costumes. She also shared the sense of satisfaction derived about learning the other dance forms such as Chinese and Malay dance.

Mrs Elaine Ng, Chief Executive Officer, National Library Board (NLB) said, ""This exhibition presents the people's perspective of the Singapore Story, told by fellow Singaporeans as if to their friends and family members. We hope that all who visit the exhibition will find that the memories touch a common chord, remind us of our own stories, and open our eyes to the stories of our neighbours.”

Memories are also brought to life through the use of advanced technology. Visitors will be able to take a trip down memory lane through the interactive digital wall. They can also journey through the past through stories on growing up years, favourite food and neighbourhoods of yesteryears. The public can also join in and contribute their stories to inspire future generations by penning their memories down or through video recordings. Their stories and all other memories are available for public viewing through the portal.

Hands: Gift of a Generation is open to the public from Tuesday, 6 August 2013 to Sunday, 13 October 2013 at The Plaza, National Library Building.