NAS exhibition to mark 80th anniversary of Fall of Singapore features historical artefacts from Singaporean collectors

Singapore, 15 February 2022 – The National Archives Singapore (NAS) opens a new exhibition "New Light on an Old Tale: 80th Anniversary of the Fall of Singapore" today. It chronicles Singapore's history during the Japanese invasion and occupation, and features about 150 artefacts from three Singaporean collectors who have a passion for heritage.

New Light on an Old Tale: 80th Anniversary of the Fall of Singapore runs from today, which is the exact day 80 years after the British surrendered Singapore to the Japanese on 15 February 1942. The exhibition is held at the NAS Building Atrium outside Oldham Theatre. It features many World War II-related artefacts on display for the first time publicly, complemented with oral history interviews and images from the NAS collection. It closes on 30 June 2022.

As Singapore's Storyteller, a key role under National Library Board’s (NLB) LAB25 (Libraries and Archives Blueprint 2025), NAS strives to elicit curiosity and wonder in Singaporeans about the nation’s history, and deepen the understanding and appreciation of Singapore’s heritage and identity. The exhibition also reflects the spirit of LAB25 and the Singapore Storytellers role where it is not only us telling stories, but us working with partners to tell stories.

In conjunction with the exhibition, NAS has also organised programmes that tell the stories of World War II and the Japanese Occupation of Singapore. This includes an "Archives Invites" talk in March by Mr Bennett Sng Siak Keng, one of the collectors, on some of the significant artefacts featured and the stories behind them. There will also be specially curated film screenings by the Asian Film Archive (AFA).

NLB Chief Executive Officer Ng Cher Pong, said: "These collections tell Singapore’s stories in a different manner, and could spur Singaporeans’ curiosity to find more shared stories of our nationhood.  We are thankful for Ms Cheng Lai Yee, Mr Dave Kan and Mr Sng Siak Keng, who have shared their personal collections of historical artefacts with us, and made this exhibition possible. We hope to work with more partners who could help to tell the Singapore Stories, and deepen everyone’s appreciation for the peace and nationhood we enjoy today."

More Information on the private collectors can be found at Annex A, exhibition highlights at Annex B, talks and programmes at Annex C, and film screenings by AFA at Annex D.
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The National Library Board (NLB) nurtures Readers for Life, Learning Communities and a Knowledgeable Nation by promoting reading, learning and history through its network of 27 public libraries, the National Library and the National Archives of Singapore. NLB also forges strategic partnerships that encourage awareness, appreciation and greater discovery of Singapore’s history through its rich collections on Singapore and the region.

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