Wit­ness­ing war

Ya­mashita’s katana blade and more on show at WWII ex­hi­bi­tion in Sin­ga­pore.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Art - By NABILAH SAID Wit­ness To War.

LIEU­TENANT-GEN­ERAL Ya­mashita’s sword was last seen in Sin­ga­pore in 1942.

Af­ter the Ja­panese sur­ren­dered to al­lied forces in 1945, the steel Samurai sword went to the United States, where it has been kept in the mu­seum of the mil­i­tary academy in West Point ever since.

Now, 75 years later, visi­tors to the Na­tional Mu­seum of Sin­ga­pore will be able to see this sword on Sin­ga­pore soil once again, in the mu­seum’s newest ex­hi­bi­tion about World War II, ti­tled Wit­ness To War: Re­mem­ber­ing 1942.

The ex­hi­bi­tion, which is tak­ing place 75 years af­ter the fall of Sin­ga­pore in 1942, opens on Sept 23 and runs till March 25, 2018.

It fea­tures more than 130 arte­facts on loan from 10 over­seas mu­se­ums such as the Aus­tralian War Me­mo­rial and the Mu­seum of New Zealand Te Papa Ton­garewa, as well as from pri­vate donors and Sin­ga­pore’s Na­tional Col­lec­tion.

Ex­hi­bi­tion cu­ra­tor Priscilla Chua says that the in­clu­sion of in­ter­na­tional part­ners puts the fall of Sin­ga­pore in con­text of what was hap­pen­ing in the larger Pa­cific re­gion.

For ex­am­ple, the Bri­tish sur­ren­der in Sin­ga­pore made Aus­tralia and New Zealand feel more vul­ner­a­ble in the face of the Ja­panese im­pe­rial army.

“Con­text is very im­por­tant. When we are fo­cused on a par­tic­u­lar event, we tend to for­get the big­ger pic­ture. This ex­hi­bi­tion pro­vides more in­ter­na­tional per­spec­tive to the event,” she said.

There are also sto­ries and in­ter­views from ev­ery­day Sin­ga­pore­ans and in­di­vid­u­als about the war, that give a more per­sonal look at what life was like back then.

The fall of Sin­ga­pore took place on Feb 15, 1942, when the Bri­tish sur­ren­dered to Ja­panese forces af­ter about a week of in­tense bat­tle.

Be­sides Ya­mashita’s sword, a num­ber of other arte­facts are on dis­play for the first time in South-East Asia.

These in­cludes a re­cent mu­seum ac­qui­si­tion, a 25-pounder field gun, which was used by Bri­tish and Com­mon­wealth troops in Sin­ga­pore and Malaya dur­ing the war.

It will be ac­com­pa­nied by a light and sound in­stal­la­tion that recre­ates the sounds of bat­tle.

The ex­hi­bi­tion also fea­tures video in­ter­views with war sur­vivors and veter­ans, con­ducted by sec­ondary school stu­dents from var­i­ous schools.

Guided tours of the ex­hi­bi­tion will be con­ducted daily. There will also be re­lated pro­grammes such as meals made us­ing wartime recipes by restau­rant Food For Thought, which is lo­cated within the mu­seum, as well as sto­ry­telling ses­sions for chil­dren. – The Straits Times/Asia News Net­work

Lieu­tenant Gen­eral To­moyuki Ya­mashita’s katana will be on dis­play at The Na­tional Mu­seum of Sin­ga­pore’s newest ex­hi­bi­tion, — The Straits Times/ANN

The ex­hi­bi­tion looks at how the fall of Sin­ga­pore 75 years ago fits into the his­toric nar­ra­tive of the larger Pa­cific re­gion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.