Singapore the Campaign City

I’ve been wanting to catch this particular art exhibition since it came out in January earlier this year, but never got around to it, so I was quite pleasantly surprised to see that it had been extended till September, so when I went to check it out after I was done with the 11mosque exhibition.

Campaign City - Lift Door
Lift door – welcomes by Singa the Lion (still working even though he resigned?)

 

Some background for the non-Singaporeans out there – besides being well known as a ‘Fine City’ and imposing fines on everything, we’re also quite a Campaign City, as our government initiates all sorts of campaigns to get us to do things, whether it’s to Be Kind, Speak Mandarin or Stop Dengue Mosquitoes from Breeding. This exhibition Campaign City: Life in Posters takes a look back at the campaigns we’ve instituted through the years, and looks at the good (and bad) that has come out from these campaigns – several local artists were asked to contribute their personal takes on these campaigns through posters, and there was a mini exhibition of old campaign related artifacts as well as interviews with the public about their thoughts.

Campaign City - Door
Campaign City – entrance on level 11

 

The exhibition is held up in the main library on the 11th floor, and I don’t know if it was a deliberate thing, but for me juxtaposing these strong statements against an environment where you aren’t allowed to make too much noise in gave a rather stifling atmosphere, which must have been a common feeling for the people who were being forced by the government to change by these campaigns.

Campaign City
Exhibition of posters + display
Campaign City - Wall
Check out all those posters looming down at you – you have to walk around the shelves to get a proper look at all of them
Campaign City - eeshaun
Poster by one of the artists eeshaun from his website Gardensilly, a poke at a campaign that worked a little too well!

 

I enjoyed reading some of the anecdotes and looking at the old artifacts – for Singaporeans it’s an insightful look into our history – hindsight is 20-20 after all. Some of these campaigns seem downright silly nowadays, like the “Long haired males will be served last”; others like the ‘Stop at Two’ campaign which encouraged smaller families worked at that time but have had to evolve as the country faces a severely low birth rate today.

Campaign City - Stop at Two
This anecdote is just pretty funny
Campaign City - Long Haired Men
This one just is a bit bizarre and makes our government look rather… draconian

 

For tourists and visitors to Singapore, it gives you a less ‘sanitized’ look at Singapore’s history for those who are interested in how our little city state has developed.

Campaign City
Memories of past campaigns by visitors to the exhibition
Campaign City
Some of the many taglines that line the windows of the corridor leading up to the exhibition

 

Go check it out if you haven’t already, it’s been extended so there’s no reason not to!

Campaign City
Campaign City – extended till 30 Sep, yay!
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