Asian Civilisations Museum

Asian Civilisations Museum

For more two centuries this magnificent 19th century Neo-Palladian building named after Queen Victoria and located in the mouth of the Singapore River has been attracting the attention of the migrants and tourists coming to Singapore’s harbor. The Asian Civilisations Museum (situated in the historical Empress Place Building) will give you a detailed look into the centuries of history of China, Southeast Asia, South Asia and West Asia, from where numerous ethnic groups of Singapore originated. You are about to see unique Taoist and Buddhist sculptures, samples of ancient calligraphy and find out why the bronze items of the Chola dynasty are so special.

The museum offers 11 thematic galleries featuring more nearly 1,500 artifacts telling about traditions and culture of Asian countries. Each gallery demonstrates exhibits from a particular country or region (namely China, India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam). The gallery dedicated to the Singapore River evokes a very special feeling. This display shows the daily life of several generations of migrants who came to the island in the pursuit of a better living. As it is true to almost every museum in Singapore, in the Asian Civilisations Museum you can feel the invisible connection between the past and the present: old exhibits of the museum and cutting edge technologies of the display are perfectly matched.

The collection of the museum includes a lot of interesting artifacts. The Chinese display features porcelain figures from the Chinese porcelain capital, Dehua, along with Taoist and Buddhist sculptures. The gallery dedicated to the arts of South Asia shows a wide range of historical materials, such as early Buddhist arts of India, including the 4th century head of a Gandharan Bodhisattva, a bronze statue of Uma, the consort of Shiva. In this gallery you will also find bronze artifacts from Nepal and Tibet, as well as South Indian wooden exhibits. The Southeast Asia collection is notable for its Khmer sculptures, Javanese temple sculptures and late Buddhist arts from Myanmar and Thailand. The museum also displays a rich collection of Peranakan arts: gold, textiles, different jewelry. If you will feel like finding more about this culture, take a time to visit the Peranakan Museum.

Address: 1 Empress Pl
Opening hours: Mon-Thu, Sat-Sun 10 am – 7 pm, Fri 10 am – 9 pm
How to reach: MRT Raffles Place NS26, EW14
Coordinates: 1.28722, 103.85186