Asian Civilisation Museum

Port Cities Exhibition

This exhibition at the Asian Civilisation Museum is a wonderful experience that awaits those willing to spend the time with the objects, read the catalogue and maybe make a second visit (or more).

The exhibition, Port Cities: Multicultural Emporiums of Asia 1500 – 1900, explores the links between the peoples of the trade networked ports of asia through the examination of photographs, paintings, fashion, luxury goods and everyday objects.

The exhibition identifies the interconnected linkages between port cities in Asia, from Batavia (modern-day Jakarta) to Goa and Bombay on the East Coast of the Indian subcontinent, to Nagasaki in Far East Japan.

The artefacts uncover intriguing stories of how the constant flow and transfer of people, goods and ideas paved way for port-city communities to modernise, in that people amalgamate the latest global trend with their own local cultures and traditions. This unique blend of modern influences and traditional heritage created entirely new forms of handicrafts, fashion, art and ways of life.

The exhibition depicts three aspects of how people, goods and ideas are constantly moving and inspiring port cities in Asia – Divergence, Convergence and Integration, and how these aspects have shaped these cosmopolitan cities that we know today.*

Here’s few images from this ‘must see’ exhibition:










and then there are so many wonderful fabrics:






Most of the words above were taken from this website.

click here for the museum link.

There’s also more on ArtDaily – click here.


About The catalogue for Port Cities

About the Port Cities Catalogue

Port Cities: Multicultural Emporiums of Asia 1500–1900

Author: Peter Lee, Leonard Y. Andaya, Barbara Watson Andaya, Gael Newton, Alan Chong

ISBN: 978-981-11-1380-2
Pages: 220, fully illustrated in colour
Retail price: SGD 40 (including GST)

Port Cities perfectly encapsulate a fundamental human and cultural process that has existed since time immemorial – the constant mixing of things together. Such places, and the powerful cultural dynamics that took place within and between them, reflect how people, ideas, and objects circulate, and how culture is formed, spread, and shared. Four essays and a catalogue section of stunning objects make up a profusely illustrated book to accompany special exhibition Port Cities.

This publication is available for sale at all MUSEUM LABEL shops.


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