Library Exhibition: Singapore Voices (updated with new photos)

February 9, 2011 at 2:16 pm 12 comments

From Humanities teacher Mr Paul Ho:

From 10-16 February, HCI’s Humanities Department, together with Kong Chian Library and Nanyang Technological University, brings you Singapore Voices, an installation that transmits the personal memories and experiences of nine local residents from the 1940s to the present day, in their own voices. These stories are told in eight languages, some of which are rarely heard in Singapore today: Bahasa Peranakan, Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Hokkien, Teochew, Hakka and Hainanese.

The NTU Museum led the interdisciplinary team, which included the faculty and students of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and the Divisions of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences jointly developed the content, in collaboration with the School of Art, Design and Media.

Singapore Voices is a multi-sensory and interactive exhibition that offers a unique blend of sight, sound and touch. The interaction design relies on two sensors built into each display, and placed at each portrait’s shoulder and palm. The visitor’s particular way of touching reflects a certain body gesture and underlying intention, and triggers a sound-file. The display’s plexi-glass pane acts as a loudspeaker membrane.

The speaker’s voice is heard with the ears, but also felt with the hands via the vibrations of the pane, reminding the visitor of the physicality of sound. Touch becomes a metaphor for the efforts to (re-)establish contact between people of different tongues, of different generations. Through these highly interactive elements, the exhibition helps to create for each visitor a unique experience constructed out of their own personal interface with the exhibits.

This exhibition is a rare opportunity for students of Hwa Chong Institution, and will only last for a very limited time; all are encouraged to visit the lobby at Kong Chian Library to interact with the installation and discover a deeper appreciation for our polyglot society.


Entry filed under: Events, Exhibitions, News.

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12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Shie Yu Hao  |  February 9, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    This is a very innovative creation of a way of learning, just by different ways of touching, and the portrait could actually “interact” with us. This is amazing, we can learn about past experiences and general knowledge of an earlier generation through the sound files installed. I wonder how did all of you do such a magnificent device, that could play a sound file just through touching? Does it works like the same concepts for buttons on controllers? Learning in such a way would be rather interesting if would be a lively tone narrating his or her past experience!

    • 2. Jason Erik Lundberg  |  February 10, 2011 at 7:46 am

      The folks listed above from NTU are the ones who actually created the installation; we’re just borrowing it for a time.

      And if you click on the image of the pedestal, it shows how the technology actually works, although it may be too small here to see properly; better to visit in person. 🙂

  • 3. Mark Soh  |  February 10, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    This is method of teaching would be a little more effective for younger people like us as its in a way easier to learn through interaction than compared to sitting in class. Moreover, there are multiple languages available making it more interesting than just hearing history in English.

  • 4. Caven Teo  |  February 10, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    This method of teaching us Integrated Humanities is a great way for us to learn as we hear past experiences! These primary sources allow us to understand life during the 1940s.

    Especially, during 1942-1945 is the WWII period and these experiences is very fruitful for us to apply it on Sec1 and Sec2 IH!

    The different languages also show how united Singapore is with many different races living together! The unique blend is very interesting!

    Looking forward to more of these!

  • 5. Shaun Wong  |  February 11, 2011 at 3:26 am

    I just got to say this is cool, and I’m glad our library has gave us such a great opportunity by borrowing it for us to interact. What intrigues me most, just by reading the article above, is the “touching” part. “The visitor’s particular way of touching reflects a certain body gesture and underlying intention, and triggers a sound-file.” Does this actually mean that they will react to us through a sound-file judging from the way we touched them, or the force used to touch them? If so, then this technology is really advanced.

    While in an Infocomm Conference two years ago, Infocomm enthusiasts(including me) discussed the future possibilities of laser technology. One topic touched was on holograms, and now there are already exhibits that contain holograms(Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Odditorium). I’m hoping that in the future such technology would be available in Hwa Chong Institution, and it is certainly a much cheaper alternative to robots if we want to make learning more interactive.

    I’m guessing that many students will be interested in this. I will definitely check this out.

  • 6. Aceson Aw(1) 2a2  |  February 12, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    This is definitely a innovative incentive which I believe is correctly implemented. I think Hwa Chong is sincerly grateful to the person who had came up with this idea. The exhition will benifit students thoroughly, probably let them experience the interactive touch of technology and the history of Singapore with a special touch.
    The interactive tools and exhibits, get students to receve infomation about the past through various senses, thus imcreasing the possibilty rate of the historically facts leaving a greater impact on students. Different people have different learning methods, some learn by hearing, others by interacting and so on. The exhibition gives us students a choice,, b providing various sensories. Kudos to this joint initiatives.

  • 7. Jian Xian 2A2  |  February 14, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I feel that it is amazing and very innovative to learn. I have went to the library to try it out. It is interesting to learn by touching a panel. Furthermore, we can listen in various languages, in Chinese, Malay, English etc.

    It is interesting to learn history in various languages. With the different races, it actually shows that Singapore is a multiracial country, where all the different races can live peacefully.

    We can learn the knowledge from various methods like listening, looking, interacting etc. People learn from different ways and it caters to all learning method. We are lucky to be able to borrow these from NTU.

  • 8. Benedict Chin 2A2  |  February 15, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    This installation is very innovatively constructed, bearing the interest of the current era – through interactions, and technology- , and Hwa Chong is really blessed to have borrowed such a huge installation into our Kong Chian Library.
    As such, we would be granted the ability to learn history in a whole new dimension- through interactions of panels and sounds, plus the fact that it would be conveniently translated into many different languages for us.

    It is then obvious how much technology has advanced in modern life, and yet creates a curiosity and a need- rather a luxury- to be able to learn with such technology in our daily classrooms. Imagine touching some 3-D screen and some interactive buddy will come up to you!

    It definitely will heighten the interest students have in studies, and cater to the whole cohort; whereby some prefer to study as such, or some prefer to study paper based. Whatever it is, there is a new option for us to explore, and this exhibition would introduce it to us- because of its rarity, I suggest you better go to the library and catch it now!

  • 9. Seah Shun Zhou 2a2  |  February 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    This display is very interesting and creative as it makes you interact with the display rather than just looking at the display which is very boring to do. It can also help us students in our Integrated Humanities by improving our History of Singapore’s past. It also shows how much Singapore has changed throughout the years, and it shows how much technology has improved too. It also increased my interest in History which to me before was boring. So be sure to go to the library.

  • 10. Aloysius Chan (2a203)  |  February 23, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    I feel that this exhibition is rather useful and innovative, as in a way, we as Singaporeans, sometimes do not know much about Singapore’s past and this exhibition can help us in understanding more about the Intergrated Humanities that we are studying currently. Also, this exhibition can grab our interest in looking as it is of IT and not really book-typed resource, which for us, may think that it is boring. But the bad thing, from what I observe in the library, is that some people do not really go up and listen to what the character is actually saying. They just merely go up, and press few buttons, and then leave. If our teacher will, instead, bring us to the library, to have a look at this, during the IH period, it will be better, as when a teacher is guiding the students, the students will have a higher chance of not fooling around and thus, focus.

    It is lucky that we can get to borrow this from NTU and I wishes that there will be more or these machines that will be placed in the school, which can allow us to understand things, through innovative methods like this.

    Nice work by NTU!!

  • 11. Hong Jin Xiang (2a213)  |  February 27, 2011 at 8:20 am

    This exhibition is an innovative and creative idea. It is a fun and interactive way for us to learn history.I like the way it exposes us to history with modern interactive tools. Some students learn better while listening rather than reading, thus, historical facts can be better understood and concepts easier to grasp. Foreign students fluent in those languages can listen to the “lesson” in their mother tongue. This exhibition also captures the attention of students more than a history teacher lecturing in class. This is a rare opportunity so be sure to catch it at the library!

  • 12. Tan Chuan Xin  |  February 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    To me, I feel that this exhibition is a really great idea. Since the government has been promoting standard Chinese and has been forbidding dialects from being used on public platforms, the exhibition can really help us get in touch with our own native dialects.

    Also, the exhibition really shows what the Integrated Programme is all about. We are learning out of the constraints of our textbooks and curriculum, using new and innovative ways to bring across knowledge. This is the kind of learning that the Integrated Programme should be about, and I really hope to have more of this kind of exhibitions.


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Library Club Leadership

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Mrs Rosalind Lee (SC)
Mdm Chan May Lun
Mdm Shieh Le-shiang
Mrs Kris Koo (Senior AO)
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