Sunday, July 06, 2008
Back to Mozart's time
This afternoon, I experienced the privilege of being a member of the National Museum of Singapore. I was at the counter to purchase a ticket to the exhibition, Mozart: A Child Prodigy, and I was pleasantly told that members of the National Museum of Singapore could enter the exhibition free simply by showing the staff at the exhibition the membership card.
Today's the last day of the exhibition. As such, I decided to check it out on my own. I simply hope that the exhibition could shed me more light about Mozart and the society that he had lived in. At the start of the exhibition, all participants were treated to an introduction that outlines what we would get to see at the exhibition. I learnt that Mozart's full name is a very long one. I can't remember what it should be, but according to wikipedia, it should be "Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart".
After the introduction, participants like myself could view the exhibits at our own pace. There were several sections. From this exhibition, I learnt a bit more about how the nobility of Mozart's lifetime dress themselves up. I also learnt that in those days, people would go to the barber not just to have their hair cut. They could go to barber-surgeons to have their teeth pulled out.
Mozart: A Child Prodigy could be deemed as an exhibition whereby visitors learn through hands-on activities. Visitors could have the chance to make white paper wigs for themselves, write calligraphy using a quill pen, and dress themselves up like people of the 18th century.
There was a horse carriage that visitors could ride on. I did not go up the carriage for fear that my built as an adult might cause it to collapse. Nevertheless, it was interesting to see children having fun sitting inside the carriage. I was told by the explanatory notes that it wasn't that fun being in such carriages because it could be rather uncomfortable being in it for long hours. I wonder how Mozart had ever withstand the long hours travelling about in such carriages.
There was a section on herbs and remedies. I learnt that in those days, people use tooth powder to clean their teeth instead of the toothpaste that we use today. The ingredients in the tooth powder of those days were baking soda, anise and cloves, if I remember correctly.
The children who were at the exhibition looked as if they have great fun learning and trying out the various activities. My favourite part of the exhibition was that for the entire duration while I was at the exhibition, I get to hear music composed by Mozart. Classical music appeals to my ears way better than pop-music of my time.
The exhibition, Mozart: A Child Prodigy, was organised by the ZOOM Kindermuseum and DA PONTE Institute, in cooperation with the ARTEX Art Services, Vienna, Austria.
I personally think that an exhibition like this is an interesting way to get children interested about heritage and the museums. I think that it is a great audience-creation strategy to engage children to visit the museums when they are young. Looking back, my interest in museum probably started because I had pretty positive experiences visiting museums when I was a child. Hopefully there would be more similar exhibitions in the future.