Friday, December 25, 2009

A visit to "Quest for Immortality"

For those who are fascinated by the ancient Egyptian world, there is now a special exhibition held at the National Museum of Singapore (22 Dec 2009 - 4 Apr 2010). The exhibition "Quest for Immortality – The World of Ancient Egypt" is presented by the National Museum of Singapore in co-operation with Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Egyptian and Near Eastern Department.

As stated in the publicity, this exhibition "offers an insight to the ancient Egyptian’s attitude to life and the afterlife, and the preparations they made to ensure their transition from earthly existence to immortality."

There are 230 artefacts spanning from 4000 BCE to 950 CE on display. The exhibit shown in the photo right above is a statue of the god Horus and King Horemheb. According to the explanatory notes, "Horemheb was believed to be an earthly incarnation of the god Horus." On the other hand, "Horus, the god of the sky or sun, is depicted with a human boday and the head of a falcon". This statue has a stately aura that caught my eyes. Furthermore, I understand that this is the most expensive artefact in the exhibition in terms of its value.

In the exhibition, visitors will also get to appreciate the process of mummification. There are also mummies of animals and humans on display. I learnt that the English word 'mummy' is derived from medieval Latin 'mumia', a borrowing of the Persian word mūm, which means "bitumen". Because of the blackened skin, bitumen was once thought to be used extensively in ancient Egyptian embalming procedures (source: Wikipedia)".

Non-flash photography is allowed for this exhibition. My personal experiences at the exhibition reminded me that rather than being pre-occupied with taking photographs of the various artefacts, one could see and learn more by taking time to view the various exhibits with his/her own naked eyes. Attending one of the guided tours that will start from 4 Jan 2010 will also be a great help to give one a deeper understanding of the ancient Egyptian's attitudes to life and afterlife. I intend to visit this exhibition for at least a second time.

There is an activity section in this exhibition that will certainly entertain and keep children (and adults) occupied. At this section, one can write one's name using hieroglyphs, which was used in written communication during the Old and Middle Egyptian eras. One can even have a chance to play a few ancient Egyptian indoor games.

On the whole, I like the way that the exhibition was thoughtfully curated and organised. I had wanted to attend one of the Curator's Tours, only to find that all the tickets have been sold out! I reckon that this meant that this exhibition is one that is worth going for.

More information about this information can be found here:

Many thanks to the National Museum of Singapore and all the parties involved for making this exhibition possible.


kyh said...

I love Sg museums! They always have these kind of special exhibitions, and I dont see them in M'sia (that explans why I dont visit the museums here).

pinkie said...

did u take those pics without flash?

oceanskies79 said...

kyh: Then I suppose if you are in Singapore, you would be more likely to visit the museums! Would you be in Singapore anything soon?

Pinkie: Yes, I did. There were special lightings at the exhibition, so even without the flash, many of the pictures turned out pretty fine.

kyh said...

I'm not sure. Depends on my schedule. Maybe not in 2010, but I believe anytime soon! ;)