Off / On exhibit at the National Museum of Singapore


It’s hard to imagine life without technology. For one, we’ve managed to populate the termwork from home. And just to name a few pieces of indispensable tech in my WFH setup – I’ve gotten accustomed to my standing desk while clacking away on my mechanical keyboard

If you’re one who appreciates how far tech has come, the National Museum of Singapore’s newest exhibit Off / On is a trip down memory lane. From retro mobile devices to escape room activities in the museum, here’s what you can expect from Off / On, happening from 10th June till 30th October 2022


Relive the 1970s & the evolution of technology in Singapore


Get a major throwback via the exhibit’s 4 zones, each documenting life in Singapore and the nation’s use of technology from the 1970s to the 2000s.  

off on national museum singapore work in progress
Image credit: National Museum of Singapore

Cue the “back in my day…” phrases as older folks step into the 1st zone: Work In Progress. It’s modelled after an office from the good ol’ days – a sight many grandparents and parents would be familiar with as the retro scene features bulky typewriters and physical paperwork

off on national museum singapore work in progress
For fans of the “thock”, try typing on the typewriters to see if they sound just as good.
Image credit: National Museum of Singapore

off on national museum singapore hello mobile
Image credit: National Museum of Singapore

Peruse the 2nd zone, Hello Mobile, for what’s possibly our fave gadget of all time – our mobile phones. Remember the indestructible Nokia? You’ll find the iconic phone encased in one of the light display boxes here. 

off on national museum singapore hello mobile barber and kopitiamThe phones aren’t just for show; pick up the receiver to listen in on how phone calls sounded like in the past.
Image credit: National Museum of Singapore

It’s another blast from the past as the space resembles an old-school barbershop and kopitiam. For those who don’t know, these spaces were equipped with payphones for patrons to use should they need to return a call when pinged by their pager. 

off on national museum singapore LED walls and pager
Leave a message via a giant pager and it’ll be flashed on the LED wall.
Image adapted from: National Museum of Singapore

off on national museum singapore the art of living
VCRs were used to tape shows for rewatching at a later time.
Image credit: National Museum of Singapore

The Art Of Living is where visitors can cosy up in a living room, a replica of the ones we’ve seen on iconic Channel 8 TV shows. The space focuses on the evolution of technology for entertainment, including boxy tellys and cassette players. 

off on national museum singapore the art of living photo studio and dark room
Image adapted from: National Museum of Singapore

Gather your museum mates over at the studio area. Here, pose however you like with old-school props before heading over to a darkroom to retrieve your free photo keepsakes. 

After snappin’ some dapper pics, head over to the darkroom next door. Shutterbugs will be thrilled to watch a digital presentation of their B&W pics being “developed” before getting a digital copy for keepsakes.

off on national museum singapore game on
Image adapted from: National Museum of Singapore

For the kiddos who’re too young to have seen payphones or typewriters, they’ll certainly get to familiarise themselves at the Game On zone. Inspired by the folks who made Tomy Pocketeers, the zone allows you to challenge your friends to a pinball-esque game to see who takes the top spot on the leaderboard. 

off on national museum singapore tomy pocketeer toy
Tomy Pocketeers were the portable toys of the ’80s.
Image credit: Roots


After-hours escape room in a museum


Besides going gaga over the retro gizmos, you’ll want to stay tuned for An Escape Through Time. It’s a themed escape room conducted on the National Museum grounds, and the games take place after the exhibit’s operating hours a la Night At The Museum.

Family and friends are welcome to sign up in groups of 3-10 (from $12/pax) to solve puzzles and save technology from being switched off. Tickets will be released on 9th June 2022, so keep your eyes peeled on the National Museum’s website to cop the slots. 


Visit Off / On at the National Museum of Singapore


off on national museum singapore digital companion games
Image adapted from: National Museum of Singapore

More history nuggets and games can be accessed through the exhibit’s Digital Companion on the museum’s website. You’ll get to participate in a lucky draw and win prizes – all you have to do is complete tasks such as decoding pager codes and putting your thumbs to the test in a typing game.

A trip to the museum isn’t complete without souvenirs. Together with Supermama The Museum Store, you’ll be able to find exclusive merch such as tote bags and postcards sporting tech icons from the exhibit.

off on national museum singapore the art of living retro televisions
Image credit: National Museum of Singapore

Off / On at the National Museum of Singapore is running from 10th June 2022 till 30th October 2022, so there’s plenty of time to rally up the fam bam to reminisce the good ol’ days and appreciate the future ahead with tech. 

Find out more about the Off / On exhibit here

 

Price:
Exhibit: Free for Singaporeans & PRs | $18/standard ticket | $14/students & senior citizens
Escape Room: $15/pax (Groups of 3-6) | $12/pax (Groups of 7-10)
Time: 10am-7pm, Daily (Closed at 6pm on selected dates for Escape Room*)
*For Escape Room slots, refer to the National Museum’s website

More new activities this month:


Cover image adapted from: National Museum of Singapore

Date:
10 Jun - 30 Oct 2022
Time:
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Things to note:

Price:
Exhibit: Free for Singaporeans & PRs | $18/standard ticket | $14/students & senior citizens
Escape Room: $15/pax (Groups of 3-6) | $12/pax (Groups of 7-10)
Time: 10am-7pm, Daily (Closed at 6pm on selected dates for Escape Room*)
*For Escape Room slots, refer to the National Museum’s website