The Asian Civilisations Museum is devoted to exploring the rich artistic heritage of Asia, especially the ancestral cultures of Singaporeans. Opened in 1997 and in its present building by the Singapore River since 2003, the museum traces its roots to the Raffles Museum, founded in the middle of the 19th century. ACM focuses on the many historical connections between the cultures of Asia, and between Asia and the world. Singapore’s history as a port city that brought people together from all over the world is used as a means of examining the history of Asia. Special exhibitions bring magnificent objects from around the world to our Singapore audience. Signature programmes like the annual ACM After Dark, Saturdays at ACM, and Lunchtime Concerts encourage visitors to connect more closely with culture and the arts.
Start the day with good coffee and breakfast!
Walking towards the ACM building at the Empress Place
The ACM’s collection began with objects from the colonial Raffles Library and Museum. The major part was ethnological materials collected in Southeast Asia – essentially examples of the crafts, tools, weapons, utensils, and costume of the Malay and other indigenous Southeast Asian cultures. There was also a small collection of Chinese objects. Collections in new areas were started in the 1990s: West Asia/the Islamic world and South Asia, so that the ACM could fulfil its mission to highlight the roots of Singapore’s different ethnic groups in the various cultures and civilizations of Asia. The ACM has since grown through acquisitions, donations, and loans from organizations and private individuals. The collection is now one of the most comprehensive in the region.
With mission to foster understanding of the diverse heritage cultures of Singapore, their interconnections, and their connections with the world by exploring Asia’s artistic heritage. The ACM opened in 2003 at the historic Empress Place Building. Completed in 1867, the neoclassical-style building along the Singapore River was used for over 100 years to house colonial and, later, Singapore government offices. Renovations to design this second venue had begun in 1997, even before the Armenian Street location opened. Conversion of the building into a state-of-the-art museum took 5 years.
From 1989 until 1995, it served as the Empress Place Museum. The ACM moved into the building in 2003. After more than a decade, ACM is again renewing itself, adding to the rich history of its building.
In the third quarter of 2014, the ACM embarked on a comprehensive renewal of the museum, which includes new construction and reimagined galleries that will display objects in new ways. The expanded and refreshed galleries will enhance visitor experience and better share Singapore’s Asian heritage through the historical connections between cultures.
KWEK HONG PNG WING
The new three-storey Kwek Hong Png Wing (869 sqm) is a striking contemporary cube that floats on the Empress Place side of the museum. The wing was made possible by a generous donation from Hong Leong Foundation.
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