New Free Pop-Up Retro Fashion Exhibition In Singapore Lets You Be A 1930s Shanghai Calendar Model

New Free Pop-Up Retro Fashion Exhibition In Singapore Lets You Be A 1930s Shanghai Calendar Model

Lifestyle Activities & Events
By Karmen on 11 Jul 2021
Digital Editor

Another weekend, another struggle to find things to in Singapore, amirite? Here's an idea: a new free pop-up exhibition at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall showcasing fashion from the 1800s to 1970s. There's also a cool interactive section where you can have your face superimposed on a retro illustrated poster as a 1930s Shanghai model.

Keep reading to find out more!

Formerly named Wan Qing Yuan, the stunning two-storey colonial building served as the headquarters of Dr. Sun Yat Sen's Chinese Revolutionary Alliance. In this villa, Dr. Sun planned uprisings that eventually led to the overthrow of the Qing dynasty in 1911, making way for the birth of modern-day China.

Today, the building is known as Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, a national monument and heritage institution managed by the National Heritage Board.

Wan Qing Yuan - Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall singapore
Photo from @jasongohce via Instagram

In the museum are multimedia displays, old photos, personal items and letters tracing Dr. Sun's revolutionary activities and the impact of the revolution on Singapore community.

Besides their permanent galleries, Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall also has pop-up exhibitions and their current one is Modern Women of The Republic: Fashion and Change in China.

The Republic Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall exhibition
Photo from Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

The Republic Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall exhibition
Photo from Sun Yat Sen

This exhibition showcases over 90 artefacts and photographs from China and Singapore from the late 1800s to 1970s, a period when women's roles and lifestyles experienced a drastic evolution from traditional to "the Modern Woman".

The Republic Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall exhibition
Photo from Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

The Republic Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall exhibition
Photo from Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

1-9 Embroidered shoes with heels
Photo from Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

From the early 20th century, Chinese women started to exercise new freedoms, rights and more opportunities in education and their career. These changes were reflected in the "liberalisation" of fashion where form-fitting garments like cheongsams took over the more traditional bulky and shapeless garments.

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While women followed fashion trends in China, they also drew inspiration from modern Western styles in their dressing, adopting certain aspects such as bobbed hair, short skirts and high-heeled shoes.

Nanyang Radio Weekly 73 poster
Photo from Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

Nanyang Monthly retro poster
Photo from Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

Nanyang Radio Weekly 73 poster
Photo from Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

The exhibition also has a few interactive elements including one where you can superimpose your face on a Shanghai-style calendar. Simply scan the QR code to take a selfie and you'll be in a retro Shanghai-style calendar poster as a model. The results might be a little zany but there's no denying it sounds like fun!

shanghai calendar girl 1930s Wan Qing Yuan - Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
Photo from @serenelysilei via Instagram

shanghai calendar girl 1930s Wan Qing Yuan - Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
Photo from @serenelysilei via Instagram

shanghai calendar girl 1930s Wan Qing Yuan - Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
Photo from @serenelysilei via Instagram

Modern Women of The Republic: Fashion and Change in China runs till 12 December 2021. Admission is free for Singaporeans and PRs, and $8 (adult) or $5 (students, seniors & people with disabilities) for foreign residents and tourists.

Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
Address: 12 Tai Gin Rd, Singapore 327874
Opening hours: Tues to Sun: 10am - 5pm. Closed on Mondays.
Website | Facebook | Instagram

More new & upcoming exhibitions in Singapore:

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