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  The Heritage Journal, Volume 2, 2005    



Films as Social History - P. Ramlee's "Seniman Bujang Lapok" and Malays in Singapore (1950s-60s)
Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied, Teaching Assistant, NUS

This paper provides a critical 'reading' and examination of P. Ramlee's film, Seniman Bujang Lapok. Central to its argument is the appropriation of such a film as historical sources for the study of Malay society in the 1950s-60s Singapore. By contextualising P. Ramlee's portrayal of Malay society within several key developments in his life and era, the article propounds some major themes that reflect the challenges and anxieties faced by Malays then. It is hoped that this article will induce scholars towards a rigorous interrogation of Malay films which are currently at the margins of Singapore's historiography.

“Fragments of the Past”: Political Prints of Post-war Singapore
Lim Cheng Tju

These prints reflect the post-war history of Singapore and its road to independence and nationhood. However the history of woodblock prints in Singapore, despite the vibrancy of the medium in the 1950s and 1960s, has not been well documented until the 1998 exhibition. The formation of the Contemporary Printmaking Association in 1980 did not keep the tradition of woodblock printing alive as it promoted new printmaking methods then. It was only when the association was renamed Printmaking Society (Singapore) in January 1998 that interest in woodblock printing was revived through its participation in the SHM woodcut print exhibition.


Notes and Reviews

Iberians in Singapore-Melaka Area and Adjacent Regions, by Peter Borschberg
Reviewed by Yong Huei Sim, University of Wollongong

Framing History: Displaying the Singapore Family through Photography
Jason Toh, Singapore History Museum

Come end 2006, the Singapore History Museum (SHM) will re-open as the National Museum of Singapore at its 119 year-old home along Stamford Road. Along with the rejuvenation of the old museum into a new cultural destination for Singaporeans, the way history is being presented and displayed will also undergo an extreme make-over. Besides the core Singapore History Gallery, there will be a suite of four galleries collectively known as the Singapore Living Galleries that will interpret social history through the four mediums close to the hearts of Singaporeans - Food, Fashion, Film (Wayang) and Photography. Each gallery will present a different aspect of Singapore’s social history. Food will look at the Singapore Community; Fashion will examine the Singapore Identity; Film (Wayang) will explore the Singapore Dream; and Photography will showcase the Singapore Family. This paper focuses on the Photography Gallery and it examines the conceptualization of the methodology of displaying Singapore family history through the medium of photography.