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Musings

The Museum Of Sembcorp Marine’s Singapore Story

So we made it – almost. After canvassing for votes (read: badgering people) in the past week we had to do a five-minute pitch on Thursday for the organisers, and it was an agonising wait until Friday night before we were informed, through a late call, that we had been shortlisted for the finals. We did much better for the second pitch, and should have a fighting chance after a judge remarked that “you guys made a relatively boring story, interesting”.

As promised, I thought we should share some photographs of the exhibition, and also explain the three features of this museum (of Sembcorp Marine’s Singapore Story). Some last-minute call to action first, haha:

By Monday evening, you could help us:

1. Vote.
– Access the voting page: http://bit.ly/1yGPlct.
– Click on the vote button (bottom, right corner).
– Login with your Facebook account to vote!

2. Like and Share.
– Visit the Facebook photo: http://bit.ly/TeamTrium.
– Like, and share!

With Ho Yeung and Fabian, and our exhibition booth - the museum of Sembcorp Marine's Singapore Story - in the background.

With Ho Yeung and Fabian, and our exhibition booth – the museum of Sembcorp Marine’s Singapore Story – in the background.

The Museum Concept. There are three features of the museum: the complementary narrative, the audio-visual experience, as well as the interactivity of the museum. From the get-go we knew we could not win with great aesthetics, so our concept had to be coherent and cohesive. Furthermore after our first visit to the shipyard, we realised that Sembcorp Marine beginning as Jurong Shipyard in 1963 and Singapore gaining independence in 1965 were not coincidences. “A museum is understated, yet impactful”, Fabian mused at the presentations, “which is also an apt description of the marine and offshore company we were assigned to”.

1. Complementary narrative. Traditional exhibitions present the corporate achievements of the company in a chronological fashion, and we thought this approach lacked insight. As we curated the 15 milestones for Sembcorp Marine – from building Singapore’s first ocean-going vessel to constructing the largest dry dock in Asia – we paired them with significant moments for the country as well. This relationship between the company and the country, the country and the company, was emphasised.

The 15 milestones of Sembcorp Marine, tied to 15 milestones of Singapore (following picture).

The 15 milestones of Sembcorp Marine, tied to 15 milestones of Singapore (following picture).

The 15 milestones of Singapore, tied to 15 milestones of Sembcorp Marine (preceding picture).

The 15 milestones of Singapore, tied to 15 milestones of Sembcorp Marine (preceding picture).

These 15 milestones are presented across six panels. Horizontally they present the narratives of Sembcorp Marine and Singapore respectively, yet when they are read vertically the pairing of the milestones make a lot more sense.

2. Audio-visual experience. While journeying through the museum, visitors can put on an audio guide. The 15 clips complement the 15 milestones, and they are interviews with employees of Sembcorp Marine who were directly involved in the specific endeavours. We could not put the interviews online because of concerns of security and confidentiality, yet every single clip is a gem.

3. Interactivity of the museum. These three features work in harmony. As visitors derive intellectual stimulation from the narrative, they also experience some emotional attachments as they listen to the stories from the audio guide. “You want to read more, you want to hear more, and you want to feel more”, as Ho Yeung explained. Different artefacts – models of a jack-up rig and a semi-submersible drilling rig – complete the museum, and visitors can pen their reflections on the wall of well-wishes, to Sembcorp Marine and Singapore.

In action during the second presentation, pandering to the judges with postcards (Sembcorp Marine mannequin in the background).

In action during the second presentation, pandering to the judges with postcards (Sembcorp Marine mannequin in the background).

If we had the chance to enhance the museum, I would probably enhance the way we present the interviewees with the employees. The audio guides do a good job of complementing the panels of milestones, but I would work to expound on their stories. Almost all have worked for Sembcorp Marine for decades, and I feel there is a lot more to uncover. It has been a great journey thus far, and hopefully this does not mark the end (win or lose, even after the closing ceremony on Tuesday).

Wall of well-wishes to Sembcorp Marine and Singapore.

Wall of well-wishes to Sembcorp Marine and Singapore.

Model of a jack-up rig, one of the artefacts in the museum.

Model of a jack-up rig, one of the artefacts in the museum.

Collection of five postcards, with interesting factoids about the company (for instance, did you know that Sembcorp Marine constructed and installed The Float @ Marina Bay)?

Collection of five postcards, with interesting factoids about the company (for instance, did you know that Sembcorp Marine constructed and installed The Float @ Marina Bay)?

About guanyinmiao

A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting. Carlos Castaneda.

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