Same Old Things

Youths in Singapore are no strangers to learning about local history and heritage, as most have been exposed to it through the Ministry of Education's National Educational programme, in place since 1997. The curriculum was introduced to promote national cohesion and instil a sense of national identity in Singapore's youth.

A survey of Singapore's youth, ages 15 to 35, aiming to find out their thoughts on history education and engagement revealed that many in this group do not find it relevant. Respondents lamented about the level of self-agency and motivation required for them to partake in learning about local history once completing their secondary education. A general decline in interest and participation in history learning is also apparent, resulting from a lack of current and engaging content for this age group.

This project was conceived to mitigate these challenges faced by our youths by innovating new approaches and ways of learning about local history and heritage. Unique to this project is its emphasis on learning from objects and their history. Objects of the past offer tangible evidence of past events. Thus, these historical objects are valuable and significant for their learning. Apart from museums, these objects are found in homes, private collections, and vintage/antique stores. "Same Old Things" as a curatorial project was conceived to uncover the lesser known vernacular objects found in these places, in hopes of providing a refreshed look into the learning of history and the presentation of sentimental objects of the past and their histories for young Singaporeans' learning and preservation.

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