While producing rich collaborations in visual arts between major French museums (such as the Louvre, the Centre Pompidou and the Musée d’Orsay) and landmark Singaporean institutions (the National Museum and the National Gallery), French–Singaporean cultural cooperation also focused on Asian arts in partnership with the Asian Civilisations Museum.
The Musée Guimet
Asian Arts Museum Guimet visited Singapore in 2018 with the exhibition “Angkor: Exploring Cambodia’s Sacred City” presented at the Asian Civilisations Museum. In this exhibition, visitors were able see rare Khmer sculptures, along with French drawings, photographs, and memorabilia that told the story of the French encounter with Angkor and its sensational emergence onto the international stage.
With one of the largest collections abroad of Asian arts, the Musée Guimet now opens its collection’s reserve to online visitors via a video series called “Guimet Underground” on its YouTube Channel. Discover the stories behind a rare piece of Chinese imperial ceramic, a Chinese imperial dragon robe, or selected pieces of the extensive textiles reserves of the Museum coming from the collector Krishna Riboud. The fascinating stories behind those artefacts reveal long lasting links between East and South-East Asia with the Middle-East along the Silk Road and remind us that exchanges were historically plentiful, a halt in trade being always temporary.
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG9v5AW7dKE8FnCOGNVJsZg
The Musée du Quay Branly – Jacques Chirac
Asian Civilisations Museum collaborated with Musée du Quai Branly for two exhibitions held respectively in Singapore and France in 2010-2011. While the ACM was hosting the exhibition “Congo River: Arts of Central Africa” which explored artistic traditions of Central Africa, featuring artefacts from Gabon, Congo-Kinshasa and Congo-Brazzaville, the Quay Branly was presenting “Baba Bling: Interior signs of wealth in Singapore”, featuring 480 artefacts of the luxurious and refined culture of Singapore’s Peranakan Chinese and telling the fascinating story of how the Chinese immigrant community influenced the customs and beliefs of Singapore.
The Quay Branly proposes lots of contents on its YouTube Channel to discover exhibitions such as Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths, but also full-length concerts and shows filmed in its auditorium such as contemporary folk songs on traditional instruments from Nepal, Malgache post-punk from Madagascar, or eccentric physical and object theatre from Taiwan.
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/quaibranly/featured
Image: Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac © Musée du Quai Branly 2020