As Singapore continues to celebrate its 50th birthday in 2015, commemorative events are taking place not just in the city-state, but also around the world. From tour package discounts to festivals and exhibitions, Singapore has offered a wide range of SG50 activities far beyond its shores a slice of its culture and heritage for the world to celebrate with it. Here in Moscow, a photo exhibition featuring the works of Russian photographer Sergey Kovalchuk has been launched in the Muzeon Park from 24 July to 9 August (Singapore’s National Day), showcasing the republic’s attractions and the everyday lives of Singaporeans.
A little about the park – the Muzeon Park of Arts, otherwise known as the Fallen Monument Park, has an artistic bent and lies on the banks of the Moscow river. It is a unique open-air museum, home to over 700 mostly Soviet-era sculptures of famous writers, politicians and Soviet-era personalities and is also where the New Tretyakov art gallery can be found. The cycling and skateboarding tracks have made Muzeon popular with youths. There are also many benches where people can loll about by the river with a drink in hand, or even take a snooze.
The SG50 commemorative exhibition, titled “Singapore. The Crossroads of Asia” by Kovalchuk, is right by the river near one of Muzeon’s highlights, a large open fountain which both kids and teens alike love getting drenched in. Kovalchuk was originally a businessman who pursued photography as a personal passion keenly and successfully, focusing on Southeast Asia.
The 80 shots used in this exhibition were selected from an archive of over 7,000 images, by curator Natalya Medvedeva with the assistance of the Singapore Embassy in Moscow. Supporting organisations of this exhibition include the Singapore Embassy in Moscow, Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore Airlines, the Ritz-Carlton Moscow and the ASEAN Centre of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Diplomatic Academy, among others.
At the launch event on 24 July, Kovalchuk brought attendees on a tour of the exhibits. A photobook published for this exhibition was presented to the guests, with its captions containing much information on Singapore in both Russian and English. Guests also received Singapore themed memorabilia including SG50 stickers and coasters featuring uniquely Singaporean traits and icons.
The popular pictures for selfies appear to be the classic shots of the Singapore skyline and the trees of Gardens by the Bay. Meanwhile, there are also pictures of festivals of the different ethnic groups, districts from the shopping hub of Orchard Road to the residential neighbourhood of Punggol and also shots of students and people at work, offering a window on the ordinary Singaporean’s life, which the transient visitor may never get to experience.
Nearby on the grass, there are life-sized stars featuring the most well-known of Singapore icons, like Changi Airport, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Airlines and even the Chilli Crab. And of course, we couldn’t do without the SG50 red dot.
Once in Muzeon, do take in all the experiences that the Park has to offer. The permanent exhibit of statues, the beautiful view on the river where you catch Moscow landmarks like the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the Red October chocolate factory and the Peter the Great statue in a single shot.
There are also people dancing to different types of music on scheduled days, fitness buffs running and doing yoga, kids on their scooters and the works in the Tretyakov Gallery itself if you have the time. The park also hosts talks and free movies in the evenings.
The Singapore Embassy in Moscow will run a feature on Singapore in local newspapers in August, while Singapore Airlines had launched a CelebrateSG50 campaign and contests to encourage travellers, including those in Russia, to fly to Singapore. Worldwide representatives of Singapore-based entities are working hard to host their very own local SG50 celebrations.
Are you based somewhere else and not Singapore and enjoying SG50 in your own special way? Share with us how your corner of the globe is celebrating its very own slice of Singapore.
What: Singapore. The Crossroads in Asia (photos by Sergey Kovalchuk)
When: 24 Jul to 9 Aug 2015
Where: Muzeon Park, Moscow, Russia.