Monday, 28 October 2013

Diary of an NUS Museum Intern: Sandy Yeo (2)

Note: Diary of an NUS Museum Intern is a series of blog posts written by our interns about their experiences during the course of their internships. Besides working hard and fast in their cubicles, our interns have travelled to Bandung and Malacca, organised symposiums, waded through tons of historical research and pitched in during exhibition installations. If you would like to become our next intern, visit our internship page for more information!

We have a special treat for readers of this series! We invited some of our summer interns to give an update to their original post - what else did they work on during their internship, what's happening to them now, how did the internship benefit them?

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Sandy Yeo is currently a second-year NUS History major. In this post, she recounts her memories of working on the exhibition In Search of Raffles' Light | An Art Project with Charles Lim. The exhibition opened on 24 Oct 2013 and will be on-going till April 2014. To read Sandy's first post, click here.

Hello/ 你好/ Bonjour/ Halo!  

The school term has started for many of us. When it comes to learning passively in structured lecture classes, I have always been a (grumpy) learner. It is also during one of my classes that I was reminded of my adventures during the internship.

Going to Pulau Brani to transport objects to the Museum

Pulau Brani is located at the southern coast of Singapore and we had to make our way through Brani Terminal Avenue, having had to obtain access and clearance from PSA. I was holding on to a tripod as I had to record the transportation process. Initially I was oblivious to my surroundings, but later I noticed that the staff at the centre was throwing glances at me and then to one another.  There was a palpable tension in the air. It felt like I was carrying a lethal weapon and was scrutinized for my every action. From this incident, I discovered a new function of the camera—generating a sense of uneasiness and fear!
  
Transporting objects for the exhibition back to the museum.

Interviewing Mr Wee Cheng Leong, Republic of Singapore Navy retiree

As part of the films created by artist Charles Lim for the exhibition, we interviewed Mr Wee Cheng Leong, a retiree of the Republic of Singapore Navy. Mr Wee served for 45 years in the Navy and was also a curator at the Navy Museum. For the video, Mr Wee narrated about his adventures in his navy days. Of course, Mr Wee’s story is novel to me since I was never part of the navy. Nonetheless, Mr Wee’s dedication and passion for his career rubbed onto me. Unexpectedly, the interview ended with all of us humming and singing to the song, “Sons Of The Sea”, also known as the navy song. (For some who would like to reminiscent about your navy days, this is the link to the song- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jeS4o2Cka0)

Interviewing Mr Wee

Going to the Navy Museum to transport objects to the Museum

Admittedly, prior to this internship, I have not heard of the Navy Museum (not to mention visit it). I thought to myself, Sunnypore (which is how I refer to Singapore) have many secrets I have yet to discover!

Heading to the Navy Museum to collect more objects.

Dismantling of an exhibition

Most of us would have the experience of going to exhibition openings, yet museums hardly open doors for public to observe the “less glamorous” dismantling process. Hence, I was pleasantly surprised to be allowed to be involved in and observe the dismantling process of the exhibition Camping & Tramping through the Colonial Archive: The Museum in Malaya during my internship stint.

Dismantling an exhibition.

Conclusion

We often seek to gain knowledge through the internet sources and books; however, there are always some things that one only fully comprehend and experience through direct participation. I look back to my internship days with joy and gratitude. I learnt that one of the most exhilarating things one can do is to explore into new terrains. I hope that my future summer breaks will be well spent- venturing into unknowns, conquering fears and enriching my student life. 

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