Saturday, 8 August 2009

I Polunin: Memories of Singapore through Film and Photographs

[Pulau Sudong, 1951, Ivan Polunin Collection]

Date: 8 Aug 2009 - 3 Jan 2010
Venue: NUS Museum
Curator: Shabbir Hussain Mustafa
Guest Curator: Ken Cheong

Approached as a survey of everyday life in Singapore and Malaya during the 1950s and 1970s, I Polunin presents rarely seen film footage and photographs selected from the personal archives of Dr. Ivan Polunin. Conceptualized as an ‘archival site’, the exhibition brings together Dr. Polunin’s personal objects which sit alongside the film projections and photographic displays.  Encouraging its audiences to connect intuitively - I Polunin - strives to challenge take-for-granted notions of memory and melancholy in the postcolonial era. Arriving in Singapore from England in 1948, Dr. Polunin taught Social Medicine and Public Health at the then University of Malaya in an adventures career that began  with the filmic documentation of tropical diseases, Dr. Polunin’s ethnographies grew to encompass hundreds of hours of film footage on Malaya’s eclectic sociocultural practices and its rich biodiversity.


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