Malay Heritage Centre holds last exhibition ‘Cerita’ till Jul 31 before major revamp

The exhibition runs in tandem with its annual Malay CultureFest.

Caleb Lau

Grew up a musician, found a calling in photography and writing. Still in love with all of them.

Published: 31 January 2022, 1:02 PM

As part of restoration works to preserve Singapore’s national monuments, the Malay Heritage Centre (MHC) is set to close its doors for a two-year revamp later this year.

But from now till Jul 31, it has in store Cerita, a special exhibition showcasing over 80 artefacts that highlight the shared stories of life in the Malay Archipelago. Cerita means “stories” in the Malay language.

The exhibition spans two curated galleries, namely Kita, which will highlight everyday life and customs, and Me-reka, which will showcase unique craft traditions of the Malay world. 

Aside from the artefacts, the exhibition will display 10 digital animation videos produced in collaboration with Nanyang Polytechnic School of Design & Media, retelling the classic Malay folklore of The Attack of the Garfish.


Titled Cerita, meaning “stories” in Malay, the exhibition features the seat and home of Singapore’s Malay royalty of the past. PHOTO CREDIT: MALAY HERITAGE CENTRE


At the exhibition’s launch, Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for National Development & Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration, said: “I hope the exhibition and festival will encourage reflection and spark meaningful discussions on the Singaporean Malay identity.”


A Garuda costume, a mesh of bird and man derived from Malay folklore, stands out visually with 3.4 metre-long wings. PHOTO CREDIT: MALAY HERITAGE CENTRE


Running alongside the exhibition is the annual Malay CultureFest, which will be held over three weekends till Feb 13. The festival parallels the themes of Cerita, with various on-site and online activities.


This exhibition will be the centre’s last for some time, as the centre is slated for a revamp lasting at least two years. PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK/MALAY HERITAGE CENTRE


This exhibition is open to the public and admission is free. There are also guided tours, offered in English, Malay and Mandarin languages, with specific dates and times found on MHC’s website.

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