Free exhibition on Covid-19 pandemic in S'pore running at National Museum from Feb. 27 - Aug. 29, 2021

The lives of fellow residents in the early phases of the pandemic.

Mandy How | February 25, 2021, 04:46 PM

"Picturing the Pandemic: A Visual Record of Covid-19 in Singapore" will open at the National Museum of Singapore on Feb. 27, 2021.

Running for about six months, the exhibition documents the stories and experiences of the people in Singapore in the early phases of the pandemic, and how they have come together in this global crisis.

A total of 272 photographs, 16 donated artefacts, and one short film will be on display, inviting visitors into the lives of their fellow residents as they adapt to the new normal.

Five themes

The exhibits span five themes:

  • A Day in the Life
  • Essential Workers
  • New Ways of Living
  • Making Visible
  • The Spaces Between Us

The themes encompass the experiences of different demographics, such as children, the elderly, migrant workers, and professionals providing essential services.

"These members of the public welcomed the photographers and filmmakers into their lives and offered an honest look at how they have responded to and coped with the pandemic," the museum revealed.

Here's a peek at some of the photos:

Delivery personnel waiting to pick up food deliveries with safe distancing measures marked on the floor in Waterway Point during Circuit Breaker. Photo by How Hwee Young via National Museum of Singapore.

Christina is a senior staff nurse with Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. In this photo, she and another nurse help each other to don their PPE. Photo by Bob Lee via National Museum of Singapore.

Aishah Samad is a competitive para-shooter who retired just before Circuit Breaker. This photo shows her exercising at home during the Circuit Breaker period. Photo by How Hwee Young via National Museum of Singapore.

Together with his children, retired cleaner Zulkifli Atnawi organised grocery runs of basic supplies for several underprivileged neighbours in Mei Ling Street. Photo by Zakaria Zainal via National Museum of Singapore.

HCA Day Hospice remained open during the circuit breaker. About 25 senior citizens with terminal illnesses visited the hospice every weekday for palliative care. One day, the hospice recreated an airport and flight experience for its residents, giving them an imaginative flight experience even as airports around the world limited travel. Photo by Edwin Koo via National Museum of Singapore.


On other hand, the artefacts range from sketches and paintings by the public to a seal carving made by a doctor to remember a patient’s smile behind her face mask.

Another notable artefact is the vial that used to contain the first vaccine administered in Singapore.

The biohazard bag was used to seal the vial in the unlikely event of leakage from any vaccine that was left after the vaccination. Photo via National Museum of Singapore.

Sketchbook by Priscilla Ng, documenting her birthday celebration over Zoom. Photo via National Museum of Singapore.

Collecting Contemporary Singapore

The curation of media and objects is part of the museum's ongoing Collecting Contemporary Singapore initiative, which seeks to collaborate with the public to capture Singapore's recent history for posterity.

You can still submit any relevant materials here, from now till June 30, 2021.


Picturing the Pandemic: A Visual Record of Covid-19 in Singapore

National Museum of Singapore

93 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178897

Feb. 27 - Aug. 29, 2021

Admission is free.

Visit their website for the latest updates on the exhibition.

Top image via by How Hwee Young, Zakaria Zainal, and National Museum of Singapore