National Heritage Board Announces Its Line-up For 2021

The National Heritage Board (NHB) has an unprecedented and exciting variety of specially curated exhibitions for 2021. Announcing its plans for 2021 to the media on Thursday, the NHB said it was including in its programme, exhibitions such as a visual record of Covid 19, and one commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore during WW2.

The NHB said there will also be a host of other eye-opening and exciting exhibitions, festivals, heritage trails and programmes that “seek to imbue pride in our past, and sustain a legacy for our future.”

The table below features some of the NHB highlights for the year.



Wan Qing Festival of Spring Celebrations

at the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

5 January – 21 February 2021

The Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall celebrates the Year of the Ox with an exciting line- up of family-friendly offerings, including festive drum and lion dance workshops, heritage walking trails, craft activities for children, and the Double Prosperity Lunar New Year installation, which features two large Foo Dou guardian lions on the lawn of the memorial hall.

Museum Roundtable Lunar New Year Hongbao Campaign 2021

at 32 Museum Roundtable members

22 January to 19 February 2021

Usher in the year of the Ox with MR’s Lunar New Year Hongbao Campaign! From 22 January to 19 February 2021, visitors will be able to collect a set of uniquely designed red packets at each of the 32 participating museums, heritage institutions and galleries, while stocks last.



Picturing the Pandemic: A Visual Record of COVID-19 in Singapore special exhibition

at the National Museum of Singapore

February to July 2021

Picturing the Pandemic: A Visual Record of COVID-19 in Singapore presents a poignant portrait of a nation responding and rising up to the challenge of an unprecedented crisis, through photographs and a short film that document how the pandemic was experienced in Singapore.

Battle For Singapore 2021

Various locations

20 February to 14 March 2021

Battle For Singapore 2021 commemorates the 79th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore through a series of programmes, in partnership with Museum Roundtable members, local heritage experts and heritage groups, to feature various places and stories related to the Japanese Occupation.

Revamp of the heritage portal

February 2021

NHB’s heritage portal,, has been revamped to become a one-stop digital heritage concierge and cultural ontology, sporting new features, a fresh new look, and a more user-friendly experience. An improved search engine harnesses artificial intelligence technology to make heritage more easily accessible to students, researchers and casual browsers keen to explore Singapore’s history and culture.



Sikhs in Singapore – A Story Untold special exhibition

at the Indian Heritage Centre

March/April to 30 September 2021

Sikhs in Singapore – A Story Untold is the Indian Heritage Centre’s second community co- created exhibition, and it showcases the heritage and culture of the Sikh community in Singapore. The exhibition will offer insights into this small but prominent Singapore Indian community, from their history and culture, to their evolution and place in modern Singapore.



Launch of the Sembawang Heritage Trail

April 2021

The Sembawang Heritage Trail will showcase the naval heritage of the area, architectural treasures such as conserved buildings, and past communities that have left a mark on present-day Sembawang, including coastal kampungs, Chong Pang and other villages that emerged around its former British naval base.

Launch of Street Corner Heritage Galleries: Kampong Gelam

April 2021

Street Corner Heritage Galleries is an ongoing programme that is part of NHB’s ongoing efforts to strengthen partnerships with communities, and to foster a deeper appreciation of heritage in everyday spaces. NHB is working closely with local shop owners with at least 30 years of history in Kampong Gelam to co-create “mini museums” that showcase the history and heritage of their respective businesses and trades.

Life in Edo x Russel Wong in Kyoto

at the Asian Civilisations Museum

16 April to 19 September 2021

Life in Edo x Russel Wong in Kyoto explores Japanese art and culture through two mediums – woodblock prints and photography – which play on the notion of duality: past and present, print and photography, Edo (today’s Tokyo and the current capital) and Kyoto (the old capital). The woodblock prints section looks at lifestyles and trends of Edo period Japan (1603 – 1868), while the other component explores the Kyoto of today. It also captures the vanishing traditions of the geisha community through the lens of Singaporean photographer Russel Wong.

Singapore HeritageFest 2021

various locations

3 to 30 May 2021

Something new, refreshing and hybrid is coming your way: the Singapore HeritageFest (SHF) returns for its 18th edition in May! SHF2021 will feature both on-site and online experiences focused on two themes, Singapore’s healthcare history and food culture. In conjunction with Singapore General Hospital’s 200th anniversary, SHF2021 will bring festival-goers on a journey through our nation’s healthcare heritage. The festival also dives deeper into Singapore’s rich food culture, exploring the food of our different communities, how traditional recipes are reinvented, and examining the issues of food sources and sustainability.



Modern Women of the Republic: Fashion and Progress in China and Singapore special exhibition
at the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
12 June to 19 December 2021

Modern Women of the Republic: Fashion and Progress in China and Singapore showcases Chinese women’s clothing and accessories from China and Singapore, across almost a hundred years from the late Qing period (1890s) to the 1970s. By charting the changes in women’s fashion during this period, the rise and development of what society regarded as “modern women” becomes evident.

Children’s Season 2021

various locations

June 2021

Children’s Season aims to cultivate the next generation of heritage lovers through fun and immersive cultural experiences, where children can bond with their families. This year’s edition goes beyond the physical spaces of museums to the digital realm, encompassing all aspects of art, culture, heritage and education, to inspire, engage and educate children of all ages.

#SGFASHIONNOW in partnership with LASALLE and TaFF community exhibition

at the Asian Civilisations Museum

11 June to 31 October 2021

Featuring works by eight designers, this community exhibition explores designs and concepts reflective of Singapore fashion and Asian heritage today. Co-curated with LASALLE College of the Arts, the exhibition includes a winning design from the Textiles and Fashion Federation’s (TaFF) Singapore Stories design competition in 2020 and is the Asian Civilisations Museum’s first display on Singaporean contemporary fashion.



Indian Heritage Centre CultureFest 2021

at the Indian Heritage Centre

July 2021

Taking place over two weekends in July, the Indian Heritage Centre’s hybrid edition of CultureFest celebrates and promotes the diversity of Indian artistic and cultural expressions through an eclectic line-up of cultural performances, thematic precinct trails, art installations and fun workshops for all.



Singapore Night Festival 2021

around the Bras Basah.Bugis precinct

20 to 28 August 2021

Singapore Night Festival 2021 will tell the diverse stories of Bras Basah.Bugis with a contemporary twist through artworks, performances, and food and retail experiences. Festival-goers will be inspired to explore the nooks and crannies of the precinct through a unique night-time experience centred on unexpectedness and vibrancy.



Wan Qing Mid-Autumn Festival 2021

at the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

1 to 30 September 2021

Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival and learn about Chinese traditions and customs at the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, with an exciting line-up of family-friendly programmes that include mooncake-making classes, storytelling sessions, interactive craft demonstrations and more. Look out for the thematic Mid-Autumn lantern installation on the lawn of the memorial hall, produced in collaboration with Ngaew, a collectible label based in Thailand.



Malay CultureFest 2021

at the Malay Heritage Centre

October 2021

The Malay Heritage Centre celebrates diversity in Malay artistic and cultural expressions in line with 2021’s theme “Adat” (Customs) over two weeks. Annual programmes such as Lintas Nusantara, film screenings and public lectures will be featured, along with and a series of programmes related to the Urang Banjar: Heritage and Culture of the Banjar in Singapore special exhibition.



Yongle • Wanli – Emperors of the Ming special exhibition

at the Asian Civilisations Museum

27 November 2021 to 27 February 2022

Yongle • Wanli – Emperors of the Ming will be Singapore’s first exhibition centred solely on the Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644), with a focus on the culture and history of Ming China explored through two representative monarchs: the Yongle emperor (reigned 1403 – 24) and the Wanli emperor (reigned 1573 – 1620). The exhibition will showcase around 110 Ming- period objects from the Palace Museum, Beijing, complemented by a selection of works from other sources.

Patron of Heritage Awards 2020

at the Asian Civilisations Museum

November 2021

Established in 2006, the Patron of Heritage Awards is an annual event that aims to boost heritage philanthropy in Singapore, by honouring individuals and organisations that have made significant contributions towards enriching our national heritage.



Launch of the Sentosa Heritage Trail

December 2021

The Sentosa Heritage Trail will cover the history and heritage of Sentosa and explore the days when it was still known as Pulau Blakang Mati. Besides looking into the island’s long history as a military base and highlighting sites such as Fort Serapong and Fort Siloso, the trail will also feature memories of the kampong life led by the villagers who used to call the island home. This trail is curated in collaboration with the Sentosa Development Corporation.

Dislocations: Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Fall of Singapore (Working Title)
December 2021

The Fall of Singapore remains one of the most significant turning points in Singapore’s history, even eighty years after its occurrence. This exhibition commemorates the events of 15 February 1942, and also gives voice to more personal stories and looks at the impact the war continues to have on people today.












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