Monday, 18 February 2013

NLB holds exhibition on past national campaigns

By Sara Grosse, Channel NewsAsia, 17 Feb 2013

The "National Courtesy Campaign" and "Clean and Green Singapore" are some familiar campaigns that Singaporeans may remember.

For the first time, the National Library Board is organising an exhibition, named "Campaign City: Life in Posters", within the library on past campaigns as well as their reinterpretations.

The seven campaigns featured at the exhibition are the Anti-Drug Abuse Campaign, National Courtesy Campaign, Clean and Green Singapore, Productivity Campaign, Changing Dietary Habits, Family Planning and Speak Mandarin.

One of the more interesting campaigns in the past was in the 1970s, when the government clamped down on males with long hair, in an anti-drug abuse campaign. For example in school, boys with long locks were taken out of classrooms to get a haircut.

The exhibition also features posters designed by 50 local artists, which reinterpret Singapore campaigns.

It includes artwork on controversial family planning campaigns like "Stop at Two".

Alan Oei, art curator of Campaign City said: "It's great that we can begin to talk about these campaigns which are potentially quite painful to remember. We've been inundated with so many campaigns every day, every second, that we almost tend to block it out naturally. But I think these campaigns have all touched us in one way or another. They are very much both a national psyche as well as on the individual level that affected us."

The National Library Board will be organising tours of the exhibition, as well as workshops by artists.

National Library Board's Associate Librarian, Cheong Kah Kit commented on what he hopes the public will take away from the exhibition: "To have a sense of campaigns of the past and have a personal reflection on how these campaigns have affected them or what it meant to them."

The exhibition runs from January 9th to July 7th.

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