Saturday, 21 April 2012

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition @ Marina Bay Sands

Went to Marina Bay Sands sometime midweek with Mum & Sis, and this is probably the very first time I actually walked the Shoppes.

I've been to the Convention Centre, the Expo halls, walked along the outside along the river just marvelling at the night sky, and walked passed the casino but have never into it. Casinos. In my not-so-distant memory, they were mainly associated with Las Vegas. Like, I suppose movies helped, but these days, who cares about Vegas??? Singapore Airlines stopped flying there (yes they ONCE did, way before I even joined them back in 2006). People in Asia have MBS, RWS, Macau, Genting, yada go gamble. Las Vegas is so...passé. 

Just thinking.

  Then again, sooooo much fengshui has been put into building the Marina Bay Sands, so don't ever think about going to the Casino unless you really really have a lot of cash to spare. (Even then...oh well~) This place is built to benefit the management. Which in this case, means our government. Let them earn the foreigner's money k? Unless you find that paying ERP and expensive HDB flats is not enough to reward our gahmen for their hard work.

(I respect what our gahmen has done for us, and am very proud of them, fyi. Singapore has one of the highest capita per GDP in the world. Not an easy feat for an island this small, with only 47 years of independence. Tell me you're not proud of that.)

Random. I noticed Mummy's complexion has been good lately. =D

Didn't really shop though. Was there for the Titanic 100th Anniversary Artifact Exhibition.

I wasn't really allowed to take pictures inside as photography was not allowed. But it showcased real artifacts retrieved from the debris site. There were some documents recovered as well, and bits of real stories of the people who were on that majestic legend. 

Upon entry, you'll receive a boarding pass printed with a name of someone who was actually on the Titanic, and some background about him/her. 

The exhibition started with the introduction of how the world's largest ship was conceptualised and built during those times, and all the difficulties that were involved in building that ship. Things which probably never occured to us, like they had to combine 3 ships to make 2 ships so that people can get high enough to reach the top of the Titanic, and how because the ship was so huge, parts of the ship were built by hand as it was almost impossible for a crane or huge machinery to reach. Like how only the bottom of the ship was built on land, the remaining was built with Titanic on water. Like how wonderful was the construction concept that you would agree with many at the time that the Titanic was "Practically Unsinkable".

That's just the beginning. As the exhibition goes on, it takes you into the ship itself. You dwelve deeper into the interior and understand the lives of the different classes of people who were there; what kind of crockery was used, the flooring, the rooms... The life onboard the ship. 

A First Class Parlour Suite could go up to the equivalent of S$180,000, and a Third Class ticket between S$1500 - S$1800. Have a think about that. Some of the wealthiest and most influential people were onboard that ship, including Macy's department store owner Isida Straus and his wife Ida. (Read their story here - it moved me to tears.)

And finally, when you learn bits and pieces of the lives of real people, you feel their hopes, their dreams, and how many of them ended up on that ship bound from Southampton to New York City. The Coat Strike caused many ships to stop sail and many of them had to change their travel plans and get on the Titanic instead. There was a couple on a 2-year honeymoon and due to their parents' disapproval at honeymooning on water, had lied about being somewhere in Spain and even had their butler send postdated postcards back to their families so their families probably never knew they were on that ship at all. Many many stories which gripped me hard. I was choking on lumps that welled up in my throat from time to time, fighting back tears (as I didn't have tissue paper with me), struggling to come to terms with what many who lost their families would at the time - Why? How? 

There were so many passengers, yet many weren't saved, because they only had enough lifeboats for half the number of passengers. And many of these were not filled to their full capacity. "What ifs" flooded my mind.

Before this exhibition, all I knew about the Titanic was the love story of Jack & Rose and that he drew her "in this (that very expensive necklace), only this." You'll probably judge me. But hey, I was only 13 when the movie first aired. What would I know, and why would I care? It's only after this exhibition that I truly felt for Titanic and everyone whose lives changed from that maiden voyage. And honestly, had it not been for Leonardo DiCaprio & Kate Winslet's wonderful performance and the beautiful script, would so many of us actually bother about that ship, out of so many others which sank? Kudos to the production team of the movie, and of course to R.M.S Titanic Inc, for helping us to remember and honour the lives of those who went with the ship, and their untold stories...

I know that until today, they are still trying to recover items before they are lost forever.

Remember your boarding pass? Close to the end, there's a board with a list of names of who died and who survived on the Titanic. Match your name to find out what happened to you (him/her). I survived, but unfortunately, my husband didn't, like many men onboard ("women and children first"). 

 The exhibition is on at the Marina Bay Sands ArtScience Museum till 29th April 2012. 

Go catch it before it leaves. Prepare 2-3 hours to really walk through, and take time to read every write-up. They put effort piecing together every bit of information they could find. Taking time to read them is the least you can do to honour their efforts.

Top from, Jeans from dENiZEN.
Yes, I am a very museum/exhibition kinda person. Am glad I got to spend time with my family, while enriching myself at the same time. *rejuvenated*

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