Dislocations: Memory and Meaning of the Fall of Singapore, 1942

Exhibitions about war are most powerful when they take the shape of the personal.  Dislocations: Memory and Meaning of the Fall of Singapore, 1942, uses the personal to great effect.  Located in the basement of the National Museum, the exhibition commemorates the 80th anniversary of the Japanese occupation in World War II.  

Instead of focusing on big picture politics, Dislocations tells stories intimately through oral history, documentation by individuals and personal effects.  The exhibition is laid out in an appropriately dark and sombre space and visitors walk through moving elements of different aspects of the occupation and participate in augmented reality or touchscreen activities.  

The first hall is lit with lights fashioned after kerosene lamps, a reminder of the sparse resources in those times.  The rooms flow into one another, displaying artefacts collected from ships sunk in attacks and articles written by journalists recounting firsthand what they saw in many air raids.  

One particularly touching display is in a room with a tall series of long shelves: a mass grave was exhumed and each of the objects found labelled and organised by the Japanese.  Visitors walk the length of the room and examine tiny watch faces and chain-link straps, pens and even bottles of tiger balm all rimed with rust and soil.  To imagine the people who once wore them is to understand the tragedy of such bloodshed more powerfully than from books or lectures.  

At the end of the exhibition, visitors can choose the artefacts they find most meaningful for more long term curation – a fitting reminder of how we are all part of the national narrative.

Dislocations: Memory and Meaning of the Fall of Singapore, 1942 has been extended to 31 July.  For Singaporeans, admission is free.



Scentopia, the latest brainchild of perfumer Singapore Memories, is an airy pavilion nestled along Sentosa’s Siloso Beach.  With soaring ceilings and glass walls, Scentopia provides a perfume-making and retail experience in an unusual event space. 

Visitors can enjoy free guided tours of the augmented reality wall which highlights fascinating facts about Singapore’s history and culture including stories about The Changi Tree and dinosaur footprints on our shores.  There are seven free tours each day.  

On the opposite wall is the glittering perfume-making station, which has been made touchless in view of Covid-19.  Buy a ticket to the perfume bar and you can smell dozens of masculine and feminine scents.  Participants can then mix their preferred oils using motion-sensor dispensers and smell the resulting melange – their personalised scent. A mixer combines and bottles the ingredients so each participant leaves with a bespoke fragrance.

On my visit there, I found the staff to be warm and highly knowledgeable – they explained different perfume elements and concentrations as well as esoteric facts, for instance, that perfume musk is extracted by agitating civets for their malodorous secretions.  Scentopia, however, is fully plant-based and cruelty-free.  To cater to all preferences, there are also halal ingredients.

After waiting for me to scour the rainbow of scent wands, the guide let me smell my perfume and suggest tweaks. 

Scentopia is suitable for small group events that allow attendees to learn about each other and take home something personalised.  My own perfume was a perfect souvenir: part fruity, part fresh and all me.

Scentopia is open to the public from 15 March 2022.

New This Fortnight

New This Fortnight: 29/1/2022

Photo Credit: Straits Times photo by Lim Yaohui

Adele’s postponed Las Vegas Residency

As Covid continues to rage, singer Adele has postponed a residency at Caesars Palace following half her team and crew contracting the illness.  The resort continues to scramble to fill her spot with performers – Keith Urban will take on some dates in March and April.

The full story at:

The recovery of Singapore’s MICE sector

Last year, Singapore saw an 80% drop in visitor arrivals – an all-time low.  However, there have been some signs of recovery in the MICE sector: in 2021, more than 200 events were hosted, with almost 50,000 attendees.  There are also many plans for MICE events in 2022 – one big one being the Singapore Airshow next month.  

Read more at:

A seven-year Formula One deal for Singapore

The local events industry continues to bounce back as Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore GP announce a new seven-year deal to continue hosting a Formula One race here.  Previous deals were shorter – the current longer deal aims to help Singapore build itself up as a business and lifestyle destination.  More here:

Event Service Professional

Blanc Studios

“Our favourite thing about being in this business is when we are done with a set up and the client just beams!

For wedding couples in particular, going along with them on their journey from the planning stage to the wedding is a truly special experience.  We always aim to connect with each of them, so seeing them finally walk down the aisle together can be truly moving.

We have been in this industry for about six years now. One of the joys has always been the people we work with. Getting to meet wedding couples to corporate clients and working with them to create a truly memorable experience has always been rewarding, and is what drives us.

Our work draws a lot from natural forms and we like to take inspiration from nature for our floral and plant designs. We also often look to our own heritage to give our work a sense of place and identitya s a Singaporean company. 

Putting things together really takes a village. It can take some time to go through what the client wants to achieve, distil that vision and then assemble a team to execute it. 

Of course, event requirements themselves have changed even when they do go ahead, so we’ve had to change what we provide to take into account the restrictions of event spaces now. Like most businesses, we’ve also had to pivot to understand the needs of clients more during this time, as well as to look into other ways for people to still achieve what they want, but on a smaller scale. Wedding clients in particular have occasionally had some difficulty giving up some of their ideas, which is understandable. So helping them navigate that transition into more intimate gatherings has become part of what we do now.”

Amanda & Jon

Blanc Studios

Venue Styling, Floristry, Events Planning


Thoughts on Recovery

Cover photo by Amirhossein Soltani on Unsplash

Singapore may have some reason to be optimistic – according to The Straits Times last week, experts suggest that the local MICE industry may rebound by 2023 after a year of stabilisation in 2022.

Despite the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid, some industry players believe that Singapore’s swift adoption of hybrid meetings and health and safety measures will stand events in good stead.  

IGE Media spoke to several Event Service Providers (ESPs) who shared their hopes and concerns about industry shifts.  

Some were hopeful, especially after encountering a recent uptick in the number of physical events they participate in.  “I’ve pivoted towards weddings recently, so there are plenty of physical events. I do see more of my peers starting to host in-person events as well,” said Emcee Jackie Lin.

A spokesman for event planner The MeetUp SG said that they are now encountering more enquiries for services such as corporate gifts, dessert tables and bridal shower setups.  The MeetUp SG is even looking to expand and add on manpower.

More cautious are other players like Mr Wee Kian Meng of Mr Bottle’s Kids Party, which does party planning.  “We’ve held some workshops and parties recently after the rules were relaxed to allow groups of five.  However, corporate kids’ events used to be a big bulk of our revenue and they are not back totally yet,” he said, adding that ESPs in his support group are still pessimistic given the advent of Omicron.  Mr Lin also expressed a reserved sense of optimism.

One thing ESPs did agree on is that virtual events are increasing in popularity.  The MeetUp SG has received queries about virtual dinners and dances.  And Mr Wee pointed out that he sees many more virtual events than he did last year, saying, “Last year some were still hesitant and waited for physical events to return.  This year, many have gone into the virtual space.”

The MeetUp SG
Emcee Jacks
Mr Bottle


Where Land Meets Sea

The sixth edition of Art Encounters by Art Outreach sees an installation that tells the story of Kampong Gelam’s history.  The installation by local artist duo Ripple Root spans two shipping containers and exhibits the artists’ interpretation of archival imagery from the Malay Heritage Centre.

Where Land Meets Sea boasts images of the area as a port in the 19th Century with vibrant paintings and 3D cut-outs showcasing the port, seafarers who made their livelihoods from the sea as well as Malay communities which settled on the banks of the Rochor River.  Ripple Root’s bold, colourful artwork is layered over archival images, encouraging visitors to reconsider the past.  The paintings spotlight the concept of tanah air (land-water) which translates to “homeland” in Malay.  

Visitors can take pictures with life-sized cut-outs of a traditional boat and a Gelam tree and see the artists doing their signature style of “tag team” live painting inside the containers on 13-14 November.

Where Land Meets Sea will be located on the lawn of the Malay Heritage Centre from 6 November to 16 December 2021.  
*Art Outreach, an education non-profit organisation that aims to promote art appreciation in Singapore, launched Art Encounters in 2020 in partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board.  The initiative comprises mobile exhibits in shipping containers that can travel around Singapore, allowing people to come into contact with art even as they go about their daily lives.


Night at the Library 2021

Photo credit: Russell Lee via Twitter

Fancy something a little different for Halloween this year?  The National Library Board brings us Night at the Library 2021, a free online series that will discuss uncomfortable, morbid and even frightening things through over 12 events.  Included in the line up are writers who explore the supernatural and professionals who work with the realities of mortality in funeral planning and end-of-life care.

Apart from talks and meeting authors, participants can also expect interactive events – Ghost Map on 5 Nov, for example, will see attendees working to draw a heatmap that corresponds with stories from an old favourite: Russell Lee’s True Singapore Ghost Stories.  

For those who want a more old-fashioned approach to spooky tales, Mervin Ang will share local urban legends and the facts and evidence surrounding them in the Urban Legends: Fact or Fiction event on 2 Nov.

And on the 3 Nov, viewers can enjoy a night of black comedy with the combination of local music and gallows humour at Killer Jokes.  

Apart from organising actual events, in typical library fashion, the NLB has curated a list of relevant reads at so that those interested can also read their way through the season.

Night at the Library 2021 runs from 29 Oct – 6 Nov.  Find out more at


Reopening Asia

Photo Credit: The Star

The recently concluded Joint Leadership Summit held at the Fullerton Hotel saw ASEAN government ministers, major global organisers, trade association leaders and tourism bureau chiefs come together to examine strategies to restart business events in the region. 

Photo Credit: The Straits Times, Ng Sor Luan

While ASEAN and the world still navigate choppy waters because of the pandemic, there are signs of a new horizon where shared safety protocols and best practices could lead to the resumption and increase in business meetings and events. 

Today MITEC, the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre, announced its reopening. This comes as welcome news to small and medium enterprises as well as the events and start up sectors. 

We may not be in the clear but signs of events returning in various formats especially with in-person attendees have us excited for event people in the region. 

Read more about it:  (The Straits Times)  (The Star)

New This Fortnight News

New This Fortnight: 17/10/21

Picture Credit: PORTL YouTube Channel

New This Fortnight:

Sports broadcast in 3D

The good people at Unity may soon have you watching live sports in 3D! This tech, unlike 360° video, provides a greater level of immersion because the viewer is able to check out the action from multiple views. Read more about it here

Hologram meetings

Is “holoporting” a speaker to an event going to become more mainstream? Check out how IWC used PORTL tech in an event in April. 

Marina Bay Sands’ Virtual Meeting Place

Travel technology company WIT will be breaking in MBS’s newly-launched Virtual Meeting Place for the virtual component of its two-day conference on October 19-20 this year.  The virtual interface looks just like the real-life Marina Bay Sands and even allows event organisers to build their own virtual sets to replicate their real-life event spaces.  
Read more about the first global platform of its kind at

Event Service Professional

Ivy Zhang

“I became effectively bilingual because I grew up in Myanmar where I had less than 8 hours of electricity a day, so I always read tons of Chinese books growing up, which helped me greatly in expanding my vocabulary.

In the first few years of my career, I said “YES!” to every event and that’s helped me learn so much about myself and my hosting style.  It’s definitely not easy. I’ve cried countless times before, during and after events, obsessed over perfecting every single detail. But there’s no easy way to get around it – you just have to face each challenge head on if you want to be a great emcee!

A moment I will always remember must be hosting in Burmese, English AND Chinese at a gig with President Halimah Yacob. 

I was only supposed to host in English, but it ended up being an impromptu event in all 3 languages right on stage, in front of President Halimah herself. No pressure, right?

I’m not going to lie, the Covid restrictions were a huge challenge in the beginning. They challenged me to rethink everything about my hosting style, but reaffirmed my love for emceeing. It was very dramatic for a good 6 months!

Now, I would say I prefer hybrid to virtual events, simply because I love the presence of an audience to connect with.

This entire situation definitely brought about so many new and interesting technical skills for the entire events scene – it accelerated the development of more virtual tools to engage the audience in a stronger manner.

Universally, people love and crave for experiences which is what’s been taken away from us for the last 2 years and I believe people will flock to try more experiences when government restrictions ease.

So I think that many events companies will create more unique concepts where people will enjoy special and fresh encounters!”

Ivy – The bilingual emcee (Chinese l English) from Myanmar

Bilingual emcee for corporate events and weddings