50 Years of Singapore Television – An Exhibition

Celebrating Singapore Television 50 Years of Success through a series of exhibitions

NDP Over The Years

The Building of a Nation

When it comes to celebrating the birth and progress of Singapore television, dramas, films, celebrities aside, I do feel that the National Day Parade is a good benchmark of the measure of the success of Singapore television. The iconic event that has been broadcasting every year since 9th of August 1966. The National Day Parade has become a hallmark in the television scene, as it provides a good documentation of the transition of Singapore’s economy,  leadership changes and the environment, on how the tiny red dot has transformed into such a first world country within a short span of close to 50 years. Therefore, 50 years of Singapore television puts a good check to note our progress , what more to ask for from the National Day Parade which has relentlessly accompanied many generations of Singaporeans?

The Next Lap

National Day Parades over the years, a good benchmark to witness the Nation building progress

Breakdown/Walk Through

The segment of exhibition for NDP will be broken down into a series of different mini exhibitions and projections, to bring the audience a walk down the memory lane into NDP over the years, combined with various elements to intrigue the different senses of the human body, visuals, sounds, touch elements will all be made available in this exhibition to give a more in depth feel to the entire NDP journey.

1. Introduction of National Day Parade
2. NDP Venues (Diorama + Description)
3. NDP Parade and Performances
4. Video Appreciation – Parade over the Years
5. NDP Theme Songs
6.Presentation of NDP Documentary by Channel 8 Frontline Documentary
7. NDP Funpacks
8. A Walk down the Memory Lane (Photo Gallery)

floor plan

The proposed floor plan for the NDP Exhibition Segment. Divided into 7 iconic sections, each gives a different view of NDP over the many years

1. Introduction of National Day Parade

In this segment, a short write-up on the National Day Parade will be presented along with a few iconic photographs, showing the venues used for NDP, the Guard of Honor contingents, the seating area of the ministers, members of the public enjoying the moment of NDP over the different decades.

The short write up will talk about how Singapore has progressed from a small country to a metropolitan city of now, the advancement of the industry and economies, the building up of the Nation’s armed forces and defence system, and how Singapore has become a regional hub around the South East Asia region etc. The focus of the introduction will be on the different venues and different styles of the parades held over the years, and how the documentation has varied over the years, from traditional news media the likes of radio and television to the integrated multimedia platform which includes dynamic television and internet streaming and the use of social media to engage more audiences across the region, not just Singapore.

The introduction panel will set the mood for the audience to be immersed in the parade, marching music played by the SAF Bands might be played at this segment as well, which will prepare them well for the other segments in this NDP exhibition.

NDP - Over the years

NDP – Over the years

2. NDP Venues

In this segment, audiences will be welcomed to 3 different dioramas, mini construction of the venues of NDP used, namely the Padang area, Kallang National Stadium, and the Marina Bay Floating Platform. The dioramas will give the audience an actual feel of the venue, the 3D structure will definitely allow more interactions and thought processes to flow through as we analyse the different venues in depth in terms of size, capacity and complexity.

The 3 dioramas will also show the progress of the nation, as each venue also shows the technological achievements the nation has come thus far, from a grass field opposite the parliament house, to a national stadium that hosted countless sporting events that rallied the country together, to the latest floating platform which offered a most breath taking view of the Singapore bay area and its central business district, all hallmarks of the progress of Singapore.

Each diorama will have a descriptive text on how the venue was decided to be used for the parade, each venue significance in NDP, their seating capacity, and some trivia. A narrative format should be adopted, the diorama should also have some form of lighting effect to highlight the different elements when the narration goes along, blacking out some areas and emphasizing others, as to improve the dynamism of the exhibition and to improve audience engagement.

Since 2007, NDP has been hosted on the Marina Bay Floating Platform which boasts a seating capacity of 27,000. The Float @ Marina Bay is also host to many other local events

Since 2007, NDP has been hosted on the Marina Bay Floating Platform which boasts a seating capacity of 27,000. The Float @ Marina Bay is also host to many other local events

The National Stadium was opened in 1973 and was the home of many iconic events in Singapore. The National Stadium played host for NDP for a total of 18 times, it was also the venue for many large scale concerts and sporting events. It was closed officially on 30th June 2007 to make way for the new Sports Hub due in 2014

The National Stadium was opened in 1973 and was the home of many iconic events in Singapore. The National Stadium played host for NDP for a total of 18 times, it was also the venue for many large scale concerts and sporting events. It was closed officially on 30th June 2007 to make way for the new Sports Hub due in 2014

The Padang played host to the first NDP held in 1966, it is surrounded by many iconic government structures

The Padang played host to the first NDP held in 1966, it is surrounded by many iconic government structures

3. NDP Segments (Parade and Performances)

In this segment of the exhibition, a closer analysis of the different segments of the National Day Parade will be exhibited. They include namely the “Parade and Ceremony” and “Performances” . Recent NDPs have successfully broken down the entire show into like a series of 5-8 themes, all linked together by the emcees. However in the past it was much simpler and consisted of a many “Chingay” styled mobile floats that is decorated with models standing on it and waving to the crowd.

Parade and Ceremony
The exhibition will bring along a series of uniforms from different armed forces, Army, Navy, Airforce and Navy, explanation of the Guard of Honour Contingent and the colours party. Footages of the 21 gun salute, aerial bomb burst, state flag fly past, mobile column and many more will be shown. The all important presidential inspection will also be shown as well, and it gives us a good walk down the memory lane of the different presidents that had served Singapore over the past 48 years.

Gun salutes, March Pasts and Mobile Column

Gun salutes, March Pasts and Mobile Column

The Marina Wave in a sea of red at the Marina Bay Floating Platform

The Marina Wave in a sea of red at the Marina Bay Floating Platform

The traditional 21 Gun Salute has been brought onto the M3G floating bridge platform for the first time in 2009, made possible by the Singapore Combat Engineers

The traditional 21 Gun Salute has been brought onto the M3G floating bridge platform for the first time in 2009, made possible by the Singapore Combat Engineers

The Presidential Inspection

Over the Years – The Presidential Inspection

Performances
In the performance segment, the exhibition will show case the mobile float display, which was very popular in the late 80s and 90s. Archival footages of mass display will also be shown, which will be contrasted with the later mass displays after the turn of the century.  Themes of the performances will also be brought into the discussion, we are hoping that we can interview some of the previous creative directors like Dick Lee, allowing him to share his perspective of the NDP changes and how the TV coverage has influenced his decision making on the ground

The iconic Mass Display segment of the show

The iconic Mass Display segment of the show

4. Video Appreciation – The parade over the years

In this segment, the exhibition space will be divided into 4 different projector screens, each showing the National Day Parade over the course from the 70s, 80s, 90s to post 2000. The objective of this segment is not to just allow the audience to appreciate the different parades, but to draw the very different contrasting elements of NDP over the years, the dressing of people, the technological advancements (from Super Puma to Chinook, 21 Guns on ground to floating on the waters with the M3G platform, etc), the different faces of leaderships, ministers, presidents.

And more importantly, the TV documentation of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, from his days of Prime Minister till today. Arguably, upon the arrival of Mr Lee, the founding father of Singapore, the venue never fails to have a rousing applause. All such elements are what we aim to focus on in this multi-projection based room. It will allow for a complete immersion into the appreciation of the parades.

Proposed Projection Videos:


NDP in the 1970s


NDP in the 1980s


NDP in the 1990s


NDP in 2007 ( The first Parade held on the Floating Platform)


NDP 2013

The arist’s impression of the proposed room for the video appreciation:

Video Gallery Impression

Video Gallery Impression

Video Gallery Impression

Video Gallery Impression

5. NDP Theme Songs

Who will ever forget the lyrics from Kit Chan’s Home? Sung in 1998, the song has seen countless remixes, and reappearances in almost all following NDPs, such classics do draw the society together, and it is important for us to document down the different songs and showcase it to the audience. This exhibition segment will feature multiple screens and headphones which will allow the audience to look into the various NDP theme songs.


2012 – Love at First Light


2011 – In a Heart Beat


2010 – Song for Singapore, Corrinne May


2009 – What do You See, Electrico


2008 – Shine for Singapore


2007 – Will You


2006 – My Island Home, Kaira Gong


2005 – Reach out for the Skies, Rui En & Taufik


2003 – One United People, Stefanie Sun


2002 – We Will get There, Stefanie Sun


2001 – Where I Belong, Tanya Chua


2000 – Shine on Me, Jaiwab, Mavis Hee


1999 – Moments of Magic, Tanya Chua, Fann Wong


1998 – Home, Kit Chan


1987 – We Are Singapore

6. NDP 2013 Documentary

Channel 8 Frontline has produced a documentary dedicated to the history of NDP, following the voices of the first few TV audiences who watched NDP at their home TVs, surrounded by their neighbours, to the television crew and cameramen who have since documented the first few NDPs till now, and even also the commentators of the NDP parade, whom have a very important job of delivering the best description to the television audience. The documentary will be played on a LCD screen, with seats at the front for viewing purpose. The objective of the screening of this documentary is to allow the audience to take back a slice of a NDP story that was told to them by someone else who had been there, done that.

Snippets from the NDP2013  documentary

Snippets from the NDP2013 documentary

Watch the full documentary here on Xinmsn

7. NDP Funpack

National Day memorabilia will be exhibited at the venue, showcasing the different “fun packs” over the years, and the designs of the flags and other items inside the fun pack.

NDP 2013 Funpack

NDP 2013 Funpack

NDP 2010 Fun Pack

NDP 2010 Fun Pack

NDP 2009 Funpack

NDP 2009 Funpack

The curators will take an extra effort to source for funpacks dated all the way back to 1990s, where it was more simplistic but still iconic in its own ways.

8. A Walk Down the Memory Lane (Photo Gallery)

Over at the photo gallery, curated photos of NDP from 1960s till the 2000s will be selected and placed on the panel at the side, audiences will get to appreciate the moments of NDP over the different years.

Traditional Malay foot drill commands should be played as a light background music effect, combined with marching band music from the SAF, and songs from the combined schools choir to add into the mood of appreciation of NDP.

1970_2

NDP during the 70s at National Stadium, contingents all attentive and ready for the march past. In the past, the inspection takes up majority of time of the parade

1970_5

Members of the SAF Army contingent marching across the parade in the first generation uniform, many older generation Singaporeans will have fond memories of this uniform, as it has to go through stringent checks by their superiors, uniforms have to be ironed till they can stand on its own.

1970_4

The Parade Regimental Sergeant Major handing over the parade to the Parade Commander. Do note the change in the Guard of Honour No. 1 Uniform from the 80s till now, with the reduction of the red sash on the waist in the modern uniform

1980_2

An iconic image as the parade goes on despite the heavy relentless rain hitting on the show participants

pic5

President Ong Teng Cheong inspecting the parade, President Ong was Singapore first elected president.


1990_2

The mobile column display is held every 5 years at the Padang, it allows the armed forces a good opportunity to show case its new assets, a very traditional parade, but yet an important one. The next mobile column display will be held during 2015

The familar view of NDP now as it is held at Marina Bay since 2007. The buildings along the bay area have grown, showing the growth of Singapore and its magnificent night view

The familar view of NDP now as it is held at Marina Bay since 2007. The buildings along the bay area have grown, showing the growth of Singapore and its magnificent night view

50 Years on, what has changed?

With nearly 50 years of the documentation of National Day Parade, the television industry in Singapore has come a long way. It had witnessed the birth of a rising nation, the ever changing landscape of Singapore, change in the people and society and the pace of life, the emphasis of total defence and economy growth. It has been better and better, and it shouldn’t stop there.

News gathering and TV production should continue to increase their standards. One should aim for better coverages in the future and engaging content creation for the masses to draw the audiences back into local TV production.

References:

NDP – Our Stories
http://ndp.org.sg/our-stories/

NDP – Gallery
http://ndp.org.sg/gallery/

Cyber Pioneer – What’s your NDP Story?
http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/resourcelibrary/cyberpioneer/topics/articles/features/2013/aug13_cs.html#.Um0qAvmw1yI

Serang Diri – A Blast from the Past
http://kementah.blogspot.sg/2010/06/blast-from-past.html

iRememberSG – The Day it Rained on our Parade
http://www.iremember.sg/index.php/2012/08/30/the-day-it-rained-on-our-parade/

iRememberSG – National Day Parade 1968
http://www.iremember.sg/index.php/2012/08/16/ndp1968-salleh-sariman/

Photos credited to their respective owners

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