Located by the historic Singapore River, the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) traces the diverse cultural roots of modern Singaporeans. A descendant of the Raffles Museum, the ACM features collections from Southeast Asia, South Asia, China and the Islamic world of West Asia. In addition, the Singapore River Gallery tells the moving story of immigrants who lived and worked on the Singapore River, the source of Singapore’s rich multi-cultural society.
At the ACM, you will begin your journey through Asia with friendly interactive hosts and multimedia displays to guide you. The first and only museum in the region with a focus on Asian cultures, the ACM presents a programme of changing special exhibitions throughout the year.
The Asian Civilisations Museum was set up in 1993 under the auspices of the National Heritage Board. As one of the four National Museums in Singapore, its first premise at Armenian Street was opened on 21 April 1997 by then Deputy PM Lee Hsien Loong. Housed at the old Tao Nan School Building, the Museum included 10 galleries with two galleries to house special exhibitions. Since its opening, over 600,000 people have visited this first premise of the museum.
The flagship of the Asian Civilisations Museum is located at the historic Empress Place Building, built in the 1860s and used for over 100 years to house colonial and later, Singapore government offices. Restoration and conversion of the building into a state-of-the-art museum took 5 years, with the new museum opening in 2003. New areas and structures include a staircase at the heart of the building to connect all three levels of galleries, a basement and a riverside restaurant with terrace above. The result - over 15,000 sqm of floor area, including 2,800 sqm of gallery space, and a range of facilities aimed at making the museum into a lifestyle attraction.
The Armenian Street building closed at the end of 2005, to be redeveloped into a brand new Peranakan Museum. On 25 April 2008, the Peranakan Museum was officially opened by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Operated and managed by the Asian Civilisations Museum, the Peranakan Museum explores the culture of Peranakan communities in the former Straits Settlements of Singapore, Malacca and Penang and their links with other communities in Southeast Asia.
The ACM’s collection began with pieces inherited from the colonial Raffles Library and Museum. The major part was ethnological materials collected in Southeast Asia - essentially examples of the crafts, tools, weapons, utensils and costume of the Malay and other indigenous Southeast Asian cultures. New collections were started in the 1990s for West Asia/the Islamic world and South Asia so that the ACM could fulfill its mission. The ACM has since grown her collections through acquisitions, donations and loans from organisations and private individuals, and is now known for having a modest but high quality collection.
Within 10 themed galleries, the museum charts a bold and new approach in engaging museum visitors through the displays, presentation of information and creative use of interactive technology to weave the displays into integrated story lines for the visitor.
Saturdays to Thursdays - 10AM - 7PM
Fridays - 10AM - 9PM
Closest Mrt: Raffles Place (Exit H)
Admission to Permanent Galleries
Citizens & Permanent Residents: FREE
Students, Seniors, Persons with Disabilities $4