Ancestors and Rituals


Asian Civilisations Museums, National Heritage Board

The permanent Gallery, Ancestors and Rituals, at the Asian Civilisations Museum, examines the ancestral and ritualistic beliefs of traditional communities in Southeast Asia. Containing the Museum’s oldest and most precious artifacts, the gallery design aims to place the artifacts center-stage with minimal intervention.


Artifact cases on stilts provide a subtle nod to the Southeast Asian Island collections, while grounded cases (shown here) house artifacts from Mainland collections. A rich dark and vivid green emphasize the ritualistic nature of the collection.

Selecting a limited number of artifacts from a large well-known collection was key to create a focused experience, one that wouldn't overwhelm the visitor. Building display cases around the gallery pillars were technically challenging but allowed us to maximize the available display space whilst effectively implementing the architecture into the narrative concept of the island and mainland areas.
Singapore Design Team

The highlight of the experience at the end of the gallery is a large wall finished with a tiered plinth system with a concrete facade. Washed in daylight and displaying ritual statues, figures and parts of a traditional gabled roof angled towards the spectator—the effect creates a memorable visual statement, that evokes the rice fields throughout Asia. It’s an iconic feature of the museum.

Ancestors and Rituals
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