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The exhibition of Polaroid at National Museum of Singapore

polaroid museum

Singapore mentions “Polaroid” and most people will think of the retro, palm-sized instant prints often stuck on refrigerators or posted in scrapbooks.

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Not many will associate it with artwork – much less the sort of art you might hang in a gallery.

The exhibition of Polaroid in National Museum of Singapore features 10 large Polaroids which are each 20 by 24 inches (50cm by 60cm) – bigger than a sheet of A2-sized paper – and is on display at the National Museum of Singapore as part of an exhibition on the history of Polaroid photography and art using Polaroid, “In An Instant: Polaroid At The Intersection Of Art And Technology”.

Also on display are about 160 other photographic artworks – in various sizes and styles – by artists such as Andy Warhol, Ansel Adams, David Hockney and others.

This is the Asian debut of the exhibition, which has traveled in the United States and Europe and will return to North America next year.

“In An Instant”, which is on until the end of March, starts off by charting the history of the Polaroid camera, the brainchild of American scientist Edwin H. Land.

The exhibition also features a short film demonstrating the effect of polarised lenses. All the museumgoer can see is a white glare until he puts on a pair of Polaroid sunglasses.

The Polaroid artefacts and artworks are on loan from the MIT Museum at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the WestLicht centre for photography in Vienna, The Polaroid Collection and various artists, as part of a collaboration between the National Museum of Singapore and the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography.

The Singapore edition of the exhibition ends with a series of video projections of “influencers” talking about what “in an instant” means to them.

Among them are comedy site SGAG’s co-founder Karl Mak, YouTube star Jianhao Tan, YouTuber and comedienne Preetipls, socialite Jamie Chua, Instagram twins Yafiq and Yais Yusman, and Angie and David Sim from the lifestyle and travel blog Life’s Tiny Miracles.

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Visitors who want to take home a memento can head to the photo-booth and selfie station outside the exhibition space.

The exhibition has also a ‘Silent Cinema’ section where visitors can watch a movie wearing Polaroid sunglasses.