I have always thought it would be good fun to read online accounts of curators' experiences in setting up exhibitions. For me, it is similar to enjoying the extra features & documentaries that accompany DVDs.

I recently got the chance to be part of the curatorial process for the Comics & Superheroes Exhibition at Singapore Philatelic Museum and here's what happened.

I first received a brief about the exhibition's theme from Singapore Philatelic Museum's curator. With this information, I started to identify items that could augment and enhance the exhibition.

As I've been documenting my toys for quite a while, I extracted photos from my Flickr account and compiled them in an album where Mei Lin could easily access them and make her choices.

Mei Lin also needed the dimension of the items to determine the display space required. As Flickr has a html description field, I placed this info in the field for her easy reference. Where relevant, I also placed Wikipedia links to the descriptions of the characters.

The fact that I have photos ready and use Flickr expedited the process of the item selection, and also came in handy when working out the loan agreement. The loan agreement lists the items loaned, as well as the insurance coverage.

Setting up the exhibition, i.e., displaying my figures was the most fun part of the process for me. I was not part of the exhibition design briefing but I think the designer did a mighty fine job. You rock, Zack! Here's some pix of the freshly set up gallery.

In the process of setting up, I learnt from Mei Lin that display best practice dictates concealing any form of fastening used for the items. She shared this bit of information with me when I was attaching poster putty at the feet of the figures to ensure that they hold steadfast against sudden movements.

She also let on that Singapore Philatelic Museum is adept at recycling materials from previous exhibitions, which helps to keep the museum's costs down. A look around the gallery is proof of their mastery of this skill.

Part of the stash before display. The boxes used to store my kicks.

Displaying the figures was the most fun part for me. While it's something I do quite regularly in my toy room, the experience of posing them in a new environment was quite exhilarating.

Some of the toys, before the labels and the casings are fitted on.

It was nice to see that Singapore Philatelic Museum had fitted my blog's alternative (i.e., polite) URL into a display case that was supposed to replicate an action figure cardback. Look below the barcode.

It has been an enjoyable episode for me as I got to experience and be a part of the process of setting up an exhibition. I'm sure my experience merely skims the surface of what goes into an exhibition, but it was fun nonetheless. It's been a joy seeing the exhibition come to life and I think Mei Lin did a fine job conceptualising, directing and executing it.

At the time of writing, we're still setting up, which explains the lack of finalised photos of the galleries.

This exhibition was made possible by the great folks at Singapore Philatelic Museum, the encouragement of Michael Koh, CEO, National Heritage Board (NHB) and Walter Lim, Director of Corporate Communications & Industry Promotion, NHB and the following people & organisations.

A special shout out to TED and Em, who've been with me since the infancy of my collecting days, hitting the streets with me for the latest toy score and/or fanboy act. You both get personalised tours when the exhibition opens.

And I'm most looking forward to visiting it with my dear wife, who tolerates tons of toys at home and graciously allowed me to have my own toy room.

What: Comics & Superheroes Exhibition
Where: Singapore Philatelic Museum
When: From 4 December 2008
Normal museum admission applies

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  1. neoconvoy says:

    no problem bro ! looking forward to the tour !

  1. Great work documenting this and am certainly looking forward to this! Thanks for being a part of this Shaun and hope that there will be more opportunities to come in the future.

  1. Laurens says:

    dats cool bro,dats cool

  1. Shaun says:

    @TED: Maybe this sunday, as there might be an open house.

    @walter: it was good fun, thanks for the opportunity.

    @arthur: Thank you my brudder.

  1. 12inchtoyscollector says:

    Great work, Shaun! Can't wait to see your collections on display! BTW, any chance of SG holding it's very own 1/6th figures exhibition?

  1. chaz says:

    Looks great shaun!! Too bad thats the Hasbro Iron Man and not the Hot Toys one which would be even cooler! :P

    Will check it out maybe later today! :P

  1. Shaun says:

    @12inchtoyscollector: thanks bro, bout a 1:6 exhibtion, have to check with the big local retailers about this.

    @chaz: thank you sir. I thought we spoke about managing expectations. :)

  1. auswork says:

    question, are those superhero graphics decals on the walls? also where did you get them? j