Asian Civilisations Museum gets inclusive with the launch of a new tactile museum experience

Artworks are often seen, not touched. But such an experience isn’t exactly an inclusive one, as individuals who are visually impaired will have difficulty participating at typical exhibitions.

Enter the all-new Up Close with ACM, a free public programme to be launched by Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) from Sep 25 onwards. Created by the museum with support from Keppel Corporation, participants will be able to enjoy a sensory experience thanks to tours conducted by facilitators with Visual Impairment (VI) from Dialogue in the Dark Singapore (DiDsg).

Developed specifically to engage persons with VI, the experience will feature four masterpieces from ACM’s Maritime Trade and Court & Company galleries. They have been selected for their tactile qualities. And leveraging Keppel Technology & Innovation’s expertise in additive manufacturing, 3D-printed objects have been created in full detail to match the chosen exhibits.

Co-developed by ACM and DiDsg, the 90mins activity encompasses a Dialogue & Touch session before closing off with a tour.

, Asian Civilisations Museum gets inclusive with the launch of a new tactile museum experience
Credit: Asian Civilisations Museum

At the former, blindfolded participants will get to converse with DiDsg facilitators and experience the recreated exhibits through the sense of touch. To complete the tactile experience, the 3D-printed objects will be accompanied by object cards, on which participants can draw their objects, and answer a thought-provoking question—further engaging them with the artworks.

As for the Sensory Tour, locals can gain a unique perspective from the DiDsg facilitators as they are taken on a tour of ACM’s Maritime Trade and Court & Company galleries. There, they will get to view the four objects they interacted with on display. During the tour, facilitators will engage in conversation with participants—sharing their take on the pieces, their perspective as a facilitator, and living life with VI.

Up Close with ACM is part of ACM’s efforts to extend the museum experience to audiences of all backgrounds and abilities. The programme also serves as a platform to educate participants on how persons with VI experience objects in their daily activities.

Learn more about the programme here.