Weddings are obviously very important events in any society and often they are held at significant venues as well. There is an exhibition with the title “Monumental Weddings” that explores the idea of weddings at Singaporean national monuments. If I understood right, the exhibition was opened already last year, but now they put the show on the road and touring around Singapore. I went to have a look at Wisma Atria shopping mall. I must say that this is very Singaporean thing to do, bringing events into a shopping mall. I understand that there are a lot of people in malls and you get good exposure, but it also somehow brings the exhibition value down when visitors are bombarded by all the advertising and shopping signals around.
Monumental wedding venues
As the exhibition title says, a lot of the wedding photos have been taken at or around the famous locations and monuments around Singapore. Unfortunately these days you cant see all of the locations anymore as some of them have been torn down because of new construction projects. Of course churches, temples and synagogues are at the heart of wedding ceremonies, but the reception venues are equally important and featured more often in the olden times photography. Places like the Raffles Hotel, Victoria Theatre and Memorial hall and National Museum of Singapore are still popular spots for wedding couples.
I have a bit mixed feelings about making wedding photographs at some famous monuments. On the other hand the setting is generally very grand and beautiful, but if you are not having your wedding party at that location, why would you have your wedding pictures taken there? At least in the pictures what i saw at the exhibition, there was quite a few images that featured more about the architecture than the wedding couple. I would definitely shoot at any of these locations, but for me the focus is in the couple and location comes after that. Overall the modern images were not that impressive and I enjoyed the most looking those images taken in 1930’s and 1940’s.
It was a bit surprising to read that Singapore actually had a boom of mass weddings back in 1940’s. Apparently this had some ideological roots with Chiang Kai-Shek’s New Life movement, promoting simple and frugal life. The traditional Chinese were very extravagant and costly operations, so having a mass wedding was one way to save money.
The exhibition is at Wisma Atria till March 8th, so hurry up if you want to have a look.