Sunday, April 29, 2012

Titanic – Sailing Back

Year 1997, when the famous James Cameron's characters Jack Dawson and Rose Dewitt Bukater became a hit in motion picture.  I would record movie lines as they were aired in radios and even worst, a copy of the full movie script (more than 300 pages) landed on our hands.  At that time, I used to watch it again and again on VHS tape like every quarter for almost 2 years.  See how far technology was and feel how I so was addicted to its drama.   

It was early this month when I noticed that the movie is being shown in television and even also as 3D on some cinemas – a century has already passed.  Several documentaries were aired on National Geographic and Discovery channels.  Until I learned from a friend that there is an exhibit of the artifacts that is scheduled to end by the 29th.  Yipee!  Just in time for my Singapore trip.


Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition
The exhibit ran from October 29, 2011 to April 29, 2012 at Art Science Museum, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.  


Welcomed by a boarding pass with the actual passenger’s name starts your journey on the ship.


You will not get board as you wait in line since there are first and third class passengers walking around the area in their full costumes and in character.  Make it a point that you catch a photo with them as the actual exhibit is restricted from cameras or video recording.



2012 is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic.  It was on April 15, 1912 when a luxurious passenger ship collided with an iceberg in the waters of North Atlantic Ocean.  

On the first hall, what caught my attention is the caption “the fountain pen, the eye dropper and the closing cap were not recovered together”.  Just imagine how fortunate the divers were to put them back together at present.  This also reminds me to the question of, “Given a chance that you would take a memorabilia from the movie, what would it be?” - which I chose to be the pencil used by Jack to draw her and the other art scenes while he was onboard.




The Love Story
More than Jack and Rose, the exhibit gave justice to the lives that were involved in the incident.  Known for its luxury, wealthy known people actually boarded the ship.  Quote from Ida Straus (wife of the co-owner of Macy's department store):
"I will not be separated from my husband. As we have lived, so will we die, together..."





Post It!
It’s undeniable that one of the famous memorabilia from some of the passengers is the postcard.  They found some from the relatives or friends of the victims and some unused cards were recovered from the wreck.

Quoting on a letter of Mr. Edgar Samuel Andrew to his friend Josey Cowan:  "I am boarding the greatest steamship in the world, but I don't really feel proud of it at all, right now I wish the 'Titanic' were lying at the bottom of the ocean..."

On his letter to his brother Wilfred, "From this colossal ship I'm pleased to greet you..."



Reading those lines on the exhibit walls kicks a realization that somehow my practice of sending out postcards to friends and family will save me in the future.  (Oh, help me Lord!)  But of course, it is more of re-connection with those special people in my life and sharing and keeping them in my memory as I travel along the way.


“Iceberg, right ahead!”
Amazing that as you move along, the temperature on the exhibit hall also drops.  Just the same as what happened back then.  April 15, 1912 at 5:30-7:30pm it is 5 degree Celsius, by 9:30pm it dropped to -0.3 degree Celsius at 10:30pm the temperature recording stopped.

This is the part of the exhibit where attendees are allowed to touch a so they say “iceberg”.  A pack of ice bit melting that is 3meters in length, 1 meter wide and 2meters in height.



Sad Reality
On record, they expected to have 32 lifeboats to carry enough 1900 passengers, but it was lowered to 20 lifeboats instead.  The first 7 lifeboats carry 160 people out of the possible 430 lives.

"Titanic's recovered artifacts will remain long after the ship is gone.  As a reminder of the legendary liner, life's fragility - and the human spirit's enduring strength." – taken from the exhibit wall


The Passenger
At the end of my journey on the exhibit halls, I looked back at my boarding pass and find what happened to Margaret Ann Watson.  She is a 3rd class passenger who died with her 4 kids, 4 other relatives and a friend.  (Reference: http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/margaret-ann-watson-ford.html)



Being a fan of the movie makes you wonder what really happened, who were the passengers and how it  impacted the people.  Visiting the exhibit made someone appreciate more the real person and true story of those involved on the tragedy.  That life is too short and a simple event can change everything significantly.


Acknowledgement:  Thanks to my friend Loraine who posted her photos on Facebook.  Thank you to my friend Eds who has been so accommodating to accompany me on the queue to buy tickets - and he was able to get it at a local price for a touristy me.