Curating wellness during a pandemic in Singapore: COVID-19, museums, and digital imagination

TAN, Michael and TAN, CM (2021). Curating wellness during a pandemic in Singapore: COVID-19, museums, and digital imagination. Public Health, 192, 68-71.

FullText_2020_Tan&Tan_Curating Wellness during a Pandemic in Singapore_PeerReviewed.pdf - Accepted Version
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (157kB) | Preview
Official URL:
Link to published version::


OBJECTIVES: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unexpected disruption to the operation of many museums. However, the disruption also presents an opportunity for local museums to explore new modes of audience engagement that could also help to mitigate the negative health impact of COVID-19 through the imaginative use of technology. This article provides a snapshot of the various digital initiatives that were developed by museums in Singapore during the most challenging time of COVID-19 to exemplify the expanded role of museums as a public health resource. It will also offer a brief reflection on the challenges and benefits of curating wellbeing with digital technologies. STUDY DESIGN: A review of creative responses to COVID-19 by museums in Singapore. METHODS: Scoping search. RESULTS: Several local museums have stepped up efforts to support the wellbeing of people by exploring possibilities with digital virtual platforms. Their swift response to develop online contents following an abrupt closure due to the pandemic exemplifies the caring role of museums in offering people a much-needed respite from social isolation by connecting and interacting with others from a safe distance. Moving forward, it is also important for the museums to be mindful of the barriers that digital virtual platforms might present; since access to technology differs amongst population groups, as do digital competency, and literacy. Museums can benefit from further partnerships with sector experts and organisations to learn about the needs and challenges of different groups in future planning and design. This will help them to gather a holistic overview and help ensure inclusionary strategy and practice. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 has challenged museums to adapt their programme and keep the public engaged through virtual programmes on online spaces. Online initiatives have offered opportunities for people to remain socially active and meaningfully engaged despite the stringent measures imposed in response to the viral situation. Postpandemic, we can continue to anticipate a highly connected and inclusive society brought together by virtual technologies.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Museum; Wellbeing; Technology; COVID-19; Singapore; COVID-19; Museum; Singapore; Technology; Wellbeing; Art Therapy; COVID-19; Humans; Imagination; Mental Health; Museums; Pandemics; Public Health; SARS-CoV-2; Singapore; Social Isolation; Humans; Art Therapy; Social Isolation; Mental Health; Imagination; Public Health; Museums; Singapore; Pandemics; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; 1117 Public Health and Health Services; Public Health
Identification Number:
Page Range: 68-71
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2021 13:57
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2022 01:18

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics