For Love Shines: An Ode to 200 Years of Philanthropy in Singapore

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Philanthropy is an important part of the Singapore story and to mark the nation’s bicentennial in 2019, Temasek Shophouse and NUS Business School’s Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy (ACSEP) are proud to present a Singapore Bicentennial exhibition, For Love Shines: An Ode to 200 Years of Philanthropy in Singapore.

Starting this 21 August to 31 October 2019, the exhibition will be launched at the Temasek Shophouse – a social impact hub that seeks to serve the common good.

Temasek Shophouse, serving as a convenor to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing, as well as a catalyst for different philanthropic practices to benefit communities in Singapore, has partnered NUS ACSEP to shed light on the societal impact that philanthropic efforts have made in the nation-state’s history.

Conceptualised from NUS ACSEP’s landmark research “Philanthropy in Asia Series” that delves into 200 years of philanthropy, For Love Shines: An Ode to 200 Years of Philanthropy in Singapore is the creative expression of eight research papers that documents Singapore’s deep roots in giving, from 1819 to 2019 and beyond.

Officially accredited as a Singapore Bicentennial commemorative activity, the exhibition highlights five significant eras that demonstrate the evolution of Singapore’s philanthropy-scape and the different facets and mechanisms of giving:

• 19th century colonial era (1819 – 1900) Efforts were focused on primary needs such as building places of worship, burial and basic healthcare

• Early 20th century colonial era (1901 – 1945) Asian women philanthropists gained prominence and grassroots philanthropy emerged to support communal purposes, including relief efforts during WWII and the Japanese Occupation

• Post-war reconstruction and nationalism era (1946–1965) Relief work by local broad-based volunteer welfare organizations in reconstruction and alleviating social problems fostered a greater sense of belonging that cut across ethnic lines

• Nation-building era (1966–1999) During the development of the nation’s economy, volunteer groups and services sprang up to provide social services to those in need, while the government supported by introducing structures to better co-ordinate philanthropic donations and activities

• Professionalization and global-giving era (2000–present) Philanthropy had grown into an ecosystem comprising national bodies, private sector donors and the community.

For more information about the five different eras, please visit 

The seven-week exhibition is free for the public to attend and learn more about the significant role philanthropy has played, and still plays, in addressing Singapore’s social needs.

For Love Shines: An Ode to 200 Years of Philanthropy in Singapore

Venue: Temasek Shophouse, 28 Orchard Road, Singapore 238832

Date: 21 August 2019 – 31 October 2019

Admission: Free

Weekdays 08:30 am – 09:00 pm

Weekends and Public Holidays 11:00 am – 05:00 pm


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