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Analysis of Audience Attraction Factors in the ‘deathsong’ Exhibition

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The ‘Deathsong’ exhibition audiences varied in age groups, from tertiary students to middle-aged working adults aging from 18 to 40 years old. It was a focused exhibition that appealed to visitors who have similar interest in the local concerns regarding the national conversation around Singapore’s problematic relationship with its built heritage.

Due to the type of content exhibited, it was not a type of exhibition targeted for audience like families, especially those with small kids. As it is considered to be a small-scale exhibition, typical visits were usually a one-time kind and the average visitor viewing time only lasted for less than half and hour, which is mainly depended on the purpose of visit. The factors that influences the audience type for this exhibition was based on individual motivations, learning, historical and cultural values. The curators also organized and hosted a series of social events and programmes in collaboration with external local experts and creatives such as discussion panels which was co-presented with the Singapore Heritage Society as well as performances related to heritage discourse in Singapore.

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Admission to these events were free, but the ticketed ones were made available to the public at a certain price on their website. It hoped to provide a more meaningful and engaging exhibition that will contribute a greater impact on the audience, allowing them to form new kinds of appreciation. The people who visited and attended the events were of a specific group interested in learning about the importance of conserving our historical and cultural buildings. Visitor numbers was subjected to significant changes affected by the following external factors. Firstly, with the exhibition site located right next to the Peranakan Museum – one of the ‘must-visit’ museums for tourists, and Timbre – a live music restaurant bar that is situated just right behind the building, drew in an occasional handful of curious passer-by, both local and foreign into the exhibition. Guides were stationed at the main entrance right next to the gallery exhibition to engage with the passer by. Most of them were seen to be move through the space only a short period of time and not become heavily involved in what they are seeing. Secondly, the on-going construction works right in front the building blocked off the entire road and obstructed the visibility of the main entrance as well as the wBindow exhibits and graphics. This made it difficult for public from outside to see what is actually happening at that.

The lack of visual exposure may have resulted in the possible decrease in number of visitors. Lastly, the iconic Singapore Night Festival that recently took place N on the 17th to 25th August 2018. Interactive night light installations along the graffiti walls at Armenian Street Alley and programmes that were held within and surrounding the exhibition site yielded a large crowd into the exhibition. Exhibiting hours were extended till midnight to cater to the crowd during this particular period of time.

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