“I’m still having thoughts… more like feelings of him,” confessed my friend while holding on to the heart-shaped pendant engraved with both hers and her ex-boyfriend’s names.

Recently, she has been mulling over the shards left of her first relationship which, unfortunately, did not end on a pleasant note.

How do you cope with the gaping void and ache in your heart after a break-up that might have been something that was either a long time coming or totally unexpected?

Croatian artists Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic have found a ‘therapeutic’ solution to nurse that fragile heart – Museum of Broken Relationships, a travelling exhibition that carries the burden of past and broken relationships for you.

Now here for the first time in Singapore, the Museum of Broken Relationships is part of the ongoing M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2009 which features more than 20 works from 12 countries.

Working closely with the festival’s theme of Art and Family, the items displayed at the Museum of Broken Relationship (which consists mostly of treasured memories donated by Singaporeans) bare the basis and intricacies of human relationships, allowing us to recognise the delicacy of love.

First started and based in Zagreb, Croatia, this travelling museum has amassed over 300 exhibits and has visited Berlin, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovakia.

There’s even an artificial leg, donated to the museum by a war veteran who was in love with his therapist.

Currently, Esplanade Jendela houses the museum’s artifacts, which show anything from the bitterness to the regret of ending a relationship. Each piece is accompanied with a write-up by the donor about the relationship they had been through.

After its stop here in Singapore (ending on Jan 18), the Museum of Broken Relationships will make a stop in San Francisco on Valentine’s Day.

What might strike you in this is how the different kinds of love relationships all share a common pain. From a handwritten letter which depicted a short teenage love relationship to a box made of matches that represents 27 years of marriage, both carry the same burden of oppressive, yet delightful memories.

While all these mementos on display seem like painful losses (a few of which you can probably relate to personally), you may still find yourself smiling with the reassurance that these people have since moved on with their lives.

Perhaps, just like my friend, you might learn something from what others have gone through or find the strength enough to give up the last trace of the past love affair to the Museum of Broken Relationships.

Take a sneak peek

The UrbanWire brings you a sneak into what might greet you…

A key bottle opener
Relationship lasted: 10 years
“You … gave me small gifts every day; this is just one of them…I realised how much you loved me only after you died of AIDS.”

Declaration on women’s rights
Relationship lasted: 9 years
“I read the thing a hundred times, but I ain’t understood a thing. Redneck.”

Ralph Lauren Polo Teddy Bear a.k.a ‘My Malay Bear’
Relationship lasted: 1 year
“…He’s Malay and I’m Chinese…when we broke up, I cried into that bear and hugged it to sleep for nights…”

Bottle filled with cigarette butts
Relationship lasted: 10 months
“…We said that we would quit smoking after this bottle has been filled…”

A Pot
Relationship lasted: 5 years
“She cries for a pot that will never touch the stove.”

The Museum of Broken Relationships is ongoing at the Esplanade Jendela till Jan 18 and is open to public from 10am – 8.30pm on both Saturday and Sunday.

Admission is FREE.

Share your thoughts on The UrbanWire

Would you consider donating anything of such sentimental value to such an exhibition? What would it be and what would it say of your lost love? Drop us a line or comment.


Visit the Museum of Broken Relationships online here.