Arts For The Busy Executive
Singapore has a vibrant visual arts scene, thanks to the presence of leading art galleries and world-class museums. If you are an art lover, do take some time out from your busy schedule to savour what Singapore has to offer. Here are some of the country’s best art venues.
National Gallery Singapore
Singapore’s newest art venue, the National Gallery Singapore boasts the world’s largest collection of modern art from Singapore and Southeast Asia. The museum is housed in the breathtakingly restored heritage buildings of the former Supreme Court and City Hall, themselves national monuments, and a befitting home for the world-class collection of more than 8,000 works.
If your time is limited, zoom in on the gallery’s inaugural long-term exhibition titled “Siapa Nama Kamu?” (which means “What Is Your Name?” in Malay). It takes you on a chronological exploration of Singapore’s art history, identity and links to Southeast Asia through almost 400 works by Singapore artists dating back to the 19th century.
Where: 1 St Andrew’s Road
Opening hours: Sundays to Thursdays and public holidays, 10am to 7pm Fridays, Saturdays and eve of public holidays, 10am to 10pm
Singapore Art Museum (SAM)
SAM owns one of the world’s largest public collections of contemporary Southeast Asian art, which includes paintings, sculptures, video art and installations. The museum was once a Catholic boys’ school, St Joseph’s Institution, which was established in the 1800s. When the school moved out in 1987, the building was lovingly conserved and adapted for its current purpose.
Exhibitions at the museum change every few months, and from 4 June to 28 August 2016, the museum will host “Odyssey, Navigating Nameless Seas”, which features artists’ exploration of the ocean’s enigma. Asian artists such as Thai Pratchaya Phinthong, Singaporean Ashley Yeo and South Korean Monica So-Young Moon are represented.
Where: 71 Bras Basah Road
Opening hours: Daily, 10am to 7pm except Fridays, 10am to 9pm
This visual arts enclave consists of 11 art galleries housed in former British army barracks that were built in the 1930s. The galleries in this 6.4-hectare site include New York’s Sundaram Tagore, which represents artists such as award-winning photographers Edward Burtynsky and Annie Leibovitz; and Italy’s Partners & Mucciaccia, which focuses on modern and contemporary art masters such as Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky and Marc Chagall. There are also Asia-based galleries such as ShanghART Gallery, which plays an important role in the development of China’s contemporary art scene.
Where: 9 Lock Road (Main building)
Opening hours: Vary by galleries