National Gallery Singapore


Stuck in Singapore during the year-end holidays? 

There's always someplace in this tiny island for you to explore. 

Cafe hopping is getting old (and burning deep holes in my pocket), so it's probably time to switch to museum hopping. 

You don't have to be an art connoisseur or a culture expert to appreciate Singapore's increasingly vibrant art scene. A visit to the museum is great for escaping Singapore's sweltering outdoor heat, and for you to learn more about art. If that is not enticing enough, what about free admission? As an initiative under the National Heritage Board, Singaporeans and PRs enjoy FOC perks when they visit NHB museums and heritage institutions.

National Gallery Singapore is a new addition to the scene. It has the largest public collection of modern art in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Architecture lovers would also rejoice at the stunning design of the buildings, for the Gallery is housed in two national monuments, the former Supreme Court and City Hall. 

It's a short 5 minute walk away from City Hall MRT (take Exit B, walk along St Andrew's Cathedral and follow the Art Connector).

Friendly museum staff will direct you to the ticketing counter. Just present your NRIC or student pass for your free tickets. Tours are also available for visitors.

Museum interior.

Look up!

The City Hall Wing.

The Supreme Court Foyer.

The first gallery that we visited was the UOB Southeast Asia Gallery, showcasing one of the museum's permanent exhibitions, Between Declarations and Dreams: Art of Southeast Asia since the 19th Century.

With avant-garde art experiments taking place across Southeast Asia, art was redefined. Instead of sophisticated paintings and sculptures, ordinary materials were used to create artworks so that the public could understand them easily. Political opinions were also expressed through the various art forms.

The Pleasure of Being, Dying, Crying and Eating by Thai artist Montien Boonma.

The Power II by Zulkifli Yusoff

The installation is made of canvas, ink, cloth, wood and metal bars, and represents the hierarchy of Malay social classes.

Shocking Pink Collection, by Manit Sriwanichpoom. 

The ostentatious Pink Man and the depiction of his travels to exotic destinations brings across the artist's disapproval of the consumerism that swept through Bangkok during the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

National Art Gallery is also an amazing place to pose for gorgeous photos.

The Rotunda.

The City Hall Chamber.

There were two special exhibitions when we visited, by artists Wu Guan Zhong and Chua Ek Kay.

Wu Guan Zhong: Beauty Beyond Form

A born-and-bred Chinese artist who studied in Paris, Wu Guan Zhong lived through the Cultural Revolution and he was a forerunner in advocating for the fusion of Western and Eastern influences in his art. 

"The demand to integrate the Chinese and the Western, originates from certain emotional affinities, in the same way it is natural that a male and a female have magnetising powers for each other... It is the mission of intellectuals to overthrow cliched opinions, and it is the lifetime endeavour of artists to establish new artistic perceptions and aesthetic conceptions." - Wu Guan Zhong

Chua Ek Kay: After the Rain

Chua Ek Kay was one of Singapore's leading ink painters, and water is a recurring theme in his paintings. 

As you exit the museum, you'll pass by Gallery & Co., the retail space for National Gallery Singapore, where you can take home museum collectibles and prints.

1 St. Andrew's Rd
Singapore 178957

+65 6271 7000

Sun–Thu and Public Holidays, 10am–7pm
Fri–Sat and Eve of Public Holidays, 10am–10pm

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