Singapore, in New Light: An Art Tourist’s Paradise!

Written by Black Swan Journeys
June 13, 2016

Where would you love to discover great works of art and engage with artists?

Discover Singapore as an art destination with her museums, galleries, art fairs, art festivals and art houses!!! The Singapore of the past three decades has risen to become a hub for art in the region.

A potent mix of colonial history and multi-cultural ethnicity of Chinese, Malay, and Indians along with a significant number of westerners living in Singapore has given the island’s culture a unique contemporary style of its own that is constantly evolving. It is this potpourri that makes Singapore an extremely attractive place for art connoisseurs.

If you are an avid art lover and a tourist, you will find below an interesting collection of possibilities that you can indulge in at Singapore.

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” ― Edgar Degas

Art Galleries:

Art Science Museum: 

The world’s first Art Science Museum at Marina Bay Sands is the Museum of Creativity, where the creative processes at the heart of art and science and their role in shaping society are explored. Featuring 21 gallery spaces totaling 50,000 square feet, the boldly iconic lotus-inspired ArtScience Museum is also the premier venue for major international touring exhibitions from the most renowned collections in the world.

The National Art Gallery:

It is slated to open its doors in 2015. While the body of works at the National Gallery falls largely within the area of modern art, the Gallery will strive towards understanding the collection in new and varied ways taking on a contemporary approach and interpretation of the development of Southeast Asian art.

National Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA): 

The National Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) has three galleries located within its Campus. The 3rd gallery called the Lim Hak Tai Gallery after the founding principal of NAFA features thematic exhibitions containing artwork from NAFA’s permanent art collection and other international contributions to the school.

Chan Hampe Gallery:

It is a contemporary visual arts gallery offering a diverse mix of exhibitions and programs, Chan Hampe Galleries fosters Singapore’s emerging artists, celebrates Singapore’s established artists, and seeks to expand the community of Singaporean art enthusiasts

Artcommune Gallery: 

The Artcommune Gallery prides itself on being the first gallery where artists can be found alongside their artwork. This allows visitors the opportunity to speak to the artists about their work, providing you with professional advice on art collection, conservation and investment in art pieces.

The Arts House: 

is a home for multidisciplinary arts, located within the refurbished interior of Singapore’s old Parliament building. There are two visual arts galleries within the Arts House, namely the Print Gallery and The Gallery. The Print Gallery is dedicated to showcasing the artworks and exhibits of new Singaporean artists, while The Gallery is a multi-purpose hall that tends to showcase artwork from regional artists within its beautiful Tuscan interior.

Seasonal Art Festivals

Art Stage Singapore: 

45,000 +visitors, 1,000 artists, 158 galleries, 33 countries, one of Asia’s largest art gatherings. With a special focus on Southeast Asian art scenes (Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar), Art Stage Singapore presents the largest international showcases of Southeast Asian contemporary art to date.

When: 12-15 January 2017

Affordable Art Fair:

A great place for a newbie collector to start and a delight for an avid art collector with over 80 local and international galleries showing artwork priced between S$100 – S$10,000 from more than 600 artists, it is a visual feast for the eyes without breaking the bank! 

When: 18-20 November 2016 (Next fair)

Singapore Biennale:

The Singapore Biennale was established in 2006 as the country’s pre-eminent platform for international dialogue in contemporary art. It places Singapore’s artists within a global context and fosters productive collaborations with the international arts community. In this way, the Biennale provides new opportunities for local visual artists, arts organizations, and businesses, and cultivates deeper public engagement with the arts.

When: 27th October 2016 and 26th February 2017

Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts:

Huayi showcases the works of outstanding Chinese artists of all genres, be they traditional or contemporary, mainstream or cutting-edge, by providing them with a platform on which they can present their works to international audiences in Singapore. 

When:  February – March Every year



National Museum of Singapore: 

Is the oldest museum established in 1887 when Singapore was part of the Straits Settlements. The museum a National Monument now presents permanent exhibitions on Singapore history and popular culture, alongside changing exhibitions on world history and popular culture.

DON’T miss: Precious artefacts include the Singapore Stone, Gold Ornaments of the Sacred Hill from East Java, Dagguerreo type of Singapore Town, one of the earliest photographs of Singapore, will of Munshi Abdullah, Portrait of Frank Athelstane Swettenham, Mace of the City of Singapore, Singapore from the Rocky Point, Xin Sai Le Puppet Stage

Asian Civilisations Museum:

Ranked as one of the top 10 museums in Asia, specializes in the material history of China, Southeast Asia, South Asia and West Asia, from which the diverse ethnic groups of Singapore trace their ancestry. Spanning over 14,000 square meters, the museum houses 10 thematic galleries filled with over 1,600 artifacts that showcase the story of Asia. 

DON’T miss: Terracotta Warriors, Chinese pottery recovered from the Tang Shipwreck, Makara processional vehicle carving, Dragon Robe

Peranakan Museum: 

Peranakan Chinese and Baba-Nyonya are terms used for the descendants of the 15th to 17th century Chinese immigrants to Indonesian archipelago and British Malaya (now Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore) Installed in the former Tao Nan Chinese School, built in 1912, this intimate museum possesses one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of Peranakan objects in 10 galleries. The galleries at the Peranakan Museum include Origins, Religion, Food and Feasting, Public Life, Conversations, Nonyas (the term for girls) and an entire floor of Wedding rituals and artifacts.

DON’T miss:  Peranakan Wedding Bed

Mint Museum of Toys

The Mint Museum of Toys is a displays a private collection of vintage toys of Singaporean, Chang Yang Fa. It is considered to be the largest collection of its kind within Southeast Asia, with more than 50,000 pieces of vintage toys and childhood memorabilia from more than 40 countries from the mid-19th century to mid-20th Century. 

Other interesting places to visit: Singapore’s Philatelic Museum, Art Science Museum, The Battle Box, Nei Xue Tang Museum, Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Red Dot Design Museum, Republic of Singapore Navy Museum, Singapore Coins and Notes Museum (SCNM), Sports Museum

Singapore can truly be called a “Cosmopolitan gateway between the East and West” and an art travelers delight.

Get in touch with us and let us do what we do best, ie customize the perfect holiday, tailormade to suit your list of wishes, both as an art lover and a tourist.

To know more about write to [email protected] or call us on +91 8975632092.

cover photo credit: DoublePHOTO studio

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