The National Gallery Singapore is a must-visit destination for art lovers and culture enthusiasts. Located in the heart of the city, the National Gallery is home to one of the largest public collections of modern and contemporary Southeast Asian art in the world. In this blog post, we will explore the history, architecture, and artworks that make the National Gallery Singapore such a unique and important institution.
The National Gallery Singapore is housed in two of the city's most iconic landmarks - the former Supreme Court building and the City Hall. The two buildings were connected through a modern and sleek glass roof, creating a harmonious blend of old and new architecture. The National Gallery Singapore officially opened its doors to the public in 2015 and has since become one of the top attractions in Singapore.
What to See at the National Gallery Singapore
The National Gallery Singapore's permanent collection includes over 8,000 works of art, spanning from the 19th century to the present day. The collection is divided into two main sections - the DBS Singapore Gallery, which showcases the history of Singaporean art, and the UOB Southeast Asia Gallery, which features works from Southeast Asian artists.
The DBS Singapore Gallery tells the story of Singapore's art history, from its early days as a British colony to the present day. The gallery features works from some of Singapore's most important artists, including Cheong Soo Pieng, Georgette Chen, and Chen Wen Hsi. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, and other artworks that illustrate the evolution of Singapore's artistic scene.
The UOB Southeast Asia Gallery is home to one of the largest collections of Southeast Asian art in the world. The gallery features works from countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines, among others. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, installations, and other artworks that showcase the diversity of Southeast Asian cultures and artistic styles.
In addition to its permanent collection, the National Gallery Singapore also hosts a range of temporary exhibitions and events throughout the year. Past exhibitions have included retrospectives of important artists such as Wu Guanzhong and Georgette Chen, as well as thematic exhibitions that explore different aspects of Southeast Asian art.
Building and Architecture
The National Gallery Singapore's building is an architectural marvel that seamlessly blends the old with the new. The former Supreme Court building and City Hall were originally built in the 1930s and 1950s, respectively, and are important landmarks in Singapore's history. The two buildings were connected through a modern and sleek glass roof, which serves as a symbol of the National Gallery's mission to bridge the past with the present.
The building's design is the work of French architect Jean-Francois Milou, who won an international competition to design the National Gallery Singapore. Milou's design aimed to preserve the historical significance of the buildings while also creating a modern and functional space for the gallery. The result is a stunning architectural masterpiece that has won numerous awards for its design.
Practical Information for Visitors
The National Gallery Singapore is open daily from 10 am to 7 pm, with extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays until 9 pm. Admission fees vary depending on the exhibitions and events on offer, but there are also free admission days throughout the year. Visitors can also purchase tickets online in advance to avoid queues and save money.
The National Gallery Singapore is fully accessible to visitors with disabilities, with wheelchair ramps and elevators available throughout the building. Visitors can also borrow wheelchairs and mobility scooters from the information counter, free of charge.
There are also several dining options available at the National Gallery Singapore, including the National Kitchen by Violet Oon, which serves traditional Singaporean cuisine, and Odette, a fine dining restaurant that has been awarded three Michelin stars. Visitors can also explore nearby attractions such as the Singapore Flyer, the Esplanade, and the Gardens by the Bay, which are all within walking distance of the National Gallery.
The National Gallery Singapore is a cultural institution that is essential for anyone interested in art and history. The museum's vast collection of Southeast Asian art, combined with its stunning architecture and central location, makes it a must-visit destination for tourists and locals alike. The National Gallery Singapore's commitment to preserving and showcasing the region's artistic heritage is a testament to the importance of culture and the arts in Singapore and Southeast Asia as a whole.