Not just a place for admiring art, the city’s newest cultural destination also offers a spot of heritage, food and retail
Artaholics in Singapore recently welcomed Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris, the first international offshoot of the largest private art museum in Paris, at Fort Canning Arts Centre. Founded by Marc Restellini, a well-regarded art historian and creator, the local establishment celebrates transversality and the dialogue between different works of art. Um, what? Put simply, it will be all about how art pieces complement, interact, and transform with each other.
How different is the Singapore branch from its Parisian principal, you wonder? Well, not much, so you can expect to see names such as Rembrandt Harmensz, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Edvard Munch, and Jackson Pollock.
But what makes the museum really special is founder Marc Restellini’s unconventional approach to curation. Don’t come expecting to see the familiar: art pieces are displayed in themes rather than the predictable chronological order; plus you get to experience works that are previously unavailable in the region. Read more for a comprehensive tour around this new culture playground!
There are a total of 3 exhibition spaces at Singapore Pinacothéque de Paris. Every gallery is spacious and exudes a cosy ambience with their dark coloured walls and perfectly dimly lit spaces, allowing the artworks to stand out in their spotlights. Seats are sporadically available, though.
The Collections gallery
This is where the museum’s permanent collection, 40 hardly-sighted masterpieces primarily sourced from private collectors, are exhibited. The Collections highlights works by renowned artists and is curated using Marc Restellini’s signature approach of ‘Transversality’, fusing various artist and artworks via a common theme of Primitivism.
The Features gallery
This gallery showcases feature exhibitions on a rotational basis, usually presenting works from various artists, eras, cultures and genres. The Features has the largest exhibition space in the museum. The current ongoing feature exhibition, held from 30 May to 11 October, is The Myth of Cleopatra; you definitely have to check it out!
This gallery is a free-access space that celebrates Singapore’s legacy as the convergence of various cultures and civilisation throughout centuries. Heritage Gallery also commemorates the importance of Singapore’s oldest historical site, Fort Canning.
EAT & DRINK
If admiring at Art makes you hungry, there are four outstanding F&B outlets at Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris that you can dine at:
This classic French restaurant offers a fine-dining experience with casual, down-to-earth spin. Must-tries include the delicately balanced Dubois lobster bisque and braised wagyu beef cheeks, carefully curated by the award-winning Executive Chef Jean-Charles Dubois. Fun fact: the restaurant is named after Honoré de Balzac, a famous French novelist and playwright – very apt!
Balzac Brasserie, B1-08, p. 6336 0797
FORT By Maison Ikkoku
At FORT, the superb-tasting cocktails are created using a unique style of cocktail mixing called “taste profile development”, cooked up by the legendary Executive Chef and Senior Master Mixologist Ethan Leslie Leong. There’s also a great selection of food, from comforting soup to interesting mains and dessert.
FORT By Maison Ikkoku, #01-02/03, p. 6336 0507
Giojio Concepts Cafe
Looking for something light? Giojio Concepts is your answer. With their culturally rich recipes conveyed from one corner of the world to another, Giojio Concepts is a beautiful place to chill and relax while enjoying a cup of heavenly brewed coffee, a cup of Giovanni L Pistachio flavored gelato and a bowl of the renowned Seattle Pike chowder!
Giojio Concepts, #01- 01, p. 6225 9898
Myra’s@Fort Canning is the most vibrant and colorful dining space at Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris, both in terms of flavours and aesthetics. They serve both Mexican and North Indian cuisine, from Fajitas to Tandoori Chicken to Burritos to Gulab Jamun, prepared with tender love and homely touch. A non-spicy selection of pizzas and spaghetti is also available for the little ones.
Myra’s@Fort Canning, #B1- 05/06/07, p. 6694 4567
If you are searching for unique souvenirs for families and friends or a memorabilia to remind you of the well-spent time at the museum, then check out these 2 museum shops:
La Boutique Pinacothèque
This is the museum’s very own iconic boutique, offering an assortment of art-inspired products, from art books to limited edition, exhibition merchandise as well as chic lifestyle accessories!
La Boutique Pinacothèque, #B1- 01, p. 6460 4450
Recognised for its fine craftsmanship since 1989, ARCH offers a collection of premium gifts, souvenirs and collectibles such as magnets and bookmarks while sharing local heritage with the world. Its great quality art pieces are made intricately where layers of wooden veneer obtained from sustainable sources are laser cut and hand assembled layer by layer!
Arch Heritage Collections, #01- 04/05, p. 6333 9228
HOW TO GET THERE
The best way to get there is by MRT: alight at Dhoby Ghaut station and walk for 5-8 minute from Park Mall towards Fort Canning Park. If you are driving or cabbing, the nearest car park is Car Park B, at Fort Canning Park. If you are taking bus, the nearest bus station is the Old Hill Street Police Station (04223).