Need your weekly steep in art? We’ve curated the motherload of guides to the Singapore’s bustling art scene. Dive away…
Say hello to Singapore’s bursting art scene. If you’re looking to spend quality time at museums and galleries, get your fill at these incredible permanent exhibitions and ongoing showcases. We’ll be updating this list of art exhibitions frequently to make sure you don’t miss a single thing! Stay tuned…
Drift away at Floating Utopias
25 May – 29 Sept
Stroll into a whole new world at ArtScience Museum’s newest exhibit. This poetic exhibition explores the history of inflatable objects, depicting how they have been used in art, architecture and social activism over the many decades. It’s a playful and stunning visual experience with over 40 artworks created by over 15 international and local artists. Keep your eyes peeled for eight large air-filled floating sculptures that are bound to impress.
Floating Utopias, ArtScience Museum, 6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974
Catch incredible European films
Till 19 May
Movie buff? Enough said. Take a trip around Europe through its films and get an idea of the diversity and creativity at The European Union Film Festival. With over 25 film screenings from Romania, Belgium, Denmark, Czech Republic, Finland and much much more, you’re sure to come out as a connoisseur. The festival has also partnered with Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Film & Media Studies to screen seven short films by students.
European Union Film Festival 2019, National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957
Save the date for SIFA 2019
16 May – 2 June
If all things theatre, dance, music, film and visual arts give you life, block out your calendar; Singapore International Festival of the Arts (SIFA) is back with its 42nd edition. There’s an interesting lineup of performances, screenings, artists talks and workshops that’ll pique your interest. Culture vultures, dive into a medley of shows like the gripping psychological melodrama, Beware of Pity, to an exploration of the dark side of humanity via dance in Crowd, to Berlin dance-maker Sasha Waltz’s provocative signature work, Körper. Grab your tickets to these immersive performances stat but also don’t forget to check out the free programmes and art installations like De Relaxerette, where you can settle into an afternoon nap on a revolving hammock-Ferris wheel. Plenty to do here. Head to the website for the full schedule…
Singapore International Festival of the Arts, various locations and timings
Walk into Wonderland
Till 22 Sept
Alice in Wonderland fans, you can now step through the looking glass and into Wonderland IRL at the ArtScience Museum. Stunning, playful and interactive, this one-of-a-kind exhibition follows Alice’s journey through popular culture. Drop by and find out how artists and filmmakers have portrayed this iconic fictional character and told and retold a beloved story for over a century.
Begin at the beginning and walk through elaborate theatrical sets to find out how this character and story from 1865 evolved with time to become a subcultural icon fluttering through countless music videos, video games, high fashion, advertising and more. Of course, you can interact with that enchanted world we know and love including the Hallway of Doors, Pool of Tears, Queen’s Croquet-Ground and of course, the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Read our article on Wonderland for more details.
Wonderland, 13 April – 22 September 2019, ArtScience Museum, 6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974
Visit the Singapore Pavilion
17 May – 30 June
After a successful run at the 16th Venice Biennale, the No More Free Space? Singapore Pavilion brings it home for a month-long pop-up. An acrylic cloud, interactive installations and a multi-sensory projection of lights, sounds, images and scents – we like the sound of that! Discover how the ideas of innovative architectural designs come to life while borrowing natural resources like light, air and water, in 12 Singapore-based projects.
The Singapore Pavilion, National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road, Singapore 188969
Explore Topographies with Jason Lim
22 May – 11 July
At Telok Ayer Arts Club’s newest exhibit, experience Jason Lim’s latest body of work. The celebrated ceramicist and performance artist is presenting Topographies – a series of photo and video works born out of 10-day residency at the sixth edition of the Kjerringøy Land Art Biennale last year. By using his body showcase natural materials found in Kjerringøy’s, he reinterprets and reassigns new meanings to them and leaves them right back where he found it. Supporting the artworks are limited edition eponymous publication and an Arts Club Specials menu inspired by the artist and his works. Don’t miss Jason’s performance on 22 May preview night from 6.30 – 7.30pm.
Topographies by Jason Lim, Telok Ayer Arts Club, 2 McCallum St, Singapore 069043
Experience: Rewild Our Planet
6 April – 2 June
If you haven’t seen the magnificent yet disheartening documentary, Our Planet, about the world’s incredible species and most at-risk habitats, get to it now. For those who have, hop over to the ArtScience Museum for an immersive and interactive exhibition that’ll take you inside the documentary. Using IMAX style projections with spatial soundscapes and a soundtrack narrated by the great David Attenborough, you’ll get the chance to visit the most remote forests and vast ice caps in this Augmented Reality social experience.
Rewild Our Planet, ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Witness Lim Cheng Hoe’s 60 paintings of Singapore
Till 9 June 2019
Head over to the National Gallery to catch over 60 definitive works of one of Singapore’s pioneer artists Lim Cheng Hoe. His the latest exhibition – Lim Cheng Hoe: Painting Singapore – showcases his inspiring journey towards becoming a renowned plein-air (the practice of painting outdoors), watercolour artist. He artfully captured the country’s evolving landscapes and people across almost four decades. Largely self-taught, the co-founder of Singapore Watercolour Society documented his surroundings – expect to see kampongs (villages), boat traffic on the Singapore River, hilltop views, fishing villages, land reclamation and construction sites and such.
Lim Cheng Hoe: Painting Singapore, National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew’s Rd, Singapore 178957
Walk through 22 Stories
Till 30 June
Andsoforth is back with another immersive, theatrical, artsy and OOT experience that’s worth a visit. Spread across 22,000 sq ft, navigate through 22 Instagrammable rooms and travel through ‘four lands’ – Grimmsneyland, Land of Nights, Storyland and Wonderland. You’re bound to bump into characters and scenes from your favourite childhood stories.
Andsoforth’s 22 Stories, PeopleUp @ Pandan 200 Pandan Gardens, Singapore 609336
Stroll around the Charles’ Proclamation Garden
Till 27 Oct
The Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden at the National Gallery Singapore is his new canvas. Renowned artist Charles Lim Yi Yong has morphed the rooftop garden into a living, breathing and ever-changing site-specific installation. Sea State 9: Proclamation Garden attempts to understand the complexities of the reclamation landscape by introducing 30 lesser-known plant species.
Sea State 9: Proclamation Garden, Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden at National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew’s Rd, Singapore 178957
What you missed!
Art: Singapore Art Week
19 – 27 Jan
We’re loving January already – Singapore Art Week is all set take over popular neighbourhoods and drenches them in art. Imagine nine thrilling days with 100 odd events across five precincts. Plot your life according to the calendar and hit up exhibits, talks, performances, workshops, film screens and other immersive activities.
Singapore Art Week 2019, various locations
Art: Artwalk Little India
18 Jan – 4 Feb
One of Singapore’s most vibrant precincts is buzzing a lil’ extra with Artwalk Little India adding a handsome helping of spice to our January (and February). This exciting multi-disciplinary public art project includes a trail, traditional dance performances, tons of interesting workshops, a documentary film screen and more.
Artwalk Little India, 18 Jan – 4 Feb, various locations in Little India
It’s Singapore Bicentennial
Y’all, brace yourself for one helluva history-filled year filled with local history by way of art (more often than always)! You might want to bookmark this guide to everything Singapore Bicentennial – a commemoration marking the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles. This little red dot’s history goes back to 1299, about 700 years pre-Raffles, and this year is our chance to dive headfirst into history.
Singapore Bicentennial, various locations
Sustainable public art at Light Singapore
Till 24 Feb
Singapore’s largest sustainable light art installation festival is back and it’s bigger than ever. We’re crushing on i Light Singapore 2019 – from its scale (it goes all the way to Fort Canning this year) to the sheer number of installations and events. Start plotting… we hear it might have five good hours to catch all the 33 amazing artworks to play with including a massive multimedia show on the river. Also making a debut are enthralling installations on six iconic bridges along the river and bay. Don’t miss Transporta, an immersive multimedia experience, at Esplanade Park, the eco market at The Lawn@Marina Bay for sustainable buys and workshops and Camp Kilo at Marina Bay Sands Event Plaza for bites and chilled out music.
i Light Singapore 2019 – Bicentennial Edition, various locations
Going from Light to Night
Till 24 Feb
This one is gonna be a goodie too. The second edition of Light to Night Festival 2019 is one of the three events kickstarting Singapore Bicentennial commemoration. Catch specially curated reflections from artists, writers and performers who will reimagine Singapore history! Iconic monuments in the civic district are wearing art skins every night till 24 February, telling stories you might not have known. Like that of Zubir Said, the composer of Singapore’s national anthem and of William Farquhar’s unconventional way of dealing with a certain pest Take a looksee. Here’s something you absolutely must not miss: Shadows In The Walls is an after-hours “heritage tour” where you cross paths with historical characters (ghosts, even?) who grant a glimpse into their glorious past. Catch the immersive performance/storytelling between 11 – 14 Feb and 18 – 21 Feb (tickets at $20).
Light to Night Festival 2019, across various locations in Civic District
Look at early advertising in Singapore
Till 24 February 2019
We all know that movies and advertisements hold up a mirror to the society. So we can’t think of a better way to peek into what life was like in 1830s through 1960s than through print advertisements from Singapore and Southeast Asia. At Selling Dreams: Early Advertising in Singapore, you can catch an extensive collection of unique ads from brands like Cold Storage, Bata, Tiger Balm and Singapore Chronicle (our first newspaper published in 1833), among others. And, you can even sign up for the Curator’s Tours every third Thursday of the month or public tours every first, third and fifth Saturday of the month.
Selling Dreams: Early Advertising in Singapore, National Library Building, Level 10, Gallery, 100 Victoria St, Singapore 188064
Lucy Liu and Shubigi Rao find meaning in the ordinary
Till 24 Feb
Did you know Hollywood actress Lucy Liu is also a visual artist? And she has collaborated with her visual penfriend Singaporean artist Shubigi Rao. Together they are presenting their creations at the National Museum of Singapore in an exhibit titled Unhomed Belongings. Liu’s installation Lost and Found and Rao’s Pulp (Volumes 1 and 2) aim to give new meaning and peculiar characteristics to seemingly ordinary objects.
Unhomed Belongings by Lucy Liu and Shubigi Rao, National Museum of Singapore 93 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178897
Enter the world of science through art
Till 3 March 2019
The world is celebrating brilliant and multi-faceted Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman centennial. In Singapore, ArtScience Museum has collaborated with Nanyang Technological University and Nobel Museum in Sweden put together an extraordinary exhibition. You simply cannot miss All Possible Paths: Richard Feynman’s Curious Life where art, science and contemporary design come together to celebrate Feynman and his extraordinary achievements. Contemporary artists have imagined installations, sculptures and immersive environments that are bound to take you on a journey.
All Possible Paths: Richard Feynman’s Curious Life, ArtScience Museum, 6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974
Discover Peranakan photographs from way back when
Till 24 March
You don’t have to be a professional photographer to love the art. Get an insight into what photography was like in Singapore’s early days of Singapore at Amek Gambar: Peranakans and Photography exhibit. It showcases some of the rarest and earliest images of Peranakan history. It covers over a century and half of photography, right from the emergence of cameras in Southeast Asia. Study the changes in the style of photography and watch history unfold itself through still frames. All you need is one lovely afternoon to spare.
Amek Gambar: Peranakans and Photography, Peranakan Museum, 39 Armenian St, Singapore 179941
Leaf through Scott Lambert’s collection
Till 3 March
Nature and art lovers are going to love this one. Scott Lambert of Singaporean brand agency Superunion was inspired by a two-metre-long palm leaf in his garden that his daughter found. It eventually led him to reappraise the silhouettes and textures of local foliage. What makes this exhibit extra unique? Leaving Impressions collection by Scott Lambert is displayed throughout the Botanical Gardens so you can enjoy it outdoors.
Leaving Impressions collection by Scott Lambert, various locations in Singapore Botanic Gardens
When Art x Tech = Good
7 – 17 March
Making its way back to the ArtScience Museum is MeshMinds 2.0: ArtxTechForGood, an immersive experience that proves art and technology join forces to make a positive social impact. Catch contemporary artists address global challenges like ocean pollution, climate change and the issue of growing waste from an Asian perspective using their unique brand of creativity and modern-day technology.
MeshMinds 2.0: ArtxTechForGood, ArtScience Museum, 6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974
Read the real story behind the children’s book
Till 17 March 2019
Loved reading the book? Well, Little Prince: Behind The Story exhibit will make you dig deeper into the tome and the man behind it. Experience the book with some rare materials and artefacts like the author’s personal belongings (his military coat, gloves and leather satchel), hand-drawn illustrations and even an autographed copy of the very first edition of The Little Prince. Psst… some of these items have never been shown outside France!
Little Prince: Behind The Story, Singapore Philatelic Museum, 23-B Coleman Street, Singapore 179807
Capture the inventiveness of the Polaroid
Till 31 March
Chances are you’ve never used a Polaroid camera for an instant snap that would print right into your hands. But this precursor to Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook was the closest things to a quick-fix picture back in the day – it was how folks captured moments in an instant. While the retro-tech is making a comeback (thanks hipsters!), you can discoveries with a wide range of Polaroid artworks and artefacts at the In an Instant: Polaroid at the Intersection of Art and Technology exhibit.
In an Instant: Polaroid at the Intersection of Art and Technology, National Museum, 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897
Discover a unique world of wilderness
Till 1 March 2019
Find yourself marvelling at the complexities of nature and human the mind? Mind(less) Wilderness shares your curiosity. Singapore-based artist Nandita Mukand’s solo exhibition of paintings and sculpture makes observations on flourishing plants in a forest and the urban mind. You’ll find the artworks drawing upon interesting and varied resources like neuroplasticity, quantum physics, contemporary Buddhist texts, and even ancient Vedic literature. Catch her creations that are crafted using several synthetic and organic matter.
Mind(less) Wilderness, Miaja Gallery, 9 Muthuraman Chetty Road APS Building, Level 2 Singapore, 238931
Experience the fine art of Minimalism
Till 14 April 2019
Trust us when we say you don’t want to miss the first minimalistic art exhibition to come this side of the world. Minimalism: Space. Light. Object has come to Singapore with 150 artworks based on the philosophy of…that’s right, Minimalism. Experience creations by some of the renowned artists from across the world like British sculptor Anish Kapoor, Chinese activist-artist Ai Weiwei and the late Donald Judd (who’s considered the pioneer of the Minimalist movement). We’re sure you’ll get an insight into the movement that’s slowly but surely taking over the world. #LessIsMore
Minimalism: Space. Light. Object, two locations, National Gallery Singapore and ArtScience Museum, Singapore
See photographs from the battlefield of Indochina wars
Till 10 April
Catch hard-hitting war photography that spans three decades across Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. These vintage prints include ones by internationally renowned names such as David Douglas Duncan, Don McCullin, Larry Burrows. All the photographs showcased at Battlefield Lens Photographers of Indochina Wars 1950-1975 are a part of a private collection of Singaporean collector Judd Kinne, who was a US Marine Corps infantry officer in South Vietnam from 1967 – 69.
Battlefield Lens Photographers of Indochina Wars 1950-1975, Selegie Arts Centre, 30 Selegie Rd Singapore 188351
Plan to trip to Deszinenation: Ground Zero
Till 12 April
Ever wondered where zines came from? This exhibition by Singapore Art Book Fair and Squelch Zines deep dives into the world of zines. Deszinenation: Ground Zero seeks answers to questions like how relevant are they in our expanding digital age, what defines a zine, does it have limitations and what happens when a self-initiated medium evolves into a product that requires high production cost?
Deszinenation: Ground Zero, Supernormal, 101 Desker Rd, Singapore 209623
Get up close and personal with Plastikophobia
Till 18 April
This one cannot be missed! Artist Von Wong and frequent collaborator and social impact strategist Laura Francois have unleashed their latest thought-provoking art installation, which will make you think twice about ever using a plastic cup again. Plastikophobia appears like a crystal-like cave, but look closer: it’s made from a staggering 18,000 disposable plastic cups! And to drive home a point, all the cups were collected from Singapore’s food courts over just one and a half days. Take a moment and let that sink in. These throw-away cups have been collected, cleaned, melted and fused together to become at once creepy and beautiful. It’s a scene you need to experience in the flesh before the cups make their way to the incinerator (like the majority of plastic in Singapore that doesn’t get recycled) after the exhibit’s six-week run.
Plastikophobia at Sustainable Singapore Gallery, Marina Barrage, 8 Marina Gardens Drive Singapore 018951
Rediscover Chinese ink in unique ways
Till 27 April 2019
This exhibit that’s deeply associated with Chinese ink features paintings, video works and installations by Yeo Shih Yun. Titled Diaries, Marking Time and Other Preoccupations, it sees contemporary experiences using a medium with its own unique history. Her works of art vary – you’ll see markings rendered by brushes tied to tree branches and even battery operated toy robots – that are then transferred and recomposed using silkscreens or other print techniques.
Yeo Shih Yun: Diaries, Marking Time and Other Preoccupations, NUS Museum, 50 Kent Ridge Cres, Singapore 119279
Take time to revisit Raffles
Till 28 April
Known for establishing modern Singapore as a British port, Raffles was a great many things – a British official with the East India Company, author of the book The History of Java and an avid collector of natural history and cultural materials. Opinions about him have changed with time and this exhibition at the Asian Civilisations Museum aims to present a complex multi-layered picture of him. Also, a part of the exhibit is a rich showcase of the artistic and cultural heritage of Java and the Malay world.
Raffles in Southeast Asia: Revisiting the Scholar and Statesman, Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress Pl, Singapore 179555
Make your way from Lost Roots to Urban Meadows
Till 5 May
This joint exhibition by Singapore-based artists Madhvi Subrahmanian and Nandita Mukand is heavily informed by the artists’ exploration of nature and how it finds itself our urban world. Showing at The Private Museum (TPM), From Lost Roots to Urban Meadows features installations and sculptural works through an inquisitive lens that will leave you questioning our big city existence with and without nature.
From Lost Roots to Urban Meadows, The Private Museum (TPM), #02, 51 Waterloo St, 06, Singapore 187969