Calling all culture vultures. These art exhibitions are right up your alley!
Who would have thought we would be here? 2020 is the year we will never forget. First, it was the Australian bushfire crisis, then Covid-19 came swooping in, followed by the circuit breaker and now our Phase 2 measures. Safe to say, we need the art scene (which has been badly affected by the pandemic) now more than ever to help us heal and give us hope to collectively get through this storm. So bookmark this page, art enthusiasts! We’ll be updating it regularly with exciting art exhibitions throughout the year.
Art exhibitions in 2020
Artistic commentary against a pandemic backdrop
Till 21 February 2021
As part of the Proposals for Novel Ways of Being initiative, where art institutions are sticking it to the pandemic with a wide range of exhibitions and programmes, National Gallery Singapore showcases a slew of mixed-media installations and moving image works. What’s the theme? It’s a reflection of the state of being, as an individual and a collective, in light of the current pandemic.
An Exercise of Meaning in a Glitch Season, City Hall Wing, Level 3, Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery C, National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957
Virtual works by a senior Singaporean artist
Till 17 Sep 2020
Be wowed by the artworks of senior Singapore artist, Hong Zhu An. Titled Becoming and Being, the 65-year-old’s very first virtual solo exhibition celebrates the human spirit and ability to overcome challenges. Aside from showcasing 40 artworks, the virtual tour also features audio narrations and videos of the pieces.
Becoming and Being by Hong Zhu An, view online
On the fragility of human beings…
Till 27 Sep 2020
In conjunction with Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, Deck is showcasing a multidisciplinary exhibition called ThisConnect: Threading Worlds. Featuring works by social artist duo Hunny and Lummy, the exhibition touches on themes like courage, love and the power of authenticity. Go on an introspective journey as you explore the realm of human connection and what influences our journey of life.
FYI: If you haven’t heard, Deck will bid farewell to its current space with the demolition of its iconic shipping containers in March 2021. The team needs your help to raise $500,000 for a new permanent building. Show your support by donating to the crowdfunded campaign #SaveDeck Building Fund. Let’s help keep this progressive art institution alive!
ThisConnect: Threading Worlds, Deck, 120A Prinsep Street, Singapore 187937
Discover the impact of mass plastic consumption
Till 28 Mar 2021
The ArtScience Museum welcomes its first exhibition post-circuit breaker with a thought-provoking topic. Joining hands with National Geographic, Planet or Plastic? is a photography exhibition that uncovers the origins of plastic and its environmental impact through mass production. All 70 powerful photographs – shot by renowned photographers around the world – depict the global and local waste crisis. The exhibition also spotlights innovative marine scientists, ecologists, biochemists, conversationalists and even local beach clean-up community Seven Clean Seas for their efforts to solve this worldwide problem.
Planet or Plastic?, from 12 Sept 2020 to 28 Mar 2021, ArtScience Museum, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956
An offline and online art exhibition by Gajah Gallery
Till 4 October 2020
New offline art exhibition (Re)Imagining The Image showcases photographic artworks from eight Southeast Asian artists. They’re not just plain old photos, though. These artists have manipulated film to create original works of art, from oil paintings to mixed-media pieces. For the homebodies, check out digital exhibition Fresh Vision, where big names from the art scene share their favourite art collection. In the inaugural edition, Richard Hassell of award-winning architecture firm WOHA (responsible for Oasia Hotel Downtown and SOTA), is the guest curator.
(Re)Imagining The Image, #03-04, Gajah Gallery, Bolloré Logistics, 39 Keppel Road, Singapore 089065; Fresh Vision, available online
Go through a corridor of time
Till 21 Feb 2021
Time Passes echoes what we’ve been feeling this past few months. Especially during the circuit breaker, where all our days have merged and blended into one. Inspired by a chapter from Virginia Woolf’s novel, To the Lighthouse, the exhibition highlights mixed media artworks. It’s a manifestation of the current times where the act of caretaking is paramount.
Time Passes, Level 3, Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery B, City Hall Wing, National Gallery, 1 Saint Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957
Travel the world through poetry and imagery
Till 24 Oct 2020
Alliance Française de Singapour presents its latest exhibition, Sightlines. The intriguing exhibition compiles a series of poems mapped onto a collection of black and white photographs shot on film. Travel the world virtually with words from Marc Nair and photography by Tsen-Waye Tay.
Sightlines, Level 2, La Galerie, Alliance Française de Singapour, 1 Sarkies Road, Singapore 258130
The in-between spaces of the heartlands
You know the saying, “home is where the heart is”? Well, with that, 100 local artists are presenting their artworks online in relation to the shared spaces of Singapore. From a random coffee stand at Bras Basah Complex to the iconic Changi Airport, the Our Heartlands collection offers a different perspective on sites in Singapore.
Our Heartlands, view online
Question beyond the material things
Till 1 Nov 2020
Explore the space between the material world of things and the immaterial world of effects. This exhibition encourages us to think of new possibilities for existence and relationship. It’s a relevant thought in the pandemic world we’re living in right now. Featuring works from local artists, the hodgepodge of installations digs deeper into the connection of human bodies with themes like alternative kinship and the shifting urban landscape.
Immaterial Bodies, Chapel Gallery, Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film, 155 Middle Road, Singapore 188977
Take a peek into the human psyche
Till 1 Nov 2020
Ever wondered how one’s personality develops? Well, you might find the answer in this eye-opening exhibit. Presented by local multimedia artist project duo Paradise Now, the works are inspired by their research and interpretation of the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator’s 16 personality types, eight functional stacks and archetypes. Just like the complex human mind, expect to see abstract patterns and objects… and a mouse cage!
Archetype, #01-15A, Sprmrkt At Dempsey Hill, 8 Dempsey Hill, Singapore 247696
Covid-inspired artworks come to life
Explore WFH works by 47 staff, alumni and friends of Lasalle College of the Arts in a new digital platform called Image and Sound In Spite Of. Highlights include a performance by an audio production lecturer, Dirk Stromberg, who used latency and induced feedback sounds of video conferencing platform Zoom. Also check out Ang Qing Sheng’s animation Traffic Light, which captures the silent roads during lockdown.
Image and Sound In Spite Of, view online
What you missed!
Art comes to life at Bukit Panjang
12 – 29 March
Organised by the National Arts Council, this year’s edition brings Bukit Panjang to life with more than 40 activities over three weekends. Expect a series of events like a street art trail by homegrown artist Zero, a theatre show in a moving bus and an outdoor dance performance at Pang Sua Pond Boardwalk & Outdoor Amphitheatre.
Arts in Your Neighbourhood March 2020, various timings and locations in Bukit Panjang.
Take a peek into the future of cities
16 March – 15 May
Climate change is real and The National Design Centre is shedding light on the importance of sustainability this month with a showcase called Dense+Green Cities. This exhibition explores the relationship between buildings and the city, and how planning, design and technology can play a part in creating sustainable cities.
Dense + Green Cities, National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road, Singapore 188969
Explore a house of peculiarity
Till 5 Apr
Artist Kelly Lim uses everyday objects to challenge the notion of home in this art exhibition. Her artworks typically tend to involve crochet and elements of kimo-kawaii (an odd mixture of creepy and cute), so expect an eclectic mix of household items like fly swatters, lamp and even doll heads adorned in yarn!
Home Kitsch Home, Esplanade community wall, Level 3, 1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore 038981
View the ups and downs of love
Till 31 Mar
Known for casting light on complex subjects like love and desire through photography, video, sound and found objects, Liana Yang is back with a new exhibition. Titled Speak Softly. Speak Low, it explores the transient rollercoasters of relationships.
Print Room: Speak Softly. Speak Low. Liana Yang, Deck Print Room, 120A Prinsep Street, Singapore 187937
Catch Yip Yew Chong’s life-sized murals in one spot
Till 1 Apr
Street artist Yip Yew Chong needs no introduction. Painting the city with life-sized murals since 2015, he will be showcasing his popular works at the National Museum of Singapore for a limited period of time. So forget about running from pillar to post as the installation includes the barber mural at Everton Park, pasar malam mural at Eng Watt Street and the popular kampung mural at Upper Changi Road.
Moving Memories, National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897
Kampong Glam glows in the dark
Till 7 Jun
In a display presented by Art Encounters, a travelling art studio, artist Rizwan Putra will be adding a little colour to the lawn of the Malay Heritage Centre. Known for his experimental artworks, he has created a blacklight drawing using UV paint for this piece. The installation is inspired by the locale’s past and its lively scene in the present. Watch the space glow as the sun sets – it’s pretty cool stuff.
From Gelam to Glam, Malay Heritage Centre Lawn, 85 Sultan Gate, Singapore 198501
Discover Singapore from way back when
Till 29 Mar
Brace yourself as this exhibition takes you back in time to 17th century Singapore, a time when Southeast Asia was known as the East Indies. Featuring over 150 artefacts, it brings you on a journey to dig deeper into Singapore’s history way before it was an established entrepot in 1819 – believe us when we say it’s an old new world.
An Old New World: From the East Indies to the Founding of Singapore, 1600s–1819, National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897
Dip your toes into the magical world of Disney
Till 29 Mar
A first in Southeast Asia, the exhibition at ArtScience Museum is bringing honour to us all with over 500 art pieces such as original drawings and sketches, paintings and concept art specially curated by the Walt Disney Animation Research Library. Take a walk down memory lane looking at exhibits from iconic movies such as Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast and Frozen 2!
Disney: Magic of Animation, ArtScience Museum, 6 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018974
See Singapore in black and white
7 Feb – 1 Mar
This exhibition proves that film photography is not dead. With 17 years of experience as a photojournalist, Wee Teck Hian has captured spaces that did not survive Singapore’s ever-changing landscape such as the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and the pre-MBS Marina Bay area. To make things even more nostalgic, all of it is captured in black-and-white photos.
Longing and Belonging: A solo exhibition by Wee Teck Hian, Lower Gallery, Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film, 155 Middle Road, Singapore 188977
Look into the lens of Chua Soo Bin
Till 6 Sep
Cultural Medallion (Singapore’s highest artistic award) winner and self-taught photographer, Chua Soo Bin, has been in the scene for over six decades and now he’s showcasing his greatest works at the National Gallery. With close to 100 photographs on display, the exhibition features portraits of Chinese ink masters alongside his commercial and pictorial photos.
Chua Soo Bin: Truths & Legends, City Hall Wing, Level 4, Wu Guanzhong Gallery, National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957
Journey from Southeast Asia’s past to the present
Till 23 Feb
Comprising 31 historical and newly-commissioned works by established and emerging artists, Stealing Public Space explores Southeast Asian contemporary art in public spaces. This interactive exhibit sheds light on our region’s past and current socio-political climate. Traverse the grounds of The Substation for conversation-starting art pieces like Dinh Q. Le’s Texture of Memory exhibit, where hidden portraits of victims of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge genocide are embroidered on canvases.
Stealing Public Space, various timings, The Substation, 45 Armenian Street, Singapore 179936
Get lost in space
Till 16 Feb
Space fans, buckle up and embark on an out-of-this-world journey to space at the ArtScience Museum. We can’t promise you the Milky Way, but it’ll be an immersive experience replete with ‘gram-worthy exhibits, stunning interstellar visuals and a ball pit!
An Intergalactic Odyssey, ArtScience Museum, 6 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018974
Walk the streetscapes of modern day Singapore
Till 28 Feb
While streetscape paintings depicting old Singapore are aplenty, this one stands out to us as Singaporean artist Zhu Hong has artfully captured popular neighbourhoods of modern day Singapore, such as Geylang, Little India and Ann Siang Hill, in beautiful oil paintings.
Streetscape of Singapore | Zhu Hong Solo Exhibition, East Garden Gallery, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, 1 Fullerton Square, Singapore 049178
When art meets architecture
Till 5 Mar
This exhibition sheds light on the relationship between art and architecture with artworks from over two decades (1969-1989). Reflecting on the rapid modernisation of Southeast Asia, particularly in Manila, Bangkok and Singapore, the showcase is influenced by international art movements such as realism and abstraction, paired with familiar Asian motifs.
Suddenly Turning Visible: Art and Architecture in Southeast Asia (1969-1989), National Gallery Singapore, National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957
For introspective familial artworks
23 Feb – 7 Mar
We’re all for ‘gram-worthy exhibits, but sometimes simple paintings can be pleasing to the eyes (and soul) too. Stop by Ode To Art gallery to marvel at renowned Spanish artist Eva Armisen’s first solo exhibition. Invoking the feeling of child-like joy by painting intimate familial moments such as kitchen table meals or a day out in the park, her artworks will have you appreciating the little things in life.
Love Stories by Eva Armisen, #01-36E/F, Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Road, Singapore 179103