See impressive local and international art, participate in creative workshops, eat fresh seafood, drink beer, and sip cocktails at this cool enclave in Singapore
We admit Gillman Barracks doesn’t quite qualify as a neighbourhood but this trending enclave in Singapore with over 10 art galleries is the go-to spot for those seeking a dose of contemporary art (with a side of good eateries) on our island. Here’s what you need to know about this ex-deserted colonial barracks turned hip hotspot!
If you’re planning to wear your favourite heels, we suggest taking a taxi up to the hidden art hideout. Otherwise, work up a sweat walking from the train station – the nearest MRT is Labrador Park, a 10-minute walk away. Those who are driving in, take note: Gillman Barracks can only be accessed from either Malan Road (turn in from Alexandra Road) or Lock Road (turn in from Depot Road).
Do remember to throw an umbrella into the bag before you leave the house. The serene destination promises lush greenery and tranquil open spaces, but that also means that you’re likely to get drenched if it pours. It’s no fun when you have to sprint from block to block in the rain!
SEE & DO
Art of the East
Expect an impressive showcase at ARNDT; the Asian branch of the established art gallery in Berlin features emerging talents as well as international established artists from upcoming art landscapes in Asia. Swing over to ShanghART and Pearl Lam Galleries to marvel at captivating artworks by some of China’s most influential art institutions and artists. Folks with a penchant for Japanese art must make it a point to visit Mizuma Gallery and Ota Fine Arts; the galleries are known for curating snazzy exhibitions by renowned Japanese artists.
Opened by Stephanie Fong in 2006, Fost Gallery pays special focus to emerging local artists and has featured works by Jimmy Ong, one of Singapore’s best-known artists, as well as up-and-coming sculptors Chun Kaifeng and Grace. Another local gallery that’s a must to visit is Yeo Workshop. The contemporary art gallery not only curates intriguing exhibitions by both local and international artists, it also hosts interesting programmes, allowing art lovers a chance to engage with talented artists in Singapore.
Join the art club
Immerse yourself into Singapore’s burgeoning art scene and join elite art association Arnoldii Arts Club’s. It offers art aficionados a chance to pick the brains of renowned artists through casual lectures, events, and even international tours. Don’t forget to make Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) one of your pit stops of the day. Developed by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and supported by the Economic Development Board (EDB), it’s a treasure trove of creative programmes like exhibitions, talks, and music performances.
Dine at Masons
Choices are limited but it’s all about quality over quantity, we say. Masons serves up European fare, with a touch of Singaporean flavour, like gourmet fusion pastas and their signature pizzas. Looking for a kid-friendly place to feed the tykes? Masons has got you covered with a kids’ specials menu (ice cream included)!
Masons, 8 Lock Road, Singapore 108936, p. 6694 2216.
The Naked Finn
No-frills seafood grill, alfresco style – that’s what you can expect at The Naked Finn. Pair the quality seafood (lobster rolls and hae mee tng with wild-caught prawns, anyone?) with their bespoke cocktail selection (prepared with white spirits) for the ultimate indulgence.
The Naked Finn, Block 39 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109442, p. 6694 0807.
The sister joint of The Naked Finn, Nekkid is a neighbourhood bar that does impeccable sorbet-based cocktails (yay, boozy slushies!). Beat Singapore’s never-ending summer heat with Nekkid’s signature -12°C slushy cocktail that’s made with honey pineapple, lime juice, rum and sour plum powder.
Nekkid, Block 41 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109454.
Timbre @ Gillman
Besides offering sprawling green space, live music, kid-friendly grub, and fresh beer on tap, Timbre also holds the monthly Saturday Social BBQ (held first Saturday of every month) – a fab family BBQ event which features fresh BBQ meats off the grill, craft activities for the kids, music workshops, and more.
Timbre @ Gillman, Gillman Barracks, 9A Lock Road, Singapore 108926, p. 6694 4201.
Stop for a cuppa coffee (Red Baron’s roast is one of our local fave, Liberty Coffee) at the stunning standalone bistro Red Baron. A cafe, bakery, and bar all rolled into one, the lovely spot is a great place to rest before continuing on your tour around Gillman Barracks.
Red Baron, Blk 45 Malan Road, Singapore 108937, p. 6334 6734.
Top Image: Gillman Barracks Singapore