From faceless portraits to vintage collectibles, these permanent exhibitions around Singapore need to be seen
Whenever a new exhibition opens, we rush to pay it a visit before it’s gone. In the process, we tend to overlook the less-fleeting galleries. It’s time to show these permanent art exhibitions in Singapore some love, so we’re spotlighting our favourites that you need to check out. Be sure to add them to your art exhibition bucket list!
Singapore Art Museum’s Permanent Collection
SAM has been busy collecting. It’s home to an eclectic array of contemporary creations by artists from around the region. Sometimes, the best way to make a statement on culture, politics or history is through art. From faceless and truncated portraits by local painter Fyerool Darma (pictured top) to Vietnamese artist Dinh Q Le’s giant scrolls that appear to tread the line between painting and sculpture, these works are aesthetically intriguing and thought-provoking at the same time.
Singapore Art Museum, 8 Queen St, Singapore 189555
Art of the Rehearsal
There’s something about watching dancers across various cultures glide through the charming back lanes of Kampong Glam, Little India and Chinatown. This video installation by multidisciplinary artist Sarah Choo Jing lets us peek inside the completely intense training and rehearsals rather than a perfectly orchestrated show. Grab a bean bag and enjoy – it’s just like watching behind-the-scenes footage of a movie.
Art of the Rehearsal, National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178897
Story of the Forest
Oh, teamLab! Our absolute fave digital art collective has put together a stunning piece of art that’s permanently housed in the National Museum of Singapore. The 19th-century drawings of the Malay Peninsula’s biodiversity – commissioned by William Farquhar – are brought to life in the glass rotunda. Be engulfed by a kaleidoscope of colours as flowers bloom overhead and a gorgeous purple rainforest towers over you. Get your cameras ready as you inch closer to the screen; more flora and fauna or even a cute deer might pop up!
Story of the Forest, National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178897
Voices of Singapore
We appreciate how the National Gallery styled the gallery after a drive-through cinema. With vintage artefacts and a showreel that takes you back to the 70s and 80s, this exhibition explores the forms of artistic expression and leisure that shaped the community. Peek inside the lives of locals from the bygone era through exploring the popular music, theatre and performances of the time. This offers a different perspective to textbook tales of how war and hardship forge national identity; because hey, people bond over fun too.
Voices of Singapore, National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178897
Mint Museum of Toys
Yes, we’re classifying toys as art too. If you fancy taking a trip down the memory lane, the Mint Museum of Toys is the place for you. You’ll find everything from way back when here –the iconic Campbell Soup enamel signs, vintage collectible cars, Betty Boop dolls, Steiff teddy bears, 60s Beatles memorabilia and much more. All in mint condition, of course!
Mint Museum of Toys, 26 Seah St, Singapore 188382
Future World: Where Art Meets Science
This futuristic exhibition recently got an upgrade, and we’re guessing that it will continue to draw throngs of people seeking that perfect Instagram shot, particularly in the dazzling Space gallery. There’s more to see though. Our favourite part has got to be the gorgeous waterfall at the Nature exhibit, created from light that acts just like water. Say what? Give it a flick with your hand and you’ll see what we mean. We’re not sure how it works either, but it sure is magical! And in the Sanctuary, blooming and scattering cherry blossoms invites you to ponder your own mortality. Memento mori, as they say.
Future World: Where Art Meets Science, ArtScience Museum, 6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974