November 2015


What’s on in Singapore’s art scene this month ON THE WALL

What will be exhibited in the two permanent displays? Our art collection will present the art histories of Singapore and Southeast Asia and give visitors an understanding of Singapore’s development and connections with Southeast Asia, Asia and the rest of the world. We have more t h a n 10 , 0 0 0 artworks in our

Artist and Model by Lui Kang

Drying Salted Fish by Cheong Soo Pieng

NEW NATIONAL TREASURE The world’s first public museum dedicated to Southeast Asian modern art opens this month after a lengthy period of planning and construction work. Formed from the union of two of Singapore’s finest colonial structures, the former Supreme Court and City Hall, both overlooking the majestic Padang, National Gallery Singapore focuses on art from the 19th and 20th centuries, and is sure to make a big impact on the Singapore art scene. As well as stunning new spaces filled with art, visitors can see the sympathetic restoration of the Supreme Court’s former holding cells, the circular law library and the Court of Appeal, as well as The Boardroom in City Hall, where the Japanese officially surrendered at the end of WorldWar II and where then- Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew signed the declaration of Singapore’s independence in 1965. We spoke with LOW SZE WEE, Director (Curatorial and Collections), about the National Gallery Singapore.

national collection, and approximately 8,000 are to be displayed at National Gallery Singapore – about a thousand will be on display at any one time. Over the next five years, two permanent galleries, the DBS Singapore Gallery and the UOB Southeast Asia Gallery, will be seen as evolving propositions, where we will attempt to gather, process and systematically present the stories of 19th and 20th century art from this region. Highlights will include Chua Mia Tee’s Epic Poem of Malaya , which will be featured in the UOB Southeast Asia Gallery, and Liu Kang’s Artist and Model and Cheong Soo Pieng’s Drying Salted Fish in the DBS Singapore Gallery. Our first collaboration, with Centre Pompidou, will be presented in April 2016, followed by a second international collaboration, with Tate Britain, in October 2016. The Gallery will continue to curate different exhibitions that put forth a compelling story and in-depth look at Singapore and Southeast Asian modern art. We will also work with prominent art institutions around the world to expand the Gallery’s presentation of the art histories of Singapore and Southeast Asia in a global context. The Gallery is amust-visit destination for everyone. Visitors can expect a unique experience that is inspiring, engaging and moving, through the Gallery’s presentation of art perspectives that are meaningful and thought-provoking. But the National Gallery Singapore is more than a museum – it’s a destination that appeals to visitors of all ages with its art exhibitions, innovative public programmes and activities – not to mention gastronomic experiences! There’s truly something for everyone. You’re collaborating with galleries around the world – what’s planned so far? Is the National Gallery Singapore for everyone, or just those who are into art?

Opens 24 November, free entry until 6 December. The family- friendly opening festival, Share the Hope, is to be held on the Padang from 27 to 29 November.

Images by National Gallery Singapore



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