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National Gallery Singapore

Attraction in the Civic District

Opened at the end of 2015, the National Gallery Singapore houses the world’s largest public collection of Singaporean and Southeast Asian art, with nearly 10,000 pieces in total. Located in the Civic District of Downtown Singapore, this is the real historic heart of the country, with the gloriously renovated building once being home to City Hall and the National Supreme Court. 

Dubbed as Singapore’s latest ‘visual arts institution’ (a fancy name for an art gallery), the government-backed projected aims to ‘strengthen Singapore’s role as a regional and international hub for visual arts’. It’s also the largest of its type in the country with over 64,000 square metres of floor space, overtaking the ever popular Singapore Art Museum in Clarke Quay.

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Singapore is not an old country, so inevitably most of the work here falls into the ‘modern’ category of art dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries. As well as an extensive permanent collection, The National Gallery Singapore also holds regular exhibitions in collaboration with some of the world’s leading art institutions. You can find out what they’ve got coming up at www.nationalgallery.sg.

The art on display takes on more than just paint form, with exhibitions spanning sculpture, photography, videography, printmaking and illustration. Many of the works here are presented from leading Singapore artists from the renowned Nanyang School which ran from the 1950s-1970s such as Kim Lim’s ‘Echoes’ and Liu Kang’s ‘Artist and Model’. Other originals on display include Cazalet’s ‘Malay Huts, MacPherson Bridge’ from 1850s Singapore as well as Chua Mia Tee’s ‘Epic Poem of Malaya’.

National Gallery Singapore also is home to a short but surprisingly impressive range of wining and dining options. For lunch, look out for Odette (modern French food) or Alti’s Gastrobar for some more laidback settings. The building complex is also home to a couple of great cocktail bars that enjoy some spectacular views of the bay, such as Aura Sky Lounge and Smoke & Mirrors.

The National Gallery is easy to find in the Downtown core of Singapore, not far from the Marina Bay and walking distance from Raffles Hotel. If you’re coming by MRT, City Hall is the closest station while Esplanade is also very near.

National Gallery Singapore

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