THE NATIONAL GALLERY SINGAPORE
What makes our National Gallery special? It’s not just its regal architecture – most of our state museums and galleries are housed in exquisite colonial structures (though admittedly, the former Supreme Court boasts a grandeur that’s hard to beat). Nor is it just its posh bars and restaurants, which have made it the new “lifestyle destination” (the National Museum of Singapore arguably started the trend of making cultural spaces hip after its 2006 refurbishment).
It’s the art, pure and simple. The Gallery is the only institute in the world dedicated to modern Singapore and South-east Asian art, with a breathtaking collection of some 8,000 pieces dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries. We also like how it is starting conversations about the relationship between Asian artists and the world – its recent Reframing Modernism exhibition juxtaposed the works of regional artists with those of Picasso, Matisse and Kandinsky, placing East and West in a dialogue. Look out for an upcoming exhibition (opening September 1) on the works of feted Singapore ceramicist Iskandar Jalil.