Herworld (Singapore) - - INTRO -

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.

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