The best art exhibitions in Singapore

Get your art and culture fix at the city's art galleries and museums
teamLab ArtScience museum
Photo: teamLab Transcending Boundaries
By Time Out Singapore editors |
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Thinking of broadening your horizons this week? Get your culture on with our round-up of the best art exhibitions and showcases happening around town – from Southeast Asian art to contemporary design, we'll have you sorted in a jiffy.

RECOMMENDED:  The best museums in Singapore and the best contemporary art galleries in Singapore

1
minimalism, Olafur Eliasson
Photo: Anders Sune Berg
Art

Minimalism: Space. Light. Object.

icon-location-pin National Gallery Singapore, City Hall
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Championing the art of 'less is more', National Gallery Singapore and ArtScience Museum team up to debut the biggest minimalism exhibition in Southeast Asia from November 16 2018 to April 14 2019. Held within the confines of the two iconic museums, the experiential exhibition gives visitors the freedom to view, interpret and experience the immersive displays in a variety of ways – allowing for different ways to appreciate the aesthetics of Asian and Western minimalist art. A far cry from the bold and eccentric showcases that usually dominate the galleries, the exhibition tones it down a notch by illustrating minimal art that emerged from its birthplace of New York and how it has developed in the US West Coast and Asia through to the rest of the world. This contemporary take on avant-garde art considers the spatial, social and political contexts of the subject matter, and has influenced some of the best unconventional creations in music, performances, fashion and design history – think musician Steve Reich, artist Tony Smith and fashion designer Jill Sander, among others.  Feed your curious mind with captivating paintings, impressive sculptures, spatial installations and other masterpieces by key artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Robert Morris, Frank Stella, Kim Lim, Mona Hatoum, Anish Kapoor and Ai Wei Wei, as well as special commissions by Sopheap Pich and Jeremy Sharma.  The exhibition's special programmes also invite visitors to tap into the wo

2
teamLab Crystal Universe
Photo: teamLab
Art

Future World

icon-location-pin ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay
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The ArtScience Museum’s first-ever permanent exhibition is a world of high-tech, immersive digital art installations. Featuring a plethora of works by award-winning Japanese art collective teamLab, Future World will be constantly updated with new works over the years. Highlight pieces include Transcending Boundaries, where visitors can meander through the digitally-rendered garden featuring waterfalls that log in accordance with the laws of physics, butterflies that fly away upon touch, cherry blossoms that scatter like they would in the wind and more, as well as Sanctuary, where visitors can take a break and meditate in this tranquil space.  

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3
Asian Civilisation Museum
Museums, History

Southeast Asia in the World

icon-location-pin Asian Civilisations Museum, City Hall
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Journey further into Southeast Asia – past and present – as the Asian Civilisations Museum opens three new permanent galleries Ancestors and Rituals, Christian Art and Islamic Art, along with new items on display in the museum's Trade galleries that explore the artistic exchanges within Asia and the rest of the world. The Ancestors and Rituals gallery shines its spotlight on a diverse range of Southeast Asian artefacts that reflect the barter of ideas and cultural interactions among various tribes and communities in the region. The Christian Art gallery exhibits intricate works of cross-cultural art created in Asia that are dedicated to the religion.  The Islamic Art showcases the wealth of artistic traditions that arise from the expansion of Islam in Southeast Asia. As part of Southeast Asia in the World, the museum is also hosting a new series of trails that provide visitors an understanding of Southeast Asia's role in the world through beautiful illustrations by local artist Muneera Malek.  

4
 All Possible Paths
Art

All Possible Paths: Richard Feynman’s Curious Life

icon-location-pin ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay
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Commemorating the global celebrations of Richard Feynman's 100th anniversary, ArtScience Museum is presenting a brand new exhibition, casting the spotlight on the astonishing, multi-aspect life and achievements of the Nobel Prize-winning physicist. Known for his pioneering work in quantum mechanics and the basis of modern physics, be inspired and awed as you're drawn deeper into the science through art, understanding how he paved the path for many of the technological advances that support us in our everyday lives today. The exhibit features Feynman's personal items, documents and letters from across the globe. Contemporary artworks that have drawn inspiration from Feynman's thought process are also presented to aid your understanding through visual representations of the six scientific topics at the core of his work, giving you a peek into the realm of quantum mechanics.

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5
gillman barracks
Photo: National Arts Council
Art

S.E.A. Focus

icon-location-pin Gillman Barracks, Bukit Merah
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Take your art appreciation even further at S.E.A Focus. As part of the Singapore Art Week, the inaugural event is serving art aficionados a boutique art fair and special pop-ups dotted around Gillman Barracks, focusing mainly on Southeast Asian modern and contemporary art via exciting collaborations between international and local galleries.

6
In an Instant: Polaroid at the Intersection of Art and Technology
Art, Photography

In an Instant: Polaroid at the Intersection of Art and Technology

icon-location-pin National Museum of Singapore, City Hall
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The culture of now has never been so prevalent in this digital age of technology where instant services and smartphones are glorified. Tracing back to its roots in the late 1940s leads us to what was a breakthrough in the world of photography, the Polaroid camera. Inspiring artists and photographers alike, the exhibition offers insight into the story behind Polaroid photography and how the process of being able to memorial a special and specific moment in time has impacted the social phenomenon we have today.

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7
merci marcel x gabriel dufourcq
Art

Merci Marcel x Gabriel Dufourcq

icon-location-pin Merci Marcel, Tiong Bahru
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Boho-chic French resto Merci Marcel is setting up another round of art exhibition, this time featuring Singapore-based, French artist Gabriel Dufourcq. Known for creating legendary icons out of newspaper clippings and more, the month-long showcase features unique, one-of-a-kind artworks from the artist's Find a Word for It collection. His thought-provoking artworks are made to encourage guests to think of the media's influence on the general public's perception of political and contemporary icons. Art collectors can also bag the artist's pieces ranging from $1000 to $4000, with original artworks available for $10,000.  

8
Between the Lines – The Chinese Cartoon Revolution
Art

Between the Lines – The Chinese Cartoon Revolution

icon-location-pin Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, Novena
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Delve deeper into the world of Chinese cartoons in Singapore and discover the correlation it has with the 1911 Revolution in China. Early Chinese cartoonists captured China at one of its lowest points in the late 19th century through satirical sketches, which then served as an activist for the revolutionary political movement against the corrupt regime, ending imperial rule in China. This transpired into the first Chinese cartoons appearing in our local newspapers representing political and social commentary. With over 150 Chinese cartoons, artefacts and images, trace the history as you get warp into the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.

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9
ntu cca
Art

Jef Geys: Quadra Medicinale Singapore

icon-location-pin Gillman Barracks, Bukit Merah
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See art in nature as NTU Centre of Contemporary Arts Singapore showcases the late Belgian artist Jef Gey's debut institutional exhibition in Asia. The artist is known for his belief that art should be incorporated into everyday life, and that his practice adopts an interdisciplinary and collaborative process of extensive research and knowledge-formation. The exhibition introduces thought-provoking artistic executions that raise questions regarding hierarchies and the adaptability of nature and society, and whether conceptual artworks can go further after an artist's passing. Besides elements from Gey's Quadra Medicinale series, the exhibition also showcases two painting from Geys’s Seed-bags series, a long-term project where he discovered that the images of veggies or flowers pictured on the bag did not match the actual plant he grew. Through the paintings, Geys challenged the accuracy and truth of commercial photography.

10
President's Young Talents 2018
Art, Galleries

President's Young Talents 2018

icon-location-pin Singapore Art Museum, City Hall
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Singapore’s premier and only mentoring, commissioning, and award programme is back for their seventh edition. Recognising talented artists aged up to 35 years old, President's Young Talents (PYT) has defined the start of an outstanding artistic journey for many youths such as Boo Junfeng, Heman Chong, Charles Lim, Vertical Submarine and many more. As the last exhibition before the Singapore Art Museum temporally closes for a major revamp, come on down and show your support as Singapore’s next up-and-coming generation of contemporary artists takes centre stage.

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11
Syonan Gallery: War and its Legacies
Photo: William Goh
Art

Surviving the Japanese Occupation: War and its Legacies

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To mark – not commemorate – the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore, there'll be an exhibition set in the Old Ford Factory, which was where the British surrendered to the Japanese forces on February 15, 1942. Spread across four zones, take in the diary entries, identity cards and war campaign documentary paintings on display, then reflect on the solemn beginnings of our nationhood.

12
Amek Gambar (Taking Pictures): Peranakans and Photography
Art, Photography

Amek Gambar: Peranakans and photography

icon-location-pin Peranakan Museum, City Hall
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Trace the evolution of photography in Southeast Asia through the lens of the Peranakan community as you admire the collection of over 200 photographs, donated by Mr and Mrs Lee Kip Lee, that runs the gamut from old school monochrome images to dazzling digital displays. Through its exploration of the candid and intimate moments shared by early Peranakan families, the exhibition also brings forth issues surrounding identity and connectedness.

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13
Lim Cheng Hoe - Painting Singapore
Art, Galleries

Lim Cheng Hoe: Painting Singapore

icon-location-pin National Gallery Singapore, City Hall
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Considered to be one of the city's finest watercolourists, see Singapore through Lim Cheng Hoe's lenses as he showcases 60 distinctive works of art which beautifully capture the evolving scenes from the 1930s to the 1970s. The artist's dedication towards plein-air painting influences the elements featured in his art, including the effects of light and weather on the landscapes of the city, as well as motifs such as kampongs, boat traffics, hilltop views and more that oozes a sense of local identity.      

The best places to catch some art

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