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The best art exhibitions in Singapore

Get your art and culture fix at the city's art galleries and museums

Takashi Murakami
Time Out Singapore
By Time Out Singapore editors |
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Thinking of broadening your horizons and catching some culture this week? Keep up with our round-up of the best art exhibitions and showcases happening around town. Whether you're looking for Chinese ink-wash paintings or seeking to admire the art of acclaimed contemporary Japanese artists, there's bound to be something for you. We'll have you sorted in a jiffy.

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

1
Floating Utopias
Things to do, Exhibitions

Floating Utopias

icon-location-pin ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay
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Feast your eyes on a visual treat at the ArtScience Museum. Titled Floating Utopias, this playful yet poetic exhibition explores the history of inflatable objects, showcasing the effects they have on art, architecture and social activism over the decades after the first hot air balloon took off. 

Catch the masterpieces of over 15 international and local artists including Ant Farm, Tools for Action (Artúr van Balen and Tomás Espinosa), Anna Hoetjes, Ahmet Öǧüt, Graham Stevens, Luke Jerram and Dawn Ng. Out of the 40 artworks featured, eight are of giant inflatables that are suspended in the galleries to amp up the dramatic displays. 

Highlights include the impressive outdoor installation, Castle of Vooruit (2012), by Turkish artist Ahmet Öğüt, and a new version of British artist Luke Jerram's giant lunar sculpture, Museum of the Moon, which is also commissioned by the museum to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing in 1969.

From 18 to 20 July, you can commemorate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11's landing on the moon at Moongazers. The three-day event is complementary to Floating Utopias. Specially curated by ArtScience Museum, the programmes explore the reverberations of Apollo 11's achievement through a series of performances, talks, and workshops. 

2
Takashi Murakami: From Superflat to Bubblewrap
Things to do, Exhibitions

Takashi Murakami: From Superflat to Bubblewrap

icon-location-pin STPI Creative Workshop and Gallery, Raffles Place
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STPI brings Takashi Murakami's colourful world to the STPI gallery with Takashi Murakami: From Superflat to Bubblewrap. The exhibition explores the dynamic practice of Murakami, one of the most notable artists emerging from post-war Japan and a force to be reckoned with in the world of contemporary art today. 

From printmaking traditions, textures of graffiti and neon signages to hypnotically seamless wallpapers and digital moving images, explore Takashi Murakami's dynamic artistic expression at this milestone solo exhibition. Focusing on the link between the 'Superflat' theory and iconography which launched his global career to a recent examination of the recessive realism of Japan's economic bubble crisis, coined 'Bubblewrap', be one of the first to marvel at his range of exciting and never-before-seen works.

The annual special exhibition at STPI will be supported by a diverse array of public programmes: including an artist talk, panel discussions, film screenings, printmaking workshops, and guided tours of both the exhibition and STPI's Creative Workshop in multiple languages. 

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3
gillman barracks
Photo: National Arts Centre
Art

Start at Gillman Barracks

icon-location-pin Gillman Barracks, Kent Ridge
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Turn your creative lightbulb on as Singapore's favourite visual arts destination is hosting a three-day art and lifestyle event. Cop affordable quality art at a steal, create a work of art at the available workshops, get cosy for award-winning films, and check out a dedicated lifestyle zone for exclusive prints and furniture by local brands and designers at Blk 7 and Blk 9 of Gillman Barracks.

4
Wonderland, ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands
Photo: Marina Bay Sands
Art, Digital and interactive

Wonderland

icon-location-pin ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay
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Fall down the rabbit hole at ArtScience Museum’s latest exhibition Wonderland. Immerse yourself in this playful and interactive exhibition based on Lews Carroll’s timeless stories of Alice and her adventures through Wonderland.

Developed by Australian Centre for the Moving Image (AMCI), this immersive showcase makes Singapore its first stop as part of its global tour. The exhibition is suitable for all ages, inviting visitors and families alike to take a trip through the looking glass into the enchanted world. 

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5
Guo Pei: Chinese Art and Couture
Photo: Asian Civilisations Museum
Art

Season of Chinese Art

icon-location-pin Asian Civilisations Museum, City Hall
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Asian Civilisations Museum opens doors for culture vultures to explore the best of both traditional and contemporary Chinese art through artworks, heritage, culture and fashion from China and Singapore. Kickstarting the latest season is Guo Pei: Chinese Art and Couture. The famous couturière is known for her iconic yellow cape worn by Rihanna at the 2015 MET. 29 of her most iconic embroidered creations are up for display along with 20 Chinese art masterpieces from ACM’s collection.

6
Phua Cheng Phue, The Charm of Ink-Wash
Photo: Phua Cheng Phue
Art

The Charm of Ink-Wash

icon-location-pin ION Art Gallery, Orchard
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Examine Heng Artland's annual exhibition spotlighting the appeal of Chinese ink-wash paintings on rice paper by established artists from Singapore, Malaysia and China. Featuring drawings and paintings, the artworks showcase various techniques that have been perfected throughout the years. Marvel at the colours and diluted tones of the ink-wash technique, while appreciating the deep thought and conceptualisation that background the essence of artistic creation.

Some highlights of the exhibition includes ‘Enjoy the Breeze’ by Singapore pioneer artist Chen Wen Hsi, ‘A Carefree Journey’ by NAFA graduate Cheah Thian Soong from Malaysia, and ‘A Wondrous Autumn Scene’ by renowned Beijing artist Professor Jia Youfu.

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7
Of Days Gone by No.1
Artwork by: Liu Ling
Art

Of Ordinary Things

icon-location-pin SPRMRKT (STPI), Raffles Place
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Of Ordinary Things is award-winning artist Liu Ling's representation of the forgotten aspects of life. In discovering the beauty of the ordinary, Liu explores realism in and through art, thereby bringing to light erstwhile ignored realities. As part of Liu's exhibition, SPRMRKT at STPI is running all-day promotions throughout July. Guests who order a bottle of Chateau Beaulieu and Coteaux d’ Aix-en-Provence Rose are entitled to a complimentary choice of Asian hummus and flatbread, sweet potato fries or oyster corn fritters. 

8
Gallery Children's Biennale 2019: Embracing Wonder
Things to do

Gallery Children's Biennale 2019: Embracing Wonder

icon-location-pin National Gallery Singapore, City Hall
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Take the kiddos on an art adventure at National Gallery Singapore. This year’s Children’s Biennale features 11 interactive artworks by local and international artists. Let your little hitmakers create their own tunes at Chance Operations or immerse them in an experiential journey across time and space at Stardust: Soaring Through the Sky’s Embrace.

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9
Miaja Gallery - teamLab Installation
Art, Galleries

teamLab Installation at Miaja Gallery

icon-location-pin Miaja Gallery, River Valley
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Teaming up with Ikkan Art Gallery, Miaja Gallery is proud to present digital artworks by teamLab as part of its permanent installation. An art collective based in Tokyo, teamLab is widely known to create art that transcends boundaries. Feast your eyes on Waves of Light, a digital artwork consisting of computer-generated waves that are expressed as a continuous body of water, creating a new experience between humans, nature, and art. Inspired by nature, life cycles, and the infinite movement of particles, the artworks showcased in this gallery tell stories that resonate deep within the human essence.

10
From Singapore to Singaporean: The Bicentennial Experience
Things to do

From Singapore to Singaporean: The Bicentennial Experience

icon-location-pin Fort Canning Park, City Hall
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Delve further into Singapore’s past with a two-part showcase at the historic Fort Canning Park. Time Traveller is a cinematic experience that takes you through 700 years of history with five multimedia shows. While Pathfinder is a free-and-easy experience that presents Singapore’s journey from past to present through eight interactive pavilions and installations.

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11
Red Dot Design Museum - Human-Nature Exhibition
Art, Design

Human-Nature Exhibition

icon-location-pin Red Dot Design Museum Singapore, Marina Bay
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The Human-Nature exhibition brings together innovative products, research concepts, communication works and art, the exhibition begins with an introspective probe on how humans perceive robots. This selection of works poses questions about being human and explores how humans excel beyond their natural abilities. To gain an insight into the nature of human beings and technology, the museum offers a bilingual Human-Nature catalogue which serves as a necessary exhibition accompaniment and provides an in-depth narration, parallel questioning, and full descriptions of the exhibiting design works.

12
SEA STATE 9: proclamation garden
Art

Sea State 9: proclamation garden

icon-location-pin National Gallery Singapore, City Hall
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Surround yourself with flora atop National Gallery Singapore. As part of the gallery's Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden Commission series, Sea State 9: proclamation garden by Charles Lim Yi Yong transforms the space with herbage found in reclaimed areas such as Changi, Tuas and the Southern Islands. Besides showcasing the biodiversity of flora in Singapore, it also shines a light onto the city's history of land reclamation. The garden is considered a work in progress, so expect the exhibition to evolve as the plants grow day by day.  

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13
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. There are also 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, on the other hand, 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.  

14
Tawan Wattuya: A Multitude of Possibilities
Art

Tawan Wattuya: A Multitude of Possibilities

icon-location-pin Hatch Art Project, Raffles Place
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Contemplate the state of humanity and the role of art in creating possibilities for freedom via Thai artist Tawan Wattuya's debut solo showcase. The exhibition displays a selection of the artist's watercolour paintings that highlights his perspectives on global socio-political issues as well as his personal reflections on society. Spot various human figures ranging from political figures, pop culture icons, soldiers, extremists, and sex workers while you're at it.

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15
Therese Pang
Art

Contemplate: A Solo Exhibition by Jason Lim

icon-location-pin Gajah Gallery, Habourfront
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Take a good look at the masterpieces of Singaporean ceramist and performance artist Jason Lim. Contemplate showcases ceramic experimentations that weave in trivial inanimate items – think tree branches, rocks and stones – mundane things that vibrate in Jason's life. By creating sculptures that mirror and function as landscapes, the artist reminds us of the significance found in nature, hoping to evoke a sense of wonderment, reflection and contemplation.  

16
84 Years of Art
Art

84 Years of Art

icon-location-pin ION Art Gallery, Orchard
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Raise a toast to the 84th anniversary of The Society of Chinese Artists’ annual art exhibition. Catch over 70 established local artists come together to showcase their various styles including craft oil painting, watercolour, Chinese ink, calligraphy, ceramics and even the quintessential Nanyang style. Explore an array of art, from simple, fluid strokes to bold splashes of colour.

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17
Reptiles by Huang Yong Ping, Awakenings
Photo: National Gallery Singapore
Art

Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia 1960s-1990s

icon-location-pin National Gallery Singapore, City Hall
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Broaden your mind with experimental art that spans decades. After its successful run in Japan and Korea, Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia 1960s to 1990s makes its way to Singapore to showcase 142 thought-provoking artworks by more than 100 artists from 12 countries across Asia. These innovative displays explore the various experimental practices influenced by the social and political landscapes in the region. Highlights include Reptiles (1989, remade in 2013) by Huang Yong Ping and Eceng Gondok Berbunga Emas (Water Hyacinth with Golden Roses) (1979, remade in 2017 and 2019) by Siti Adiyati. Tang Da Wu’s seminal work, They Poach the Rhino, Chop Off His Horn and Make This Drink (1989) is also set to debut in this exhibition.  

The best places to catch some art

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