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The best art exhibitions in Singapore

Get your art and culture fix at the city's art galleries and museums
Packaging Matters: Singapore’s Food Packaging Story from the Early 20th Century, National Museum of Singapore
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 designs, we'll have you sorted in a jiffy.

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

1
Jason Martin, STPI Gallery
Art

STPI Presents Meta physical by Jason Martin

icon-location-pin STPI Creative Workshop and Gallery, Raffles Place
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Draw your eyes to Jason Martin's first major solo showcase – Meta physical – at STPI Gallery from March 23 to May 4. The British contemporary artist invites you to treat your senses at the intimate showcase of his experimentations with print and paper. Combining elements of painting and sculpture, the textured masterpieces blur the line between the pictoriality of the former and the spatiality of the latter.  Inspired by both abstract expressionism and minimalism, the artist's captivating suite of artworks mainly consist of monochromatic, three-dimensional pieces. They are created through rigorous explorations of embossed relief, paper pulp painting and paper casting. There's no better way to get your art inspo than contemplating the rich intensity of the mixed media artworks by Jason Martin. Time Out Singapore in partnership with STPI Gallery  

2
ArtScience Museum - Wonderland
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. Suitable for all ages, it invites visitors and families alike to take a trip through the looking glass into the enchanted world.  

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3
children's biennale
Kids, Exhibitions

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.

4
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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5
Season of Chinese Art, Asian Civilisations Museum
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 (June 15 to September 15). Known for her iconic yellow cape as worn by Rihanna at the MET Gala in 2015, China's preeminent couturière Guo Pei is showcasing 29 of her most iconic embroidered creations in dialogue with 20 Chinese art masterpieces from ACM’s collection. That's not all – a special exhibition opens later this year to showcase the collection of Southeast Asia's renowned Chinese art collector, the late Dr Tan Tsze Chor, which features paintings by Ren Bonian, Qi Baishi, and Xu Beihong. The season then concludes with two collaborations – one with Beijing’s Palace Museum, showcasing the masterpieces of Ming-dynasty art, and the second with the Shanghai Museum, where highlights from the Tang Shipwreck collection at ACM travel to Shanghai in a first-ever special exhibition in China.

6
Futura
Photo: The Culture Story
Art

Constellation

icon-location-pin Gillman Barracks, Kent Ridge
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The godfather of contemporary street art – Futura – is taking over Gillman Barracks with his first solo exhibition in Singapore. Feast your eyes on 30 specially commissioned pieces that are created during a two-week-long residency at The Culture Story. The showcase celebrates the artist's innovative skills when it comes to developing new spraying methods, including his most iconic and signature technique – the inverted spray. The bold, vibrant compositions also demonstrate Futura's knack for creating a visual style that transcends cultural and physical boundaries. You'll just have to see it to believe it.

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7
#DontTellMeHowToDress
Things to do, Exhibitions

#DontTellMeHowToDress

icon-location-pin NomadX, City Hall
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Stand up to sexual harassment and pay to homage to women across the globe with #DontTellMeHowToDress. What started as an initiative spearheaded by Thai supermodel-actress and survivor of sexual harassment Cindy Sirinya Bishop in Thailand has now made rounds in the region including the Philippines and now Singapore. With the support of the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) and its Aim for Zero campaign, as well as the UN Women network organisation and Beam Artistes, the thought-provoking exhibition explores victim-blaming for gender-based violence and showcases how sexual violence takes victims regardless of how they act or dress. Local celebs have also pledged their support for the project. These include host Paul Foster, co-founder of Night Owl Cinematics Sylvia Chan, drag queen Becca D'Bus, actress Eunice Olsen and radio DJ Sonia Chew.

8
Pop Art & Bubbles
Art, Galleries

Pop Art & Bubbles Art Exhibition: Summer Singapore

icon-location-pin Royal Plaza on Scotts, Orchard
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As the heat begins to rise in Singapore, take the time to cool off at Royal Plaza on Scotts while appreciating the Pop Art & Bubbles Art Exhibition: Summer Singapore. Photographer and artist Linda Preece is launching her latest collection featuring iconic Singapore landmarks captured with a pop of vibrant summer colours. Also, don't miss her signature Peranakan-inspired artistic prints featuring traditional shophouses of Singapore’s heritage which are also showcased at the exhibition.  

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9
I AM ME by Naufal Abshar
Art, Painting

I AM ME by Naufal Abshar

icon-location-pin Art Porters Gallery, Outram
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This March, Art Porters Gallery showcases Indonesian artist Naufal Abshar’s solo exhibition which explores the deeper meaning of identity. The new exhibition is a continuation from his solo exhibition in 2018, HAHA, which questions the role of laughter or humor in any repeated activities that construct social criticism. With each painting, Abshar incorporates phrases to represent small things in our everyday lives that come together to construct a bigger picture.

10
Art

On/Out of Paper

icon-location-pin Mizuma Gallery, Bukit Merah
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Five Southeast Asian artists – Singapore's Ashley Yeo, the Philippines' Ryan Villamael and Indonesia's Irfan Hendrian, Iswanto Soerjanto and Yudi Sulistyo – come together to shine the spotlight on paper, showcasing that the medium is more than just a too. See the artists utilise the medium with unconventional techniques to produce pieces that go beyond the norm.

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11
Zheng Yuan Wu, Elegance of Absence
Art

Elegance of Absence

icon-location-pin ION Art Gallery, Orchard
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Tap into your innermost thoughts as you gaze at the captivating paintings of six artists – Zhao Xiao Hai, Zhang Wen, Zheng Yuan Wu, Du Xue, Xu Jing Wen and Lynn Lim. These pieces explore the concept of absence, and the artistic philosophy of negative spaces which are instrumental in highlighting the abstractions and emotions within the piece. The negative spaces also create room for intrigue, mystery and the unseen.

12
Charlotte Elizabeth Solo Exhibition - The World Above
Art, Painting

Charlotte Elizabeth Solo Exhibition: The World Above

icon-location-pin Miaja Art Collections, Contemporary Art Gallery, River Valley
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British-born artist Charlotte Elizabeth’s first solo exhibition in Singapore features a collection of paintings focusing on abstract skies. Marvel at the skies through the artist's eyes at the Miaja Art Collections Gallery, and admire her first series of work, inspired by Singapore’s dramatic skyline, architecture and climate, as well as her love for creating images that showcase the majesty of the above. 

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13
I Dim The Sun So That Dusk Arrives Earlier - Eiffel Chong
Art

I Dim The Sun So That Dusk Arrives Earlier

icon-location-pin Gillman Barracks, Kent Ridge
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This Eiffel Chong solo exhibition features 12 new piezography works on washi torinoko paper. In this exhibition, Chong engages the notion of ‘pharmaceutical numbness’ through a suite of piezography prints with wilted flowers. Chong explores the nature of antidepressants and pharmaceutical medicine and its effects on the human’s mental and emotional health.

14
Enter and Echo - Joanne Pang
Weizhong
Art, Painting

Enter and Echo

icon-location-pin UOB Art Gallery, Raffles Place
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Marvel at a selection of impressive paintings by award-winning artist Joanne Pang. The solo exhibition showcases the artist's explorations on the relationship between the natural creases of cloth, paint, and state of mind. While Pang mainly uses Chinese ink as paint, she incorporates the use of lipstick, wax pencil and graphite to add depth and texture to her pieces.

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15
From Lost Roots to Urban Meadows
Art, Sculpture

From Lost Roots to Urban Meadows

icon-location-pin The Private Museum, Rochor
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In celebration of International Women’s Day, The Private Museum is showcasing awe-inspiring works by Singaporean-based artists Madhvi Subrahmanian and Nandita Mukand. The exhibition features the two women artists’ installations and sculptural works informed by their explorations on how nature inserts itself into the urban world. In conjunction with the launch of the exhibition catalogue, Madhvi Subrahmanian and Nandita Mukand will be holding a dialogue session on April 6 at 3pm about their practices, themes presented in the exhibition, and the process behind their works.

16
Arus Balik - From below the wind to above the wind and back again
Art

Arus Balik – From below the wind to above the wind and back again

icon-location-pin NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, Bukit Merah
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A project initiated from a conversation between Belgian curator Philippe Pirotte and Jakarta-based artist Ade Darmawan, along with Zac Langdon-Pole, Shubigi Rao, Lucy Raven, and Melati Suryodarmo, this exhibition reflects on Indonesian author Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s book Arus Balik. Translates as “turning of the tide”, the exhibition takes the novel as a starting point and expands on perspectival shifts in geopolitical, cultural, social, religious, and natural spheres. This exhibition acts as NTU CCA Singapore’s response and contribution to this year’s nation-wide bicentennial commemoration that reflects on Singapore’s history.

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17
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.

18
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.

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19
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.  

20
Raffles in Southeast Asia
Photo: Asian Civilisation Museum
Things to do, Exhibitions

Raffles in Southeast Asia: Revisiting the Scholar and Statesman

icon-location-pin Asian Civilisations Museum, City Hall
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How well do you really know about Sir Stamford Raffles? Delve deeper into life of the founder of modern Singapore at the Asian Civilisations Museum. Pore over 240 objects from the collections of 14 international institutions and lenders, and get a glimpse of Southeast Asian history that most intrigued Raffles and the British.

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21
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.

22
Syonan Gallery: War and its Legacies
Photo: William Goh
Art

Surviving the Japanese Occupation: War and its Legacies

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.

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23
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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