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The best upcoming art exhibitions in Singapore

The coolest art galleries and museums to get your art and culture fix at this month

By Time Out Singapore editors |
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Living With Ink
Photo: Time Out Singapore

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. Find out the secrets behind Disney's magic with over 500 art pieces including original drawings, paintings, sketches, and concept art; or check out an art pop up at the hip Jalan Besar district. There's bound to be something exciting for all you culture vultures this month. 

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

1
Disney: Magic of Animation
Photo: Disney
Art, Drawing and illustration

Disney: Magic of Animation

icon-location-pin ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay
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Go behind the scenes of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ most beloved animated movies at the Art Science Museum. Disney: Magic of Animation showcases 90 magical years of Disney animation this October. The landmark exhibition is shown in Southeast Asia for the first time and features over 500 exceptional art pieces including original drawings, paintings, sketches, and concept art curated by the Walt Disney Animation Research Library. Don't miss your chance to be the first to see original artworks from the highly-anticipated film, Frozen 2, ahead of its release on November 21.

2
Jalan Besar Salon
Art

Jalan Besar Salon

icon-location-pin EOMM Emporium of the Modern Man, Kallang
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The annual Jalan Besar Salon pop-up returns with more exciting art programmes that spark up conversations and discussions on the various creative ways humans cultivate a sense of place and belonging, adapt to change and aging, and develop social relations outside of comfort zones. Highlights include The Dry Bar, a play partly inspired by the French Salons and showcases people in communities performing care services to anyone willing to venture into their spaces. 

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3
City Hall: If Walls Could Talk
Photo: National Gallery Singapore
Art

City Hall: If Walls Could Talk

icon-location-pin National Gallery Singapore, City Hall
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National Gallery Singapore’s newest exhibition pays tribute to a building with a long and colourful history, the City Hall. City Hall: If Walls Could Talk is held in conjunction with the Singapore Bicentennial commemoration. The new exhibition is part of the Gallery’s ongoing efforts to delve into the two national monuments the museum is housed in. 

The immersive multimedia experience celebrates the building’s rich history by combining art with stories inspired by key events that took place in the grand City Hall chamber. 

4
No Taste for Bad Taste
Photo: Jean-Charles de Castelbajac
Art

No Taste for Bad Taste

icon-location-pin National Design Centre, Rochor
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After travelling to different countries and joining major international design events, No Taste for Bad Taste comes to Singapore from October 12 to November 16. The exhibition is held in celebration of the 40th anniversary of supporting French Design, organised by le French Design by VIA. The exhibition is curated by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and combines forty pieces from world-renowned designers such as Philippe Starck, Mathieu Lehanneur, Noe Duchaufour-Lawrance, Christian Liaigre and Jean Nouvel.  

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5
Racines
Photo: Miaja Gallery
Art, Contemporary art

Racines

icon-location-pin Miaja Gallery, River Valley
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French-Vietnamese Artist Hom Nguyen presents his solo exhibition, Racines (or 'Roots'). Hom was raised in Paris by a single mother on the streets and was always in search of his ethnic roots and a place to call home. The collection of twenty artworks explores the artist's introspection of himself and his ongoing quest to make peace with his cultural identity and sense of belonging as an Asian immigrant in Europe. It also further strengthens Miaja's mission to establish a cultural link between the gallery's native Europe and its adoptive Asia with cross-cultural themed art.  

6
Children of the Sun
Photo: Khoo Sui Ho
Art, Galleries

Suddenly Turning Visible: Art and Architecture in Southeast Asia (1969-1989)

icon-location-pin National Gallery Singapore, City Hall
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Interested to find out the connections between art and architecture in Singapore, Bangkok and Manila? Suddenly Turning Visible: Art and Architecture in Southeast Asia illuminates the lesser-known links between art and architecture, and the role of institutions in the development of art in the region. The exhibition showcases artworks from the period (1969 to 1989) alongside archives, and newly commissioned and restaged works. 

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7
Clear Light
Photo: The Private Museum
Art

Clear Light

icon-location-pin The Private Museum, Rochor
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Clear Light marks Australian artist Ian de Souza's debut showcase in Singapore after more than four decades of practicing art. The Malaya-born artist spent his early years in Singapore and Malaysia under colonial British and Japanese rule before moving to New South Wales at the age of 16. He then toured the world as a musician, performing alongside pop icons such as the Bee Gees before becoming a full-time artist in 1980. In this homecoming exhibition at The Private Museum, de Souza showcases his latest series of paintings which explore his contemplations on life, and a revisit of his Eastern heritage, spirituality, and harmony.   

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
Living with Ink: The Collection of Dr Tan Tsze Chor
Photo: Asian Civilisations Museum
Art

Living with Ink: The Collection of Dr Tan Tsze Chor

icon-location-pin Asian Civilisations Museum, City Hall
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Peep at a late businessman and calligrapher's massive art collection at the Asian Civilisations Museum's Living with Ink. The exhibition will present over 130 treasured Chinese paintings, porcelains, and scholars' objects donated to the museum since 2000 by the Tan family. This includes paintings by modern Chinese masters Ren Bonian, Xu Beihong, and Qi Baishi – as well as works made by artists in Singapore in the 1930s through the 1980s. 

10
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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11
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.

12
Studio portrait of two young men 1910
Photo: Lee Brothers Studio
Art, Photography

From Brush to Lens: Early Chinese Photography Studios in Singapore

icon-location-pin Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, Novena
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A picture is worth a thousand words, even tales from the yesteryears. Let Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall transport you back in time in its latest exhibition featuring photographs taken by early Chinese photography studios. Uncover the stories of Chinese portrait painters who learned photography and later immigrated to Singapore to set up photography studios after the First Opium War. The early Chinese Photography studio contributed to documenting Singapore's colonial history from the 1890s.

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13
Points of Articulation
Photo: Yeo Workshop
Art

Points of Articulation

icon-location-pin Yeo Workshop, Kent Ridge
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Gillman Barracks presents Points of Articulation, Singaporean artist Solamalay Namasivayam’s first major retrospective exhibition. Look at more than 30 of his works done in a variety of mediums to render the human figure – whether it's monochromatic charcoal or ink on paper, to coloured pieces done in pastels or goache. These works were carefully selected from his extensive oeuvre, providing insights into his life and practice as both an artist and art educator. 

14
Collisions: Information, Harmony and Conflict
Photo: Sundaram Tagore Gallery
Art

Collisions: Information, Harmony and Conflict

icon-location-pin Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Bukit Merah
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Singapore’s visual arts enclave Gillman Barracks opens the floor for Collisions: Information, Harmony and Conflict. Best known for his Aggregations – freestanding and wall-hung sculptural works made from thousands of triangular forms wrapped in antique mulberry paper tinted with teas or pigment – Chun Kwang Young showcases his solo exhibition on the heels of his recent one at the Brooklyn Museum in New York which ran for seven months. 

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15
Lim Tze Peng
Photo: Lim Tze Peng
Art

Lim Tze Peng -National Icon. Centenarian

icon-location-pin ION Art Gallery, Orchard
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Catch the works of Singapore's oldest living artist, Lim Tze Peng at ION Art Gallery. The exhibition celebrates the 100-year-old master artist, whose works focus on Chinese philosophy, art and culture. Check out his works for yourself and see Singapore's rich history through his eyes.

16
Goodman: B-Sides
Photo: Arts House Limited
Art

Goodman: B-sides 2019

icon-location-pin Goodman Arts Centre, Marine Parade
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Come and get lost in the arts as Goodman: B-sides returns one last time before the year wraps up. Packed with activities not limited to art workshops, the artsy event also features live music performances across various genres and a lifestyle market for some gorgeous merch. Of course, no art jamboree is completed without food and beverage stalls to juice up before you embark on an organic and unguided trail around Goodman Arts Centre's many nooks.

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17
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.  

The best places to catch some art

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