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Photograph: UltraSuperNewGallery

The best contemporary art galleries in Singapore

Hang out with the cool artsy cats at these alternative galleries in Singapore

Written by
Sofiana Ramli
,
Cam Khalid
&
Dewi Nurjuwita
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With the city's top museums dominating itineraries, it’s easy to forget about the smaller, offbeat gems. It's time to open your mind with these alternatives to the big hitters and dive into the world of contemporary art. Hang out with the cool artsy cats at these alternative galleries in Singapore. Who knows, you might just find your new favourite artist. 

RECOMMENDED: The best museums in Singapore and the best upcoming art exhibitions this month

Red Dot Design Museum Singapore
  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Marina Bay

Looking like something out of a sci-fi film, the museum’s brand new digs is worth checking out. It’s home to the latest mind-blowing prototypes and ideas, as well as contemporary product and communication designs created by winners of the prestigious Red Dot Product Design Awards.

  • Things to do
  • City Hall

Head to the second floor of The Cathay and you’ll find more movie magic at The Cathay Gallery. This hidden gem is a time capsule of movie memorabilia wallpapered with vintage film posters of the most iconic flicks in cinematic history, such as the animated classic The Jungle Book and The Sound of Music.

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  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Outram

Nestled in the Spottiswoode neighbourhood in a beautiful Peranakan shophouse, Art Porters Gallery shines the spotlight on contemporary art in the region. Founders Guillaume Levy-Lambert and Sean Soh are strong advocates for emerging artists from Southeast Asia. Works presented include drawing, painting, sculpture, photography and digital animation.

  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Raffles Place

The devil is in the details at Supernormal. Founded by multi-disciplinary design studio Modular Unit, the independent art space presents experimental and offbeat works and projects. Besides visual arts exhibitions, the gallery also hosts music performances, short films, or video art screenings. 

 

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  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Rochor

Cuturi Gallery has moved into a beautiful conservation shophouse in the ethnic enclave of Kampong Gelam in the bigger Bugis area. The new gallery space echoes its starting grounds on Scotts Road, with streamlined and minimalistic interiors that don't take away from the main highlight: the artworks themselves. The ground floor is dedicated to the gallery's exhibition spaces, while the second- and third- floor houses multi-functional art spaces. But hold your breath for the gallery's crowning gallery, an open-air patio overlooking the surrounding neighbourhood – old red roofs, golden-domed mosques and everything else in between. 

  • Things to do
  • Tanjong Pagar

Be enchanted by tinkling musical boxes in a museum dedicated to these delightful trinkets. Through the museum’s doors lies centuries worth of history. Here, you can learn about the popularity of musical boxes throughout the years, how they first came to Singapore, and how Singapore played a pivotal role in bringing musical boxes to South-East Asia in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

Most of the musical boxes here are antiques that are centuries old, each telling a unique story of the craftsmanship of yesteryears. The museum aims to upkeep the preservation of these artefacts, and its collections hail mainly from Switzerland, Germany and the US.

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  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Kallang

A far cry from the mundane, UltraSuperNew Gallery is anything but boring. Championing interactive experience art and creativity, the gallery hosts quirky exhibitions and bold pop-ups that are bound to pique your interest. The gallery has recently moved into its new home in Jalan Besar – so discover the neighbourhood while 

STPI Creative Workshop and Gallery
  • Art
  • Raffles Place

Known for its artist collaboration programme, creative workshop and contemporary art gallery STPI has partnered with many contemporary artists like Amanda Heng to allow them to experiment and debut never-before-seen print and paper pieces.

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Opera Gallery Singapore
  • Art
  • Orchard

Feast your eyes on a wealth of sculptures and paintings by acclaimed modern artists including Manolo Valdés, André Brasilier and Fernando Botero at Opera Gallery. What goes on display is carefully curated by its collectors and if you’re looking to bag one, simply ask one of the staff – but be warned, they all come with a hefty price tag.

Gajah Gallery
  • Art
  • Harbourfront

Here’s a gallery that throws the spotlight on contemporary art by established artists from Southeast Asia. The gallery also offers regular exhibition tours and dialogue sessions with its local and regional curators.

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Parkview Museum
  • Art
  • Rochor

The museum is temporarily closed

Also known as the ‘Gotham City’ building, the ritzy Parkview Square houses the largest collection of Italian art in Asia, as well as an extensive range of contemporary art from across Europe and Asia. The private gallery also hosts exclusive exhibitions, themed showcases and guided gallery tours for art aficionados.

Miaja Gallery
  • Art
  • Galleries
  • River Valley

A haven for visual artists, the gallery champions artists through exhibitions and public programmes that showcases unique and distinctive works of art. The gallery occupies the second floor of APS Building by Robertson Quay, providing visitors an imaginative space that nurtures the creative minds of various individuals from countries that strengthen the cultural bond between the gallery's native Europe and its adoptive Asia.

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  • Art
  • Bukit Merah

Contemporary paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, prints… whatever it is, Mizuma Gallery has it all. Opened in 2012 by Sueo Mizuma, the gallery provides a space for emerging Japanese artists and Southeast Asian talents to showcase their works.

  • Things to do
  • Rochor

A first of its kind here, this museum is built to mirror a massive Rollei camera and boasts over 1000 vintage cameras. It houses everything from old-school spy cameras to novel pistol cameras, as well as retro images, interesting nuggets on photography and a fascinating replica of the first photograph – this museum is truly a shutterbug’s dream come true.

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Pearl Lam Galleries
  • Art
  • Bukit Merah

With galleries in Hong Kong and Shanghai, Pearl Lam Galleries has two branches right here in Singapore – one in Dempsey and the other at Gillman Barracks. Focusing mainly on Chinese and Asian artists, the gallery sets itself as a platform for those who dare to push artistic boundaries. Presenting prominent figures in the Chinese abstract art scene such as Su Xiaobai and Zhu Jinshi, it also occasionally reps international names like David LaChapelle and Leonardo Drew.

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