Best Art Exhibitions at Art Galleries in Singapore You Should Check Out

Best Art Exhibitions at Art Galleries in Singapore You Should Check Out

Here's our round-up of the best art exhibitions at museums and art galleries in Singapore

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If you have been missing the best art exhibitions ​​in Singapore, now is the time to step out! From well-loved artists, both new and old, to the most stunning virtual exhibits in town, there’s plenty going on at art galleries and museums in Singapore to keep you captivated.

Also, should you need to pick up a special piece for your home or office, you can even buy art at some of these exhibits!

Calendars at the ready? This round-up of the best art exhibitions in town is all you need for a fun day out.

Gallery 1819 - Reflection, an exhibition by Lisa Teo

Have you invested in Malaysian artists yet? Lisa Teo is a Malaysian lawyer-turned-artist based in Kuala Lumpur, who has been creating art for the past 10 years. In line with her love for nature, hiking and travelling, she specialises in creating oil paintings of nature, particularly of the Sekinchan paddy fields in Malaysia.

The paddy fields are a metaphor for the cycle of life where Lisa explores various themes relevant to a person’s life journey. Her paintings convey messages about the transient nature of life, patience and determination and harvesting the fruits of one’s labour. Her style is influenced by the works of post-Impressionists. She merges Western art techniques with Eastern feng shui elements of abundance and growth. 

In her first solo exhibition with Gallery 1819, she presents her second series on paddy fields that explore themes of self-discovery, spiritual growth and the pursuit of one’s life purpose. Her paintings provide much joy and positivity during this Covid pandemic with her liberal use of vivid colours. Lisa has created wonderful scenes of golden light, tranquillity, dreams and hope, allowing viewers to envision a future of hope and fulfilment.    

This particular series of paintings chronicles her personal and spiritual journey in the past 2 years ~ how the decision to separate from her life partner led to her discovery of her inner voice, spirituality, the universal intelligence and her life purpose.

" My paintings are about Intimate Conversations. Just as one picks up a particular book at the right time to receive the messages within its pages, my paintings resonate with a viewer when the images enable him or her to have an intimate conversation with his or her heart and to perceive its hidden voice. What do you feel or what messages come to you when you see my art? Does it bring forth a special memory?", says Lisa Teo.

This exhibition is being held at Gallery 1819  till 19.9.2021. Winner of Best Art Gallery category Tatler Annual Awards 2020, the fine art gallery features prominent and emerging artists from Singapore and across the region.  It also shares the same venue as sister gallery LivingwithArt Singapore established in 1999.

National Gallery Singapore - Antony Gormley

Explore this unique and participatory experience through the art exhibition, Antony Gormley at one of the best art galleries in Singapore - The National Gallery Singapore.

On display from 6 August 2021 to 30 October 2022, the exhibition features the new large-scale installation Horizon Field Singapore (2021) as part of the Gallery’s annual Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden Commission Series. For the first time, this year’s commissioned work is complemented by three further sculptures that together trace four decades of Gormley’s practice: Sense (1991), Close V (1998), and Ferment (2007). Placed at key locations throughout the Gallery, these works form a sequence of what the artist calls “acupuncture points” within the architecture, activating their surroundings and provoking connections with their audience.

The exhibition offers an introduction to the artist’s extensive body of work, which draws on a range of traditions and ideas including Buddhist sculpture and philosophy, Minimalism, and quantum physics. Many of Gormley’s works encourage viewers to focus their attention on their own movement and perception in relation to the surrounding space. 

In the new commission, Horizon Field Singapore, visitors can step into a matrix of intersecting metal and take part in a spatial experience that continually shifts as they walk through it. This work expands Gormley’s approach to sculpture as a collaborative, ongoing dialogue between the artist, the object and the audience.

ArtScience Museum Marina Bay Sands - Orchestral Manoeuvres: See Sound. Feel Sound. Be Sound

Look forward to 32 composers and contemporary artists from across the world creating a very different kind of art exhibition in Singapore. Orchestral Manoeuvres: See Sound. Feel Sound. Be Sound allows you to tune in, listen deeply, feel the vibrations and create your personal soundtrack.

Orchestral Manoeuvres is a unique exhibition that presents early Sound Art projects, different types of music scores and noise-making sculptures, through to contemporary projects that use digital, drawn and/or hand-made methods to make an object speak or sing.

This spectacular art exhibition brings together some of the world’s leading contemporary sound artists whose works encourage us to listen more closely to the spaces we live in or visit. The artists ask us to imagine what music can be and how we might create it ourselves.

This exhibition includes a piano that plays itself and instruments you've never seen or heard before. Try your hand at composing or even take inspiration from famous composers who suggest you throw music around before you try to play it. And of course, like many top art exhibitions in town, this too is being held at one of our favourite art galleries, the ArtScience Museum!

Museum of Ice Cream Singapore

How about an art exhibition at an art gallery with a sweet twist? The anticipated Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC) has officially opened its doors to the public at its first international location, 100 Loewen Road. Located in the heart of Singapore’s historic Dempsey enclave, its grand debut comes three months after the attraction first announced plans to set foot in Singapore.

Expect 60,000 square foot of vibrant installations with the brand’s signature touch of pink, and all things happy! That’s 14 multi-sensory installations, a world of stunning sights, sounds and tasty treats galore. 

Discover your inner Picasso at Museum of Modern Ice Cream, race to the latest craze at Marble Run, take a trip overseas to California Dreamin, jam to oldies at our jukebox in Scream’s Diner, and unleash your inner child as you leap to new heights at Inflatable - a pink bouncy you HAVE to get on. Relieve nostalgia in Potong with a treat that’s a blast from the past, and say hello to MOIC’s very own unicorn playground at Playspace!

The MOIC Sprinkle Pool ever created is also a must-experience stop! There’s no such thing as an age limit to enjoy MOIC. From the most Instagrammable backgrounds you’ll find in Singapore city, to limitless fun for the kiddos, you can easily take between 1-2 hours to explore the destination. MOIC is entirely indoors and air-conditioned, which makes it the perfect destination for days when you can’t head outdoors.

You also get unlimited servings of ice cream treats! These include delicious flavours like Strawberry but also those with a local twist - such as Pulut Hitam Potong ice cream, Lemon Bliss Balls, Apple Pie Soft Serve, Lychee Bandung and Taro Milk Tea ice cream sandwiches - as well as unique flavours like Pina Colada ice cream.

Guests can take a trip down memory lane at Playspace, where Chapteh and Five Stones enthusiasts will have their dexterity put to the test. Guests also put their touches on the National Day Ice Cream Truck at the Craft Room and can be introduced to MOIC’s very own Mercone (part Merlion, part ice cream), and enjoy temporary National Day-themed tattoos. Don’t forget to take home some of the unique merchandise created in collaboration with local brands - all available at discounted prices at MOIC’s retail shop.  

MOIC Singapore opens daily from 10am to 11pm every day from Thursday - Sunday. Reservations begin from S$38, and children two years old and under enjoy complimentary entrance. Please read rules of entry based on your vaccination status.

The Art Passage by Ode to Art - Gotong Royong by Lim Tze Peng

As one of the leading contemporary art galleries in Singapore, Ode To Art has always been about representing an international spectrum of artists with diverse art exhibitions showcasing paintings, sculptures, photography, and installation art.

Their latest, Gotong Royong at The Art Passage by Ode to Art will run from 3 August to 30 September 2021, featuring a unique and comprehensive collection, spanning decades in the making, notably from the early 1970s to 2021. Gotong Royong by Singapore’s oldest and pioneering artist, Lim Tze Peng, showcases the growth of the nation from a sleepy fishing village to the world-renown city-state it is today. Mr Lim brings us down memory lane and revisits the earlier years of Singapore, a stark reminder of how far the nation has come in a mere 56 years. With more than 20 exclusive works, visitors will get a unique overview of the artist’s evolution and a glimpse into the development of his love for Singapore throughout his life.

Lim Tze Peng is famously known for his Chinese ink drawings and paintings of Chinatown and the Singapore River produced in the early 1980s after having embarked on his artistic journey in the 1950s. His masterpieces are exhibited across several art galleries in Singapore including the National Gallery, Singapore Art Museum and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and are part of many prestigious collections. Lim has been bestowed many awards including the Special Prize at the Commonwealth Art Exhibition in England in 1977 and the prestigious Cultural Medallion in Singapore in 2003. In May 2012, he broke records with the sale of his works at a Christie's auction in Hong Kong.

Asian Civilisations Museum - Life in Edo by Russel Wong in Kyoto

As Singapore’s national museum of Asian antiquities and decorative art, ACM is the only museum in Asia with a pan-Asian scope. ACM is devoted to exploring the rich artistic heritage of Asia through their outstanding collection of masterpieces, and through ground-breaking special art exhibitions.

Life in Edo | Russel Wong in Kyoto is presented in collaboration with Kobe Shimbun and Russel Wong. This double-bill art exhibition in Singapore is centred on Japanese culture and craftsmanship, showcasing an array of woodblock prints and photography. These artworks tell stories of traditional and contemporary Japan, and reveal how one often merges into the other.

The exhibition is presented in two parts, each spotlighting a different time period and multiple aspects of life in Japan.

First off, discover everyday activities of the Edo period (1603–1868) in Life in Edo – a showcase of woodblock prints and paintings which have come to be called "ukiyo-e" (pictures of the floating world). Subjects include people's travels, ideas on beauty, foods they craved, entertainment, and even the beloved pets of the era.

The other side of the art gallery features Russel Wong in Kyoto photographs from the celebrity photographer’s 13-year-long, ongoing personal project to document the geiko of Kyoto, shedding light on some of the rarely seen and lesser-known traditions of this private community and their place in modern society.

Hall of Fame @ Kampong Gelam

How about an art exhibition in one of Singapore’s open art galleries? 17 Singapore-based artists have unleashed their expression on prominent five-metre tall walls over a collective 230-metre stretch along Bali Lane and Ophir Road.

Led by One Kampong Gelam, and spanning a whopping 131 metres along Bali Lane and 107 metres along Ophir Road, the five-metre high Hall of Fame is set to be one of the most prominent street art gallery experiences in the region. Originally erected as noise barriers for ongoing construction works, the metal canvases will become an evolving stage for the best muralists from Singapore and eventually, the world.

Prolific street artists including ANTZ and Didier ‘Jaba’ Mathieu present stand-alone murals on Bali Lane as well as a collaborative piece on Ophir Road with Hegira. It is the first time that the trio is painting a collaborative piece together, drawing deeply from the essence and charm of Kampong Gelam. 

Ophir Road will also see The Journey, a mashup of the precinct's past and present, and inspired by five of the artists’ personal memories of Kampong Gelam. Artist duo Studio Moonchild depicts a child of many cultures, a metaphor for how the traditional and contemporary co-exist uniquely, while Dem imagines artists as ubiquitous flying pigeons, growing and spreading their wings on their own journeys. 

KILAS and Boon Baked then create a time portal, bringing the four murals together by telling a story of the precinct’s fictional past.

Alongside the Hall of Fame, visitors can also look forward to related activities and urban experiences offered in the precinct. Connect with the energy of Kampong Gelam through curated self-guided walking tours, artist-led spray-painting workshops, and refreshed neighbourhood adventures.

Alliance Française de Singapour - DANCE: A Tribute to Rudolf Nureyev

In tribute to one of the most illustrious names in dance, Alliance Française de Singapour is running DANCE: A Tribute to Rudolf Nureyev. On display from 15th July – 15th September, the art exhibition is part of the ongoing French Excellence programme and will showcase  14 striking costumes from Nureyev’s ballets, performed at some of the world’s most iconic destinations including the Paris Opera House, as well as 49 unpublished photographs. 

Throughout the exhibition, a  series of talks, workshops and conferences will further encourage dialogue and help to develop a deeper understanding of the legacy of the “King of Dance,” and the evolution of ballet in the cultural landscape.  

Rudolf Nureyev is one of the most lauded figures in ballet; flamboyant and charismatic, Nureyev made his debut with the Kirov Ballet aged 17, going on to perform and choreograph ballets across the world.  Much of his work took place at the Paris Opera House, where he worked closely alongside Charles Jude;  a protégé of the dancer, and a former Étoile of the Paris Opera, Jude continues Nureyev’s legacy to this day. 

On display for the first time in Singapore, the pieces showcased by Alliance Française are from Jude’s private collection.

Throughout the duration of the exhibition, Alliance Française de Singapour will be hosting a dynamic series of workshops, talks and screenings, bringing together some of the greatest talents in dance to enhance the cultural exchange. Highlights include a conference exploring the role and legacy of Nureyev with a close colleague, Charles Jude, and dancers from the Singapore Dance Theatre; French film screenings (including The White Crow, which depicts the story of Nureyev’s defection to the West); and a conference on costume design with an international fashion consultant, Leonard Choo.

ArtScience Museum Marina Bay Sands - Virtual Realms: Videogames Transformed

Love immersive art exhibitions? Then you will enjoy this virtual exhibit at Singapore’s leading art galleries located in the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. Step into the realm of the videogame in a series of playful and immersive installations to help you journey through new sonic landscapes and exciting kaleidoscopic worlds.

The exhibit pairs six of the world's most acclaimed video game developers with six leading media design studios to create a series of large-scale, immersive installations. By moving video games from the screen to the museum gallery, this exhibition presents 21st-century game design as a unique form of contemporary art.

The game developers at the centre of the exhibition are KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS (makers of the hit videogame DEATH STRANDING), Enhance (Tetsuya Mizuguchi and team behind Rez Infinite and Tetris Effect), thatgamecompany (authors of the meditative games Sky: Children of the Light and Journey), Tequila Works (the studio that made Deadlight and RiME), Media Molecule (makers of LittleBigPlanet and Dreams) and David OReilly (artist and creator of the games Everything and Mountain).

National Arts Council - Silver Arts

An exhibition of various art performances for the entertainment of our seniors? We love the idea! In celebration of its tenth anniversary, Silver Arts returns this year from September to December 2021 in a hybrid format, with a blend of physical and digital programmes for seniors and their loved ones to enjoy in-person AND from the comfort of their homes.

You can enjoy hands-on workshops, engaging performances and interactive exhibitions. Look forward to an exciting line-up of more than 30 programmes in English, Malay, Tamil, Mandarin and Chinese dialects. They can also indulge in nostalgic songs of yesteryear with live performances adapted from popular commissioned works such as Wadah Seni’s Entertainment’s Keroncong Asmara (Romantic Keroncong); reimagine the kampung life in The Glowers Drama Group’s radio play Chap Lau; enjoy diverse works wrought from mutual respect and cultural exchanges in Pathey Nimidam, a 10-minute Tamil play programme presented by Ravindran Drama Group; pick up a new skill in artist-led workshops and appreciate the new works created by seniors in community art exhibitions online and at three libraries.

There’s even a Silver Arts Whatsapp channel for updates and to participate in the online programmes during the festival period. Take a look at NAC’s Facebook Events page for more details. 

Presented by the National Arts Council (NAC), Silver Arts aims to highlight the significance of arts engagement in enhancing the well-being of seniors and people around them. Through learning a new skill, sharing their stories and co-creating art with artists, seniors can (re)discover their talent, deepen family bonds and form new social connections within the community.

Natasha Tulsi

31 Aug 2021, 01:00 PM

Wordsmith and marketer by day, Natasha is your go-to girl on all things beauty, travel and family. This mommy to two loves her cheese, a fab read and crooning to Ping Fong (don't we all?). Natasha also heads Communications at Expatgiving and helps volunteers find their dream non-profit role! Reach her at email or via her Instagram @sonattymama