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The artworks of Singapore National Gallery are displayed in a particularly alluring setting, offering a unique overview of modern and contemporary art of Singapore and of Southeast Asia, from the colonial period until the present.

The Gallery’s collection originated from the National Collection of Singapore, begun in 1976 with 93 works that were bequeathed to the National Museum by the renowned cinema tycoon and benefactor Dato Loke Wan Tho. Now run by the National Heritage Board, the collection has grown over the years to the 8,000 pieces it comprises today.

The National Gallery has works by important artists from Singapore and from the region, ranging from early-twentieth-century naturalist paintings to contemporary video installations.

The two main permanent collections are divided between the two buildings that house the museum.

The old City Hall is home to the DBS Singapore Gallery where, in chronological order starting from the 19th century, visitors can observe how the local and regional context, colonial influences and individual creativity have shaped and transformed the development of art in Singapore. The works will allow you to understand the multi-faceted aspects of art in Singapore, springing from the interplay of multi-ethnic cultural values and expressions and from the personal experimentation of the artists.

The former Supreme Court building houses the UOB Southeast Asia Gallery, where you can discover the history of Southeast Asian art through the artistic trends common in the region.

Starting from the 19th century, the main feature of Southeast Asian art has been the desire to strike a balance between tradition and modernity, with artists seeking to incorporate and to reinvent the artistic expressions of different peoples and to combine them with contemporary art, successfully illustrating how Southeast Asia has been a crossroads of major civilizations, religions and colonial powers, and a center of the struggles for independence and modernization.

The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions for an even more interesting visit.


An interesting fact: if you have children, make a visit to the Keppel Center for Art and Education in the basement, where you can learn about art through spectacular team games.

Our visit to the Singapore National Gallery ends here. MyWoWo would like to thank you - see you again at another Wonder of the World!


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