NATIONAL GALLERY, Introduction

Audio File length: 2.38
English / USA Language: English / USA

Hi, my name’s Rick, and I’m your personal guide. Along with MyWoWo, I’d like to welcome you to one of the Wonders of the World: the Singapore National Gallery.

The Singapore National Gallery has the largest collection in the world of art from Singapore and Southeast Asia, made up of over 8,000 works.

Over the last two decades, Singapore has cultivated its artistic and cultural scene with great care, with growing interest in festivals such as the Singapore Biennale, the Singapore Arts Festival and the Singapore Art Show. These events helped prompt the government to convert two historical buildings into a new national gallery giving the city a leading role in the Southeast Asia art scene.

The National Gallery is located in the former Supreme Court and the City Hall buildings, both national monuments.

The former Supreme Court building was constructed in 1939 on the site of what was once the Grand Hotel de l'Europe, one of the most luxurious hotels in Southeast Asia, demolished in 1936. Designed by Frank Dorrington Ward, it is a marvelous example of British colonial architecture, composed of four blocks of offices and rooms arranged around a rotunda in the center with a dome that was originally used as a law library.

The Corinthian and Ionic columns, sculptures and bas-reliefs you can admire are the work of the Italian artist Rudolfo Nolli.

The City Hall was built between 1926 and 1929 by the British architects Gordon and Meadows, and is a typical example of Neoclassical architecture. As you can see, the front façade features 18 Corinthian columns on three levels.

The project for the new gallery used link bridges and a new basement level to integrate the City Hall and the former Supreme Court buildings, combining older and newer architectural styles.

Inaugurated on November 24, 2015, the National Gallery has an exhibition space of 64,000 square meters, making it the largest museum in Singapore.

 

An interesting fact: the City Hall witnessed a historical event of exceptional importance. It was here, on September 12, 1945, that Admiral Louis Mountbatten, in the name of the Allied Forces, accepted the surrender of Japan, thus putting an end to the Second World War.

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