3 November 2015

National Gallery Singapore shares preview of opening celebrations

National Gallery Singapore spans the restored and transformed former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings – two heritage buildings which have "witnessed the fall of a colony and the rise of a new nation", in the words of Tan. 

National Gallery Singapore has announced that its opening celebrations and inaugural art festival will include more than 20 free events and activities.

From 24 November to 6 December the public will enjoy free admission to the exhibitions in the two permanent galleries, the DBS Singapore Gallery and the UOB Southeast Asia Gallery. An Art Carnival will also be held at the Padang from 27 to 29 November. In the evenings the Share the Hope Facade show, sponsored by Cartier, will make use of the facade of the National Gallery Singapore for a light and sound display.

A preview of the facade show, which will feature animated artworks from the collection.

The celebrations will include art forums and a panel discussion about the Gallery's contribution to promoting Southeast Asian art. Visitors will have the opportunity to hear more from curators, art critics and architects about the evolution of Southeast Asian art in the region, the changing roles of museums, as well as the architecture, design and conservation principles of the Gallery.

Theatre and film buffs can also look forward to plays inspired by artworks and the world premiere of Southeast Asian short films on the art in the Gallery’s exhibitions. Memora(film)ia: Random Acts of Remembering features three 10-minute films and is held in conjunction with the 26th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF). With themes of memory and hope, one features an elderly lady reminescing about the Japanese occupation; another includes Zubir Said's Semoga Bahagia and explores loneliness and relationships, while the third stars people in MRT trains. SGIFF, a ticketed event, features the Gallery's auditorium in the City Hall Wing at B1 as a venue.

National Language Class, an interactive 30-minute performance for up to eight participants by Spell #7, is a short exploration of our national language recreating the National Language Class artwork by Chua Mia Tee. Chegu Utama, pictured, will explain key concepts like nama, ditinggal, and orang Singapura.

The new interpretations of artworks extend to dance and music that will be performed in surprising spaces and venues within the Gallery. In the Name of Red, a 10-minute dance performance by The Arts Fission Company, pays tribute to the shades of red in the Gallery's collection, for example. Resonates With, a 20-minute cross-genre musical performance, is curated by multidisciplinary artist Bani Haykal and inspired by Liu Kang's and Chen Wen Hsi's Balinese paintings, and Drummer by Yeh Chi Wei.

Exploration of the Gallery is complemented and enriched by the free Gallery Explorer app, created in collaboration with the Gallery's Innovation Partner Accenture. The app enables intelligent indoor navigation within the 64,000 sq m area, and is also integrated with social media capabilities.

“As the first museum in the world dedicated to Southeast Asian modern art, National Gallery Singapore aims to provide a differentiated art experience for visitors to fully explore and appreciate art and its history,” said Suenne Tan, Director, Education and Programmes, National Gallery Singapore. “We crafted activities to give the public many ways and reasons to connect with art, inspiring more to develop a deeper understanding of Singapore and Southeast Asian art and its links with art all around the world.”

National Gallery Singapore, in the restored and transformed former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings – two important heritage buildings of Singapore’s nationhood – is a new visual arts institution which oversees the largest public collection of modern art of Singapore and Southeast Asia. The Gallery is dedicated to collaborative research, education and exhibitions, highlighting the importance of modern art in Southeast Asia in a global context. The Gallery also provides a unique visitor experience through its art presentations and innovative programming, positioning Singapore as a regional and international hub for the visual arts.


The opening celebrations are from 24 November to 6 December 2015. Admission is free, but registration is required for some of the activities. Visit www.nationalgallery.sg for more information:
  • The exhibition will open from 10am to 7pm Mondays to Thursdays, and from 10am to 11pm from Fridays to Sundays. Approximately 800 Singapore Southeast Asian artworks will be on show. The DBS Singapore Gallery will showcase Siapa Nama Kamu?, while the UOB Southeast Asian Gallery will have the theme Between Declarations and Dreams. Entry into the Gallery building is free, but requires tickets that can be booked online from 5 November at 10am at https://tickets.nationalgallery.sg. 
  • The Art Carnival runs from 5pm to midnight from 27 to 29 November. The 10-minute facade show will be performed at 8pm, 9pm and 10pm from 27 to 29 November
  • Memora(film)ia: Random Acts of Remembering will be broadcast hourly from 10am to 10pm from 27 to 29 November, and 4 to 6 December, at the Supreme Court Wing, Level 5, Theatrette. The films will be available from 10am to 6pm from 30 November to 3 December.
  • Resonates With, at 7.30pm, 8.30pm and 9.30pm from 27 to 29 November and 4 to 6 December, will be performed at the Padang Atrium
  • National Language Class will take place at 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm and 9pm Fridays to Sundays (27 to 29 November and 4 to 6 December) and at 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm Mondays to Thursdays (30 November to 3 December)
  • Storybooths, from 1pm to 4pm on 28 and 29 November at the Supreme Court Wing, Level 4M, Supreme Court Terrace, lets participants take home an artwork based on their own thoughts, made by an artist from the Organisation of Illustrators Council
  • In the Name of Red will be held at the Padang Atrium at 9pm from 4 December to 6 December
Read the TechTrade Asia blog post about the free Gallery Explorer mobile app. The app will be available from the Apple App Store from 18 November and from the Google Play store shortly after.

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