Less than three weeks before the National Gallery Singapore opens its doors to the public on 24 November and the opening celebrations are already set into motion!
The National Gallery Singapore stands in the place of two of Singapore’s most iconic buildings along the Padang - the former Supreme Court and City Hall. At 64,000 square metres, it will not only be the largest visual arts venue in Singapore but also one of the largest in the region.
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.
I have only managed to walk through certain parts of the two buildings and I was surprised at the massive interior space that the gallery occupies. There were plenty of galleries to visit and quite frankly, the sheer amount of artwork on display can get a little intimidating.
Which is why the Gallery Explorer App and Guide that will be launched in conjunction with the Gallery's opening is so useful. Besides following the routes through the 64,000 square metre gallery recommended by the museum, visitors can check out more information on each artwork, and share, 'like' and comment on them.
The Gallery Explorer app will be available for free from Apple’s App Store from 18 November onwards and Google Play Store shortly after.
Don't worry, the Gallery is not all about arty farty stuff. For kids, the Keppel Centre for Art Education is the place to be when it opens on 24 November 2015!
The Keppel Centre for Art Education will be the first of its kind in the region to provide young visitors the opportunity to access original artwork, handle art tools, select artworks, write labels and conduct exhibition tours for their peers through experiential learning and role-play in masterclasses led by artists and educators.
Based on the three board principles of Learning about Art, Learning from Art and Learning through Art, the Keppel Centre for Art Education will feature art commissions that are purposefully designed to stimulate the imagination of younger audiences, based on the belief that every person is born creative:
- Art Corridor: Young children will be invited to touch, explore and change the look of artworks through interacting with moveable elements. Highly tactile and visually impactful, the Art Corridor provides a unique interactive art experience that may be enjoyed not only by very young visitors, but by visitors of all ages.
- Art Playscape: Inspired by the idea of "entering a painting", Art Playscape develops curiosity and imagination through active play, movement and discovery for young visitors. Through different adventure trails, visitors uncover hidden stories. Mysteries, unexpected surprises and fantastical characters await the most curious visitor.
- Project Gallery: Designed as an immersive and contemplative environment, the Project Gallery invites visitors to use art to imagine creative solutions to real world issues. Visitors can also display their art pieces in the Project Gallery as part of the collaborative learning process that connects their creative ideas with the artist’s artworks.
- Children’s Museum: Visitors to the Children’s Museum will gain insight into the creative process of different artists in an environment inspired by their respective studios. Through experiential learning and role-play, young visitors will learn to select artworks, write labels and conduct exhibition tours for their peers.
And there will be no better time to throng the gallery grounds during its first two weeks of opening from 24 Novemeber... simply because it will be a 2-week affair of celebrations with free events and activities!
There will be more than 20 free events and activities for the public to be immersed in engaging and moving art experiences at the Gallery’s opening celebrations. During its opening weekend from 27 to 29 November, there will even be an inaugural Art Carnival held at the Padang complete with interactive art installations, community art workshops and artisanal treats.
By nightfall, be enthralled by the Share the Hope Façade Show, a stunning display of light and sound designed with inspiration from the art in the museum and set against a grand stage: the facade of the newly transformed National Gallery Singapore.
Admission to the museum's galleries and exhibitions will be FREE for all visitors during the opening fortnight, from Nov 24 to Dec 6. However, to ensure a comfortable gallery experience for everyone, all visitors are required to pre-book their tickets online for entry into the Gallery buildings.
And great news, you are able to book your tickets NOW at www.nationalgallery.sg/visit/tickets! Here are a few things to take note with regards to ticketing:
- Tickets are FREE
- Tickets will be issued in the following time blocks: 10am - 2pm, 12pm - 4pm and 3pm - 7pm
- Additional tickets for 6pm - 11pm will be available on 27 - 29 Nov and 4 - 6 Dec.
- Maximum five tickets per transaction
- Walk-in visitors without tickets will not be turned away, but may have to wait to enter as entry will be subjected to capacity within the building at the given time.
Got your tickets for the 2-week opening celebrations already? Good, because there are tons of activities to look out for. Some of the recommended highlights include:
FAMILY FUN AT THE PADANG ART CARNIVAL
Fri 27 – Sun 29 November | 5pm – midnight | The Padang
The iconic Padang transforms into a block party with thematic landscapes for artists and art lovers. Experience the rich heritage and history of Singapore and Southeast Asian art beyond the walls of the Gallery with a weekend of interactive art installations, community art workshops and artisanal treats spread over FIVE tents.
TENT 1: FAMILY & COMMUNITY
Draw, Weave, Knot
5.30pm, 7.30pm, 9.30pm | 30 minutes
Artist Tay Bee Aye’s Draw, Weave, Knot explores the beauty of the creation through thread, yarn and rope.
6.30pm, 8.30pm, 10.30pm | 30 minutes
Join artist Hazel Lim and explore a tapestry of abstraction and projection within the confines of a tent canopy. Inspired by paintings such as Chen Wen Hsi’s Herons and Seah Kim Joo’s Log Factory, abstract lines and forms traipse across planes and dimensions to create mystique and wonder.
TENT 2: FOOD & BEVERAGE
5pm – midnight
Fuel yourself with a wide selection of gastronomic delights inspired by popular Southeast Asian dishes!
TENT 3: ADVERSITY & CONFLICT
From the Ground Up
5pm – midnight
From the Ground Up is an installation that immortalises the struggle and hope of survivors in the Bukit Ho Swee fire.
5.45pm, 7.15pm, 8.15pm | 10 minutes
In just 10 minutes, Superfarmers teach life-saving tips like how to find edible plants and forage for food in a simulated war scenario.
TENT 4: PASSION & LOVE
Room For All
5pm – midnight
Room For All is an interactive labyrinth that explores the range of human passions and interests.
7.30pm, 8.30pm, 9.30pm | 30 minutes
Makan Memories distils the fond memories associated with Singaporean dishes into a series of short monologues and playlets.
Empty Frames is a series of choreographic works inspired by the Gallery’s collection.
TENT 5: REBIRTH & PEACE
5pm – midnight
Edible Gardens presents an oasis of urban growth. The immersive pop-up garden invites visitors to experience urban farming.
SHARE THE HOPE FACADE SHOW
Fri 27 – Sun 29 November
8pm, 9pm, 10pm | 10 minutes | Building Façade
Share the Hope is a grand audio visual production designed with inspiration from the art in the Gallery, sponsored exclusively by Cartier. For three nights only, be captivated by the stunning displays of light, sound and visuals set against the backdrop of the newly transformed National Gallery Singapore.
IN THE NAME OF RED
Fri 4 Dec – Sun 6 Dec | 9pm
10 minutes | Padang Atrium
A unique dance performance pays homage to distinct hues of red found within the Gallery’s collection. In shades of stunning maroon, crimson and ruby, dancers from The Arts Fission Company invite audiences to rediscover the stories behind the works as they perform against the majestic backdrop of a cascading grand staircase at the Padang Atrium.
Sat 28 Nov – Sun 29 Nov | 1pm – 4pm
Supreme Court Wing, Level 4M, Supreme Court Terrace
Articulate your thoughts to an artist from the Organisation of Illustrators Council, who will interpret them into a personalised and unique artwork for you to take home.
National Gallery Singapore Opening Celebrations Information
Dates: 24 November to 6 December 2015
Opening Hours: Mon to Thu: 10 am to 7 pm | Fri, Sat & Sun: 10 am to 11 pm
Art Carnival at Padang: 5pm to 11pm (27 to 29 November only)
Admission Charges: FREE but entry to the Gallery building is by tickets only. Book your tickets online HERE from now until 6 Dec.
After Opening Celebrations Information (7 December 2015 onwards)
Date: 7 December 2015 onwards
Opening Hours: Mon to Thu, Sun and Public Holidays: 10 am to 7 pm | Fri, Sat & Eve of Public Holidays: 10 am to 10 pm
Admission Charges: Free admission for Singapore Citizens and PRs and children six years and under (except for selected exhibitons) | $20 for non-Singaporeans | $15 for concession holder and children between seven and 12 years old.
National Gallery Singapore
1 Saint Andrew's Road, #01-01, Singapore 178957