After almost eight years of renovation and renewal, the National Gallery opens its doors today as the premier platform for Southeast Asian Art in Singapore. With over 64,000 square metres of space, the art on display aims to use various media to showcase Singapore’s culture and heritage, particularly in relation with its Southeast Asian neighbours, as well as the rest of the world.
Opened in 1939, the Supreme Court was originally built as the Grand Hotel de L’Europe before housing offices and courtrooms till well into the 21st century. The building was vacated in 2005, leading to the National Gallery planning on the same year. City Hall was built in 1929 and hosted the Municipal Council. From 1963 to 1991, the building was also a focal point for government offices and courtrooms.
The National Gallery will showcase the permanent exhibition “Siapa Nama Kamu” meaning, “What is your name” in Malay, that looks at the country’s artistic development from the 19th century. In chronological order, the series displays approximately 400 paintings – all with unique inspirations from different artists through the course of time.
As tribute to the evolution of art culture, the gallery is tech-ed out for visitors. The multi-touch table allows visitors to capture digital paintings in the exhibition and rework them into posters while the stereoscope station gives visitors a look into 3D images of history.
Aside from the core gallery, some of Singapore’s hottest restaurants will also be opening at the National Gallery, as well as cafes and more. Be sure to scroll through the images above to get a closer look at the newly unveiled National Gallery — or head down to the museum and get a dose of culture yourself.
National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew’s Road, #01-01, Singapore 178957, +65 6271 7000, www.nationalgallery.sg