Connected by a striking aluminium and glass canopy, Singapore’s historic City Hall and Old Supreme Court buildings now form the city’s breathtaking National Gallery. Its world-class collection of 19th-century and modern Southeast Asian art is housed in two major spaces, the DBS Singapore Gallery and the UOB Southeast Asia Gallery. The former delivers a comprehensive overview of Singaporean art from the 19th century to today, while the latter focuses on the greater Southeast Asian region.
Beyond them, the Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery is the setting for temporary exhibitions, which include major collaborations with some of the world’s highest-profile art museums. Young culture vultures shouldn’t miss the National Gallery’s Keppel Centre for Art Education, which delivers innovative, multisensory art experiences for kids.
The S$530 million National Gallery is a befitting home for what is one of the world’s most important surveys of colonial and post-colonial Southeast Asian art. Among its many treasures are pieces by Singaporean greats Cheong Soo Pieng, Liu Kang, Chua Mia Tee and Georgette Chen, as well as works from luminaries such as Indonesia’s Raden Saleh, the Philippines’ Fernando Cueto Amorsolo and Imelda Cajipe-Endaya, and Myanmar’s U Ba Nyan.
Home to a string of good eateries and a gift shop stocked with specially commissioned art books, design pieces and prints, the complex also runs daily guided tours, artist talks, lectures and workshops.