Singapore’s arts scene is constantly blossoming, with every trip offering a new must-see performance, exhibition, or gallery opening. Given the diversity of the cultures and nationalities that make up the vibrant city-state, it’s perhaps unsurprising that this is the case. We’ve drawn up a list of our favourite art attractions – from those that are fresh on the scene, to the classic establishments that we’ve found ourselves revisiting time and time again.
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
Nicknamed ‘durian’ for its resemblance to the iconic South-east Asian tropical fruit, this not-for-profit arts centre is one of the busiest in the world. With about 3,000 performances yearly, Esplanade’s world-class venues have hosted a diverse range of dance, music and theatre performances, in addition to captivating visual arts exhibitions and more. Presenting some of the best and most cutting edge phenomenon in performing arts, including Beyond Time, a recent Taiwanese drumming and dance performance, heralded as magical, beautiful and complex.
The Peranakan Chinese are the descendants of Chinese immigrants to the Malay Archipelago, and their rich and interesting culture has been curated into a series of fascinating exhibitions in the Peranakan Museum. Learn about the Peranakan community’s leading figures, their customs and even their clothing as you tour this significant relic within the city. It is guaranteed to offer a deeper insight into the rich tapestry of communities that give Singapore its thrilling atmosphere. For those left wanting more, make sure to stop at True Blue Cuisine just next door, a fantastic restaurant that specialises in Peranakan delicacies, based on recipes passed down the generations.
National Gallery Singapore
Head downtown for the world’s largest public collection of Singapore and Southeast Asian art at the recently opened National Gallery. Situated in Singapore’s Civic District, the Gallery consists of two national monuments, the former Supreme Court Building and City Hall, and has a combined floor area of 64,000 square metres (688,890 square feet) – making it the largest visual arts venue in Singapore. The gallery displays art from the 19th Century to present day, with a focus on presenting the development of Singaporean and regional cultures. The result is the intricate and beautifully woven story of one nation’s melting pot of social, economic and political histories.