Art of the state

The city opens each year with a visual spectacle—and it’s got Singapore Art Week to thank for that. The massive arts festival, held every January, ushers in dozens of exhibitions, walking tours, talks, art fairs and after-parties where you can rub shoulders with the who’s who of the local and regional creative scenes. And as the events are held across precincts, galleries and museums, you’ll be exploring the city not through the eyes of a tourist but those of an art aficionado.

The crown jewel of Singapore Art Week is Art Stage Singapore. Now in its eighth edition, the sprawling art fair is the flagship show of the Southeast Asian art world, and corrals together more than 100 galleries from dozens of cities. Paintings, installations and sculptures by emerging and world-renowned artists from around the world deck the halls of the Marina Bay Sands®, and continues to drive international interest in Singapore’s and Southeast Asia’s burgeoning art scenes, both among the collectors and art enthusiasts.

Head to ArtScience Museum™ and the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre for exhibitions that mirror your own artistic flair. The former takes a retrospective look at street art with an exhibition, entitled Art from the Streets, that celebrates street artists like BANKSY, FUTURA and Shepard Fairey, while the latter is hosting the IMPART Collectors’ Show: an exhibition featuring international and local art from the exclusive and private collections of two prominent Singaporean collectors.

If you’d rather join flocks of revellers, make a beeline for the National Gallery Singapore and Gillman Barracks. The gallery is putting together Light to Night, a festival that transforms the entire Civic District into a massive artwork, with live performances, immersive installations and multimedia spectacles. Gillman Barracks, on the other hand, is hosting DISINI, a site-specific festival that features outdoor sculptures and murals. After checking out the artworks, let your hair down at the arts enclave’s Art After Dark party, where live music, F&B pop-ups and a fleet of galleries come together for one big bash.

Venture into Little India during Singapore Art Week for ARTWALK Little India, a walking trail that tells long-lost tales of the historic neighbourhood through public installations, wall murals and live performances that are themed around “Urban Mythology”.

So if you can tell your Monets from your Manets, make your way down to Singapore Art Week and join your fellow connoisseurs as you chart your art-inspired path through the city.

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