More than just the domain of collectors and experts, Singapore’s inclusive art scene has something for everyone. We round up six spaces that will have you entertaining new perspectives and uncovering bold realms of imagination.
The former military encampment for the British Army today forms the heart of Singapore’s art enclave, with 13 galleries spread across five buildings.
Getting around Gillman Barracks by foot is the best way to soak in the sights and sounds, so be sure to put on your best walking shoes before you admire contemporary pieces at Mizuma Gallery, ShanghART, Sullivan + Strumpf and FOST Gallery. After, pop by Creamier for a cup of coffee and artisanal ice creams.
Gillman Barracks. 9 Lock Road, Singapore 108937.
For a full list of gallery opening hours, visit here.
Surrealist themes take the stage at Kult Gallery, an offshoot of the Kult brand’s attempt to showcase Asian art and the street culture scene through prints, paintings, T-shirts and tote bags.
The gallery is dedicated just as much to local artists as international ones, and shows are refreshed quarterly with occasional exhibitions on specific artists. Bonus: it’s set in an old colonial house on Emily Hill, and just outside the art space is neighbourhood bar kult kafé with its twists on cocktail classics—so you’re set for the night.
Emily Hill. 11 Upper Wilkie Road, Block C2-5, Singapore 228120. +65 6338 1066.
Red Dot Design Museum
Located in a striking glass building at Marina Bay, this gallery celebrates both the artistic and innovative elements of design. All the exhibits displayed here have been awarded the coveted Red Dot Design Award, based on criteria like aesthetics and functionality.
Marvel at the lamps in the form of hard cover books, board games that raise awareness on black market organ trading and wallets that sort your notes and coins.
Red Dot Design Museum. 11 Marina Boulevard, Singapore 018940. +65 6514 0111.
STPI Creative Workshop & Gallery
There’s more to STPI than its name. The gallery is known for holding an artist-in-residence programme that pushes artists to experiment with traditional print media. Acclaimed South Korean artist Do Ho Suh, for instance, worked with thread, lithography, etching and sketching to produce paper-fabric hybrids that were then exhibited in the gallery. STPI makes up part of the national Visual Arts Cluster of leading institutions in the region, alongside the National Gallery Singapore and Singapore Art Museum.
STPI. 41 Robertson Quay, Singapore 238236. +65 6336 3663.
Mon-Fri 10am-7pm; Sat 9am-6pm.
Objectifs Centre for Photography & Filmmaking
The contemporary filmmaking and photography centre champions the works of visual artists through a host of platforms, including workshops, talks, a residency programme and courses for beginners—even photography mentorships. Beyond that, Objectifs hosts exhibitions to be admired alongside film screenings. The latter is produced by Objectif Films, the largest short film distributor in Southeast Asia, which is jointly owned by Kinema Entertainment.
Objectifs. 155 Middle Road, Singapore 188977. +65 6336 2957.
Tue-Sat noon-7pm; Sun noon-4pm.
Venture into 19 stacks of shipping containers when you visit the independent space that is made for, and dedicated to, photography enthusiasts. Admire works spread across two galleries, sink yourself into scores of photobooks stocked within its intimate library, then order some café nosh before you check out Mikkeller Bar Singapore, a craft beer bar on the premises.
The communal art space also plays host to the Singapore International Photography Festival. Fun fact: “DECK” is in fact an acronym that sums up the gallery’s parts: “Discovery” is about how photography transcends time and space; “Engagement” refers to sparking conversation in visitors; “Community” suggests bringing people together; and “Knowledge” conveys information.
DECK. 120A Prinsep Street, Singapore 187937. +65 6734 6578.
Tue-Sat noon-7pm; Sun noon-5pm.
Contemporary Asian art has seen a boost thanks in large part to Gajah Gallery and its extensive contributions to the scene, particularly in the fields of Indonesian art and history.
Past shows include Lokanat: Ground Zero and Intersections: Latin American and SoutheastAsian Contemporary Art—but better yet is the gallery’s Yogyakarta-based initiative, Yogya Art Lab, an experimental platform that encourages established and emerging artists to produce works across a myriad of media.
Tanjong Pagar Distripark. 39 Keppel Road #03-04, Singapore 089065. +65 6737 4202.
Mon-Fri 11am-7pm; Sat & Sun noon-6pm.