Visual arts, dance, theatre—with these art events and festivals happening in Singapore, there’s something for every kind of art enthusiast out there. The arts scene in Singapore is constantly evolving and changing, giving visitors something new to look forward to each time they visit a museum, performing arts hub or art enclave.
The same can be said for the colourful variety of art events that take place throughout the year. If you’re looking for a visual feast unlike any other, do note these recurring happenings that are guaranteed to satisfy your inner culture vulture.
Singapore Art Week
A celebration of the visual arts, Singapore Art Week is an annual affair that typically occurs in January and features countless special exhibitions and highlights. There's something artsy (walking tours, film screenings, gallery openings and plenty more) to do in almost every 'hood in Singapore, from Chinatown to Marina Bay and of course, art hotspots like Gillman Barracks and the Bras Basah.Bugis precinct.
One of the biggest and must-attend segments is Art Stage Singapore. Known as the flagship art fair of Southeast Asia, Art Stage Singapore features handpicked galleries from across the region as well as a slew of bold contemporary art. It's a big gathering of the 'who's who' in the contemporary art scene in Asia, so be there if you live and breathe art just like the rest of these key players, from artists to collectors and curators.
One of the biggest, most major contemporary art events in Singapore, the Singapore Biennale takes place once every two years and is organised by the Singapore Art Museum (a must-visit art venue if you're in town).
Each year, a different theme is chosen and the works and displays featured would follow it closely. For example, in 2013, the Biennale was titled 'If the World Changed' and covered thought-provoking topics like disasters (Japanese couple Ken and Julia Yonetani built mesmerising glowing chandeliers made from uranium glass and UV lighting in reaction to the Fukushima disaster in 2011), and transgender issues (Shieko Reto's exhibition was both serious and light-hearted–complete with monochrome displays and intriguing sketches).
Check out the Singapore Biennale website for more information on these fascinating array of programmes and highlights.
Singapore Night Festival
If you love revelling in the nightlife, check out the Singapore Night Festival. An extravaganza that takes place across two weekends in August, the Singapore Night Festival is a feast for the senses. Expect aerial performances, interactive light shows and installations that transform the Singapore Art Museum and National Museum of Singapore into interactive architectural canvases.
Best of all: many of the segments are free so head to the heart of the Bras Basah.Bugis precinct and watch the place transform before your very eyes.
Singapore International Festival of Arts
Key elements like theatre, music and dance take centre stage at the prominent Singapore International Festival of Arts (aka SIFA). Expect a line-up of programmes and productions that will satisfy the art and film enthusiast in you.
Each year, festival director Ong Keng Sen brings something different to the table; previous SIFA’s have featured ‘Kumar’s Living Together’ (2015)—a stand-up comedy performed by five well-loved homegrown comedians, focusing on the Lion City's multi-racial and multi-national housing landscape—and Ron Arad’s monumental outdoor video installation, ‘720°’ (2016).
With so many art events happening in the city throughout the year, go ahead and plan your visit to Singapore.