Written by root. Posted in FEATURES


Published on July 10, 2018 with No Comments

Singapore for the inner culture vulture.



Do not believe that Singapore is made only for those with a penchant for shopping. Look beyond the malls and you will find a city that is constantly reinventing itself to be the art hub of the world. From visual arts to dance and theatre, there are art events and festivals happening in Singapore throughout the year, and always 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.

There are always a colourful variety of art events that take place. If you’re looking for a visual feast unlike any other, Singapore as a city will not disappoint.

First off, Singapore Art Week. This celebration of the visual arts is an annual affair that typically occurs in January and features countless special exhibitions and highlights. There is something artsy (walking tours, film screenings, gallery openings and plenty more) to do in almost every neighbourhood in the city, 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 if you live and breathe art just like the rest of these key players, here is where you want to be and rub shoulders with international and local artists, collectors and curators.

Of course, we must never overlook one of the biggest, most major contemporary art events in Singapore – the Singapore Biennale. Taking place once every two years and organised by the Singapore Art Museum, the venue itself is a must-visit for any art lover 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.

If you love revelling in the nightlife, the Singapore Night Festival will enthral. An extravaganza that takes place this August from 17 to 25, 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 across the two weekends are free, so head to the heart of the Bras Basah. Bugis precinct and watch the place transform before your very eyes.

Meanwhile, key elements like theatre, music and dance take centre stage at the prominent Singapore International Festival of Arts (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 SIFAs 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).


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