QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE TO SINGAPORE’S CULTURAL TREASURES
Singapore is home to a diverse offering of heritage attractions ranging from arts, history, culture, lifestyle, science, to healthcare. According to the Renaissance City Plan III developed by the National Heritage Board, as of 2007 there are 52 museums located in Singapore including both private and public institutions. The focus of this guide will center on the public arts related museums including the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) and its extension gallery 8Q, the National Museum of Singapore, Asian Civilisations Museum, NUS Museum, Peranakan Museum, and Red Dot Design Museum.
Singapore Art Museum (SAM): opened in 1996, with the mission to preserve and present the art histories and contemporary art practices of Singapore and the Southeast Asian region. SAM has amassed the largest public collection of modern and contemporary Southeast Asian artworks comprising of over 7,000 artworks from mediums of painting, sculpture, installation, drawing, print, and photography.
8Q at SAM: is an extension gallery to the main museum space showcases fresh, multi-disciplinary, interactive and community oriented programming by living artists. 8Q aims to offer visitors a diverse sampling of contemporary art practices ranging from painting and sculpture, to installation, film and video, new media, performance art and sound art.
National Museum of Singapore: Housed in its current location since 2006, the National Museum of Singapore is Singapore’s oldest museum. Designed to be the people’s museum, the National Museum is a custodian of the 11 National Treasures, and its Singapore History and Living Galleries adopt cutting-edge and varied ways of presenting history and culture to redefine conventional museum experience.
Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM): is the first museum in the region to present a broad yet integrated perspective of pan-Asian cultures and civilisations. Spread over 11 galleries and three levels, ACM presents the story of Asia showcased in themed galleries (Singapore River, Southeast Asia, West Asia, China, and South Asia). Virtual hosts, in-gallery videos and interactive ExplorAsian zones are incorporated in the galleries as guideposts which help visitors learn more about the multi-faceted aspects of Asian cultures.
NUS Museum: The National University of Singapore established the museum in 1997 to create an enriching experience of the social history and the art of Asia to NUS and the nation. The museum hold three separate permanent collections (Lee Kong Chian Collection, Ng Eng Teng Collection, and South & Southeast Asian Collection) as well as hosts special exhibitions like “Mapping the Corporeal: Ronald Ventura” exhibition in September 2008 and “Jendela – A Play of the Ordinary” in February 2009.
Peranakan Museum: explores the culture of Peranakan communities in the former Straits Settlements of Singapore, Malacca and Penang and their links with other communities in Southeast Asia. Three floors of permanent galleries illustrate important rituals, practices and the material culture of the Peranakans, as well as how this unique fusion culture is viewed today.
The museum’s mission is to explore and present the cultures and civilisations of Asia, so as to promote awareness and appreciation of the ancestral cultures of Singaporeans and their links to Southeast Asia and the world.
Red Dot Museum: The museum engages, excites and inspires its visitors with interactive installations and interesting exhibitions on design. It is the focal point of design and creative activities such as design conferences, exhibitions and parties.
Progressively, these efforts will transform Singapore into a global city of arts and culture. Indeed, the world is noticing– media articles and analyst reports are describing how vibrant Singapore has become, and what an attractive place it is to live in….more importantly, it will provide Singaporeans with a rich cultural life, nurture the sense of pride in our heritage and history, and strengthen our identity as a nation.
~ Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, at the Official Opening of the New Peranakan Museum on 25 April 2008
Related Information and Posts:
- Art Wars: Hong Kong versus Singapore– The Wall Street Journal October 2009
- Wu Guanzhong retrospective Singapore Art Museum- New York Times review– May 2009
- 13 Korean artists in survey at Singapore Museum to March 2009– December 2008
- Auction topper Indonesian artist Masriadi video interview with Singapore Art Museum– November 2008
- Filipino artist Ronald Ventura in Singapore museum show to November 2008– October 2008