Best Art Museums and Galleries to Visit in Singapore

10 Best Art Museums and Galleries to Visit in Singapore

Discover the thriving art scene in Singapore.

 Did you know that Singapore is home to over 50 museums, ranging from historical to even toy museums? The list even comprises art museums in Singapore, some of that you may not have heard of before. Along with that are the art galleries that bring even more variety to the local creative scene. 

With so many different art styles in history and even new contemporary styles emerging, it’s difficult to keep track of what sort of exhibitions would pique your interest. But, not to worry! We’ve compiled this list of art museums and galleries in Singapore. We’re sure that you’re bound to find something that is your cup of tea!

Art museums in Singapore

The ones in the Little Red Dot tend to have a mix of permanent and temporary art exhibitions. In general, the artworks featured are more traditional, such as ancient artifacts that we still consider art today. Due to the bigger capacity of the buildings, these art museums in Singapore generally attract larger crowds. 

1. National Gallery Singapore

The National Gallery is home to the world’s largest public display of modern Southeast Asian art, which makes it a great art museum in Singapore to explore first. However, do note that it is nearly impossible to properly view every single exhibition in a day due to the impressive amount!

You can experience many different art galleries at this museum, including permanent ones such as “Between Declarations and Dreams: Art of Southeast Asia since the 19th Century” and “Siapa Nama Kamu? Art in Singapore since the 19th Century.” These exhibitions focus on social and political history, and issues of self and community, respectively.

Nationally Gallery art exhibit

Image credit: Isabelle Chum

Check out the limited exhibition, “Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia.” Currently held until Sep 2022, this exhibition features historical and contemporary works by over 150 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. 

Fun fact: The National Gallery is one of the most visited art museums in the world and attracted almost two million visitors in 2019. 

Address: 1 St Andrew’s Rd, #01 – 01, Singapore 178957
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 10am-7pm
Entry fee: Free for Singaporeans; S$30 (All Access Pass that includes General Admission and Special Exhibitions)

2. Singapore Art Museum at Tanjong Pagar District

Currently, the Singapore Art Museum’s (SAM) main buildings on Bras Basah Road and Queen Street are closed for upgrading works. These will reopen in 2026. 

However, Jan 2022 welcomed the opening of the SAM branch in the Tanjong Pagar district! The galleries feature contemporary works of art centred on Singapore’s culture. These galleries frequently rotate and are usually experimental.

Another exhibition would be “Superfluous Things: Paper,” ongoing until mid-Aug 2022. If you visit this exhibit, you will be invited to engage with and discover the materiality of paper: a perfect option for those who enjoy hands-on activities.

Pro tip: Make sure to check out Gajah Gallery while you visit SAM as they are located in the same area!

Address: 39 Keppel Rd, #01-02, Singapore 089065
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 10am-7pm
Entry fee: Free; S$10 (Standard)

3. ArtScience Museum

Artscience art museum of singapore

Image credit: Noee

Arguably having the most stunning and unconventional architecture among the art museums of Singapore, ArtScience Museum offers a digitalised experience that blends art with technology. 

Even though some specific artworks may change, the permanent exhibit, “Future World: Where Art Meets Science” has a collection of digital interactive installations. The lights, screens, and colours will respond correspondingly to your presence in the space, creating an intimate and personalised experience. 

Pro tip: Due to limits in capacity, we recommend visiting in the morning when traffic is lighter, instead of during peak hours.

Address: 6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 10am-7pm
Entry fee (Permanent Exhibition): S$18 (Locals); S$14 (Concession); S$21 (Standard)

4. Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM)

Asian Civilisations Museum is the country’s national museum for Asian antiquities and decorative art. It is also the only museum in Asia with a scope that represents the entire continent.

The museum has three floors for its permanent galleries. The first is classified as “Trade” and features rare and well-preserved porcelain pieces from the Tang Shipwreck!

The second level is “Faith and Belief,” which showcases religious artefacts from Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, and even remote communities in Asia. Lastly, the third floor is “Materials and Design,” and showcases intricate craftsmanship like Asian traditional clothing, jewellery, and ceramics. 

Meanwhile, the “Batik Kita: Dressing in Port Cities” exhibition is currently ongoing (as of writing). It aims to promote the textile world of batik (a Javanese technique of wax-resist dyeing on cloth), from its traditional roots to contemporary designs. 

Address: 1 Empress Pl, Singapore 179555
Opening hours: Mon-Thu & Sat-Sun, 10am to 7pm; Fri, 10am to 9pm 
(Admission to all galleries ends 30 minutes before closing time)
Entry fee: Free; S$8 (Standard)

5. Red Dot Design Museum

Among the many art museums in Singapore, the Red Dot Design Museum is the only one focusing on design. It has reopened with new design exhibitions, showcasing a brand new curated 2021-2022 collection of winning concepts from professional teams. 

Fun fact: Uniquely designed objects or concepts would have to win the prestigious Red Dot Award For Design Concept to be displayed at this museum. 

You can even purchase some of the designer objects from the museum store. For instance, these LED rabbits serve a dual purpose: a lamp and a chair for toddlers!

Address: 11 Marina Blvd, Singapore 018940
Opening hours: Wed–Fri, 12pm–8pm; Sat-Sun, 10am–8pm; Closed on Mon and Tue
Entry fee: Single Ticket: S$10 (Free $5 Shopping Voucher)

Also read: 17 Museums in Singapore You Might Not Be Aware of

Art galleries in Singapore

If you prefer more niche and limited exhibitions, then check out some Singapore art galleries instead. These are usually held in a smaller and cosier setting, perfect for those who’d rather cover an exhibit (or two) in a day. 

These art galleries in Singapore are often under the helm of independent organisations. So, these tend to focus more on contemporary works from both established and emerging artists.

6. Gillman Barracks

Among the art museums and galleries in Singapore, Gillman Barracks has the most fascinating history as it was once an army building. In fact, it was initially built for the British’s 1st Battalion before WWII. Subsequently, it has also been used by the Singapore Armed Forces for National Service!

Gillman Barracks has transformed into a visual arts complex that showcases 12 local and international galleries. Here, you’ll even find the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, which also hosts exhibitions and provides residencies.

One of the current exhibitions at Mizuma Gallery is “Broken White Project: Tropenwelle.” It adopts a cultural approach and features eight Indonesian artists who cover themes on history and collective memory in their works. 

Some instances include self-portraits dramaturgy and the re-examination of the tatah sungging (carving and decorating) technique of wayang kulit (traditional Javanese shadow puppet).

FOST Gallery is also hosting a solo exhibition by Singaporean artist Yeo Tze Yang, titled “TRUTH BE TOLD: Recent thotz abt painting ppl.” His works are playful within the realm of Realism, done through the representation of people, animals, and objects in his paintings. 

He merges random faces on the Internet with his real-life photographs and also incorporates his daily thoughts onto the walls. Somewhat like reading a journal, the exhibition allows his personal voice to shine. 

Address: 9 Lock Rd, Singapore 108937
Opening hours (Gillman Barracks): Mon-Say, 11am-11pm; Sun, 11am-12am
Opening hours (Mizuma Gallery): Tue–Sat, 11am–7pm; Sun, 11am-6pm
Opening hours (FOST Gallery): Tue–Sat, 11am–7pm; Sun and Mon, Open by appointment
Entry fee: Free

7. Gajah Gallery

A Singaporean art gallery with branches in Indonesia, Gajah Gallery hosts artwork related to the socio-cultural interests of Asia. It is particularly involved in Southeast Asian contemporary art, with an emphasis on Indonesian artworks. 

Gajah Gallery will be showing a general hang featuring a mix of art styles — such as abstract expressionism, photographic prints, and bronze sculptures — till mid-Jul 2022. 

Address: 39 Keppel Rd, #03-04, Singapore 089065
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-7pm; Sat-Sun, 12pm-6pm 
Entry fee: Free

8. STPI Creative Workshop and Gallery

One of the more niche art galleries in Singapore, STPI (the Singapore Tyler Print Institute) is a creative workshop and contemporary gallery. It is a non-profit organisation committed to promoting artistic experimentation, particularly through the mediums of print and paper. 

STPI’s special annual exhibition titled “Second Movement” is on display until the end of Jul 2022. Instead of traditional prints, it aims to pull focus away from the reproducible, two-dimensionality associated with prints and paper. 

That being said, this exhibition features three-dimensional and spatial artworks. These sculpture-like pieces are an incredible breakthrough in the print-making art scene!

Address: 41 Robertson Quay, Singapore 238236
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 10am–7pm
Entry fee: Free

9. ART NOW

ART NOW is a quirky state-of-the-art gallery space located at Raffles Hotel Arcade. Moreover, it also serves as a lifestyle retail store, furnishing space, and members’ lounge. It’s even a space for NFT art! 

If you’re looking to invest in art pieces in various forms for your home or personal use, this gallery is the place to be. In addition, some of the works are even available as bags personally painted by artists, while others come as NFTs!

Check out “Flat Out Brilliant” by Yi Hwan Kwon, which showcases distorted sculptures straddling the line between illusion and reality.

Address: Raffles Hotel Arcade, 328 North Bridge Rd, #02-32, Singapore 188719
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 12pm–7pm
Entry fee: Free

Also read: 25 Super Cool Buildings in Singapore You Might Not Know About

10. Ode To Art

Ode to Art presents an international spectrum of artists with diverse collections of paintings, sculptures, photography, and installations. 

The contemporary artworks displayed are vibrant, playful, and colourful, with big names such as Fernando Botero, Mauro Perucchetti, Qin Feng, Chen Wenling, Lee Jung Woong, and Lim TzePeng in the collection.

The art gallery is actively involved in the development of contemporary art and provides insights into the contemporary art market. This is done through regular talks and exhibitions. 

Located inside the vast Raffles City Shopping Centre, it may be difficult to find but is well worth the visit! It occupies two stores on the first floor. This art gallery is best suited for more serious art collectors who are looking to grow their collection. 

Address: 252 North Bridge Rd, #01-36E/F, Raffles City Shopping Centre, Singapore 179103
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 11am–9pm
Entry fee: Free

Also read: 12 Hands-On Workshops in Singapore for Art And Craft Lovers

Whether you’re simply a casual art enjoyer or an avid collector, there are many phenomenal artworks on display in the many galleries and art museums in Singapore! We hope that this article resonates with you and will inspire you to discover our local creative scene in person.

About Author

Isabelle Chum
Isabelle Chum

Isabelle is an aspiring poet, writer and tutor who enjoys cats, crystals and tea lattes. She loves anything floral and artsy and is currently doing her best to keep the earth a more sustainable place!

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