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7 local and international exhibitions to check out in Singapore

If you can't travel to the art, let the art travel to you

By Amanda Chai | Dec 04, 2017

  • 7 local and international exhibitions to check out in Singapore
    Cinerama: Art and the Moving Image. Photo credit: Singapore Art Museum

Exhibition season is upon us once again; this time, it features a healthy mix of international traveling exhibitions and locally curated shows, so take your pick from Monet masterpieces, old-school natural history—and even a patriotic hurrah for local architecture. 

Dune: A Sci-fi Art Show (Through Dec 30)

Frank Herbert’s sci-fi cult favorite novel Dune makes a month-long appearance at Kult Gallery, which transforms into the 1965 novel’s fantasy world through dreamy, surrealist works and a virtual reality installation. For hardcore fans, if you want more than just the planet of Arrakis, sign up early for the science fiction panel discussion and documentary too. Admission is free.

Where: Kult Gallery

URA 20 Under 45 (Through Jan 31)

It’s a little less conventional, but worth a visit if you happen to be strolling through the Tanjong Pagar area. The exhibition corresponds to the publication 20 under 45, an ongoing initiative under the Urban Redevelopment Authority that recognizes promising local architects under the age of 45—no mean feat in the timeline of architectural studies and advancement, according to industry insiders.

On the ground floor of the URA Centre, the exhibition itself features a lot of stunning private homes that will make you side-eye the upper class (alas, who else will fund the private sector?); but other noteworthy inclusions in this year’s line-up include Ng San Son of DP Architects Pte Ltd—who was responsible for Orchard Central, MyVillage @ Serangoon Gardens, and River Safari. Admission is free.

Where: URA Centre

The Oceanic (Dec 9-Mar 4)

Photo credit: Lisa Rave

The problematic issues surrounding climate change and the ocean take center stage at this exhibition presented by the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore. Featuring contributions by 12 artists, filmmakers, composers and researchers who made trips to islands in the Pacific, the exhibition focuses on large-scale human interventions in oceanic ecospheres. Prepare to confront uncomfortable realities like who actually owns the oceans; and why those most fatally impacted by rising sea levels are communities who barely contribute to the global carbon footprint. We dare say Kathleen Hartnett White should schedule a trip down. Admission is free.

Where: NTU CCA Singapore, Gillman Barracks

Colours of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musee d’Orsay (Through Mar 11)

If you can’t afford a ticket to Paris, how about one to a local museum instead? In a stunning collaboration between National Gallery Singapore and the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, Claude Monet and his contemporaries grace our sunny island with over 60 Impressionist masterpieces. The exhibition, which is part of the larger Century of Light showcase, features works straight from the French museum—including the dreamy Le Bassin aux nymphéas, harmonie rose, Monet’s own pond of water lilies and arguably his most recognized subject. An impressive 10 pieces from Monet will be on display, but you can look forward to works from Paul Cezanne and Auguste Renoir, amongst others, as well. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so don’t sit on it. Tickets are $15 a pop.

Where: Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery, National Gallery Singapore

The Artist’s Voice (Through Mar 18)

Lightning Bolt Men, Dennis Oppenheim

Nothing defines the human experience quite like sorrow and suffering—so expect to find a lot of that at The Parkview Museum’s newest exhibition. Curated by acclaimed art historian Lorand Hegyi, the exhibition brings together the works of 34 contemporary artists from around the world, to reflect on socio-political issues and the human condition through mediums ranging from sculpture to video. The show is the first in a series of thematic exhibitions on contemporary art at the private museum, which first opened here earlier this year. Admission is free.

Where: The Parkview Museum Singapore

Cinerama: Art and The Moving Image (Through Mar 25)

The Singapore Art Museum’s latest exhibition curates 10 immersive installations on the art of cinema, from contemporary artists and art collectives from around the region. If it sounds like it’s just going to be a bunch of film screenings, you’re in for a treat. There’s GIF animation, experiential walk-throughs, and entire rooms dedicated to multimedia installations; preview it here before you commit to a trip down. Admission is free.

Where: SAM at 8Q

Treasures of the Natural World (Through Apr 29)

A cursed gem, a dodo and a giant stuffed sloth walk into a museum; the punchline is that they’re here to stay till the end of April. The traveling exhibition from the Natural History Museum in London makes its first and only stop in Southeast Asia at the ArtScience Museum, bringing over 200 of the London museum’s star artefacts. Chosen based on their significance and impact on human history, some must-see exhibits include a handwritten page from On the Origin of Species by evolution advocate Charles Darwin himself, and anything and everything taxidermied. 

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