anyhowonly

.anything two-wheels, travel, food, beauty, fashion and my personal musings.

National Gallery Singapore

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Ceiling of the Chief Justice’s rotunda library inside the former Supreme Court

Always game to visit new places, the family and I were pumped when the National Gallery Singapore opened its doors in November 2015 after close to a decade of construction. We spent a humid Sunday afternoon strolling through its air-conditioned grounds, marvelling at its stunning visuals – art pieces,  installations, architectural elements and ingenious design feats.

The National Gallery Singapore occupies two national monuments: the former Supreme Court and City Hall.  Primarily an art gallery, it is located in the city centre and I am to understand, it houses the world’s largest public collection of Singapore and Southeast Asian art, comprising over 8,000 artworks.

Whether you are a history buff, an art enthusiast, a budding lensman or just a regular guy (or gal) on the street, I recommend you visit the National Gallery Singapore and be spellbound by its transformation.

Even for self-proclaimed motor-heads like the husband and I, the afternoon excursion was thought-provoking, inspirational, and definitely taught us a thing or two about history and culture!

 

My curiosity was stirred when I first saw photos of the new space on social media. I won’t critique how well they have or have not redesigned it because I am no expert on such things. I will tell you though, if anything at all, almost every nook and cranny in the building is highly instagrammable!

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I particularly enjoyed being trigger happy with my camera, taking my time to frame each photograph. Even Mum and the husband obliged me with posing in some of my pictures.

Frankly, I like how quiet the place is. No one herds you on when you stop by any of the exhibits. It’s a good haven to escape from the mad city pace, even if for just a while. Stepping into the Gallery somehow seems like a time warp of sorts. The Gallery has interesting collections, and the multimedia content is engaging. I enjoyed the overall experience.

I was stoked to have explored the inside of a holding cell. There are still two holding cells preserved from the original 12 of the Old Supreme Court – 10 for men and two for women, that once held notorious murderers Adrian Lim, a self-professed temple medium, and Anthony Ler, who plotted the murder of his wife.

 

If you can’t teleport to Paris to pay the Lourve Museum a visit, why not just spend a few hours in our local version? I’m pretty certain you will be well occupied for a few hours.

For the foodies, there are dining establishments within the compound, and I hear National Kitchen by Violet Oon is more than worth a try. Besides, it’s free entry for Singaporeans & PRs. Standard tickets for non-Singaporeans are priced at S$20.

 


The National Gallery Singapore is opened:

  • Sun–Thu, Public Holidays: 10am–7pm, and
  • Fri–Sat, Eve of Public Holidays: 10am–10pm

Do note that admission ends 30 minutes before closing time.

Entrance to the Gallery’s carpark is on the far right of Coleman Street. Access it by turning left before St. Andrew’s Cathedral from the left lane of St Andrew’s Road. I took the following map and parking rates from the Gallery’s website.

  • 7am–6pm: $1.30 per half hour
  • 6pm–1am: $3.20 per entry
  • Motorbike parking: $1 per entry, no overnight parking

160418_carpark-map-02.jpg

You might want to go after a meal and bring along bottled water to hydrate after all that walking around (we walked for at least three hours!) in the air-conditioning. You might also need a cardigan as it can get chilly in the Gallery. Happy trails!

 

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