The visual arts is an intrinsic part of Singapore’s culture and heritage. It contributes to diverse expressions and interactions in society. The work of artists, curators, arts centres, researchers and museums presents and documents our visual arts to promote a sense of pride and identity. Extending into the built environment around through public art, visual arts can help us view everyday happenings from different perspectives, as well as cultivate an individual sense of aesthetics and creative spirit.
A Strong Ecosystem
Our museum landscape has grown, with cultural institutions and organisations such as National Gallery Singapore, Singapore Art Museum, STPI Creative Workshop and Gallery and NTU Centre for Contemporary Art showcasing impactful exhibitions and programmes for a wide range of audiences. The institutions have collectively developed the largest public collection of modern and contemporary Southeast Asian art in the world, establishing Singapore as a major gateway to the region’s diverse artistic heritage. Prominent platforms for visual artists, collectors and supporters alike include Singapore Art Week, Singapore Biennale as well as exhibitions organised by private galleries in Gillman Barracks and around Singapore. In addition, the National Arts Council (NAC) provides support for key organisations such as Art Photography Centre (DECK), Art Outreach, The Chinese Calligraphy Society of Singapore, Objectifs and Oh! Open House to support practitioners across various disciplines and backgrounds as well as through capability development programmes. Since 2001, NAC has continued to participate in the most established contemporary art event in the world through the Singapore Pavilion at the La Biennale di Venezia where Singapore’s artists have exhibited alongside prominent figures in the international arts scene.
Growing a Wider Appreciation for Art
Beyond galleries, there are numerous public artworks situated in spaces where we live, work and play. The Public Art Trust commissions new, meaningful and impactful art in public spaces. This serves to promote best practices for commissioning public art, catalyses private donations and raises levels of appreciation of public art.
Our comprehensive arts education system also offers new pathways for aspiring arts professionals to develop and curate content that resonates with Singaporeans. Besides our mainstream schools that cultivate an interest and appreciation for visual arts from a young age, our arts institutions have expanded the scope of opportunities and quality of education available for aspiring arts practitioners locally and regionally.
As Singapore builds on its international position as a visual arts destination with a vibrant art scene and market, it also builds its role as a key thought leader in Southeast Asian modern and contemporary art. In growing new arts audiences, Singaporeans and visitors will have opportunities to experience and be inspired by the visual arts in everyday spaces through quality artwork produced by artists and arts professionals.