Singapore’s visual arts has grown steadily over the past decades, resulting in a vibrant art scene anchored by strong institutions, a growing community of practitioners, audiences and emergence of an art market.
Our museum landscape has grown, with institutions such as National Gallery Singapore, Singapore Art Museum and STPI Creative Workshop and Gallery showcasing impactful exhibitions for a wide range of audiences. Singapore Art Museum is also the organiser of the Singapore Biennale, Singapore's most prominent international visual art exhibition. In addition, 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 rich art heritage.
Beyond galleries, there are numerous public art works sited in spaces where we live, work and play. The Public Art Trust was established in 2014 with seed funding from the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) in the spirit of commissioning new, meaningful and impactful public art in public spaces, promoting best practices for commissioning public art, catalysing private donations, and raising levels of appreciation of public art.
Singapore’s arts education system is also progressively growing – the establishment of the School of The Arts, Singapore’s first national pre-tertiary specialised arts programme and the continued developments of arts institutions such as LASALLE College of Arts, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Nanyang Technological University’s Art Design and Media Faculty have expanded the scope of opportunities and quality of education available for aspiring arts practitioners locally and regionally. More recently, the National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences launched a minor in Art History, taught in collaboration with the National Gallery Singapore. This has offered new pathways for aspiring arts professionals in developing and curating content that resonates with Singaporeans.
Singapore’s artists continue to garner acclaim beyond our shores, and are making considerable headway in the international art scene. We continue to be committed to presenting our most prominent contemporary art talents on the global stage through the Singapore Pavilion at the La Biennale di Venezia.
As Singapore builds on its position to become a global arts city and the gateway to Southeast Asian art, NAC has produced a publication to introduce over 280 visual arts practitioners from different generations and across various visual arts practices in Singapore. Entitled Singapore’s Visual Artists, the publication is a useful reference as well as a celebration of the works and achievements of our visual artists whose passion and creativity have helped capture, contextualise and re-imagine the rich cultural past, present and future of Singapore.
Launched in 2012, Gillman Barracks is home to leading international and home-grown galleries from around the world, the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art and other visual arts organisations. The NTU Centre for Contemporary Art is devoted to advancing knowledge in contemporary art through its international artist residencies, research and exhibition programmes that bolster the region’s visual arts landscape. These exciting developments will spur artistic excellence and also develop community engagement and education in Singapore.
NAC will continue to make available assistance and developmental resources to support the local visual arts industry at all levels from the budding artist and emerging arts collective to the established artist, arts professionals and companies, ensuring the development of the visual arts in Singapore.