Every time I visit Singapore, I try to check out at least one of their museums. Last October, I had the chance to visit two of them, plus an art gallery and a quasi-art gallery—and I got in for free at all places but one! Unfortunately, I was too lazy to bring my camera, so I had to make do with my iPhone. Check out some of my photos below!
I’d visited this museum before for the Harry Potter exhibit, but since my sister told me that the special Annie Leibovitz feature was nice, I figured I might as well go back. You usually have to pay to get in, but since it was a public holiday, I didn’t have to pay a cent. I even got a free guided tour to the Leibovitz exhibit, thanks to my good timing. I enjoyed seeing some of her most famous photographs, along with others that were more personal to her. Safe to say, I’m now a fan of her work. Photography wasn’t allowed in that exhibit, but I got a few shots inside the Flux Realities galleries. These showcased amazing examples of Chinese contemporary photography. I loved how each of the photographers had their own style, with some of their works resembling paintings instead of photos. They show such depth in their creations, and each of them tell their own stories. They truly were inspiring, even to someone who isn’t particularly into photography.
I was new to SAM, and after my visit, I can definitely say I’d recommend this to any fan of contemporary art. I arrived in time for the complimentary guided tour of the Sensorium 360 exhibition, which is all about art that involves the senses and our perception of the world. The installations featured were by Southeast Asian and Asian artists, and there were even some by Filipinos! I was blown away by how creative the artists were. There were artworks done in braille, sound installations, exhibits that called for me to listen to a piece of music while smelling different vials, and even one where I wore a special camera headset and had to navigate my way through a maze while relying on a skewed perspective. Things I never imagined to find in a museum, I found there. More than just being imaginative, the pieces were thought-provoking and memorable. And the permanent collection was stellar, too! More than worth the 10SGD admission fee.
Located at the Old Parliament building, The Arts House is all about promoting different art forms, be it literature, film, performance art, or visual art. I went there to check out their typography exhibit, since I’m fascinated by it. It didn’t turn out to be quite what I’d expected, but it was interesting nonetheless. Artist Sharlene Leong’s prints were showcased along the Print Gallery, and they were mostly visual plays on words and phrases that were meaningful to her. I explored the building a bit more and found an exhibit of artworks made by female cancer patients. They used art like therapy, sharing a part of their journey and giving their thanks to their loved ones. That struck a chord with me—how the experience of suffering and hardship could lead to something beautiful.
That’s right—I went to a hotel to get my last art fix. It’s not just any hotel though; it houses modern and contemporary masterpieces by famous artists (the official number is at 4,200!). This was a last-minute thing for me. I’d been researching things I could do for free on my last day and found this. I’m so glad I did! They have audio guides (aka iPods) that they lend you for free, along with a brochure that you can take home, so you can check out some of the artworks they have on display. Honestly, I came there to see Andy Warhol’s pieces, but I came out raving about more than just his “Poppy.” The tour takes you to three levels of the hotel and runs for about 30 mins to an hour depending on how long you stay at each piece. This was truly a highlight of my trip, and I’d say it’s a must for art lovers! See some of my favorite pieces in the gallery below.