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  • Writer's pictureJoyotee

National Gallery of Singapore : Where Art, Culture, History and Architecture meet.

I dated myself on Wednesday afternoon and I just had to visit one of spaces I love, yes, National Gallery. I don’t manage to go there very often but I do love the art, the building its pillars, and its spaces.

With the opening of museums, I had to use my pink IC privileges, free entrance namely to all the galleries. I did spend a major portion of my time in Level 2 the DBS galleries 1, 2 and 3. What a great way to see Singapore and its art evolve. In fact the way all the exhibitions are done there seems to be a movement of taking the novice through Singapore’s modern history. And yes by that I mean the last 200 years or so. Siapa Nama Kamu, meaning, What is your name starts the journey ….. and I ended it with An Exercise of Meaning in a Glitch Season (which is an exhibition curated as artists response to the current Pandemic) and Time Passes also a response to the current Pandemic. In the latter, the title references to a middle chapter of To the Lighthouse by Virgina Woolf, where in the novel, the writer takes us through ten years very rapidly through the pages of the book.

It brought back days of my literature class where I remember one of my lec

turers reading lines from To The Lighthouse. Some exhibits resonate more than others and I am sure each one of us will have different favourites. Even within the galleries different artworks that speak to us at different points of time. In fact, I am sure if I go next week again I will find something else that resonates with me more than it did yesterday. Yes, there is something for everyone at the NGS.

However, for a nation that is exposed to such rich museums our museum going crowd is paltry in comparison. I am just imagining if this kind of a display was available in culture vulture place like Kolkata, India or even a small European town for that matter, its locals would take utmost pleasure in being there and proudly enjoying this rich heritage that we have cultivated and now sharing with the world.

Some key highlights of my date with myself

1. Saw this lady who had brought along two kids on an art appreciation tour. They were being shown around the exhibits and then later, sitting and drawing with their pencils and keeping with gallery rules they did not use erasers or colour pencils. I almost felt silly not carrying pencils and a sketch book myself. I loved that although an independent body catering to international schools kids was conducting this kind of an art appreciation tour.

2. Met some of the best gallery sitters last afterno

on. Not only are they so helpful they even tell you what you should not miss and which are the key things that they h

ave added since my last visit. Yes, they are very well versed with their exhibits. The uncle (gallery sitter) of one of the galleries even told me that I should not miss ACM as they have some super new collections especially since I had parked in their building. :D

3. Due to the current crisis I guess people are still weary of visiting public spaces, but most places had little or no crowd and was managed well.

Low Lights

1. I wish more people were there viewing these exhibitions.

2. Why am I not seeing or reading enough about it on social media is a question that I find myself asking?

3. Loads of youngsters but they seem to be trap

ped on the staircases which make insta worthy photographs for them.

4. No cafes for people from middle class families to enj

oy the space with their kids and continue their day exploring art. Atas food joints do not cut it for the average family person.

I did click my shots too, for my own catalogue album of my visit. Will I share them? Not sure. They are for my own archiving. Loved my date with myself. If you are not so good with your own company head down with a friend and later have a cuppa in any one of the neighbouring malls and their cafes. Do visit the National Gallery and I promise there are tons of insta worthy posts waiting for you in there. There is something for everyone, a literature lover, art lover, historian, an architect or even your plain observer. 😉

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