Didem Doğan

Singapore’s Museums: The National Gallery

The National Gallery is situated at the civic district of Singapore. The white elegant building is actually made of two buildings, City Hall and the former Supreme Court and today houses the largest art collection in Southeast Asia. Its largest collection is exhibited on different halls in its four floors, it has also a terrace where you can enjoy Singapore’s skyline. When I’m visiting the Gallery there’s the exhibition of 19th century European impressionists but I prioritise the Asian Art section to get to know the country I’m visiting. The exhibition ‘Siapa Nama Kamu?’, meaning ‘What is your name?’ in Malay language, takes its name from a painting of Chua Mia Tee. The artist from Singapore depicts a language class, a group of young people gathered around a table, the year is 1959, it’s when Singapore gains its independence from Britain, a painting that symbolises the national identity of Singapore. Other halls exhibit the examples of Chinese art, calligraphy, wall paintings: Wu Guanzhong’s ‘A walk through nature’, inspired by artist’s journeys to Chinese villages. Xiu Hai Lou’s ‘Rediscovering the treasures’ is a collection of Chinese calligraphy and painting, whereas Chen Chong Swede’s ‘Strokes of Life‘ gathers the Chinese artist’s oil paintings of Malay villages.