Saturday, 28 November 2015

National Gallery Singapore (part two)

  In his 2005 National Day Rally Speech, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that the former City Hall and Supreme Court buildings were going to be converted into a national art gallery. Many were skeptical of how successful the project would be. After all, adapting two huge national monuments into a museum, while still conserving them, was a mammoth feat. And that wasn't even considering the fact that various art works had to be curated to represent Southeast Asian modern art.

  However, a decade later, I can proudly say that we did what we set our hearts to.

There was a large recreation of a painting at the front of the gallery.
Lots of people were taking pictures of it.
The "painting" was a silk print, I believe. Really cool.
Obligatory selfie.
I looked really cute that day, with my feather hat and matching feather jewellery. hehehe
  Onwards into the gallery!


Bonus points to you if you manage to spot my mum, Joni.



Created in 1982 by Somboon Hormtientong.  The following drawing is made up of five large panels and is absolutely stunning. It's titled "Das Lied" (The Song) and is actually made with pencil on paper. You *need* to see it in person to appreciate how beautiful it is.

Here is some detail.
Imagine the patience!

There were many pieces that I didn't "get"...
These many stacked bowls are impressive, though.

Death of traditions, maybe?
I couldn't find the little explanatory card for the piece.
But at this space, if you look up...
You'll see the wonderful steel structures that are reinforcing the integrity of the building.

  Right next to the Aura Sky Lounge at the City Hall wing, you get to see this breathtaking view of Marina Bay:
There was a carnival happening in front of the gallery. (more on that later)


I took a panorama of the area near-by.

Remember the canopy of glass I showed you in my last post about the National Gallery?
Look how beautiful it is at night.
(If you haven't seen the post I'm talking about, you should totally check it out by clicking here.)


And you actually get to see the exterior of the dome of the old building!
I love how they integrated the old with the new.


Then I visited Wu Guan Zhong's exhibit.






And also Chua Ek Kay's exhibit.


I like the composition of this painting.
Reminds me of ancient Chinese coins.

There was also this participatory performance happening. It was lead by people from Spell#7. It was a part-language lesson, part-play; inspired by the painting below.

Painting by Chua Mia Tee. Titled "National Language Class", made in 1959.
The explanatory text says, "Shortly after Singapore became partially self-governing in 1955, Malay was made the national language to help forge the identity of a nation pushing for full independence. On the blackboard are the phrases: "Siapa nama kamu? ("What is your name?") and "Di mana awak tinggal? ("Where do you live?"), words that capture a growing consciousness of national identity among Singaporeans at that time.

Then we stepped out of the building to go visit the carnival.
The National Gallery building was beautiful lit with pretty colours.
  I didn't take many pictures of the carnival as the sun had set by then, and we mainly just wanted to get some food to eat... We did take part in this community art work thing, where we were asked to "vandalise" the buildings on this large print. Here's Joni doing some Zentangle on it.

Diva Dance: Rock and Roll.

  All in all, I had great fun at the National Gallery. The building is HUGE so grab a map at the start of your visit, and expect to do lots of walking. The architecture is breath-takingly beautiful (as I've mentioned many times). Within the 64,000 sqm, countless beautiful works are displayed to the public, with interactive spaces to have fun in, and workshops for children to help spark their creativity. This museum truly is a wonderful place where Southeast Asian art is recognised and celebrated.

  You have till' the 6th of December to enjoy free entry to all exhibitions. After which, the special exhibits will cost $20, though the permanent exhibits will still be free. :)

  I didn't get to visit the Art Playscape because it was closed for a special event. So I will probably go back again to see that. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I briefly mentioned the Art Playscape in my previous post. You can read about it via this link.

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