10 Must-Visit Contemporary Art Galleries In Singapore
Since the 1990s, Singapore has steadily grown its reputation as a premier destination for contemporary art. The city is now home to a plethora of innovative art spaces and the state’s new art hub, Gillman Barracks, where a number of contemporary galleries stand. We profile ten of the best contemporary art galleries in Singapore.
Founded in 2011 by Swiss art dealer Frederic de Senarclens after his relocation to Singapore, Art Plural Gallery occupies a charming and historic Art Deco property split over four levels of exhibition space in the city’s cultural center. Presenting an innovative program of solo and group exhibitions featuring works by internationally-renowned artists and appearing at highly-regarded art fairs like Art Stage Singapore and Art Taipei, it is no wonder the gallery was cited amongst the ‘World’s Best New Galleries and Museums’ by Blouin Artinfo in 2013. Amongst the gallery’s roster of artists are Chinese painter Fu Lei, American sculptor Jedd Novatt, British artist Ian Davenport, French artist Fabienne Verdier, French sculptor Bernar Venet, Chinese artist Li Tianbing, and Korean artist Chun Kwang Young.
Installation view, Manila: The Night is Restless, The Day is Scornful, ARNDT Singapore, 2014 | Photo by Olivia Kwok/Courtsy ARNDT Singapore
With a special focus on art from Southeast Asia and Australia, Future Perfect is devoted to advancing the careers of the some of the most original and creative artists in the Asian-Pacific region. Established and operated by a trio of Australian art enthusiasts: award-winning contemporary artist Jasper Knight, writer and art consultant Nina Miall, and curator and professor David The – the gallery exhibits a wide range of mediums including painting, photography, installation and mixed-media art, sculpture and drawings with works by artists like Melbourne-based video artist Daniel Crooks and Thai installation artist Arin Rungjang, whose works confront important stages in Thai history.
Located in Singapore’s contemporary art hub Gillman Barracks – a 6.4 hectare former military camp, now home to myriad contemporary art galleries – ARNDT Singapore has been owned and run by German art dealer Matthias Arndt since 2013. It was formed following the success of sister gallery ARNDT Berlin’s frequent exhibitions in Asia. Presenting a program of solo exhibitions and curated group shows featuring Asian and international art, ARNDT works to raise the profile of both established and emerging artists with notable exhibitions including works by Filipino painter Rodel Tapaya, and Italian-British collaborative duo Gilbert and George.
Originally a gallery in Manila’s Makita City specializing in works on paper, founder Cesar Villalon Jr. established the Singapore branch of The Drawing Room in 2012 in the Gillman Barracks arts hub. He has since expanded the gallery’s vision to include a diverse range of media, from painting to sculpture, collage, and installation art. Examining the varied terrain of the Southeast Asian contemporary art scene and paying particular attention to artists from Singapore and the Philippines, recent exhibitions have included Filipino multi-media artist Yason Banal, and painter and printmaker Ged Merino.
Since its establishment in 2010 by Turkish owner Can Yavuz, Yavuz Gallery has developed a reputation as one of Southeast Asia’s premier destinations for cutting-edge Asian and Middle Eastern contemporary art. While the gallery doesn’t concentrate on one particular medium or stylistic movement, exhibitions tend to demonstrate social significance and the spirit of unconventionality and surprise.
Founded by lawyers-turned-gallerists Abigail Wong and Benjamin Ng in collaboration with Jordi Barnadas of Barcelona’s Galería Jordi Barnadas, Barnadas Huang is making waves in Singapore’s contemporary art scene. Its mission is to increase the profile of edgy, relevant European art in Asia. A participant in art fairs like Singapore’s Affordable Art Fair and the Malaysia Art Expo, the artists represented by the gallery include Barcelona-born hyperrealistic painter Xavier Visa, and Madrid native and sculptor Jesús Curiá, whose works are influenced by Asian and African culture.
Established in 1996 with the aim of exploring the diverse cultures of modern Southeast Asia via the exhibition of thought-provoking art, Gajah Gallery is widely regarded as a pioneer in the Asian contemporary art world, and has consistently worked to raise the profile of Asian artists on an international level. Paying particular attention to contemporary Indonesian art, the gallery represents some of Indonesia’s most respected artists, including sculptor and installation artist Yusra Martunus, and painter Jumaldi Alfi. The gallery also hosts regular exhibitions of works by artists like Singaporean ceramics sculptor Jason Lim and Chinese painter and calligrapher Wei Ligang, alongside international artists like Barbados-born and Bali-based Ashley Bickerton.
Chris Levine, LIGHT, Collectors Contemporary, 2014 | Courtesy Collectors Contemporary & Chris Levine
Dedicated to exploring the dialogue between Western and non-Western cultures, Sundaram Tagore is an international art gallery with locations in Singapore, New York, and Hong Kong. Exhibitions here are designed to inspire social, spiritual, and aesthetic discourse. Overseen by its namesake, gallerist Sundaram Tagore, the gallery presents a wide range of mediums including painting, sculpture, performance art and photography from artists whose work seek to transcend artistic and conceptual boundaries.
Chun Kai Feng, Nowhere Near, FOST Gallery, 2013 | Courtesy FOST Gallery & Chun Kai Feng
Collectors Contemporary was founded in 2007 by two art collectors, specializing in exhibiting and selling modern and contemporary art from Asia and the West. Located in a 3,000 square-foot space that has exhibited works by the likes of British light artist Chris Levine and graphic art duo STATIC, the gallery also hosts regular educational talks and presentations designed for community art lovers, collectors, and students, alongside representing talents that include Japanese legend Takashi Murakami, and South Korean painter Wonkun Jun.
Founded by Director Stephanie Fong in 2006, FOST Gallery has gained a reputation for hosting some of Singapore’s edgiest exhibitions. Showcasing contemporary art from across the globe with a particular focus on local artists, FOST Gallery was listed amongst Blouin Artinfo’s ‘Top Galleries in Asia in 2013,’ consolidating its stature as a premier Singaporean arts destination.