Singapore Art Museum

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Photo of Singapore Art Museum, , Downtown Singapore

What we say: 4 stars

Considering that Singapore is not known for its creativity and free-thinking, the avant-garde paintings, photography and sculptures by local artists at the Singapore Art Museum may surprise you.

Set on Bras Basah Road, just a few steps from an entrance for Bras Basah MRT, the building was originally the home of the St Joseph's Institution -- a missionary school that was founded by the French in 1852. It grew over the years and remained as a school until 1987 when the school moved to larger grounds. Subsequent to the move the building was refurbished and renovated and in 1996 reopened as the Singapore Art Musuem.

The main gallery encompasses three levels, each with multiple halls and there's a separate annex on Queen Street a short walk away (they refer to it as SAM at 8Q). The SAM strives to showcase art from the region and exhibitions are varied -- on our most recent visit displays included modern art from Vietnam and Taiwan along with a solid Singaporean presence. The museum can be very popular with school groups. Very.

You could easily spend half a day here (depending on the exhibits) but likewise you could pop in for 30 minutes to escape the rain and take in a single display.

Admission is free every Friday night after 18:00.

More details
71 Bras Basah Rd
http://www.singaporeartmuseum.sg
Opening Hours: Daily 10:00-19:00, and until 21:00 on Friday
Last updated: 22nd November, 2014

About the author:
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton and he spends most of his time in Bali, Indonesia.
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Singapore Art Museum
71 Bras Basah Rd
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Sights in Downtown Singapore