Happy new year! It’s yet another new year and that comes with all the feels – surreal, crazily fast, exciting?! I may be getting ready to dive into the new year and all that it’ll bring (PhD completion, please), but first up, here is my roundup of art exhibitions and museum-going in 2022! I didn’t share reviews of exhibitions that showed in Singapore in the past year, because I didn’t feel ‘wow-ed’ enough by them, but I realise now that I still saw so much art!
| Cover picture: Hiromi Tango, Dr Emma Burrows and Dr Tilman Dingler, Wheel, 2021, at ArtScience Museum’s MENTAL: Colours of Wellbeing |
Asian Civilisations Museum – Russel Wong in Kyoto
Russel Wong in Kyoto was first shown alongside Life in Edo in 2021, and then it was extended into 2022! Additional photographs by Wong were added, keeping the focus on an inside look of geikos in Kyoto, but I also really liked the atmosphere of showing Kyoto in flowering season.
National Gallery Singapore – Chua Mia Tee: Directing the Real
I was able to visit this exhibition twice because it went on for about a year — early on in January and one more time on its last day! This is a solo exhibition dedicated to Singaporean artist Chua Mia Tee, and I enjoyed seeing his views of Singapore back in the old days…
Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall (shown on right of painting) is missing its crown at the top of its dome! I found this missing detail so funny, because I only learned a while back too about the building’s crown! Also my favourite work of architecture in Singapore.
Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre – Life is Sweet: Ang Ku Kueh Girl Exhibition
Found this a sweet exhibition and I loved these uplifting messages along with these cute Ang Ku Kueh Girl illustrations!
Han Sai Por’s Microorganisms Landscape
The use of the Jendela art space at the Esplanade for Han Sai Por’s mixed-media Microorganisms Landscape was pretty good! I also liked seeing a different side to Han’s work, who is well-known for her sculptures which are easily found across Singapore.
Hong Kong: Through the Looking Glass miniature exhibition《細看香港》
Take me back to Hong Kong!!! Here’s to me doing that in 2023!!! In the meantime, I loved seeing these miniatures of everyday Hong Kong scenes — and there were so many other people viewing this exhibition too!
200 TRUNKS, 200 VISIONARIES: THE EXHIBITION
In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Louis Vuitton’s birth, LV launched this exhibition that invited 200 artists, creatives, and some celebrities to reinterpret the classic LV trunk. Singapore was the second stop for this travelling exhibition, which is really cool! Loved the ideas and creativity that was abounding here.
National Museum of Singapore – OFF / ON: Everyday Technology that Changed our Lives, 1970s – 2000s
More throwbacks to an older Singapore, I really liked these room set-ups like the barber salon and the photographer’s studio!
i Light Singapore
i Light finally returned after its last showing in 2019! It was really nice walking around the Marina Bay area again at night to see all the lights.
My favourite from i Light this year was Firefly Field! They are electronically controlled but appear to sway naturally in the wind.
Botanic Gardens Gallop Extension
I finally visited the new(-ish) Gallop Extension at Botanic Gardens, and I definitely want to visit again! There are two black and white houses named Inverturret and Atbara, and you can explore their interiors, learn more about the colonial era architecture, and see exhibitions and highlights from the Singapore Botanic Gardens collection.
Asian Civilisations Museum – Batik Kita: Dressing in Port Cities
Popped by ACM again to see the exhibition Batik Kita, that featured batik in textiles in both its traditional and contemporary forms.
Malay Heritage Centre – Cerita
I visited the Malay Heritage Centre before it closed for renovation, and its last exhibition was Cerita (Stories). The highlight piece for me was this stunning painting by Raden Saleh!
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
Finally visited the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum for the first time ever — after so long! It’s situated within the campus of National University of Singapore, and the museum exhibits are set across two stories. I thought it was really well done; it’s cool to see Singapore’s very own dinosaur exhibits, and I was also particularly taken by the molluscs section!
National Gallery Singapore – Wu Guanzhong: Travelling with the Master
I still think that the best Wu Guanzhong exhibition at National Gallery Singapore was Wu Guanzhong: Beauty Beyond Form in 2016. The latest showing Wu Guanzhong: Travelling with the Master was a little cobbled together, but it was still nice to see some really great works by Wu.
National Gallery Singapore – Nothing is Forever: Rethinking Sculpture in Singapore
Running from 29 July 2022 to 5 February 2023
Haha, I couldn’t help myself! It doesn’t matter when one doesn’t ‘get’ the art, just pose with it and have fun…!
House of Dreams
I loved this display of Barbie dolls at House of Dreams hosted at the Ion Orchard art gallery space, it was so pink, bright and fabulous! Loved the vintage looks to the contemporary ones, with my favourites below!
Asian Civilisations Museum – ACM and Anima Mundi: Chinese Christian art from the Vatican Museums
This exhibition of loans from the Anima Mundi (Soul of the World), Vatican Museums at ACM featuring Chinese Christian art seems to be getting little traction, but it’s a really nice display of works incorporated within ACM’s Christian art gallery! The works of Chinese Christian art makes for both a strange and interesting combination that I’ve never really encountered before.
ArtScience Museum – MENTAL: Colours of Wellbeing
Running from 3 September 2022 – 26 February 2023
I thought that MENTAL was both fun and a little quirky! The exhibition’s take on mental health and wellbeing was not exactly what I was expecting (I thought I should come out of it feeling nice and cosy or something like that??), but there was a good variety of responses and artworks that related to the theme.
Even in Fear by Zhou definitely made me feel a little more anxious than I should have! The white balloon in the bright pink container keeps expanding and filling up the space until it looks like it’s going to explode — and then it deflates, and the cycle repeats again.
I thought this work Hello Human, Hello Machine was really fun because you could pick up the payphone and it connects you to someone and start a conversation! But, spoiler alert, I am convinced that the person on the line is pre-recorded……
In Mirror Ritual, you look into the mirror and the AI machine presents you with a poem based on the emotions on your face. I gave it my best neutral expression and this is what I got, which cracked me up!!
I thought this was the perfect note to end this post with. Thank you 2022, you’ve been a ride — and of course, one of my ultimate highlights of the year was visiting London, and I should do another highlight post of that! I hope the new year 2023 treats you well, and that you be kind on yourself too! Let’s see what it will bring…