History!! that is what you will find in the National Gallery.
My visit to the gallery was on a weekday so there were not many visitors which gave me the opportunity to take my time and make some nice pictures. In some of the exhibition areas I was the only one visiting at that point.
When I entered the building one thing got my attention, there was no actual ticket booth upon entering. An employee of the gallery came to me and told me that I should go downstairs to buy a ticket, and so I did. Citizens of Singapore and permanent residents can enjoy free entrance of the gallery, all other visitors have to pay an entrance fee.
The ticket booth was on the lower level and the friendly lady behind the desk helped me. She also told me about the two buildings the gallery was located in. Half of the gallery is situated in the former Singaporean court and the other half is situated in the former city hall.
First I visited the former court, where I almost directly ran into an old cell which was pretty impressive because you could still see the damages on the walls and floor. Via the cells and the supreme court foyer I got to the exhibition hall. The first hall I entered was not a big one. There were some books displayed on the tables and some paintings on the wall. Walking around in that area I realized that this wasn’t just a room, this was the actual court room. All of a sudden it grabbed me, years back people came to this place and their life could have been in the hands of the person sitting in the big chair.
In one of the other halls there was a giant painting called ‘Boschbrand’ by Raden Saleh. As I approached the painting the feeling of fear came to me. I saw the fear in the eyes of the animals painted. After standing in the room for a while I realised that I was looking at the painting for almost 15 minutes.
“I have to be honest, I don’t really feel modern art”
Continuing my journey through the gallery I saw the art changing through time. It was beautiful to see how artists had changed art. The gallery is arranged based on a timeline.
In gallery 9 you will find the more abstract art. Many of the artists saw the possibility of assimilation abstraction with Asian and local traditions, while at the same time, expressing the progressiveness of international art. I must say that the artists did a great job doing that.
There also is a section with modern art. I have to be honest, I don’t really feel modern art. In my opinion everything could be modern art. Walking through the pieces I realised that everything could be art, the only thing you have to do is call it art. That moment I decided that my blog is art and I’m an artist. Probably now I have offended a lot of people who really like modern art, but to those people I say; please explain it to me, let me feel it too.
There is one piece that I did not see coming. It’s a chair, well if you see it from a specific point. Singaporean artist Matthew Ngui first made ‘Chair’ in 1997 but remade it in 2015 specially for the National Gallery.
Until September 26th the National gallery houses an exhibition of Chinese artist Wu Guanzhong. The collection shown is the largest holding of his works in a public collection, and is one of the most valuable art donations ever presented to a museum in Singapore. The pieces Wu made feature both oil and ink works.
The National gallery is situated in a beautiful building. The building it self is worth visiting. The collection shown is diverse and inviting, so there is something for everyone.