Wednesday, 24 November 2021

National Gallery Singapore unveils new experiences for the school holidays

Produced by SilverKris for National Gallery Singapore

With the year winding down and the school holidays fast approaching, there’s no better time to bond with the family. If you’re in the mood to engage with art, look no further than the National Gallery Singapore, which has a full slate to keep you and your loved ones entertained.

Want to spend a fun and educational day exploring art with the kids? You can check out the Gallery Children’s Biennale 2021, which offers a host of on-site and virtual encounters that will foster your children’s budding imagination and curiosity. Interested in strolling down memory lane with your grandparents? Take them to view Chua Mia Tee’s artworks, which bring to life what Singapore was like between the 1950s and 1980s.

Read on to discover more about the Gallery’s top experiences this month, then round up the family and head down to check it out for yourself.

Gallery Children's Biennale 2021, National Gallery Singapore
Gallery Children’s Biennale 2021 engages people of all ages

1. Get interactive at the Gallery Children’s Biennale 2021

Treat your little ones to an art-filled day at the Gallery Children’s Biennale 2021. Beyond participating in a range of virtual programming from the comfort of your home – including enthralling video performances and snazzy art projects – you can also make your way to the Gallery to explore various immersive, in-person exhibits at various locations around the premises, from now until December 2022.

On-site, kids can interact with nine different artworks that complement the digital experience. These unpack the biennale’s themes of home, environment, time and diversity in an approachable manner and format that’s easy for children to understand.

Other than igniting your kids’ curiosity and providing them with a full day of creative-driven fun, the experience will also empower them with a sense of empathy and confidence through the imaginative power of art and play.

Chua Mia Tee's exhibition Directing the Real at National Gallery Singapore
Chua Mia Tee: Directing the Real will be on display through 20 November 2022

2. Peek into the past with Chua Mia Tee: Directing the Real

Singapore’s development over the past few decades has been nothing short of impressive. But if you want to get a glimpse of the Lion City of yesteryear, check out Chua Mia Tee: Directing the Real, which opens on 26 November and runs till 20 November 2022 at City Hall Wing, Level 4 Gallery.

Focusing on Chua Mia Tee’s early practice from the 1950s to the 1980s, the works on display run parallel to the nation’s rapid transformation in recent decades as it strove for economic progress. Going beyond factual depictions of life in Singapore, Chua’s paintings bring out deeper emotional truths. The exhibited pieces are largely inspired by Chua’s everyday observations of daily life in the city-state, and have struck a chord with many for their sincerity and realism.

Rather than experience it alone, we suggest taking your parents and grandparents along – so they can regale you with personal tales of their experiences during the time as you take in the exhibition together.

The Great Mischief, National Gallery Singapore
Picture-perfect interiors at The Great Mischief

3. Have an Instagram-worthy feast at The Great Mischief

Take a break from your art adventures with a meal at The Great Mischief, where you can dine on delicious fare in a casual and aesthetically pleasing setting. The ground-floor venue joins the likes of Michelin-starred French restaurant Odette, Peranakan favourite National Kitchen by Violet Oon and atmospheric rooftop bar Smoke & Mirrors as the Gallery’s newest food establishment – as well as its very first halal café.

The menu boasts flavourful Catalan-inspired dishes such as crispy croquetas (turkey ham, béchamel, spicy tomatoes and smoked butter); Fancy French (brioche with poached plums, juicy blackberries, custard and whipped yogurt); and The Grandé (roasted chicken with fingerling potatoes and a zingy chilli-lime romesco sauce). There’s also a solid selection of coffees, teas and mocktails.

This gorgeous venue is a must-visit spot for avid Instagrammers, as the pastel hues, terrazzo tables, light-filled space and beautifully plated dishes make for a truly picture-perfect experience.

National Gallery Singapore, The People's Gallery
National Gallery Singapore gives the heartlands a dose of art

4. Take to the streets with The People’s Gallery

Besides physically visiting the Gallery, you can also find art by simply strolling through Singapore’s  heartland neighbourhoods. With The People’s Gallery initiative, the Gallery has transformed numerous HDB void decks throughout the city-state into venues for technology-driven art and discovery.

All you need to do is visit one of the 27 sites – located within these HDB void decks in areas such as Toa Payoh, Serangoon, Jurong West, Pasir Ris and many others. Simply scan the QR code located on a pillar. You’ll then get to witness the void deck transform itself into a gallery of its own, as art appears on the walls through the power of AR technology.

There are a total of 50 artworks by artists from Singapore and Southeast Asia to discover, and you can find the full list of sites here. The event is slated to end in December, so do check it out this month while you still can.


If you’re planning an in-person visit, please check the Gallery’s website for opening hours and visitor information, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.


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