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Singapore Art Museum (新加坡美术馆)
Established January 20, 1996 (1996-01-20) (age 13) Singapore 189555
Location 71 Bras Basah Road
(1°17′50″N 103°51′03″E / 1.297336618805°N 103.85090413184°E / 1.297336618805; 103.85090413184)
Type Singapore, Southeast Asian art
Director Kwok Kian Chow
Public transit access City Hall MRT Station
(1°10′24″N 103°30′38″E / 1.17333°N 103.51056°E / 1.17333; 103.51056)
Website Singapore Art Museum

The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) (simplified Chinese: 新加坡美术馆pinyin: Xīnjiāpō Měishùguǎn) houses the national art collection of Singapore, possesses an impressive collection of 7750 pieces of Singaporean and Southeast Asian Modern and Contemporary Art, and currently nurtures an expanding collection of New Asian and International Contemporary Art.

It is one of the first art museums with international standard museum facilities and programmes in Southeast Asia and joins a league of new generation museums around the world with well-executed exhibitions and meaningful community outreach programmes

Situated in the centre of Singapore’s major shopping district and Waterloo Street Arts Belt, SAM is located alongside Singapore’s major performing arts and visual arts institutions: such as the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art, LaSalle College of the Arts, the Stamford Arts Centre, the Selegie Arts Centre, Singapore Calligraphy Centre, YMS Arts Centre, Dance Ensemble Singapore, Sculpture Square and Action Theatre as well as the School of the Arts: an institution that offers an integrated arts and academic curriculum for youths aged 13 to 18 years of age.

SAM is accessible by major public transportation systems such as the public buses, the MRT lines and cab services. Bras Basah MRT line, scheduled to open in 2010, will literally bring visitors right to SAM’s doorstep.

The museum, then known as the Fine Arts Museum was borne out of a project by the National Museum to set up of a five-museum precinct in the city. The other 4 museums that make up the precinct are known as the Singapore History Museum, Asian Civilisations Museum, People's Museum and the Children's Museum.[1] The Fine Arts Museum project began with the restoration of the former St. Joseph's Institution building. At the same time, the appointment of artist and surgeon Dr Earl Lu to head an 11-member Fine Arts Museum Board was announced on July 18, 1992, by the Minister of State (Information and the Arts and Education) Dr Ker Sin Tze. The 11-men Board was tasked to acquire works of art by notable painters from Southeast Asia and East Asia, and by upcoming potential artists from these regions, for the benefit of the visual arts heritage of Singaporeans in centuries to come. Low Chuck Tiew, a retired banker and prominent art collector, served as museum adviser, along with Mrs Shirley Loo-Lim, Deputy Director of the National Museum as vice-Chairman of the Board. Dr Geh Min, Dr Ho Kok Hoe, Mr Lee Seng Tee, Dr Arthur Lim, T. K. Sabapathy, Sarkasi Said, Sum Yoke Kit, Wee Chwee Heng, and Dr Yap-Whang Whee Yong formed the rest of the Museum Board. [2]

The restoration work on the 140-year-old national monument took more than two years and a cost of S$30 million. It first opened its doors to the public as the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) on October 20, 1995. Its first art installation is a S$90,000 7-m-high Swarovski crystal chandelier at the Museum main entrance, which weighs 325 kilograms and took over three months to make.[3] The Museum was officially opened by then-Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Goh Chok Tong on January 20, 1996. In his opening speech he envisioned the new museum, along with the other four museums in the Arts and Heritage District and the Arts Centre, aiding Singapore in reprising its historic role as a centre of entrepot trade for the arts, culture, civilisation and ideas to the people in the Asian region and the rest of the world.[4]

SAM’s galleries feature paintings, sculptures, and installations from its permanent collection of Singapore and Southeast Asian modern and contemporary art as well as touring renowned shows like the Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Museum and Leonardo da Vinci: Scientist, Inventor, Artist. Taking over from the functions of the National Museum Art Gallery which was opened in 1976 with 93 artworks, its collection includes works from major local artists such as Georgette Chen, Liu Kang, Chen Chong Swee, Lim Tze Peng and Huang Yao. From 2001, the museum began acquiring works and accepting donations from around the region, including from regional artists like Affandi, Hendra Gunawan, Pratuang Emjaroen, Montien Boonma, Le Pho and Bui Xuan Phai.

The museum has hosted a series of travelling exhibitions since its opening, including those featuring works by Liu Kang, Leonardo Da Vinci, Chen Chong Swee, Fan Chang Tien, Lim Tze Peng and Chen Wen Hsi.

Community outreach continues to be an important area of the Museum's function through the promotion of awareness and appreciation of art within the local and regional context. It encourages the growth of an active and stimulating cultural environment in Singapore. This is done not only through the Museum's exhibition programmes but also through its education and public programmes which cover a diversity of art trends and practices, fringe activities and public lectures, aimed at reaching the local community at large as well as regional and international visitors to Singapore.

Visitors to the SAM can expect to find an interactive, living centre for art, with advanced museum facilities. Since its opening, the Museum has been stimulating the cultural environment of Singapore and continues to do so with breathtaking shows and exciting programmes.

General Information and Facilities


71 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189555, a 10-minute walk from Dhoby Ghaut or City Hall MRT Stations. Tel. (65) 6332 3222

Opening Hours

SAM is opened to the public daily: 10am – 7pm, except Fridays: 10am – 9pm. Free admission after 6pm on Fridays and from 12noon to 2pm on weekdays.

Admission fees

Admission fee is $8 for adults and $4 for students and senior citizens. Visitors may purchase a combined ticket for admission to both Singapore Art Museum and 8Qsam for a bundled price of $10

Guided Tours:

Monday, 2pm (English) Tuesdays - Fridays, 10.30am (Japanese); 11am & 2pm (English) Fridays, 7pm (English) Fridays, 7.30pm (Mandarin) Saturdays & Sundays, 11am, 2pm and 3.30pm (English)

Facilities and services

Museum Shop by Banyan Tree

The Museum Shop offers a selection of gift items including cards, art books, silk fabrics, pottery and crafts that make unique gifts for friends and family.

Open daily from 10am - 7pm Tel: (65) 6338 1016.

Food and Beverages at Olio Dome Café and Trattoria Lafiandra

Located on the ground floor of Singapore Art Museum, the Dome Café and Trattoria Lafiandra offers visitors a wide selection of food and beverages.

Olio Dome Cafe Tel: (65) 6339 0792 Open daily from 8.30am – 10.00pm

Trattoria Lafiandra Tel: (65) 6884 4035 Open daily from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 10:30 pm



See also


  • Lenzi, Iola (2004). Museums of Southeast Asia. Singapore: Archipelago Press. p. 200 pages. ISBN 981-4068-96-9.  


  1. ^ Leong, Weng Kam (1992-05-24). "Museum recruits more curators and specialists". Singapore: Straits Times. p. 16.  
  2. ^ "Work to convert old SJI into Fine Arts Museum to begin soon"". Singapore: Straits Times. 1992-07-19. p. 3.  
  3. ^ "Two opening ceremonies: One for the building, one for the art". Singapore: Straits Times Life!. 1995-10-20. p. 23.  
  4. ^ Wang, Hui Ling (1996-02-21). "Vision of S'pore as entrepot for art, culture". Singapore: Straits Times. p. 1.  

External links



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