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National Gallery of Singapore DECEMBER 2015

New Art Spaces book to celebrate the opening of a unique institution

The National Gallery of Singapore opened on 24th November in an explosion of splendour and celebration. It was a decade in the making and its collection of over 8,000 works makes it Asia’s largest visual arts institution. It is the world’s first museum dedicated to south-east Asian art and represents the intent of the tiny island state: Singapore plans to have a monumental impact on the art world. With stunning temporary exhibitions planned in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou and Tate Britain, it is clear that the international market is already recognising its unique contribution.
The opening of the National Gallery marks the 50th anniversary of Singapore’s independence. This icon of modern Singapore weaves the past and present and future together in one glorious tapestry. Even the architecture of the Gallery speaks to this marriage. It is housed within what used to be two of the island’s most iconic colonial buildings – the former Supreme Court and City Hall – which have been merged into one by a spider-web of a new roof, the two monuments clustered together beneath a canopy of filigree metal. The Guardian has referred to it as a 'contemporary architectural classic'.
Inside, the old hallways have been revolutionised. Once monuments to the ubiquity of colonial power, the buildings are now over-spilling with the pride of a nation. Light floods in from the roof, into immense atriums; bridges soar across the space, a new basement created to handle the multitudes that flood in and out of the museum, a garden on the roof that offers magnificent views over Singapore.
We could not be more excited to be working on a new book in our Art Spaces series on the architecture and creation of the new National Gallery Singapore, for publication in 2016. It promises to be a fascinating insight into a truly unique building and collection, and is an absolute must for anyone interested in the world of modern art.