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From Hindu Temples to Modern Asian Art - Singapore's Arts and Culture Scene

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The Singapore scene is a rich, spicy stew of Chinese, Malaysian, Indian, and British influences, all feeding into local arts and culture. Lively street festivals and neighborhoods like Little India, Arab Street, and Chinatown give you all the color and flavor of a former colony and vital trading post turned modern, cosmopolitan metropolis.

Singapore's multicultural museums

 

Singapore's museums give you a primer on local arts, culture, and history. You can meet inventors and discuss their works at a public workshop and examine master craftsmanship up close at an exhibition of traditional carved wedding beds. You'll learn about the island-nation's distinctive mix of influences, its dramatic role in World War II, and its eventful path to a new, independent state.

 

ArtScience Museum

 

The waterfront ArtScience Museum is dedicated to displays of human ingenuity. Wandering 21 gallery spaces, you can marvel at original manuscripts and sketches by Da Vinci, and study high-resolution photos of living fossils from the bottom of the sea.

 

6 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018974Tel: +65 6688 8888

 

ArtScience Museum website

 

Peranakan Museum

 

Peranakan culture is a blend of Malay, Chinese, and Indian ancestries. This museum charts the shaping of Singapore through the merging and sharing of those different traditions, from handicrafts to clothing.

 

39 Armenian Street, Singapore 179941. Tel: +65 6332 7591

 

Peranakan Museum website
Memories at Old Ford Factory

 

This atmospheric old factory is now home to an immersive museum that puts you in the midst of Singapore's turbulent war years. An interactive map lets you follow the advance of Japanese troops while listening to survivors' first-hand accounts.

 

351 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 588192. Tel: +65 6462 6724

 

Memories at Old Ford Factory website

 

Art galleries

 

Singapore's galleries give you space to consider the legacy of imperialism and the beauty of cross-cultural inspiration as you admire pieces by established and emerging regional artists. Many use high-tech audiovisual aids and multimedia exhibits to present their work in the most innovative ways. Regular workshops and interactive events make for a more hands-on experience.

 

Gillman Barracks

 

This former colonial barracks is now a hub of 17 independent galleries. Here you can see striking pieces by Asian artists like Hyung Koo Kang and Indieguerillas, and take a historical tour of the barracks itself.

 

9 Lock Road, Singapore 108937.

 

Gillman Barracks website

 

Temples and mosques

 

Places of worship in Singapore often serve as popular visitor attractions, thanks to their eye-catching architecture and generally welcoming spirit. You can learn about different deities and shrines at Hindu temples, admire sacred relics at a Buddhist temple, and wander tranquil Islamic mosques.

 

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum

 

Buddha's Tooth is said to have survived cremation more than 2,000 years ago. Viewings of this relic are restricted but you can see 1,000 other artifacts inside the temple while you listen to the resident monks chanting.

 

288 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058840. Tel: +65 6295 4538

 

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum website

 

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

 

This Hindu temple in Little India is one of Singapore's oldest, decorated with a blaze of color and intricate design details. Inside the vibrant, incense-fragranced interior, you can join devotees as they make food offerings and cast their prayers.

 

141 Serangoon Road, Singapore 218042. Tel: +65 6295 4538

 

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple website

 

Sultan Mosque

 

The golden dome of Sultan Mosque is only 5 minutes' walk from busy Arab Street. You can join a guided tour inside and enjoy the haunting sound of the traditional call to prayer at intervals throughout the day.

 

3 Muscat Street, Singapore 198838. Tel: +65 6293 4405

 

Sultan Mosque website