My City: Russell Storer
The perfect day in Singapore for the deputy director of curatorial and collections development at National Gallery Singapore (1 St Andrew’s Rd., 6271-7000, S(178957)).
What’s the best thing about Singapore’s arts scene? For me, having watched the art scene closely over the past 12 years, it has to be this sense of enormous dynamism. The obvious shift is the growth of infrastructure, not least the National Gallery but also 8Q at SAM, Gillman Barracks, the current Lasalle campus, SoTA, the Singapore Biennale, Art Stage, Singapore Art Week and more, none of which was in place when I first visited in 2003. Along with that has come a growth in confidence and a widening of horizons, a stronger sense of Singapore’s own art history and the importance of its artists, curators and historians.
Can you recommend some exhibitions at the National Gallery Singapore for art newbies? For first-time visitors, I’d recommend visiting our two permanent exhibitions at the DBS Singapore Gallery and UOB Southeast Asia Gallery. They provide a framework for everything we do, telling the stories of the development of art in the region from the 19th century to the present.
Are there any emerging local artists we should look out for? There are so many exciting artists in Singapore, I don’t think I can single anyone out! It’s always good to keep your eye on new exhibitions and events around the city—there are so many opportunities to see what emerging as well as more established artists are doing, and the clustering of spaces, such as around Bras Basah and Gillman Barracks, makes it relatively easy. It’s important to support our artists and art venues, and become part of the rich ecosystem that has developed here—it’s growing all the time, but is still small enough to feel part of an intimate community where artists are accessible.
My Perfect Day
10am - Start the day on a delicious note
Being Australian, I love my cafe breakfasts, and Ronin (17 HongKong St., S(059660)) does them really well.
12pm - Indulge in mouth-watering Indian cuisine
Bismillah Biryani (50 Dunlop St., 9382-7937, S(209379)) has the best biryani I’ve tasted so far— they don’t use a lot of ghee nor serve it with dhal cha, curry gravy or yoghurt.
2pm - Check out the art galleries at Gillman Barracks
The NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (Blk 43 Malan Rd., 6460-0300, S(109443)) regularly has talks and events with studio artists, visiting curators, scholars or musicians.
6pm - Tuck into a Thai spread
Nana Thai and Diandin Leluk at Golden Mile Complex (5001 Beach Rd., S(199588)) are favorites. Dinner will be followed by a movie at arthouse cinema The Projector (#05-00 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Rd., S(199589)).