Photo credit: Singapore Art Museum

Singapore Art Museum debuts new space at Tanjong Pagar Distripark

The opening exhibits are in conjunction with the ongoing Singapore Art Week.

Caleb Lau

Grew up a musician, found a calling in photography and writing. Still in love with all of them.

Published: 14 January 2022, 3:38 PM

A new arts destination is on the block – this time next to an industrial port.

Singapore Art Museum (SAM) opened its new location at Tanjong Pagar Distripark on Jan 14. 

The space, spanning over 2,000 square metres, includes two galleries, a cafe bookshop by Epigram Bookshop and Balestier Market Collective, as well as art studios for SAM residents.

The opening comes amidst ongoing renovations to its older buildings at Bras Basah Road and Queen Street, expected to be completed in 2026.

Plans for the space were made known last August, as part of its strategy to diffuse art into other parts of Singapore.

In a press statement on Jan 11, June Yap, SAM’s Director of Curatorial & Collections said: “We hope to provide artists with more opportunities to experiment, collaborate and interact with wider and different communities.

“Visitors can also expect to encounter innovative and interdisciplinary artistic practices that speak to contemporary issues.”


The space offers a view of the Tanjong Pagar port and is situated right next to the multiple-purpose hall. PHOTO CREDIT: SINGAPORE ART MUSEUM


Each gallery space features a 6m ceiling to present large-scale installations and exhibitions. PHOTO CREDIT: SINGAPORE ART MUSEUM


In line with Singapore Art Week, SAM is also hosting exhibitions by several Asian artists and its residents.

Here are some highlights:


Led by local experimental band The Observatory, this multimedia exhibition involves music and mushrooms. Taking on the dual meaning of “refuse” both as waste and as resistance, it explores the process of composition and decomposition, musically and biologically. 

The gallery is decked out with stacks of recycled wooden pallets, with glass jars of live mushrooms scattered around. 


The bio-rhythms of mushrooms are converted to sounds. PHOTO CREDIT: SINGAPORE ART MUSEUM


Opening dates: Jan 14 to Apr 17

Location: Gallery 1

A Machine Boosting Energy Into The Universe

Visitors will enter a post-apocalyptic wasteland, envisioned by Thai-born and US-based artist Korakrit Arunanondchai. 

Melding used electronics, auto parts and clothing to form cyborgian figures, Korakrit explores the unity of human, machine and spirit within 21st century Bangkok. 

The gallery also hosts the artist’s 2015-16 large-scale video installation, Painting with history in a room filled with people with funny names 3, from the SAM Collection.


The exhibit explores the coming together of craft and industrial modes of production, advanced technologies as well as spiritual beliefs. PHOTO CREDIT: SINGAPORE ART MUSEUM


Opening dates: Jan 14 to May 3

Location: Gallery 2

My Video Making Practice

The space features several video essays by Malaysian artist Gan Siong King. His 2021 work of the same name is a reflective piece on Gan’s video practices, albeit with a humorous take. 

His other work present here, Kecek Amplifier Bersama Nik Shazwan, explores topics dating back to the production of bespoke electric guitar amplifiers in his homeland up till pre-millennial pop culture.

From March onwards, the exhibit will take place on select weekends, accompanied by a dialogue session with Gan and a moderator.


The installation also features specially designed benches with low frequency vibration to provide a richer viewing experience for visitors. PHOTO CREDIT: SINGAPORE ART MUSEUM


Opening dates: Jan 14 to Apr 17

Location: The Engine Room

Present Realms

Marking the conclusion of SAM’s pilot Residency programme, three of the artists Chu Hao Pei, Salty Xi Jie Ng and Johann Yamin present their research developments with a participatory element. 

With overarching themes of intimacy and infrastructure, the trio delves into topics including rice, rituals and gaming.

Opening dates: Jan 7 to Jan 23

Location: SAM Residencies Space

Gallery admissions are free for all until Feb 14. From Feb 15 onwards, free admission will be granted only to Singapore residents and PRs, with standard rates ranging from $5 to $10 for other visitors.

SAM’s new space is located at 39 Keppel Road, #01-02 Tanjong Pagar Distripark and is open from 10am to 7pm daily.

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