Pssssst….I’ve got a secret to share with you. Did you know that there is a little enclave of galleries nestling at 51 Waterloo Street in a refurbished former Catholic School? Despite being a stone’s throw away from the Singapore Art Museum, you might be completely oblivious to the fact, and therefore missing out on this little find.
51 Waterloo Street (or 222 Queen Street) is home to Art Trove, YAVUZ Fine Art, The Private Museum and Gallery M, all offering exhibitions covering very different genres of art.
So let’s set off on a virtual art tour….
First up is Art Trove, which focuses on bringing European art from exceptionally talented artists to Singapore. And I kid you not because currently exhibiting at Art Trove is Pablo Picasso & The School of Paris (until February 20). Did you know that ‘The School of Paris’ is actually a term often used to refer to a group of French artists who flourished between the two World Wars with Picasso as their leading light? You can see where I’m going with this…
The exhibition comprises original prints, drawings, lithographs and sculpture from renowned artists including of course Picasso but also Salvador Dali, Henri Matisse, Jean Coucteau and Marc Chagall.
But my favourite part of this exhibition is the collection of photographs taken by some of the greatest photographers of the age of some of the famous artists featured in the exhibition. This is great if like some you haven’t got a foggy what some of these celebrated artists look like or if you do, then it’s inspiring to see their character and eccentricities come out through this medium, and then connect it with their works.
Art Trove is at 02-01 to 03, 51 Waterloo Street, 197969. Open Wednesday to Sunday 11am – 7pm, other times by appointment only. Admission free. For more information see their website here.
Next stop is YAVUZ Fine Art, a gallery which specialises in providing a platform to showcase exceptional contemporary Asian and Middle Eastern art in Singapore. At the heart of the programming is the desire to create surprise which is certainly the case with the multi-media and interactive solo exhibition New Info by Thailand’s Vasan Sitthiket, running until this Sunday.
The exhibition is all about prompting to rise up and re-conquer our minds, rekindle our critical intelligence, and think for ourselves – something which it sometimes feels that some people have forgotten to do. I especially love the three-D installation that allows visitors to take part in a conceptual street demonstration, by positioning the demonstrators and producing written placards for them.
Fret not, if you miss out on the last chance to see this exhibition, there will be one opening soon by local artist Sai Hua Kuan towards the end of February (date TBC) titled Everything That Has a Point Makes a Circle which will include a playful interactive sound installation. Which this space!
YAVUZ Fine Art is at 03-01, 51 Waterloo Street 197969. Open Wednesday to Saturday 11am – 7pm and Sunday 1pm – 5pm, other times by appointment only. Admission free. For more information see their website here.
OK ready for the next one? We’re going to swing by The Private Museum whose mission it is to provide a space for art collectors to showcase their collections in a curated space. Well I have to say I’m a big fan of that because in my time of working at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London I was lucky enough so see some incredible private collections, but always felt sad that they were very rarely shared with the public.
Currently the gallery is showing an exhibition by the name of Old Campus Revisited- a series of paintings by the late local artist Chua Ek Kay from the Catholic High School’s collection (of which he was a student). These are beautiful, peaceful works combining Eastern and Western art techniques ranging from traditional Chinese paintings to abstractions.
The Private Museum is at 02-06, 51 Waterloo Street, 197969. Opening hours Monday – Friday 10 am – 7 pm, Sat, Sun & Public Holiday 11 am – 5 pm, other times by appointment only. Admission free. For more information see their website here.
Now I was in two minds as to whether to include the final gallery on my art hopping adventure – M Gallery – because sadly when I pressed the bell to enter nobody answered, so I didn’t actually get to take it in first-hand. So here is a brief nod towards them. Specialising in Laoation art – and indeed responsible for the first contemporary Loation art exhibition in Singapore by the name of Glimpse of Laos, here’s a little flavour of works you can expect to see at this gallery as taken from their exhibition Crosswinds…
M Gallery is at 03-03B/04, 51 Waterloo Street, 187969. Opening hours Tuesdays to Saturdays – 11am to 7pm, Sundays – 12noon to 5pm, Mondays – By appointment only. Admission free. For more information see their website here.
The exhibition photography above is courtesy of the galleries featured in this article.