Art in Singapore: Influences and Development
The diverse cultural heritage of Singapore is evident in its wide-ranging art forms. Paintings, sculptures
and other art pieces showcased in the Singapore national gallery of arts and other museums have heavy
Chinese, Indian, Malay and English influences. The country’s performing arts is also a myriad of rich
artistic heritage of the same cultures and is also as apparent in the buildings and statues scattered in the
tiny island state as it is in the theater and stage. Spiritualism is also a strong influence apparent in the
artistically built churches, temples and mosques.
Major Cultural Influences to Singaporean Art
Singapore’s heritage of the Chinese culture can be witnessed in several museums that hold precious ceramics, calligraphy, paintings and jade and bronze art pieces going as far as 7000 years of Chinese cultural influence. The Sri Mariamman Temple, the oldest temple in Singapore can be Indian’s biggest contribution to the city’s architectural arts. The Bharatnatyam, an Indian classical dance discipline is also prominent in the Singaporean stage.
Figure and life drawings and paintings are mostly of Malay influence. The English influence is more apparent in the contemporary art forms of the city. The establishment of Esplanade, Theaters on the Bay, paved way to the extensive appreciation of dances, theater and music. The Royal Academy of Dance of London successfully promoted classical ballet among Singaporeans.
Singapore Street Arts
The Singapore national gallery and other museums are not the only places where arts are showcased. Although the city state is know for its strict rules of conduct and harsh penalties even for the most basic offenses like littering, vandalism or spitting in public areas, it gives enough freedom for artistic expression. The Singaporean street art is not limited to stately lion head and statues. Graffiti and architectural designs in buildings and structures are part of Singapore’s art scene. Vividly painted walls, murals and intriguing sculptures are tastefully incorporated with the predominantly glass and concrete structures of the city.
The Singapore Arts Street is a major arts event held annually to improve street arts and its promotion. Every year, the event is held a specific sector of the city. The event attracts major artists that will work together on a major artistic endeavor aimed to artistically improve the event venue. As it also offers free art exhibitions, visitors from all walks of life flock to the event.
The National Arts Council
The National Arts Council works to inspire artists and promote artistic development in the united Singaporean culture that aims to transform the traditionally austere city into a more open and cosmopolitan metropolis. It provides scholarships to raw talents and also serves as the national curator. The council is behind the annual Singapore Arts Festival that is considered the highlight of the Singapore art scene. Usually held in the middle of the year, the two-week event is the culmination of Singaporean artists’ work for the previous year.
Various events will showcase and honor artistic talents across all disciplines. Contests are also held, which serve as a venue for new and raw artists to show their talents and get recognized and have their work displayed in the Singapore National Gallery.