3 events to catch when the National Gallery opens

The highly anticipated opening of the National Gallery is one to pay attention to (and not just because Aura and Odette are finally open). From Nov 24, the gallery will be filled with 20 free events activities for two weeks. From workshops to film screenings and profound discussions about art, here are three of our picks.

Art Forum 1: The Exceptional and the Exemplary. Stories from National Gallery Singapore’s Permanent Exhibitions of Southeast Asian and Singapore Art (Nov 24)

From 2-4:30pm, each of the gallery’s curators will talk about one work of art and why it’s important, and how these themes have evolved from the 19th century to present day. This is best for people who don’t really get local art but would like to know more about the pioneer painters, so expect a crash course on work by Georgette Chen and Cheong Soo Pieng (probably). 

The Padang Art Carnival (Nov 27-29)

If you really can’t decide what to do, head to the Padang Art Carnival, which comes with workshops, free food and art installations. Grab some food at Tent 2 if you’re hungry, and head to Tent 3 to look at the installation that commemorates the survivors of the Bukit Ho Swee fire (both events run from 5pm-midnight). There’s also a fun Superfarmers workshop in Tent 3 that teaches you how to forage for food during a war (or an apocalyptc scenario). While not at the Padang, there is a sketching workshop on Dec 1,3 and 5 for newbies who would like to learn to draw, or you can follow Urban Skechers Singapore (Dec 5-6, 10pm-1pm) to illustrate scenes present at the gallery’s rooftop and the people observing art.

Memora(Film)ia: Random Acts of Remembering (Nov 27-Dec 6)

There will be a screening of three short films that explore the themes of hope and memory. They are: Study of A Singaporean Face, featuring 1,000 hand-drawn portraits of MRT commuters that portray isolation in a crowd. There’s also Bila Larut Malam (In the Still of the Night), with a soundtrack by famous composers P Ramlee and Zubir Said. In this film, three women cope with the loss of the men in their lives. Lastly, the film, Silent Night has an old lady talking about her memories of a Singapore that no longer exists. Screenings from Nov 27-29 and Dec 4-6 run hourly from 10am-10pm, while screenings from Dec 3-6 run hourly from 10am-6pm