8 cool guided tours to check out during Singapore Art Week

Just because it’s Art Week doesn’t mean you have to hole up in galleries with no fresh air. There are plenty of guided walking tours happening that take you through the North-East line, Little India and the Singapore River. Check out these highlights. 

Heritage Tours of the NUS Baba House (Jan 15, 24)

There will be a tour at the conserved NUS Baba House along 157 Neil Road. The one-hour tour takes you through the architectural features, the domestic idiosyncrasies of a Straits Chinese family home, and some cool heirlooms that were left behind by the Wee family, who were the owners. There’s also a gallery on the third floor where academics and artists give their take on the Peranakan community and the neighborhood. The two tours are from 11am-12pm and 1-2pm and are conducted in Mandarin as the English speaking ones are full. Free

State of Motion, (Jan 16-17, 23-24)

, 8 cool guided tours to check out during Singapore Art WeekMat Tiga Suku, 1965

The Asian Film Archive has organized State of Motion, a bus tour that takes you back in time to the filming locations of famous Cathay-Keris horror movies. While not all the film locations are from creepy horror flicks, it’s worth going on one of these 10, three-hour tours from 10:30am-3:30pm. The tour starts at the National Library building, and ventures to kampongs in Siglap, the old Outram Prison and Queen Elizabeth Walk. These scenes are from old school movies like Chinta Kaseh Sayang (My Darling Love, 1965), Mat Tiga Suku (Mat Crazy, 1965) and, of course, Sumpah Pontianak (The Curse of Pontianak, 1958). There is also a site-specific collaborative artwork created by artists Hafiz Osman, Mark Thia and Mike HJ Chang, and more. $12

Singapore Art Museum’s Tour Of Art and Architecture (Jan 16, 23)

, 8 cool guided tours to check out during Singapore Art Week

Part of SAM’s Singapore Art Week, this tour is all about exploring how the principles of art have shaped the historical buildings of Singapore. There are two time slots, one from 10am-11:30am, and another from 10:30am-12pm. Look out for the intricate craftsmanship in these monuments. $3

Art In Transit Tour: North East Line (Jan 16-17, 23-24)

ArtOutreach is having a tour of the artwork that appears on the North East Line. If your face is usually buried in your iPhone, it’s a good time to stop and smell the roses at all these busy stations and find out the deeper meaning behind all the work. Tours are conducted on the weekends, at both 10am in the morning an 2pm in the afternoon. Register hereFree

Singapore Art Museum’s Time of Others Curator-led Tour (Jan 18)

, 8 cool guided tours to check out during Singapore Art Week

The multi-national blockbuster on show now, Time of Others, will also have a curator’s tour, with Reuben Keehan from the Queensland Art Gallery going a little more in-depth about the work on display. Work from Singapore (obvs), Tokyo, Australia and New Zealand are in this regional exhibition that tackles the anxieties of living in a globalized world. The tour starts at 7:30pm. $20

ArtWalk Little India (Jan 19-23)

, 8 cool guided tours to check out during Singapore Art Week

Little India is getting on the Art Week bandwagon, where you’ll get to check out the artwork along the district and explore its culture and heritage from 7:30-9:30pm. Organized by LaSalle College of the Arts and Singapore Tourism Board (STB), you’ll see work by alumni, which ranges from mixed media murals to video projections. There’s also some music on the tour, with traditional Indian percussion mixed with Western music. Free

Who Wants to Remember a War (Jan 22)

Malaysian High Commissioner Dato’ Parameswaran talks about how he began collecting work from the Vietnam War period, and the stories behind each work of art. This tour complements the current NUS Museum titled Vietnam 1954 – 1975: War Drawings and Posters From The Ambassador Dato’ N. Parameswaran Collection.”  There will be sketches of life in the frontline, along with woodcuts drawings and posters that examine the French resistance against the Americans during this period of time. The tour starts at 7pm. Register here. Free

Jubilee Walk Art Trail (Jan 23)

, 8 cool guided tours to check out during Singapore Art Week24 Hours in Singapore. Photo credit: National Arts Council

Art Outreach is also doing a Jubilee Walk Trail, where three public art sculptures, which were commissioned by the Public Art Trust, will be on display. The Jan 16 tour is fully booked, but the Jan 23 one still has slots and starts at 9am where participants will gather at the Cavenagh Bridge on The Fullerton Hotel side of the Singapore River. Check out Han Sai Por & Kum Chee Kiong’s sculpture, Rising Moon, as well as Baet Yoek Kwan’s 24 Hours in Singapore, with its surreal spheres. Register here. Free