10 things about the National Gallery | The New Paper

10 things about the National Gallery

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1 The dome that sits on top of the former Supreme Court was originally copper-coloured, but became green over time due to oxidisation, leaving us with one of the most distinctive features of the Court.

2 Singapore-based Italian architect and sculptor Cavaliere Rudolfo Nolli was responsible for supplying the rows of Corinthian columns at the former City Hall Building, as well as the sculpture fronting the former Supreme Court Building.

3 There is a smaller dome inside the former Supreme Court. This was actually the law library of the Court and it has been converted into the Rotunda Gallery.

4 The atrium of the Gallery was previously an open-air carpark between the former Supreme Court and City Hall. It is now connected via two link bridges and a basement. To construct and form the roof and veil of the Gallery, more than 15,000 glass and aluminium panels were used, giving the atrium a modern but ethereal feel.

5 There are still two Supreme Court holding cells preserved from the original 12. They are located within the Gallery's office. These cells - two for women and 10 for men - were in the former Supreme Court and used to house suspects waiting for their hearings.

6 Singapore's founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew was sworn into office on June 5, 1959 in the City Hall Chamber. This was the same place the British accepted the surrender of the Japanese, formally ending the Japanese Occupation of Singapore on Sept 12, 1945.

7 There is a time capsule buried under the foundation stone of the former Supreme Court Building. Inside the time capsule are some Singapore newspapers dating back to March 31, 1937, and also a handful of Straits Settlements coins. But you will not be there to see it open as it is scheduled to be opened in the year 3000.

8 The painting, Drying Salted Fish, by Nanyang artist Cheong Soo Pieng, at the DBS Singapore Gallery, is one of the images on the back of the $50 note.

9 The painting, Kampong Kuchan (Lorong 3, Geylang), by artist Suri Mohyani at the DBS Singapore Gallery, shows what it was like in 1950s Geylang.

10 Inspired by a Bali expedition in 1952, four artists - Liu Kang, Chen Wen Hsi, Chen Chong Swee and Cheong Soo Pieng - made art using fresh approaches and new subject matters. The Bali Exhibition a year after their trip was perceived to have marked the beginning of what is known as the Nanyang School. Shown here: Liu Kang's Artist and Model (1954).

National Gallery 
to open on Nov 24


Free admission from Nov 24 to Dec 6 for all.

After this period, the permanent galleries will continue to be free for Singaporeans and permanent residents.


Nov 24 to Dec 6: 10am to 7pm (Monday to Thursday), 10am to 11pm (Friday to Sunday)


10am to 7pm (Sunday to Thursday);

10am to 10pm (Friday, Saturday and 
eve of public holiday)


Visitors can explore the Gallery's two permanent exhibitions, the DBS Singapore Gallery and UOB Southeast Asia Gallery, and view modern art collections from Singapore and Southeast Asia in the 19th and 20th centuries.

There will also be talks and tours, musical and dance performances, interactive art installations, roving activities and film screenings presented in the Gallery's spaces and exhibition galleries.

Share the Hope Festival: This art carnival will offer community art-themed activities for all.

It is at the Padang from Nov 27 to 29, from 5pm to midnight.

National GalleryCOURT & CRIMECity Hall Building