Friday, August 07, 2015

A visit to Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris

Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris.

It has been slightly more than two months since the opening of the private art museum Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris. This Singapore branch of the renowned private art museum opened its doors to the public on 30 May 2015.

I finally set aside time to make a visit to Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris on the weekend that had past. The word 'Pinacothèque' is derived from the word pinacotheke in Greek which means 'box of paintings'. I learnt that Pinacotheque take its name from the 'cabinets of curiosities' in which wealthy individuals or royal families would gather art and artefacts and display these treasured items in.

One of my favourite paintings in "The Collections" gallery.
Monet's "Suzanne with Sunflowers".

Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris showcases more than forty masterpieces from artists like Rembrandt, Picasso and Money in its Collections gallery. Stepping into "The Collections" gallery, I felt I had entered the modern place of dwelling of a person with a fine taste in fine arts. The gallery space is cosy and inviting. I love the idea of placing seats for visitors to take our time to appreciate the artworks while resting our feet. The artworks that were showcased were sourced entirely from private collections. These artworks were arranged not by when they were painted. Instead, they were arranged in a way that was said to facilitate visual dialogues between the artworks which elicit the common themes and connections between the artworks.

I learnt that this approach of curating art is the signature "transversality" approach of Marc Restellini, founder of Pinacothèque de Paris and Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris. It took me quite a while to appreciate that this curatorial approach is a style of curating art which transcends time and genres to draw interesting connections between different artworks. I quite like this refreshing approach as it got me to look beyond an artwork itself and got me to look at the relationships between the artworks on display.

A glimpse of the Heritage Gallery.

For people who are uncertain whether to venture into this private art museum, they could begin with visiting the Heritage Gallery which was specially created for Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris. Entry is free to the Heritage Gallery, and this arrangement goes a long way to show that art appreciation can be an affordable endeavour. The Heritage Gallery traces Singapore's legacy to diverse cultures and civilizations throughout centuries. I could appreciate this gallery better when I attended one of the museum's highlights tour. Please ask about the highlights tour at the ticketing counter before you start your visit.

Last but not the least, in this cozy and beautiful space of the Fort Canning Arts Centre, is "The Features" gallery on the second level. Currently, the blockbuster exhibition on display at "The Features" gallery is entitled "The Myth of Cleopatra". This exhibition explores the origins of the myth related to Cleopatra. While I had left the exhibition still feeling a rather clueless about Cleopatra, it stuck to my mind that she was not a Egyptian yet she had ruled Egypt.

A few of the exhibits from "The Myth of Cleopatra".

Overall, I think art-lovers who prefer to appreciate works of art in more intimate spaces would find Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris a worthy place to visit. I would think it would be cost-effective to get an all-access pass and spend about two hours in this museum.

There are food and beverage establishments at the basement of Fort Canning Arts Centre in which Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris is housed in. These are:
- Fort by Maison Ikkoku which serve famed handcrafted cocktails and other dishes,
- Myra's, a restaurant serving Mexican, Indian and Italian fare,
- Giovanni L Cafe Deluxe & Seattle Pike Chowder, which serves chowder and gelato
- Brasserie Balzac, a French bistro

Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris also organizes art classes and other art-related courses to engage audiences from all walks of life. To find out more, I suggest that we visit the museum's Facebook page: and browse under "Art Academy".

Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris
Fort Canning Arts Centre
5 Cox Terrace
Singapore 179620

Nearest MRT station: Dhoby Ghaut

For more information, please visit:

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