As I am wrapping up my graduate career at the University of Nevada, Reno, I am reflecting on many of the great opportunities I have had to study in foreign countries through an amazing program the school offers, Nevada Global Business.  In January 2017, I was able to travel to Singapore as part of the program.  While I was there, I had the chance tSingapore Classo visit museums and experience the heavy influence of art and culture on Singapore’s growing economic  spirit.

In just over the last 50 years, Singapore has experienced a sharp increase in economic vitality, moving from a small fishing village to a major metropolis.  Arts and culture play a vital role in economic stimulation and the influence of art on the growing Singaporean economy has been no exception.  As Singapore is positioning itself for continued economic growth, much thought is being put into how to the country can strategically impact the economy through the fine arts.  Through various initiatives bringing fine art from all over the world to the country, Singapore is being brought to the global stage as an epicenter for arts and culture.

The Singaporean government is working closely with the art community by creating new museums and renovating existing ones in order to spur economic development. With so much investment being poured into the art community, Singapore is enjoying a fast rising payback, with much attention being paid by the global community.  The National Museum of Singapore, the nation’s oldest museum dating back to 1887, houses

National Museum of Singapore
Photo Credit

a contemporary art gallery, and hosts various art installations from around the world.  One such exhibition that I got to experience is “What Is Not Visible Is Not Invisible,” on loan from the French Regional Collections of Contemporary Art, which exposes viewers to post-modern fine art with installations ranging from… to rooms full of ballo
ons that invite observers to interact with the installation.  Exhibitions such as these are generally made available free of charge to Singaporeans.

Singapore also schedules a yearly art festival, with which sponsors hope to reinforce the emergence of Singapore as a global art destination.  Singapore Art Week is promoted by the National Arts Council, the Singapore Tourism Board, and the Singapore Economic Development Board.  The founder of this program, Lorenzo Rudolf says, “If Singapore understands that it should not act as a closed national scene but also as an open cultural hub, embracing the best of the entire region and having all forces cooperate and support one another, then I think the future belongs to it. All the ingredients are here, we just have to put them together in the right way. Singapore, as an international city, has all the chances to become a global hub but only if it functions globally – that would be its formula to success. We have to understand contemporary art as a global language; we should not be afraid of leaving the warm nest, and artistically interact and compete with the world. That also means that as a region, we have to support one another in a much stronger way, demonstrating a strong and united region and market to the rest of the art world.”   Singapore Art Week is scheduled every year in January and offers a vast amount of programs across the city-state.   However, art and culture are present everywhere and in everything in Singapore.  From the Supertree Groves at the Gardens by the Bay to the beauty in the architecture throughout the city, Singapore shines as an arts haven.



If you are able to travel as part of a class, or on your own, I can’t recommend enough for you to do so.  Travel changes you and gives you a deeper understanding of the world, which is what artists try to accomplish with their works.  Where have you travelled, and what arts and cultures have you experienced, that have left a lasting impression on your life?  Leave a comment below to let me know!



4 thoughts on “Singapore

  1. The two places that I can think traveling to and experiences the specific arts and cultures would be San Francisco, CA and Sydney, Australia. I lived in SF for a few months and really got to experience the culture and would eat lunch at the Yerba Buena Gardens whenever I had a chance. It was beautiful and since I was there in the summer there were outdoor plays and performances from local theater troupes and groups. These experiences were some of my favorites from the summer!


    1. Thanks so much for the comment, Aubri! You’re so right about SF — what an awesome place to live and work! SF benefits greatly from having awesome art schools, also, so there’s always new talent being developed that will give back to the community and culture. I’m so happy to hear that you took advantage of your time there to soak it in!

      If you haven’t yet, check out the post about Andrew Goldfarb. He’s a very unique SF-based artist and seems to always have upcoming exhibits or concerts on his calendar. You’ll never forget a show of his!

      Also, stay tuned for an upcoming post about Australia!


  2. I hope as Singapore is seeking to become more economically global that their artists continue to use the arts to express and educate the world to their culture. I love that visual art tells a story for a culture just as a written book is an art of words. All of this rich love of cultural depth must be taught early and throughout a child’s education, or the heritage gets lost. Japan does a fabulous job of this in their schools, and could be a model for the world on how to teach the arts.


    1. Thanks for the comment! I agree, as I would love to learn more about Singapore through the global expansion of their culture through art.
      I would love for you to write a guest post on your experience in Japan!


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