The first two shows, Matisse & Picasso and Nam June Paik, will open in
May 2020 and Oct 2021 respectively.

Singapore, 31 January 2020 – Visitors to National Gallery Singapore will be able to catch the works of some of the most renowned artists in the world, such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Nam June Paik in four upcoming international special art exhibitions. This is part of the Gallery’s effort to introduce global art movements and artistic pioneers to Singapore and the region, in partnership with major art institutions around the world.

Supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, the exhibitions will take place over the next four years, beginning with Matisse & Picasso, which will open in May 2020, and Nam June Paik, slated to open in October 2021.

Ms Serene Tan, Director, Arts and Cultural Precincts, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “We are pleased to support National Gallery Singapore in bringing in a pipeline of world-class exhibitions that will draw locals and overseas visitors alike. The partnership reinforces Singapore’s standing as the gateway to the visual arts scene in Southeast Asia. STB will continue to support the industry in organising quality art events that enhance Singapore’s attractiveness as a cultural and lifestyle destination.”

Dr Eugene Tan, Director of National Gallery Singapore, said, “These exhibitions play a key role in opening visitors’ minds to important artists and artworks that have had a deep influence not only on the global art scene but also the development of modern art in Singapore and Southeast Asia. They also continue our ongoing partnerships with international museums such as Centre Pompidou, Musée d’Orsay, and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea since the museum’s opening.”

The three-month Matisse & Picasso exhibition, organised in partnership with the National Gallery of Australia, tells the story of the artistic relationship between two of Europe’s greatest twentieth-century artists. Henri Matisse (1869-1954) and Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) met in 1906 and for more than half a century, closely followed each other’s creative developments and achievements. The sustained friendly rivalry between them was not only key to their individual success; it also pushed them ever-further to innovate with colour, form, and space, changing the course of 20th century Western art. Following its presentation in Australia, the exhibition, which features works from collections around the world, will travel to Singapore, its only stop outside of Australia.  

Nam June Paik brings together over 200 works from the five-decade career of the Korean-born international artist, whose experimental, innovative, and playful works have had a profound influence on today’s art and culture. A pioneer of the use of television and video in art, Paik also developed a collaborative artistic practice that crossed borders and disciplines. The exhibition will look at his close collaboration with cellist Charlotte Moorman, along with his partnerships with other avant-garde artists, musicians, choreographers and poets, including John Cage, Merce Cunningham and Joseph Beuys. Singapore will be the only stop in Asia for the exhibition, which is organised in partnership with Tate Modern and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

More details about the two other international special art exhibitions will be unveiled at a later date. All four exhibitions will be held at the Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery.

STB had previously collaborated with the Gallery to support Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow exhibition in 2017 and Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. in 2018-2019.

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About the Singapore Tourism Board

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is the lead development agency for tourism, one of Singapore’s key economic sectors. Together with industry partners and the community, we shape a dynamic Singapore tourism landscape. We bring the Passion Made Possible brand to life by differentiating Singapore as a vibrant destination that inspires people to share and deepen their passions.

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About National Gallery Singapore

National Gallery Singapore is a leading visual arts institution which oversees the world’s largest public collection of Singapore and Southeast Asian modern art. Situated at the birthplace of modern Singapore, in the heart of the Civic District, the Gallery is housed in two national monuments - City Hall and former Supreme Court - that have been beautifully restored and transformed into this exciting 64,000 square metre venue. Reflecting Singapore’s unique heritage and geographical location, the Gallery aims to be a progressive museum that creates dialogues between the art of Singapore, Southeast Asia and the world to foster and inspire a creative and inclusive society. This is reflected in our collaborative research, education, long-term and special exhibitions, and innovative programming. The Gallery also works with international museums such as Centre Pompidou, Musée d'Orsay, Tate Britain, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (MOMAT) and National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA),  to jointly present Southeast Asian art in the global context, positioning Singapore as a key node in the global visual arts scene.

In 2019, the Gallery was the only museum in Southeast Asia that received a ranking in The Art Newspaper’s annual global survey of attendance at art museums, taking 32nd place. It was the first museum in Asia to receive the Children in Museums Award by the European Museum Academy and Hands On! International Association of Children in Museums in 2018. The Gallery also won the awards for “Best Theme Attraction” at TTG Travel Awards 2017, “Best Attraction Experience”, “Breakthrough Contribution to Tourism” and “Best Customer Service (Attractions)” at the prestigious Singapore Tourism Awards in 2016 for its role in adding to the vibrancy of Singapore’s tourism landscape. For more information, visit