S'pore Art Museum with a cafe now open at Tanjong Pagar Distripark next to industrial shipping port

Art in the heart of Singapore's shipping hub.

Belmont Lay | January 14, 2022, 04:41 AM

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The Singapore Art Museum opens on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022 at Block 39 Keppel Road, Tanjong Pagar Distripark.

via SAM

And it will be free for all for the whole month until Feb. 14, 2022.

What's new: The museum known as SAM has a new space that spans over 3,000sqm across two floors.

The location: SAM does not have a regular museum front as it is housed in an industrial building with a mix of regular industrial building tenants around it.

The new SAM is right next to the Tanjong Pagar Terminal, one of Singapore's shipping ports.

Across the road is the now defunct railway station.

The area is the regular workplace of plenty of blue collar workers and salty sea dogs who make Singapore the trading hub possible.

What's inside: Two galleries and a multipurpose space on the first floor.

via SAM

There will also be a 20-seat cafe bookshop by Epigram Bookshop and Balestier Market Collective ready by mid-2022.

The cafe overlooks the port.

A pop-up experience is planned for Singapore Art Week from Jan. 14 to 23, 2022.

The museum’s offices and a residency area are on the third floor.

Why the new space: The SAM buildings in Bras Basah have been undergoing major renovations, which are not completed until at least 2026.

What to expect

Main exhibition: Refuse

Subject: On music and mushrooms, the legal kind, such as lingzhi.

By: Local experimental band The Observatory.

What: Mushrooms make music when they emit carbon dioxide and other gases.

This occurs as fungal emissions are transmissible signals that serve as input that can be picked up in real-time via sensitive equipment, and the process is otherwise known as the production, capture, storage and communication of data, no matter how random and disorganised -- but nonetheless, actualises as an observer-dependent phenomenon.

So, instead of the band consciously getting involved in arts composition, their hands-off approach and lack of agency now in generating sounds via organic means allows them to focus on decomposition. Geddit?

If you don't, it is okay, as there are many Instagrammable spots for you to narrowcast your intimate ephemeral moments to your audience.

Because SAM is a great place for fun guys and fun gals into art, right? #fungi #fungal

Why: To mark the 20th anniversary of experimental art rock outfit.

What else to expect

Another exhibition: Thai artist Korakrit Arunanondchai created a post-apocalyptic world mashing electronics, auto parts, and clothing.

And another exhibition: Malaysian artist Gan Siong King created a video essay that incorporates memes and his day job of a music technician.

The benches do vibrate as part of the artwork, so feel free to sit on them.

Museum's residents: Chu Hao Pei, Salty Xi Jie Ng, and Johann Yamin utilise the project space on the third floor as part of the museum's pilot residency programme.

Singapore Art Week (SAW) kicks off

The opening of SAM is part of Singapore Art Week (SAW), which returns from Jan. 14 to 23, 2022 with more than 130 events across the island.

The annual visual arts week, now in its 10th edition, is a joint initiative by the National Arts Council and the Singapore Tourism Board.

Where to find SAM

SAM at Tanjong Pagar Distripark

Price (Jan. 14 to Feb. 14, 2022): Free for all

Price (From Feb. 15, 2022): Free for Singapore residents and PRs

S$5 for student and senior tickets

S$10 for adult standard tickets

Address: 39 Keppel Road, #01-02 Tanjong Pagar Distripark, Singapore 089065

Opening hours: 10am to 7pm daily

Website: SAM at Tanjong Pagar Distripark

All photos by Mothership unless otherwise stated