Weather :

Timings : Tuesday - Saturday: 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday: 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Closed on Monday and Public Holiday

Time Required : 2 - 3 hours

Entry Fee : No Entry Fee

Gillman Barracks, Singapore Overview

Gillman Barracks, once the house of the British Army, is a centre of contemporary arts in Singapore. The arts cluster is home to international art galleries, restaurants and the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, part of the prestigious Nanyang Technological University. These services are all found in the well-maintained colonial barracks found at the site. One can marvel at the elegant blend of the colonial architecture of Gillman Barracks and the buildings with the ever-evolving arts sphere of the modern world.

Named after Sir Webb Gillman of the British Army, the Gillman Barracks were designed to accommodate the expansion of the British Army in Singapore. After their departure, the authorities reused these buildings for educational and commercial purposes while still preserving the architectural and structural integrity of the site. Now a site of cultural exchange and creation, the Gillman barracks have become the site for commercial galleries, non-profit spaces, public museums and major art events like the Singapore Biennale and the Art Stage Singapore while still retaining the colonial heritage of the area. One can even find restaurants and shops here, making it an engrossing experience for visitors. A bi-monthly Art After Dark open house is held on Friday nights where tenants launch new shows, along with hosting music performances and dinners. Free guided tours are organised at Gillman Barracks by the Friends of the Museums, a volunteer organisation in Singapore, helping tourists gain a deeper understanding of the heritage of the site and the culture of Singapore.

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Art Galleries at Gillman Barracks

There are numerous galleries at the Gillman Barracks, all of which feature different kinds of artworks. 

Chan + Hori Contemporary
This gallery hosts event that connects contemporary visual arts with day to day life, and thus it is quite popular among the Singapore and South East Asia public and art community. 

FOST Gallery
The FOST Gallery was founded in 2006 and showcases the artworks of different artists who are at different stages in their career. The gallery is renowned for being one of the leading art galleries of Singapore, and the artists whose works have been featured here have also made it to international exhibitions

Mizuma Gallery
The gallery aims to promote Japanese artists in the region, and to also help aspiring artists from South East Asia reach international levels. Famous works here include those of Amano Yoshitaka, Zhao Zhao, Aida Makoto, Du Kun, Aiko Miyanaga, Ikeda Manabu, Tenmyouya Hisashi, and Yamaguchi Akira.  

Mucciaccia Gallery
Founded in Rome, the Mucciaccia Gallery is a leading gallery in Europe, which specializes in works by contemporary artists and masters of the modern-day paintings.

Ota Fine Arts 
This gallery was established in 1994 in Tokyo and occupied space for itself at Gillman Barracks in September 2012. The gallery is a pioneer in promoting Japanese contemporary arts, and it aims to bring more regional character to international programs. 

Richard Koh Fine Art 
Richard Koh Fine Art was inaugurated in 2005 and is regarded for having introduced contemporary art to Malaysia and the region.

ShanghART Gallery
The ShanghART Gallery was established in Shanghai in 1996 and in Singapore in 2012. This is the first gallery by ShanghART to be opened overseas, and locally, it is one of China’s most influential art galleries that promotes contemporary art in the region.  

Sullivan+Strumpf
Sullivan+Strumpf is reputed for presenting the work of emerging artists, and for providing a platform where artists can meet, interact and further develop cordial relations between art communities. The gallery also hosts a number of exhibitions across genres throughout the year, which includes solo and group exhibitions not only within Singapore but also in collaboration with other institutions all across the globe. 

Sundaram Tagore Gallery
The Sundaram Tagore Gallery was established in New York City in 2000, and it is devoted to promoting the exchange of ideas and thoughts between Western and non-Western cultures. It also hosts exhibitions that go much beyond just visual arts, and encourage cross-cultural exchange between people in the form of social and spiritual dialogues. 

Yavuz Gallery
The gallery aims at promoting contemporary art from the Asia Pacific region, and it also exhibits the works of established as well as emerging artists.  

Yeo Workshop 
This contemporary art gallery at Gillman Barracks not only hosts exhibitions that represent the works of artists but also hosts other gallery-based programs as symposiums and talks. In addition, it publishes the art books of various contemporary artists and aids them in their research.

Historic Buildings at Gillman Barracks

Block 9
This is one of the most prominent buildings at the Gillman Barracks, popularly known as the primary colonial building. During the colonial era, it served as a home to some of the most well-known warrant officers of the British Army, including General Sir Webb Gillman. It is currently the main and largest block within this contemporary arts cluster. The big windows, wide corridors and high arches from its original construction have been preserved to maintain the heritage of the colonial architecture of the building.

Block 9 Gillman Barracks Singapore
Block 9 (Source)
The Army Kinema Corporation
Initially, a Regal Cinema set up as a recreational facility for British Troops after World War 2, the Army Kinema Corporation, or AKC, currently serves as Block 7 of the Gillman Barracks where commercial art galleries and exhibitions are organised. It is the only block in the Gillman Barracks to sport a pointed roof, a poignant feature of colonial architecture.

Bourne School
This building was initially the site of the Alexandra Grammar School, a British Forces School set up after World War 2. It was later renamed the Bourne School in 1964, the same of which has been relocated to Preston Road, now called the ISS International School. The building currently holds art fixtures, displaying the growth of the art culture in Singapore.

Art After Dark

Twice a month on Friday night, an open house known as Art After Dark is hosted at the Gillman Barracks. Each Art After Dark follows a different theme such as literature, design, music and so on. Art-related programmes like musical performances and art exhibitions are organised during this event. Opening hours are extended by in-house resident artists. This is a great opportunity to explore the art scene of Singapore and interact with local and foreign artists, exchanging ideas and exploring various themes of the art community. The flagship edition of Art After Dark happens in January, during the Singapore Art Week.

The Playeum

The Playeum is the first-ever space in Singapore which is dedicated just for children between the age of 1 to 12, and which aims to hone their creativity and talent through an interactive space. Not only do children learn as they enjoy in the custom-built installation and technology, but they also get numerous hands-on opportunities to participate and showcase their skills at the Playeum. The Playeum is an independently registered charity organization, and ever since its inception in 2009, has reached over 85,000 children across different social backgrounds.

Timings:
The Playeum is open to all children from Tuesdays to Sundays from 10:00 AM to 06:00 PM

The Playeum at Gillman Barracks Singapore
The vibrant Playeum (Source)

Gillman Barracks Food & Restaurants

There are 6 eateries near the Gillman Barracks offering some palatable dishes to complement your trip to this contemporary arts cluster. The Naked Finn is considered one of the best seafood restaurants in Singapore. Other interesting restaurants here include Timbre, Nekkid, Creamier, Handlebar and Masons.

How to Reach Gillman Barracks

The Gillman Barracks is located on 9, Lock Road and is quite easy to reach. 

MRT: The nearest MRT Station to the Gillman Barracks is Labrador Park on Circle Line Station CC27. From here, Gillman Barracks is just a 10-minute walk away. Simply exit the station via Exit A, and then walk towards Alexandra Road. Stay on the opposite side of the road, and at the first bus stop, take the sheltered walkway to reach the gallery.

Bus: The nearest bus stop to the gallery is the one along Alexandra Road (number 15059) opposite Alexandra Point, and buses 51, 57, 61, 83, 97, 97e, 100, 166, 175, 408, 963 and 963E pass by the gallery. From the bus stop, turn left and walk along Alexandra Road, before finally taking a right onto Malan Road.

Car/Taxi: Gillman Barracks can be accessed via either of the two entrances: Malan Road and Lock Road.
The car park charges that are applicable to the gallery are as follows:
Free Parking:
Monday to Friday after 5:00 PM
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays
Free Parking Time:
Weekdays: 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Weekends and Public Holidays: 8:30 PM - 8:30 AM
Rates applicable on weekdays:
Cars: SGD 0.60 per 30 minutes for the first two hours, and SGD 3.00 per hour for every subsequent hour 

Tips

  • Do not touch the artworks in the galleries, and maintain distance while viewing them. Standing too close might cause potential damage, and it also obstructs the view for other visitors. 
  • Try and avoid bringing too large and bulky bags, since they will have to be deposited at the front desk. 
  • Flash photography and videography is prohibited within the premises. Only still photography, without flash, and for non-commercial use is allowed. Thus, it is best to check with the staff before proceeding to take photos. 
  • Carrying any food or beverages is not allowed inside the gallery.

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