Weather :

Timings : Monday - Sunday: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
The last admission is at 6:15 PM.

Friday: 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM.
The last admission at 8:15 PM.

Time Required : 2-3 hours

Entry Fee : Adults: SGD 6
Student/Senior Citizen: SGD 3
(20% off on 20 and more tickets)
Children (under 6 years): No entry fee
It is free for the citizens and permanent residents of Singapore

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Singapore Art Museum, Singapore Overview

The Singapore Art Museum (also called SAM) specialises in international contemporary art practices with an emphasis laid on Singapore and South-East Asia. The museum is conveniently situated in the heart of the city of Singapore. Previously known as Fine-Art museum, SAM aims to breathe art into life. They plan on having a stimulating space to think, feel, experience and imagine. The museum is housed in a restored 19th-century old school that adds to the vibes of its antiquity and contemporary atmosphere. SAM is home to some of the ancient classic and modern international art. It also collaborates with contemporary international museums of its like to curate and hosts contemporary exhibitions.

SAM place also hosts events like South East Asian Film Festival. Visitors have the option of attending an exhibition or through public programs such as tours, talks, artist tours and workshops. Their main focus is to present the works curated from permanent collections along with the changing exhibitions that result in an aesthetic experience of the whole Asian art. The museum has thought-provoking art exhibitions that compel the viewer to think. It also presents programmes in response to current social trends which raise awareness on the relevant issue. Their most famous family-friendly exhibition is 'Imaginarium' which explores innovative ideas through interactive and contemporary artworks. All of this adds to the tourist traffic of the art museum.

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Singapore Art Museum Exhibitions

The SAM's collection is diverse, dynamic and multi-faceted. Its own distinctive aesthetics and traditions artistically crafted by various approaches are truly what makes it a stellar exhibition. The artists are divided into three distinct segments - The Pioneering artists, the Mid-career artists and the Emerging Practitioners. All three divisions contribute to the already excellent collection they possess.

The Singapore Art museum also carries out public programs and tours. Some of them are 'Special Preview of Imaginarium: Into the Space of Time', 'Imaginarium: Into the Space of Time', 'Art Sound Write' and have a session of screening short movies called 'Imaginarium Short Films'. The museum board has contributed to by collecting artworks from the artists of South-East Asia, and East-Asia.

SAM has complementary and exhibition-related education by some methods. These are done through exhibition-related programmes and workshops, through outreach programmes where the Museum programmes are extended outside of the museum to schools, and community centres, and through downloadable exhibition related activity sheets for preschoolers, and school-going students.


SAM at 8Q is an extensional wing of the Singapore Art Museum. The 4-storey building was formerly the primary school wing of the Catholic High School. It features several contemporary art exhibitions and a moving image gallery where film screenings are held. The art exhibitions are well-researched and carefully curated by Singapore Art Museum, and are enjoyable to both adults and children.

History of Singapore Art Museum

SAM was officially inaugurated on the 20th of January 1996 and is one of the first with International-standard museum facilities and programmes in Southeast Asia. It is a result of a project called '5 Museum Precinct' in the city. The museum establishment was once a school run by the St.Joseph's institution. The galleries of the museum were made by knocking down classroom doors in its central building. The glass hall is a former gymnasium, open on all three sides. This was renovated and modernised in the 1950's by flattening all arches, adding windows and wall.

Architecture of Singapore Art Museum

The present building which houses the Singapore Art Museum formerly used to be a Catholic boy's school, named St. Joseph's Institution, run by Salle Brothers. The cornerstone of this building was laid by its founder, Father Jean-Marie Beural in 1855. Later, in 1996, the school was relocated to make way for the museum.
  • Central Building: The cross walls that made up the classrooms were knocked down to make space for the galleries in the central building. Reinforced concrete was used to strengthen the floors so that they could bear the load of the expected galleries. A new lightweight wall with insulation material and a vapor barrier were also added to the existing walls.
  • Glass Hall: The glass hall was originally a gymnasium, and used to be open on all three sides. However, in the 1950's the hall was modernized and came to house the school hall. The room was restored to its original state based on an original drawing found on the site. In the process, the arches were flattened, the Doric columns were turned into cylindrical ones and external walls, and windows were added. The Glass Hall is currently used for openings of the exhibitions and related programmes.
  • Chapel: The important elements of the Chapel area have been kept as-it-is. This includes the basins for holy water, Stations of the Cross, and the original concrete floor tiles. This part of the museum holds events like talks, symposiums, seminars and film screenings. Installations of large artworks are also seen here. A plaque outside the chapel commemorates Brother Michael (1856-1936) who, as Director of the school played a major part in the development of the museum.
  • Waterloo Wing: The Waterloo Wing was once known as Anderson Building, named after Sir John Anderson, the governor of the Straits Settlements (1904-1911), because of his large contributions towards the building funds. Originally, this building had a staircase which led to the courtyard, projecting towards it. This resulted in it taking up much of the courtyard space. It was removed in the 1950s, and new staircases were added in their place. These new staircases were aesthetically displeasing and did not go with the beauty of the exterior of the building. During the renovation work, these removed as an effort to restore Anderson Building into its original splendor.
  • Queen Street Wing: This used to be the site of the Quarters of the Salle Brothers. Being too small and narrow for the museum to use, the building had to be renovated completely to house the current new structure. The panels are made of precast concrete with stylised details and done with the help of machines. This is in contrast with the hand-made classical details of the historic buildings. More galleries can be found in this part of the Museum.
  • Courtyards: The courtyards once served as the school's basketball courts. They were of tarmac finish.

Singapore Art Museum Shops

Merchandise based on the ongoing exhibitions, including booklets, activity books, and other bundles are sold at the vending machine near SAM Curve and the front desk of [email protected] Other than this, tote bags, notebooks, and postcard bundles are also available.

Tips For Visiting Singapore Art Museum

  • Wheelchair lifts and ramps are present, making Singapore Art Museum wheelchair and pram-friendly.
  • Visiting in a group of 20+ can yield a 20% discount.
  • Photography for private purposes is allowed in the museum, without the use of tripods and flash. Video filming is only permitted with authorisation.
  • Lockers are available for public use.
  • The guided tours are subject to availability. The timings change with the exhibition put up. They are free of cost but require a registration beforehand. Please consult the official site for the timings of the guided tours as per your visit. 

How To Reach Singapore Art Museum

The buses that stop at SAM are 7, 14, 14e, 16, 36, 77, 106, 111, 124, 128, 130, 131, 133, 145, 162, 162M, 167, 171, 174, 175, 197, 851, 960

Nearest MRT (Mass Rapid Transit):
1-minute walk from Bras Basah MRT station (Circle Line)
7-minute walk from Dhoby Ghaut MRT station (Circle, North East and North-South Lines)
8-minute walk from City Hall MRT station (East-West and North-South Lines)

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