With a history dating back to its inception in 1887, the National Museum of Singapore is the nation’s oldest museum with a progressive mind. Its galleries adopt cutting-edge and multi-perspective ways of presenting history and culture to redefine conventional museum experience. A cultural and architectural landmark in Singapore, the Museum hosts innovative festivals and events all year round—the dynamic Night Festival, visually arresting art installations, as well as amazing performances and film screenings—in addition to presenting thought-provoking exhibitions involving critically important collections of artefacts. The programming is supported by a wide range of facilities and services including F&B, retail and a Resource Centre.
The National Museum of Singapore re-opened in December 2006 after a three-year redevelopment. It refreshed its permanent galleries and re-opened them in September 2015 for Singapore’s Golden Jubilee. In 2017, it celebrated its 130th anniversary.
The National Museum of Singapore is located in a precinct now known as the Bras Basah Bugis (BBB) Arts and Heritage District, which is managed by the National Heritage Board, a statutory board operating four other museums and five heritage institutions and interpretative centres.
The BBB Arts and Heritage District is home to the largest concentration of museums, historic monuments and heritage buildings, places of worship, arts groups, arts schools, and lifestyle malls in the city centre. Apart from the National Museum of Singapore, other major stakeholders in the BBB precinct include the National Design Centre, the Singapore Art Museum, the Substation Arts Centre, the Peranakan Museum and the Singapore Philatelic Museum.
The BBB precinct is known for its vibrant and eclectic mix of occupants, and hosts a variety of traditional as well as contemporary arts, cultural and design festivals and events throughout the year. Notably, it is home to the signature Singapore Night Festival held in August every year, which transforms the precinct into a midsummer’s celebration of sorts.
The signature highlights of the festival are the interactive light installations that turn the facades of the National Museum of Singapore and the Singapore Art Museum into ephemeral works of wonder. Night owls enjoy the many events held late into the night at cultural institutions, and festival goers immerse themselves in the various street and music performances by local and international artists, all playing their original works.
The BBB Precinct Management team, as well as the National Museum of Singapore, play significant roles in shaping the character and vibrancy of this historic cultural district where we see the confluence of arts and heritage at every turn. This district more than any other, presents an authentic experience where creative endeavour and multi-culturalism converge, in a manner that can only be described as truly Singaporean.