The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) focuses on international contemporary art practices, specialising in Singapore and Southeast Asia.
SAM will be pivotal among contemporary art museums in the region, inspiring humane and better futures through meaningful encounters with art.
SAM champions contemporary art in Southeast Asia, in active dialogue and collaboration with artists, partners, and audiences; through our collection, educational outreach, research and thought-provoking exhibitions.
Housed in a restored 19th-century mission school, Singapore Art Museum opened its doors in 1996 as the first art museum in Singapore. Also known as SAM, the museum is now a contemporary art museum.
SAM has built one of the world's most important public collections of Southeast Asian contemporary artworks, with a growing component in international contemporary art. SAM draws from its collection and collaborates with international contemporary art museums to co-curate and present contemporary art exhibitions. Contemporary art of the region is also given international exposure through SAM's travelling exhibition programme and collection loans.
Visitors can extend their SAM experience through complementary and exhibition-related education and public programmes such as:
- exhibition-related public programmes and workshops
- educational programmes and workshops which cover a diversity of art trends and contemporary art practices for all ages
- outreach programmes where SAM programmes are extended outside of the museum to schools, community centres, and partner locations
- SAM exhibition downloadable activity sheets for pre-schoolers, primary, secondary and tertiary level students
SAM is the organiser of the Singapore Biennale in 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2019.
On 13 November 2013, SAM became incorporated as an independent company limited by guarantee.
Mr Edmund Cheng
Wing Tai Holdings Limited
Ms Chong Siak Ching
Chief Executive Officer
National Gallery Singapore
Ms Junie Foo
Group Executive Director
Methodist Welfare Services
Mrs E-Len Fu
Director and Founding Partner
Kids21 Pte Ltd
Mr David Heng
Chief Executive Officer
ABC World Asia Pte Ltd
Dr Imran Bin Tajudeen
Assistant Professor, Dept of Architecture, School of Design and Environment
National University of Singapore
Mr Collin Liu
Chief Operating Officer
Rajah & Tann Asia
Prof Fumio Nanjo
Mori Art Museum
Mr Michelangelo Samson
Managing Director / Regional Head, CF ASA &
Regional Head, LSS ASEAN
Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited
Mr Tay Yu Jin
Partner & Head, International Arbitration (Asia)
Mayer Brown (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.
Mr Timothy Chin Jun Wun
Senior Director (Arts and Heritage)
Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth
Mr Low Eng Teong
Deputy Chief Executive (Sector Development)
National Arts Council
SAM offers visits to the museum for members of the media who hold a valid media pass. Please contact us at least 3 working days in advance to arrange for a media visit.
For media photography and filming requests, please download and complete the Media Shoot Application Form and email it back to us at least 2 weeks in advance. Applications are subject to approval by the museum.
For any other media enquiries about SAM, please email us [email protected].
Contemporary art is created by artists living and practicing in the here-and-now, particularly the 21st century. Contemporary art may be regarded as both art of the present-day, as well as art of a historical category, that for the Southeast Asia region may be seen as emerging from the 1970s, and in the case of Singapore, reaching a critical juncture in the 1990s.
Contemporary art reflects on contemporary society and the issues surrounding people and the world we live in. The areas that contemporary art explores include our everyday realities, questions about personal, cultural and national identity, and reflections of humanity’s impact on the environment.
Contemporary artists work in a wide range of mediums, and their artworks can be multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. Contemporary art utilises a combination of materials and methods, and concepts play a prominent part to challenge traditional boundaries and ideas of how art is defined—or even what constitutes art.
When engaging with contemporary art, viewers are encouraged to consider whether the work is "thought-provoking" or "interesting". Beyond asking "Is this work aesthetically pleasing?", viewers can also reflect if the artwork questions the status quo, or changes perspectives on an issue.