The Gift The Gift

The Gift

  • 20 Aug to 7 Nov 2021

  • City Hall Wing, Level B1, The Ngee Ann Kongsi Concourse Gallery, National Gallery Singapore

  • Free for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents

  • Resources

What is in a gift?

From social act to cultural performance or philosophical concept, the apparently ordinary act of gifting is in fact ambivalent and paradoxical, and consequently a source of fascination, vexation and debate. Unlike the economic transaction, the gift is more than the object of its exchange. It is an embodiment of an expansiveness of spirit by the giver, that often obliges its receiver, and may even unintendedly become an onerous burden. The exhibition, The Gift, is part of a broader project titled Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories that is developed as a dialogue between collections of four museums. The conversations extend into four related exhibitions that include artwork exchanges. This exploration of collections also uncovers histories of collecting – of gifts received, rare discoveries unearthed, and acknowledgements of significance.

Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories is a dialogue between the collections of the Singapore Art Museum, Galeri Nasional Indonesia, MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum and Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, initiated by the Goethe-Institut. Its exhibitions are curated by June Yap, Anna-Catharina Gebbers, Grace Samboh and Gridthiya Gaweewong.


Supported by:

Goethe Institut 

Hong Leong Foundation

JCCI Singapore Foundation  

audio tours

Curator Tours

Embark on a journey with our curators as they take you on three different tours based on the themes of The Gift.

Tour 1: The Gift of Entanglement

Written and read by June Yap, this tour features works by Joesph Beuys, Donna Ong, gifts from Siam, photos of Koh Nguang How and Charles Wilp and Tarim Basin books.

Download English transcript here.


Tour 2: Of Terrain and Landforms

Written and read by Joella Kiu, this tour features works by Tang Da Wu, Salleh Japar, Ahmad Sadali and Higashiyama Kaii.

Download English transcript here.

 

Tour 3: The Body and its Trace

 

Written and read by Selene Yap, this tour features works by Korakrit Arunanondchai, Dolorosa Sinaga, Holly Zausner and Bruce Nauman.

Download English transcript here.

 

Audio Tour - Higashiyama Kaii

Join our Japanese docents to learn about the life and works of Higashiyama Kaii, a leading figure in Japanese painting renowned for his Nihonga style paintings.

Audio is available in both English and Japanese language.

His Life

Written and read by Yoko Sawada, JD from Friends of the Museums

Download English transcript here.

Written and read by Yoko Sawada, JD from Friends of the Museums

Download Japanese transcript here.

His Works

Written and read by Michiyo Lim, JD from Friends of the Museums

Download English transcript here.

Written and read by Michiyo Lim, JD from Friends of the Museums

Download Japanese transcript here.

public programmes

The Lost Files
28 September Tuesday 12:00 AM

The Lost Files

Audio Tour

associated exhibition:

The Gift

The Lost Files
29 September Wednesday 12:00 AM

The Lost Files

Audio Tour

associated exhibition:

The Gift

SAM UNWRAPS Bruce Nauman
30 September Thursday 08:00 PM

SAM UNWRAPS: Bruce Nauman | Yeow Kai Chai, and Sarah and Schooling

Virtual Event

associated exhibition:

The Gift