This story was first published on The A List Singapore on 27 November 2020.
If you are looking to spend your SingapoRediscovers dollars in Bras Basah, don’t forget to include arts and culture spots in your staycation itinerary. The bustling neighbourhood is home to a number of heritage, arts and cultural attractions, offering experiences for everyone, from the young to young-at-heart.
Pop by these five attractions in the Bras Basah and Bugis precinct and rediscover Singapore through its rich arts and culture offerings.
National Museum of Singapore
With a history that dates back to 1849, the National Museum of Singapore is the island’s oldest museum. Its spellbinding digital exhibition, Story of the Forest by popular Japanese art collective teamLab, will transport you to a 20th century Malayan rainforest that is teeming with flora and fauna native to the region. Another highlight in the museum is its Growing Up gallery, where nostalgic childhood toys, games and books are on display. Guided tours are also available; sign up at the museum’s reception booth. Start planning your visit to the National Museum of Singapore here.
To feel the pulse of contemporary art in Singapore, visit The Substation in Armenian Street. The independent arts centre, dedicated to supporting emerging artists, is known for staging experimental exhibitions and performances that span genres such as visual arts, literary arts, dance, music, and theatre. Learn more about the programmes at The Substation here.
Street art abounds in the Bras Basah and Bugis precinct. You will find murals on the exteriors of buildings, as well as on walls in alleyways and hidden corners. There are no fewer than three spots in Armenian Street featuring such works. You will find on a side wall of The Substation, works by Singapore artists such as Farizwan Fajari, who goes by the moniker Speak Cryptic. There is also a mural, by street art group rscls, on the wall of a walkway leading up to the Peranakan Museum, and a vibrant painting, Rasa Sayang, designed by local creative agency Lab Six Five, on the side of a shophouse.
True Blue Cuisine
For a heritage-inspired brunch, stop by True Blue Cuisine in Armenian Street for a Peranakan gourmet experience. Located a few doors down from the Peranakan Museum, which is currently under renovation, the restaurant houses an extensive collection of Peranakan antiques including beadwork slippers, hand-embroidered kebaya costumes and dining furniture. The experience of dining in a restaurant filled with Peranakan antiques is not to be missed. Make your reservation at True Blue Cuisine here.
National Design Centre
Located within the former St Anthony’s Covent school, which has over 120 years of history, the centre hosts design shows such as the Fifty Years of Singapore Design Exhibition, which runs until end-2021. The exhibition traces the evolution of Singapore’s design landscape from 1965 to 2015, and features 300 objects and designs that played an important role in Singapore’s design history. You can also bring home pieces of well-designed items by homegrown brands such as jewellery label Carrie K., which are sold in a boutique within the centre. Plan your trip to the National Design Centre here.
Click here for our other guide to rediscovering the Civic District.
(Photos: National Museum of Singapore, The Substation, Lab Six Five, True Blue Cuisine, National Design Centre)