Next year looks to be an exciting time for Singapore’s art scene. Aside from the recent appointment of the artistic directors in charge of the Singapore Biennale 2022 (that takes place next October), beloved institution Singapore Art Museum (SAM) has also just announced its plans for the coming year.
Most of us would know that SAM’s original Bras Brasah digs have been under going renovations for some time now – originally meant to reopen later this year, the pandemic has caused major delays – so much so that the the new launch date is now set for 2026.
In the meantime, however, art lovers can look forward to SAM’s new site at Tanjong Pagar Distripark. Located at the Keppel Road industrial site that is Tanjong Pagar Distripark (Block 39), it is a stone’s throw opposite the old Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and is slated to open next January to coincide with Singapore Art Week 2022.
SAM will be using multiple spaces around the island to diffuse art, much in line with their new strategic direction to bring art out of its traditional confines and into everyday areas, with SAM at Tanjong Pagar Distripark serving as the anchor venue for large-scale installations and experimental programmes.
And while plans have yet to be confirmed, they’re also exploring the option of occupying the Tanjong Pagar space in the long-term, even after the original buildings at Bras Brasah precinct reopen.
The main foyer on level one of SAM at Tanjong Pagar Distripark.
Developed by design and build agencies Spacelogic Pte Ltd, Farm and AE Models Team Pte Ltd, SAM’s new site at Tanjong Pagar is spread over two floors, with the main galleries found on the ground level.
The latter covers more than 21,500 sq ft – you’ll find two expansive galleries that boast soaring six metres high ceilings, a reception foyer, a multi-purpose events space known as The Engine Room which can host programmes for up to 100 pax, as well as an F&B space that overlooks the port.
The F&B area overlooks Keppel Harbour.
Meanwhile, SAM’s corporate offices and its artist studios (part of its new residency programme) are located on the third floor of the same building.
This includes a central, open space known as The Main Deck, which serves as a zone for interaction and to host programmes of the SAM Residencies, such as talks, film screenings and performances, as well as an experimental ideas lab to showcase the development of content, research and processes by staff and residents.
When SAM at Tanjong Pagar Distripark opens in January, you can expect more interactive activities between the public and the museum’s artist studios (the latter is found on level three in the same building).
These will be open to the public from time to time, which is much in line with SAM’s aim to give its staff, residents and the public more opportunities for interactive social engagements.
Below, a closer look at the various areas throughout SAM at Tanjong Pagar Distripark.