National Gallery's displays must constantly evolve

How does a national art gallery sustain itself while keeping the flame of public interest alive?

Though ours boasts one of the largest collections of South-east Asian art in the world, is it enough to maintain a steady stream of visitors?

It is important to look at other older galleries and learn from their experiences.

Perhaps our National Gallery Singapore could inject more of other art forms or objects, such as sculptures or ancient artefacts, that would allow for more three-dimensional viewing.

This would also attract a broader spectrum of visitors, and induce them to sample and develop an appreciation for art forms they are less familiar with.

The displays must not remain static but continually evolve.

Besides this, there must be attempts to overcome any weaknesses in the building's design or lack of space.

With its Corinthian columns, the National Gallery is undoubtedly a sight to behold and is certainly one of the most outstanding buildings in the Civic District.

Its interior must be just as impressive, but designed to leave room for extensions and additions to the displays.

Retention of its architectural make-up, where possible, is critical, especially because it reflects a certain period in history.

It is important to show not just how art has developed and grown here, but also how it has been influenced by the region.

This gives us insight into how ancient man thought and how his environment would have been - quite different from what we understand it to be today.

This historical aspect of art must be emphasised and made clear if it is to appeal to the young and old.

Manoraj Rajathurai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 08, 2015, with the headline 'National Gallery's displays must constantly evolve'. Print Edition | Subscribe