National Gallery Singapore sees more than 170,000 visitors in first two weeks

 A visitor walks past the work Poem of Zither by artist Pan Shou at the National Gallery Singapore.
A visitor walks past the work Poem of Zither by artist Pan Shou at the National Gallery Singapore.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - More than 170,000 people have visited the National Gallery Singapore's exhibitions and programmes since its opening two weeks ago.

The turn-out exceeded initial expectations "by over 40 per cent in numbers", the museum said, without elaborating.

In a release on Wednesday (Dec 9), it said that among the events and activities held to mark its opening, the Share The Hope art carnival stood out, attracting more than 86,000 visitors to the Padang and into the Gallery over the three days it was held in late November.

Said National Gallery Singapore chief executive Chong Siak Ching: "We are heartened and thankful that so many visitors from all walks of life including families and friends, Singaporeans and tourists alike, came to celebrate the opening of the Gallery with us.

"The response and participation of the public is extremely encouraging as we strive to deliver a truly unique experience for all our visitors, to make this the people's museum."

The Gallery, which houses the world's largest public collection of South-east Asian art, opened its doors to the public on Nov 24.

The $532 million museum was created from the former Supreme Court and City Hall.

Singapore citizens, permanent residents and children under six years of age can enter the two permanent galleries, the DBS Singapore Gallery and the UOB Southeast Asia Gallery, for free.

Also free is admission to the Keppel Centre for Art Education, the Wu Guanzhong and Chua Ek Kay exhibitions and other selected exhibitions.