Singapore’s spectacularly successful singularity has traditionally been associated with finance and enterprise rather than culture. Recently, however, it has woken to the manifold economic and cultural benefits of a stimulating arts scene – not least in tempting visitors to sample its luxurious hotels and stay for a few days longer than the usual business trip or stopover permits. Hence the launch, in 2013, of the invigorating January Art Week, and the razzmatazz in 2015 with the opening of the long-awaited Singapore Art Museum – both bolstering Singapore’s bid to be Asia’s leading arts destination.
This year running from January 17-28, Singapore Art Week offers a 12-day celebration of the visual arts, with live events, art fairs, guided art walks and special exhibitions in museums, the many excellent commercial galleries, not-for-profit spaces and artists’ studios. Highlights this year look set to be the Arts from the Streets exhibition at the ArtScience Museum, including some of the world’s most iconic street artists, and the eighth edition of Art Stage Singapore, a fair featuring galleries from all over Southeast Asia, with special focus on Thailand.
To help navigate the vast programme is a new initiative by Capella Singapore, the flagship property of Capella Hotels and Resorts in Asia. This luxurious urban resort, designed by Foster + Partners, is located on the green Sentosa Island, but is a short hop to the cultural hubbub. As part of the Art Week package (from SGD840, about £465, per room per night), the hotel will provide guests with an Art Week pass, organise bespoke art-scene itineraries, and arrange dinner at Cassia, the André Fu-designed Cantonese restaurant. The hotel will also offer a guided tour of the resort’s own art collection, reportedly over 900 pieces strong and including The Arc sculpture by prominent French artist Bernar Venet, located on the front lawn.