A picture of the past
Gillman Barracks is a historic site in singapore that holds a significant place in the country’s history. Named after General Sir Webb Gillman, a renowned officer of the British Army, the Barracks was built in 1936. It served as the home to army barrack buildings, married quarters, and recreational facilities specifically designed for the British’s 1st Battalion before World War II.
During World War II, the Barracks and its surrounding area became one of Singapore’s last battle sites before its fall. The site survived the war when Singapore regained British rule in September 1945, and it continued to be utilized by the Singapore Armed Forces for the training of national service men even after Singapore gained independence.
The Barracks went through a round of restoration, and in September 2012, it was launched as a cluster of international art galleries and other art-related tenants. This transformation gave rise to what is now known as Singapore’s Contemporary Art Enclave.
A day out with contemporary art
Gillman Barracks offers visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in some of the finest contemporary art from around the world. Located away from the hustle and bustle of the city center, the Barracks’ colonial architecture and tranquil tropical surroundings create a unique and inspiring environment for experiencing contemporary art.
The Barracks is home to international galleries such as Sundaram Tagore Gallery and Mizuma Gallery, as well as homegrown galleries like FOST Gallery and Yavuz Gallery. Together, these galleries showcase a diverse range of established and emerging artists, including Ai Wei Wei, Gilbert & George, Indieguerillas, Yayoi Kusama, Jane Lee, and Sebastiao Salgado. The exhibitions are ever-changing, offering visitors a glimpse into the depth and variety of contemporary art practices.
One of the highlights within Gillman Barracks is the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) Singapore. This research center focuses on exhibitions, residencies, and research, encouraging critical discourse and experimental contemporary art practices in Singapore and beyond. It is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts within Gillman Barracks.
In addition to exploring the galleries, visitors can also enjoy a meal at one of the six restaurants, cafes, and bars located onsite. Among them is The Naked Finn, known for its top-quality seafood. For those looking for some entertainment, Timbre is a live music bar that features local musicians and serves delicious pizza and cocktails.
A Friday night arty party
To fully experience Gillman Barracks, it is highly recommended to visit during one of the bi-monthly Art After Dark open houses held on Friday nights. These events offer a unique opportunity to engage with the art community and explore the various art-related programs and activities within the enclave.
During each Art After Dark event, the Barracks’ tenants launch new shows and extend their opening hours. Visitors can enjoy music performances, dining pop-ups, and even interact with the artists-in-residence at the NTU CCA Singapore. Each Art After Dark has a different art-related theme, such as literature, design, or music. Some events also coincide with key festivals and events happening in Singapore.
One of the flagship editions of Art After Dark takes place during the annual Singapore Art Week in January. This week-long celebration of art showcases the vibrant art scene in Singapore and attracts both local and international art enthusiasts. It is a fantastic opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich cultural landscape of the city.
To stay updated on the dates of Art After Dark and other events happening in Gillman Barracks, it is recommended to follow their Facebook page. The page provides regular updates on upcoming events, exhibitions, and other art-related activities within the Barracks.
Gillman Barracks is not just a historic site; it has evolved into a vibrant hub for contemporary art in Singapore. With its rich history, colonial architecture, and serene tropical surroundings, the Barracks provides the perfect backdrop for experiencing some of the best contemporary art from around the world.
Visitors can explore a wide range of international and homegrown galleries, showcasing established and emerging artists. The ever-changing exhibitions offer a diverse and stimulating art experience. Additionally, the NTU CCA Singapore provides a platform for critical discourse and experimental contemporary art practices.
To fully immerse oneself in the art scene at Gillman Barracks, it is recommended to attend the bi-monthly Art After Dark open houses. These events offer a unique opportunity to engage with the art community, explore new exhibitions, and enjoy various art-related programs and activities. The Barracks’ restaurants, cafes, and bars also provide a perfect setting to relax and refuel during the visit.
Whether visiting during the day or on a Friday evening, Gillman Barracks promises a memorable and inspiring experience for art enthusiasts and history buffs alike. It is a testament to Singapore’s rich cultural heritage and its commitment to nurturing and promoting contemporary art.
Address And Location:
9 Lock Road, Singapore 108937
Tuesday to Saturday 11am-7pm
Galleries closed on Monday and Public Holidays
9 Lock Road, Singapore 108937