Feb 21, 2018
Within a five-hour flight from Singapore, these six cities have an art and design agenda that will turn any weekend getaway into a creative outlet.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
The stunning new MAIIAM contemporary art museum (above), in the Sankampang historic crafts district, houses the private collection of its founding family and highlights the northern Thai kingdom’s flourishing art scene. Art Mai Gallery Hotel is inspired by and dedicated to Thai artists with rooms set aside for their abstract, surrealist and impressionist works, while TCDC Chiang Mai is a centre for design know-how and a hothouse of creative thinking with an exhibition space.
How to get there: Chiang Mai is a three-hour flight from Singapore. Singapore Airlines subsidiary SilkAir flies up to 6 times weekly non-stop from Singapore to Chiang Mai.
Major annual exhibitions including Art Basel (March 29-31) and Affordable Art Fair (May 18-20) have put the city on the global art trail. Edgy gallery spaces range from the tiny artist-run 100ft Park in Sham Shui Po to Empty Gallery in Aberdeen, which champions emerging artists. Pedder Building in Central is a one-stop shop for big-name international galleries including Lehmann Maupin. Cordis Hotel (above) has an extraordinary collection of contemporary Chinese art including works by Yue Minjin. And while the city awaits the 2019 opening of M+ in the West Kowloon Cultural District, expect pop-up workshops, lectures and exhibitions in visual art, design and architecture.
How to get there: Hong Kong is a four-hour flight from Singapore. Singapore Airlines flies 7 times daily non-stop from Singapore to Hong Kong.
The Temple House hotel’s contemporary art collection (above) changes quarterly with exhibitions managed by respected Thousand Plateaus, which has its own cool gallery and video art space. Xi Cun Art Space (Level 18, No.5 North Ben Sen Road) is a warehouse with affordable art. At the other end of the spectrum is the beautiful Zhi Art Museum (No.1 Junshan Road), an architectural wonder in the Laojun Mountain region half an hour from the city – the work of famed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. Another architectural landmark, this one on a man-made lake, is the newly re-opened A4 Art Museum, which boasts a stand-alone children’s gallery.
How to get there: Chengdu is a four-and-a-half-hour flight from Singapore. Singapore Airlines subsidiary SilkAir flies 6 times weekly non-stop from Singapore to Chengdu.