Things To Do

17 Things To Do At Gillman Barracks To Make The Most Of Your Weekends – Art Galleries, Tours & Cafes

Gillman Barracks guide


A former British military camp, the sprawling grounds of Gillman Barracks are now a visual arts enclave in Singapore. Here, the old black-and-white blocks have been turned into contemporary art galleries and modern eateries. With a total of 14 blocks for you to explore, there’s a lot to cover.

To help you plan a day’s outing, here’s everything you need to know from what to do and eat, to how to get to Gillman Barracks.


– Art Galleries –


1. FOST Gallery – Learn how to appreciate art from the artist himself



Nicole Coson.
Image credit: @fostgallery via Instagram

You’ll love this if: #SupportLocal isn’t just a slogan on a T-shirt for you.

If you feel clueless on how to view and appreciate art (spoiler: there’s no right way), FOST Gallery often holds artist walkthroughs for their exhibitions where the artist showcases his art and tells the story behind them.

Unit: Block 1, #01-02
Opening hours: Tue-Sat 11am-7pm (Closed on Mondays & Sundays)
Contact: 6694 3080


2. Mizuma Gallery – Japanese artworks



Image credits: Mizuma Gallery

You’ll love this if: You wish you could move to Japan.

Mizuma Gallery promotes mostly Japanese contemporary artists but also features new young talents from around the region. The exhibitions change regularly and often have launches where you can meet the artists in person to learn more about their artwork.

An upcoming exhibition to look forward to: Kaba Ni Yu Wo Heru by Ai Yamaguchi from 14th April to 28th May 2023.

Unit: Block 22, #01-34
Opening hours: Tue-Sat 11am-7pm | Sun 11am-6pm (Closed on Mondays)
Contact: 6570 2505


3. Mucciaccia Gallery – Large curation of artworks



Image credit: @mucciacciagallery via Instagram

You’ll love this if: You’re a globetrotter who’s been to museums all over the world and is looking for another to check off your list. 

With galleries in Rome, London, New York, Cortina, and Singapore, you can expect to find an extensive collection of modern and contemporary art at Mucciaccia Gallery. Find works by iconic photographer, artist and director, David Lachapelle here. Fun fact: He abandoned his career in high fashion to pursue his interest in contemporary art.

Unit: Block 6, #02-10
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 12pm-7pm | Sat 11am-7pm | Sun 11am-6pm (Closed on Mondays)
Contact: 6694 3777 


4. Ota Fine Arts – Japanese Contemporary Art



Image credit: @jingweiiiiii via Instagram

You’ll love this if: Your favourite artist is internationally-acclaimed Yayoi Kusama. 

Ota Fine Arts considers themselves a pioneer of Japanese contemporary art and there’s only one way to describe their exhibitions – out of this world. Even so, many of the artists featured take inspiration from everyday life, creating art that’s definitely relatable. 

Unit: Block 7, #02-13
Opening hours: Tue-Sat 11am-7pm | Sun 11am-6pm (Closed on Mondays)
Contact: 6694 3071


5. Richard Koh Fine Art – Southeast Asian artworks



Image credit: @rkfineart via Instagram

You’ll love this if: You like your art with a touch of history and tradition.

Promoting contemporary art from Southeast Asia in Singapore, Bangkok and KL, Richard Koh Fine Art gives promising artists a platform to flourish through regular exhibition cycles. You can also expect various art fairs and pop ups that will take place at Gillman Barracks throughout the year. 

Address: Block 47, #01-26
Opening hours: Tue-Sat 11am-7pm (Closed on Mondays & Sundays)
Contact: 6513 2640


6. ShanghART – Art institution from China



Image credit: @shanghart.singapore via Instagram

You’ll love this if: You take inspiration from everyday life.

One of China’s most influential art institutions, this is ShanghART’s first overseas foray in Singapore. From selfies with face masks to artists chasing chickens, they prove that just about anything can be considered art.

Unit: Block 9, #02-22
Opening hours: Wed-Sun 11am-7pm (Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays)
Contact: 6734 9537


7. Sundaram Tagore Gallery Singapore – Fusion of Eastern & Western art



Image credit: @sundaramtagore via Instagram

You’ll love this if: You’re about that inner peace, yogi life. 

Established in New York, Sundaram Tagore Gallery Singapore showcases artists and works that are a fusion between Eastern & Western cultures. Expect to find a mish mash of mediums here like photographs, sculptures, and installations on top of paintings and drawings.

Unit: Block 5
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 11am-6pm | Sat 11am-7pm (Closed on Mondays & Sundays)
Contact: 6694 3378


8. The Columns Gallery – Korean minimalist artwork



Image credit: The Columns Gallery via Facebook

You’ll love this if: You love the minimalist aesthetic.

The Columns Gallery aims to introduce up-and-coming and established Korean artists to the international art scene, but you’ll still find a mix of Southeast Asian works at this gallery. For a dose of history, you can expect exhibitions of works that date back to the 1970s. 

Unit: Block 22
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 11am-7pm | Sat 11am-6pm (Closed on Mondays & Sundays)
Contact: 9030 7647


9. Yavuz Gallery – Artworks from the Asia Pacific region



Image credit: @yavuzgallery via Instagram

You’ll love this if: You frequently question the nature of things. 

Based in Singapore, Yavuz Gallery predominantly promotes art from the Asia-Pacific region, but also hosts installations from their sister gallery in Sydney from time to time. You can also catch them at various art fairs globally. 

Address: Block 9, #02-23, Singapore 108937
Opening hours: Tue-Sat 11am-7pm | Sun 1pm-5pm (Closed on Mondays)
Contact: 6734 3262


10. Yeo Workshop – Frequent workshops & symposiums



Image credit: @yeoworkshop_sg via Instagram

You’ll love this if: You enjoy a good behind-the-scenes look.

Not only can you find exhibitions here, but Yeo Workshop also frequently holds workshops and symposiums that are a great starting point to discovering local artists and collecting art pieces. They often host intimate sessions with their featured artists as well, such as in Chinese tea ceremonies and brunches, so that you can get exclusive insights behind their masterpieces.

Unit: Block 47, #01-25
Opening hours: Tue-Sat 11am-7pm | Sun 12pm-6pm (Closed on Mondays)
Contact: 6734 5168


11. NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore – More about Singapore art



Image credit: @alecianeo via Instagram

You’ll love this if: You want to get a look into Singapore’s art eco-system. 

A national research centre of Nanyang Technological University, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore is where you can expect exhibitions, screenings, and talks from international artists and researchers.

Address: Block 6 Lock Rd, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 108934
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 12pm-7pm (Closed on Mondays)
Contact: 6339 6503


12. Friends of the Museum – Learn the history of Gillman Barracks



Image adapted from: Eventbrite

You’ll love this if: You love all things history.

Every Saturday at 4pm, Friends of the Museum (FOM) hosts a Heritage and Art Walkabout for you to learn more about the history of Gillman Barracks. This includes its beginnings as a British military camp to a training facility for the Singapore Armed Forces before it was repurposed to be the centre for contemporary art in Singapore.

Do keep in mind that registration is needed for the tours. Slots open 1 week in advance.

Address: Block 9
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 11pm-11pm (Closed on Mondays & PH)
Contact: 6337 3685


– Cafes & restaurants –


13. BurgerLabo – Angus & wagyu beef patties



Image credit: @culinivary via Instagram

Juicy and umami-laden barely begin to describe the burgers you’ll find at BurgerLabo. Their thick patties are made using angus beef, pure A4 wagyu, or a decadent mix of both. If you’re not too keen on red meat but still want to dine here, they also have a fish burger and lobster roll.

What to get: The Basic Burger ($19.50/$25.90) with a side of Truffle Fries (+$3), and their Naked Chendol ($13), a take on the classic Singaporean dessert.

Address: 213 Henderson Road, #01-10 Henderson Industrial Park, Singapore 159553
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11am-3pm, 5pm-10.30pm (Closed on Sundays)
Contact: 6694 0940


14. Creamier – Handcrafted ice-cream



Image credit: @creamier_sg via Instagram

Sit at the alfresco area and enjoy a scoop or two of this locally handcrafted ice cream while you enjoy the cool evening breeze.

What to get: Pistachio ($4.50), Sea Salt Gula Melaka ($3.50) and Peanut Butter & Jelly ($4.50), and add on crisp, fluffy waffles from $6.

Address: 5A Lock Road, Singapore 108927
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 1pm-10pm | Sat-Sun 12pm-10pm
Contact: 6221 1076


15. Handlebar – Biker-themed restaurant serving American cuisine


Expect American classics at Handlebar, Singapore’s first and only biker bar that’s filled with biker paraphernalia and photo-worthy spots.

What to get: Blossom Onion ($12), a cross between fries and onion rings, Cocaine Wings ($14) and the Mixed Grilled Platter ($108), that’s great for a big group.

Address: 10 Lock Road, Singapore 108938
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 12-11.30pm (Closed on Mondays)
Contact: 6268 5550


16. Hopscotch – Cocktails & grilled food



Image credit: Hopscotch

One of Singapore’s best bars, you can expect innovative and wacky drinks at Hopscotch along with grilled food to munch on. The extensive cocktail menu has drinks you won’t regularly find in other bars, such as Tipsy Nonya, an alcoholic take on kueh salat that also comes with a piece of kueh to savour alongside the drink.

If you’re not sure what to pick, get Hopscotch’s bartenders to make a bespoke one for you. Choose flavour profiles you like such as sweet or fruity, as well as characteristics like Instagrammable or theatrical. The bartenders will whip up what they think would suit you best.

What to get: Skewers Pork Belly ($3.50), Wagyu Meat Balls ($3.90), King Oyster Mushrooms ($2.90). Pair it with a speciality cocktail like Top Scorer ($23) that uses chicken essence, or Milo Medley ($23) – an homage to the Milo truck.

Address: 45 Malan Road, Singapore 109455
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 5pm-1am (Closed on Sundays)
Contact: 6339 0633


17. The Naked Finn – No-frills seafood



Image credit: @lolleroll via Instagram

Nobody’s in the nude here. The Naked Finn is only so-named because their dishes are simply dressed to allow the fresh taste of their seafood to shine through.

They sell a variety of seafood, including Yamada Bay oysters, Japanese abalone, giant octopus, and grilled sole to name a few. You can order these a la carte during lunch, but if you want a sample of everything, they have set menus for dinner from $68/pax where you’ll get 6 different dishes to try. 

What to get: Piquant Rice Vermicelli ($9) – a cold noodle dish topped with sakura ebi crumbs or Wild-Caught Giant Octopus Tentacle ($38) that is sous vide then grilled on a binchotan and served with a spicy sambal oelek.

Address: 39 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109442
Opening hours: 12pm-11pm, Daily
Contact: 6694 0807


[Closed] MASONS



Image credit: @masons.gillmanbarracks via Instagram

Housed in a colonial-style building, this restaurant is a popular wedding venue and serves up Asian and Western dishes – perfect when you can’t decide what to eat for dinner. 

What to get: Enzo ($28) – their signature thin-crust pizza topped with Peking duck and its usual fixins’, or Vongole ($22) with handmade pasta, white wine and clams.


How to get to Gillman Barracks


By MRT


Nearest MRT: Labrador Park 

Directions:

  1. Exit Labrador Park station via Exit A and walk towards Alexandra Road.
  2. Stay on the opposite side of the road from Alexandra Retail Centre (ARC) Shopping Mall.
  3. At the first bus stop, take the sheltered walkway on your right into Gillman Barracks.

By Bus


Buses: 51, 57, 61, 83, 97, 97e, 100, 166, 175, 408, 963 or 963E

Nearest bus stop: Opposite Alexandra Point (15059)

Directions:

  1. Turn left as you alight from the bus and walk along Alexandra Road.
  2. Turn right onto Malan Road.

By Car


Main entrance: Malan Road
Side entrance: Lock Road

Parking

Carpark A: Beside Masons
Carpark B: Beside The Columns Gallery
Carpark C: Beside NTU CCA Singapore

Carpark rates

Weekday rate (8.30am-5pm): 

Cars $0.60 per 30 mins, for first 2 hours

$3.00 per hour, 3rd hour onwards

Motorbikes $0.20/hr cap $0.65

Free parking: Mon – Fri 5pm-8.30am | Sat – Sun, Whole day


Gillman Barracks Singapore

With free admission to all the art galleries, a wide range of F&B outlets to choose from and events and pop-ups happening throughout the year, Gillman Barracks is great for a weekend family outing or for a romantic date with your SO

Check out other museums and galleries in Singapore: 


Cover image adapted from: Creamier Handcrafted Ice Cream and Coffee via Facebook, @rkfineart via Instagram, Hopscotch
Original article published on 14th November 2020 by Clarice Chua. Last updated by Gracelyn Lim on 14th April 2023.

Clarice Chua

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