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SAM’s Signature Art Prize 2018 – Photography Workshops, FREE Talks And Happy Hour

Signature Art Prize 2018  


SAM signature art prize 2018 free exhibition

Image adapted from: @stanley_chee

We’re all familiar with the everyday millennial’s SOP when visiting a museum: see nice artworks, take nice photos and up on Instagram it goes. But when was the last time we truly understood the meaning behind these curated pieces? 

Well, the Signature Art Prize 2018, organised by the Singapore Art Museum and held at the National Museum of Singapore, is back from 25 May to 2 September this year. It’s easy to be intrigued by the artworks, as the 15 selected pieces are meant to be the best of the best – having been chosen out of a whopping 113 artworks from Asia and beyond by international art experts.  

What’s more, talks by pros, artist-led tours and happy hour discussions will help you see art in a whole new light. Here are 5 highlights you won’t want to miss:


1. Vote for your favourite artworks


The 15 artworks on view at the Signature Art Prize exhibition are all in the running for 3 awards – the Grand Prize, two Jurors’ Choice Awards and the People’s Choice Award. And you dear reader, have the power to decide which artwork gets the coveted People’s Choice Award, worth $10,000. So vote wisely (before 27 June!) – and here’s a sneak peak.

untitled (hua lamphong) signature art prize 2018 Thasnai Sethasree

Image credit: Singapore Art Museum

Standing 4 metres tall, Untitled (Hua Lamphong) appears to be an oil painting, but is actually a compellingly massive collage of streamers, news articles and pictures overlaid on Buddhist monks’ robes.

It doesn’t just make for a pretty picture. Thai artist Thasnai Sethasree’s saturated artwork parallels the fusion of everyday life with the colourful political turmoil going on in the country. 

milky bay by yuichiro tamura signature art prize 2018

Spot the retro neon signages above the pool tables.
Image credit: Singapore Art Museum

For an immersive experience, step into Yuichiro Tamura’s exhibit Milky Bay. It might look like the pool place you frequented in your secondary school days, but look closer – you’ll spot maps and puzzling sketches of the male physique on the pool tables, and fragmented concrete busts hidden in various corners.

yuichiro tamura milky bay signature art prize 2018

Image credit: Singapore Art Museum

The artwork was inspired by real stories involving human bodies – including that of dismembered body parts of gang members that were washed ashore, and of Yukio Mishima, a famed Japanese author obsessed with bodybuilding and the male body, and who had committed ritual suicide by seppuku

museum of the lost leung chi wo sara wong signature art prize 2018

Image credit: Singapore Art Museum

Life-sized portraits greet you as you walk into the artwork, He was lost yesterday and we found him today. Perhaps what strikes you first is that none of the figures’ faces can be seen. 

But look at the collection of printed material in the accompanying work, titled Museum of the Lost –  play detective and you’ll realise that these seemingly random characters were actually present in these historical pictures, but tucked away behind the main subjects, forgotten by history till now.

museum of the lost leung chi wo sara wong signature art prize 2018

Image credit: Singapore Art Museum

This is all part of the Hong Kong duo Leung Chi Wo and Sara Wong’s attempt to show the bias in historical representation through amplifying the presence of these faceless subjects. Perhaps we should have paid closer attention to those bit characters in our history textbooks back when we had our noses buried in them. 

Head down to SAM’s Instagram page to find out more about the other fascinating artworks and don’t forget to cast your vote on-site by 27 June for your favourite artwork to win the People’s Choice Award!




After you find out who won on 29 June, hear the jurors’ thoughts on this year’s winners and finalists at the Juror’s Panel Discussion on 30 June. We hear food and drink will be provided  when you sign up for the event. 

APB Foundation Signature Art Prize 2018 Juror’s Panel Discussion
Date: Sat, 30 June 2018
Time: 11AM-12.30PM
Venue: Singapore Art Museum Glass Hall
Price: $15


2. Tune in to FREE talks and watch a showdown of opinions 


drag queen becca d'bus at signature art prize 2018

Image credit: @audreycherish

After viewing the 15 artworks, you might’ve come up with your own interpretation and opinions about them, but how would, say, a drag queen or a seasoned businessman see it? At the Perspective Talks, you’ll get to catch two contrasting takes on one artwork – from university students to drag queens, socio-preneurs and professors.

And if you need more food for thought, the Specialist Talks let you hear what experts and practitioners have to say about contemporary issues highlighted in the artworks. Best of all, these talks are completely free, so you can zhng up your museum experience without having to spend a penny. 

Perspective Talks 
Dates: Saturdays,  7 and 28 July 2018
Time: 2PM-3PM
Venue: Exhibition Galleries, Basement Level, National Museum of Singapore

Specialists Talks
Dates: Saturdays, 30 June,  28 July,  1 September 2018
Time: 2PM-3.30PM
Venue: Singapore Art Museum Glass Hall


3. Tour the artworks and learn more with the artists themselves  


signature art prize 2018 national museum of singapore tour

Image credit: Singapore Art Museum

If trying to interpret an artwork confuses you to no end, the Insiders’ Insights tour might just be your saving grace. Instead of wandering round on your own, join SAM’s curator Louis Ho and the artists themselves in an exclusive evening tour of the works. You’ll them speak about the artistic concepts and processes behind each work, and maybe get a little inspired yourself.

signature art prize 2018 insiders' insights

Image credit: Singapore Art Museum

Insiders’ Insights
Date: Sat, 30 June 2018
Time: 7PM-8.30PM
Venue: Exhibition Galleries, Basement Level, National Museum of Singapore
Price: $25


4. Brush up your photography and writing with local poet and photographer Marc Nair 


Love writing and photography? Come meet a fellow hybrid – local poet and photographer Marc Nair will be exploring the connections between art, writing and photography. In his workshop, you’ll get to draw inspiration from the artworks and translate them into creative prose accompanied by beautiful photos – your own mini #masterpiece. 

Photowrite with Marc Nair
Date: Sat, 23 June 2018
Time: 2PM-4PM
Venue: Programmes Room, Basement Level, National Museum of Singapore
Price: $30


5. Discuss artworks over beer at HappyHourChats 


signature art prize 2018 happyhourchats SAM glass hall

Image credit: Singapore Art Museum

Instead of hitting up the bars right after work on Friday, here’s an idea to sneak some culture into your evening… while still having that beer. Head down to SAM for a chat about your favourite artworks over a round of drinks. HappyHourChats is a casual and laid back session, so no atas posturing here, just a session to listen to new perspectives and make a few friends while you’re at it too.

Dates: Fri, 27 Jul/ 10 Aug/ 31 Aug 2018
Time: 7PM-8.30PM
Venue: Singapore Art Museum Glass Hall
Price: $10 


Get mind-blown by art at Signature Art Prize 2018 


signature art prize 2018 singapore art museum

Image credit: Singapore Art Museum Facebook

Signature Art Prize 2018’s line up of interesting programmes promises a fulfilling time for everyone – yes, even if you’re a level zero art connoisseur. You can start small with their free talks for a mini eye-opener to the world of art. Or, hit the ground running by signing up for their other programmes that’ll let you dive really deep into the issues and ideas explored, as you hear from art professionals in the field. 

Head down to view the 15 artworks quick and don’t forget to cast your vote for your favourite artwork by 27 June! See you there!

Singapore Art Museum’s “Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Signature Art Prize 2018”
Date: 25 May 2018 to 2 September 2018
Time: Daily: 10AM-7PM 
Venue: National Museum of Singapore, Exhibition Galleries, Basement Level, 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897
Contact: 6589 9550
Admission price: Free! 

Find out more about SAM’s Signature Art Prize 2018 here!

This post was brought to you by Singapore Art Museum.