Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre
Living in a multicultural country like Singapore exposes us to various customs and traditions. Whether we’re visiting our Malay friends’ homes during Hari Raya or marvelling at the chio lights and colourful textiles in Little India during Deepavali, there’s never a dull season.
If there’s one place you should visit to learn more about our Chinese culture that’s uniquely Singaporean, it’s Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre. It’s located in a modern, architecturally-driven building in the heart of the CBD.
Here, you’ll find various exhibitions, performances, and even a “hidden” rooftop with the occasional light installation for the ‘Gram – all for free.
Explore an interactive exhibition or get to know legendary artists
Just one of the photo spots you can find at the centre.
No matter how many times you’ve visited the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, you’ll always see something new. Tick the centre’s permanent exhibition, Singapo人: Discovering Chinese Singaporean Culture, off your list of things to do in Singapore.
Then, set forth and explore 5 interactive zones that are dedicated to elements that contribute to our Chinese Singaporean identity – whether it’s food, language, or traditions, you name it. Visitors will be given an RFID wristband, which they can scan to answer questions and play games while exploring the exhibition.
Try your hand at an interactive kopi-making game or vote for your favourite Singaporean food. Upon reaching the end of the exhibition, you can use your wristband to generate customised “report cards” that’ll show you your unique Singaporean traits.
Artist Xu Beihong was once offered $500,000 for this painting – which he rejected.
Image credit: @singaporechineseculturalcentre
While you’re there, don’t miss the roster of exhibitions that change occasionally. Get acquainted with legendary local artists such as Lim Tze Peng and Xu Beihong at temporary exhibition, Treasures of the Clans, which is running from now until 31st July.
A collaboration with Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations, the exhibition features “heirlooms” from 16 Chinese clan associations. You’ll find over 80 paintings and calligraphy works, each reflecting the artists’ connection with their respective clans over the past 100 years. This is one you can enjoy with the entire family, parents included.
Get some fresh air at the rooftop garden
Image credit: @peppahono
On the topmost floor of Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, there’s a “hidden” rooftop garden that is free to all. It’s a lush, open-air garden flanked by glass curtain walls that overlook the city skyline on one side and sea views of Marina South on the other. If you ever need a breather from a hectic work day while in the CBD, you know where to go.
The centre hosts IG-worthy exhibits from time to time.
Sometimes, the rooftop hosts temporary outdoor exhibitions or installations that make chio backdrops for the ‘Gram. From life-sized angbaos during Lunar New Year to beautiful crystal-inspired sculptures, the centre’s done it all before.
Dive into our Chinese Singaporean culture
Image credit: DP Architects
Deep dive into how Singapore’s unique Chinese culture came to be at Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre. With various exhibitions to keep you entertained and plenty of photo spots, it’s worth making a trip to this part of town for some alone time or for a family activity even your parents would appreciate.
Getting there: The nearest MRT is Tanjong Pagar, which is just a 5-minute walk away. If you’re taking the Downtown Line, stop at Downtown and walk for 12 minutes. Alternatively, hop on one of the many buses that stop at “Opposite AXA Tower” and “UIC Building”.
Address: 1 Straits Boulevard, Singapore 018906
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10am-8pm | Mon 2pm-8pm
Telephone: 6812 7222
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Cover image adapted from: @peppahono