Free things to do and see in Singapore in January and February

·Lifestyle Editor
·5-min read

They say the best things in life are free, and it truly is with the fun activities happening in Singapore right now! Here's a highlight of what you can do without spending a dime.

What: “The Dreamer”, AliWALL Festival 2022

Where: Aliwal Art Centre

When: 21-23 January

Ever got chided for daydreaming? At visual artist Howie Kim’s Permission to Dream exhibition, you can finally let your mind wander and cast away unrealistic expectations imposed on you. Expect no less than an immersive, multi-sensory experience featuring an array of fantasy-filled digital art, performances, set designs and sounds. Unveil Kim’s many layers of surreal art via different coloured lenses. This is one installation you have got to experience for yourself.

You will encounter a larger-than-life inflatable sculpture designed by Howie Kim at the Courtyard. Although the inflatable is seemingly innocuous, it takes on another life when you activate its augmented reality (AR) filter with your smartphone.

Visit aliwalartscentre.sg/aliwall-the-dreamer

What: Street Art and Murals: Beyond Framed Narratives and Cliches

Where: Kampong Glam District

When: 21-23 January

Take a stroll around the culturally-rich Kampong Gelam and look out for massive art murals depicting the district’s heritage. While you take your OOTDs against the numerous murals, the artists and curators would like you to take a moment and ponder the place of street art in the community. Should they serve the purpose as an interesting backdrop for the Instagram account, or should they make a statement?

Are you visiting on a Saturday? Look out for Saturday's Plan, an art market taking place on 22 January, between 11am - 9pm on Saturday. Have a chat with artists and creatives as you pick up prints, zines, stickers, and even perhaps a flash tattoo?

For complete programme line-up and ticketing, head to aliwalartscentre.sg.

What: Art Takes Over, Singapore Art Week (SAW) 2022

Where: Islandwide

When: 14 – 28 Jan

PHOTO: Singapore Art Week 2022
PHOTO: Singapore Art Week 2022

Singapore Art Week (SAW) 2022 returns in its 10th edition with festival favourites and fresh offerings. This year, you will find art coming to you instead of the usual staid art gallery artwork displays. Aptly named “Art Takes Over”, don’t be surprised if you come up-close-and-personal with art while tucking into your favourite hawker dish. From Bras Basah, Bugis, Civic District, Marina Bay, Tanjong Pagar, Gillman Barracks, to other neighbourhoods – SAW 2022 will bring art to the masses in retail, industrial spaces, hawker centres and more. With over 130 programmes threading through physical and digital platforms, there’s something for everyone to discover.

Time Present Time Past

DECK (Bras Basah District)

11 – 28 January

Travel back to the glory days of traditional Chinese street opera at Time Present Time Past at DECK. Wander around the pop-up street opera stage and discover behind-the-scene stories of yesteryears.

Tanjong Pagar Distripark (Tanjong Pagar)

14 – 23 January

Welcome to the future world of art. At Tanjong Pagar Distripark (TPD), art goes beyond the usual white cube to offer you unexpected experiences. Transport yourself into another realm with SAW Open Call projects set in the expansive warehouse space and a cargo lift for the first time. It’s time to let your mind wander.

Hawker! Hawker!

Lau Pa Sat (Civic District)

7 – 28 January

The iconic Lau Pa Sat serves as the perfect showcase of local and New York-based artists, paying tribute to our much-cherished hawker culture. So why not take a rest with a plate of your favourite local dish and a kopi-C as you partake in the art displays around the hawker centre.

What: Yip Yew Chong’s farm installation

Where: Malay Heritage Centre

When: 22 & 23 January

Farm installation. PHOTO: Yip Yew Chong
Farm installation. PHOTO: Yip Yew Chong

By now, you would probably have seen the larger-than-life murals featuring familiar scenes in our grandparents' days in the Chinatown area. Chances are, these installations are a labour of love by local mural artist Yip Yew Chong. The latest installation by Yip comprises a total of 24 hand-painted chickens and 25 hand-painted ducks on plastic perforated boards and was last seen at Marina Bay on 26 December 2021.

What: Light to Night

Where: National Gallery Singapore and the Civic District

When: 14 January to 3 February

Once again, the civic district is transformed into a magical array of installations and light displays. This year, you can expect even more immersive experiences, as well as AR art installations that are unlike any you have seen before.

Read more here.

What: Wan Qing Festival of Spring 2022

Where: Sun Yat-Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

When: 11 January – 13 February

Blessings Come A-Knocking lawn installation. Photo: Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
Blessings Come A-Knocking lawn installation. Photo: Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

There’s no better place to be than Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall (SYSNMH) if you wish to partake in the Lunar New Year spirit. Celebrations are in place with the line-up of programmes and activities catering to everyone of all ages.

Expect family-friendly offerings such as lion dance and festive drumming workshops, heritage trails, guided tours, craft activities for the little ones, and more. Delve into the world of nian Hua; woodblock prints used to decorate Chinese homes for the Lunar New Year for centuries. Watch artworks come to life at the annual thematic installation, Blessings Come A-Knocking (祈福临门) and share your Lunar New Year OOTD on their social channels where you stand to win limited-edition merchandise.

Online programmes will also be available on Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/sysnmh).

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