As a result of the border and travel restrictions implemented around the world to help curb the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease), National Gallery Singapore regretfully announces that its exhibition in partnership with the National Gallery of Australia, Matisse & Picasso: Friends, Rivals will be cancelled.
The border and travel restrictions in many countries worldwide have severely impacted the viability of artwork loans from international museums and their scheduled transportation to Singapore for the exhibition, which was to take place from 15 May to 16 August 2020. As with all exhibitions involving the transportation of artworks across countries, the masterpieces have to be accompanied by logistics personnel to ensure their safe delivery during the journey to Singapore. This important safety procedure will no longer be possible with the travel restrictions in place.
Dr. Eugene Tan, Director of National Gallery Singapore, said, “We understand that many in Singapore and Southeast Asia have been looking forward to the exhibition, just like the teams at both museums. While we are disappointed by this difficult decision, we have to prioritise the safety and well-being of all personnel involved in the logistical arrangements and installation works for the exhibition. We will continue to explore other opportunities in opening our visitors’ minds to important artists and artworks that have had a deep influence on the development of modern art in Singapore and Southeast Asia, and in the global art scene. This includes making available a selection of the Gallery’s artworks, curatorial, public and education programmes on our digital channels. We look forward to the continual support of our audience.”
National Gallery Singapore remains open. Since February 2020, Gallery has put in place precautionary measures in line with prevailing advisories from the authorities. These include increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfection services, implementing temperature screening and registration of all visitors, ensuring that visitors remain at a safe distance from one another, as well as temporarily suspending all our events, programmes and guided tours.
For a dose of arts and culture in this trying period, special exhibitions which remain open at the Gallery include Suddenly Turning Visible: Art and Architecture in Southeast Asia (1969-1989), Chua Soo Bin: Truths & Legends, Latiff Mohidin: Pago Pago, and Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden Commission: Cao Fei. Admission to the Gallery is free in the months of March and April 2020.