Under-the-Radar Singapore Art Secrets

One of my favourite pieces in the Ritz-Carlton Singapore art collection: Frank Stella's Moby Dick.
One of my favourite pieces in the Ritz-Carlton Singapore art collection: Frank Stella’s Moby Dick.





Looking for something different to do next time you visit Singapore?  Check out the self-guided tour of the Ritz-Carlton Singapore art collection.

It’s free.  It’s fun.  It’s filled with famous names.  Valued at $5M, there are 4200 pieces in the collection.  (Although they’re not all on display at one time.)

Puttin on the Ritz for Singapore art

Take the Circle Line MRT to the Promenade exit.  As I mentioned in my earlier post it’s easy to get around on the MRT.  

Check out the spectacular Roy Lichtenstein Sculptures Plaza in the Millenia Walk shopping mall.  It’s on your way to the link bridge which takes you to the Ritz-Carlton. 


 Lichtenstein's Brush Strokes. More fabulous Singapore art.
Lichtenstein’s Brush Strokes. More fabulous Singapore art.

When you get to the hotel head for Guest Relations.   When I visited there was an exquisite set of Henry Moore etchings on the wall behind the Guest Relations desk. 

The staff will swap your passport for one of those itty bitty postage stamp size iPods.  (What do they think you are going to do?  Run off with the device?  Steal one of those sublime Henry Moores?  Come to think of it, they would look good in Yana de Lys’s salon, next to my etching of Captain Cook.)   

The tour starts at the hotel entrance where Zhu Wei’s Mao Figures lean forward to welcome visitors.  A pop art take on China’s famous terracotta warriors.
Moving inside you can’t help noticing the magnificent lobby stairs.  A work of art.  Or is that technically architecture?

Art and architecture collide when you explore the Ritz-Carlton Singapore's art tour.
Art and architecture collide when you explore the Ritz-Carlton Singapore’s art tour.

 Moby Dick is near the pool

One of my favourite works in the collection is Frank Stella’s Moby Dick.  

The wall sculptures are apparently inspired by movies of beluga whales. I don’t get the connection, but maybe I haven’t watched enough movies about beluga whales.  I certainly haven’t seen any when I’ve been sailing.

You can make up your own mind when you see the two pieces from the series in the lower lobby leading to the swimming pool.

While I was examining details of the finish up close, looking for evidence of whales, I reflected on how art seems so much more alive when it’s not in a museum.
Some guests were relaxing in the lounge chairs, discussing their love life.  Not wanting to eavesdrop I moved on.
Through Dale Chihuly’s  magnificent Anemone Wall in the Chihuly Lounge and a wealth of treasures.  Including a rare Andy Warhol Poppy serigraph.

Me and Andy Warhol Puttin on the Ritz
Me and Andy Warhol Puttin on the Ritz

David Hockney is waiting for you in gym

I was grateful when the receptionist at the gym handed me a bottle of water. I was parched.   

The David Hockney in the gym lobby is not one of his famous swimming pool pieces.  That would be too obvious wouldn’t it? It’s a crayon lithograph from the Celia portraits series.

Do you have any Singapore art secrets to share?  Let me know your comments. Maybe I’ll check out your ideas on my next visit to Singapore.



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I'm a sailing traveller floating around South East Asia on my boat Yana de Lys. I spend as much time as I can exploring the back streets and pretending to act like a local. Everything I talk about is simply based on my own experiences. (But hey - I'm open to sponsorship offers from five star hotels and stuff. Bring it on!) Get in touch with me on: +61 411 220 592 and +61 8 6255 5074 penny@sailingtravelblog.com

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