About the Rotunda Library & Archive Collection
National Gallery Singapore was established in 2015 as a leading visual arts institution overseeing the world’s largest public collection of Singapore and Southeast Asian modern and contemporary art. Guided by its curatorial vision to present the art histories of Singapore and Southeast Asia; reflexively (re)write the art histories of Singapore and Southeast Asia; and examine these art histories in relation to the global history of art, the Gallery has developed a significant collection of artists’ archives and a reference library focusing on Singapore and Southeast Asian art.
Every Monday - Friday | 10 am - 5 pm | National Gallery Singapore @the Rotunda Library & Archive | Free for Singaporean & PRs | Admission for Non Singaporean
The Gallery’s Rotunda, located at the heart of the UOB Southeast Asia Gallery (Level 3, Supreme Court Wing), is a site of historical importance. During the building’s former life as the Supreme Court of Singapore, the Rotunda served as the Law Library. Housed in this historical space, the Rotunda Library & Archive extends the memory of this site while serving a new function as a research hub for the study of art history in Southeast Asia.
Monday - Friday: 10 am - 12.30 pm, 2 pm - 5 pm
Closed on public holidays
- 11 February 2021 (Thursday): Open from 10 am - 12.30 pm
- 12 February 2021 (Friday): Closed
The Rotunda Library & Archive is open to walk-in visitors.
As enhanced Safe Management Measures and capacity limits are in place, researchers who wish to consult reference or archival materials at the Rotunda Library & Archive are encouraged to write to [email protected] in advance. Priority for entry will be given to those who have made appointments.
How to use the Rotunda Library & Archive
Please click here for frequently asked questions about accessing and using our library & archive and Collections Search Portal
For any enquiries, please email us
The Rotunda Library & Archive has been building partnerships with artists, artist estates, art communities and institutions in Singapore and Southeast Asia to digitise rare archival materials. Below are some highlights from our archive.
Chen Wen Hsi, Liu Kang, Cheong Soo Pieng, Luo Ming, Chen Chong Swee, Zhou Bichu at Rudolf Bonnet’s house, Bali, July 1952.
Digitised by National Gallery Singapore Library & Archive with kind permission from Chen Chi Sing @ Tan Chay Lee.
S. Sudjojono’s sketch of his self-portrait with notes, Indonesia, 1982.
Digitised by National Gallery Singapore Library & Archive with kind permission from Sudjojono Centre RC-I1-SS1-1
Kim Lim at her studio, during her study at Central Saint-Martins, London, UK, 1959.
Digitised by National Gallery Singapore Library & Archive with kind permission from Turnbull Studio RC-S49-KL3.6-5
Sketches by Hernando R Ocampo, Philippines, 1948.
Digitised by National Gallery Singapore Library & Archive with kind permission from HR Ocampo's 19544 scrapbook, Collection of National Gallery Singapore. RC-P3-HRO1.
Tan Teng Kee and his work Fire Sculpture, Normanton Park Estate, Singapore, 1978.
Digitised by National Gallery Singapore Library & Archive with kind permission from Tan Teng-Kee. RC-M2-TTK1.1-3
The Rotunda Library & Archive aims to be a leading library housing one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of Singapore and Southeast Asian art-historical resources from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
Our collection currently holds over 20,000 physical and digital items, including rare publications, exhibition catalogues, ephemera and digital archives, made possible through generous donations, publication exchanges with various art institutions in the region, and partnerships with the estates of Southeast Asian modern art pioneers, such as Georgette Chen and Lim Hak Tai (Singapore), S. Sudjojono (Indonesia) and Kalaw Ledesma Foundation (the Philippines).
Most archival acquisitions are conducted through loans or donations from the archives’ owners (artists, artists’ families, estates and art communities). The Library & Archive preserves the donated physical archives and digitises loaned archives.
A large selection of materials in our Library & Archive collection is searchable here (You will be redirected to our Collections Search Portal). Due to copyright restrictions and levels of permission from the archive owners, some items are only available for viewing onsite. You can view these items in the Collections Search Portal with our digital viewing facility at the Gallery’s Rotunda Library & Archive.