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(Guided Tours) For the House; Against the House: Life Imitates Art

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Gillman Barracks

9 Lock Road


Singapore, 108937


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Event description
A unique debate format where art illustrates the arguments.

About this event


Please register to secure a slot (donations are encouraged!). Limited to 15 pax per tour. Guests must remain in sub-groups of 5 and shall not intermingle between sub-groups.

Please bring along wired earphones as audio devices will be provided to facilitate safe distancing.

Curator-led Tours

  • 22 Jan 2022, Sat | 3–4pm, 6–7pm (FULL)

Docent-led Tours

  • 15 Jan 2022, Sat | 3–4pm (FULL), 6–7pm (1 left)
  • 16 Jan 2022, Sun | 3–4pm, 6–7pm (FULL)
  • 20 Jan 2022, Thu | 6–7pm (2 left)
  • 21 Jan 2022, Fri | 6–7pm (FULL), 7–8pm (1 left)
  • 23 Jan 2022, Sun | 3–4pm (FULL), 6–7pm (1 left)



DATES 14 – 23 January 2022

VENUE Gillman Barracks 9 Lock Road #03-22

OPENING HOURS Tue - Sun : 11 AM - 7 PM | Fri : 11 AM - 9 PM | Closed on Mondays

ADMISSION Free admission (No registration required)

In accordance with safe distancing measures, we seek your patience and understanding while we limit the capacity to 60 pax at any point in time.


"Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life" — Oscar Wilde, “The Decay of Lying” (1889)

In the year 1959, Singapore had just gained full internal self-governance. The Ministry of Culture was then established to focus on the “creation of a sense of national identity”. How far have we come in achieving this goal today?

The common refrain art imitates life bears serious implications for the use of art in nation-building. If such a statement holds true, art would simply reflect the non-presence of a Singaporean identity. Art must introduce something into the realm of everyday life, one that is not already present in lived experiences, so as to effect a change. For art to have any impact on life itself, life must necessarily imitate art.

For the House; Against the House looks at the evolution of Singapore's arts and cultural landscape through a unique debate format where art illustrates the arguments. Let curator John Tung take you through the propositions and oppositions as artworks from private collections and new commissions chart Singapore’s path towards a "cultural renaissance". You get the final vote on the role art has had to play in shaping our national identity today.

For the House; Against the House will take place as part of Singapore Art Week 2022, held from 14 to 23 January 2022.

For more information, visit:

ADVISORY ON COVID-19 (as of 21 November 2021)

We will be welcoming only fully vaccinated, recovered, or medically ineligible individuals, or children aged 12 years and below, according to the current permitted group size of 5.

In accordance with vaccination-differentiated safe management measures (VDS) for entry into museums, there will no longer be a concession for unvaccinated individuals to perform PET.

Please present your TraceTogether app of token, or any of the following documents for entry:

  • Vaccination status and test results on the HealthHub App.
  • Physical vaccination certificates/reports/cards under the National Vaccination Programme.
  • Physical ART or PCR results slips from MOH-approved COVID-19 test providers.
  • Pre-Event Testing (PET) exemption notice.


OH! Open House is an independent arts organisation that tells alternative stories of Singapore through art. Since 2009, we have provided more than 25,000 people with the unique experience of appreciating art and heritage outside of museums and galleries — from strangers’ homes to under-utilised public spaces. We work with artists to present art in unconventional locations, or in surprising new ways. Through our diverse programmes, OH! creates opportunities to understand and connect with the everyday on a more meaningful level.


As Singapore’s signature visual arts season, Singapore Art Week (SAW) represents the unity and pride of a diverse and vibrant arts community. In its 10th edition, SAW 2022 will be a celebration of the Singapore visual arts in its decade of growth - in the practices of Singapore artists, in the formats of presentation and in the spaces these will inhabit.

SAW 2022 will run from 14 January to 23 January 2022, with over 130 events with art across the island and online, featuring new works, transnational collaborations, and virtual art experience. Audiences all over the world can access and discover the exciting art in Singapore’s arts and cultural institutions and beyond, or engage in enriching discussions, talks, public art walks and tours. A catalyst of creativity, SAW 2022 continues to be a spotlight, gathering and launchpad for the arts community in Singapore.

SAW 2022 is a joint initiative by the National Arts Council (NAC) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

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Organiser OH! Open House

Organiser of (Guided Tours) For the House; Against the House: Life Imitates Art

OH! Open House is an independent arts organisation that tells alternative stories of Singapore through art.

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