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3 new multi-use art spaces in Singapore that double up as restaurants, co-working spaces, and bars

These venues include Telok Ayer Arts Club, 21 Moonstone, and Supernormal.

While listening to sounds from automated sculptures by artist Abigail Goh, 25, visitors to Telok Ayer Arts Club can sip on a special cocktail – Sweet Melody – inspired by the art.

This new restaurant cum arts space in McCallum Street opens today (aug 27) with the exhibition starting on Wednesday (aug 29).

“It’s not just a restaurant with art for sale. We wanted to involve the artists in a different way and get them to develop work in conversation with the space,” says Anmari Van Nieuwenhove, 29, co-curator of the arts club.

The space, started by Ms Quek Sue-Shan, founder of The Supermarket Company and Mr Hasnor Sidik, music director of Telok Ayer Arts Club, is the newest addition to the handful of multi-use arts spaces in Singapore.

(RELATED: Quek Sue-Shan on the lessons she learnt from her father)

21 Moonstone for example, which is in the Bendemeer area, is a co-working space with an art studio and hosts occasional bar nights.

“It’s a very free-spirited space,” says 24-year-old singer Narelle Kheng from band The Sam Willows, who co-founded the space about a year ago with three friends.

Another space which was set up at around the same time is Supernormal in Kreta Ayer Road, founded by multi-disciplinary design studio Modular Unit. By the middle of next month, it will move to a larger location in Desker Road.

The independent arts space has had “visual arts exhibitions, music performances, short film or video art screenings, discussion panels, artist talks and even a pingpong competition – part of our fund raising,” says co-founder of Modular Unit Ong Kian Peng, 37.

“We started the space for many reasons, some of which include having a platform which can allow an organic growth of the art scene in Singapore, and having a centre of activity for young and emerging artists,” said Mr Ong.

(RELATED: Why Rice CEO Colin Goh champions Singapore’s homegrown artists)

The first exhibition at Telok Ayer Arts Club will be in-inhabitations, which is inspired by the renovation works that took place there.

Artist Goh has been collecting objects, such as old pipes, tiles and copper wires from the work site, which she will turn into automated sculptures which generate sound.

Also part of the exhibition are drawings which consist of lines, shapes and forms on paper, which Goh says are visible representations of sound. “A sound’s loudness, sharpness, dullness, weight, movement, arrangements, layers and tone can all be depicted on paper,” she adds.

Each time a new artist’s work is on display the culinary team will come up with a new dessert and cocktail that is inspired by the art.

Telok Ayer Arts Club will also host music events and club nights, called Kelab Malam. The first music event, titled Primordial Stance, will feature artist Ruben Pang, 28, and a group of four other musicians. This takes place on Sept 11.

Adds Ms Van Nieuwenhove: “We want to explore the different creative outputs that all of us have and we’re excited by the discourse that will come out of it.”

(RELATED: Why Anthonia Hui is among Singapore’s biggest patrons of the arts)

This article was originally published in The Straits Times.

Photo: ST/SPH