Singapore on Tuesday opened to the public a Sg$532 million ($376 million) National Gallery that boasts the world's biggest public collection of Southeast Asian modern art.
The new attraction is housed inside the British colonial-era former City Hall and Supreme Court buildings, which were fused into a single facility during a 10-year makeover.
The gallery houses a collection of modern art from across Southeast Asia comprising over 8,000 works from the 19th and 20th centuries in all media, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography and video, officials said.
They include the works of artists like Raden Saleh of Indonesia, Fernando Amorsolo and Imelda Cajipe-Andaya of the Philippines, U Ba Nyan of Myanmar, Nguyen Gia Tri of Vietnam, Latiff Mohidin of Malaysia, Montien Boonma of Thailand and Svay Ken of Cambodia.
The gallery also has a dedicated Singapore art collection and will feature international exhibitions from time to time.
The project is part of the city-state's efforts to become a hub of culture and the arts and shed its traditional image as a strait-laced society fixated on commerce and finance.
A number of smaller museums and galleries have sprouted in recent years in the same district.
"I hope that in time Singaporeans will grow to love the gallery and that it will become the pride of Singapore," Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who led opening celebrations on Monday, said in a Facebook post.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (R) takes a picture of digital interactive media during the opening of the newly restored National Gallery in Singapore on November 23, 2015. Photo: AFP/Mohd Fyrol