Collections

The Museum has over 7,000 artefacts and artworks divided across four collections.


The Lee Kong Chian collection showcases Chinese art covering a span of some 7,000 years of culture and civilisation. Through the collection, the student of Chinese art is able to trace its development from the beginning of civilisation in Neolithic times to the early-and mid-twentieth centuries, and over China’s vast and diverse geography. The artworks in the collection are mainly classified under ceramics, painting and calligraphy, bronze and sculpture.
For more on the Lee Kong Chian collection, click here


The South & Southeast Asian collection encompasses materials from the classical traditions as well as modern trends and consists of ceramics, textiles, sculptures and paintings & drawings. This collection primarily was initiated as a teaching resource in 1955, the South and Southeast Asian Collection comprises paintings, classical and modern sculptures, textiles and ceramics. The collection is well represented by works of émigré painters such as Chen Wen Hsi, Cheong Soo Pieng and Liu Kang as well as early works of later generation of Singapore and Malaysian modern artists. Hindu and Buddhist classical sculptures, Southeast Asian ceramics and textiles and Chinese trade ceramics complete the collection.
For more on the South & Southeast Asian collection, click here


The Ng Eng Teng collection spans 45 years of continuous activity by Ng Eng Teng (1934 – 2001), Singapore’s most important modern sculptor. Included in the collection are sculptures, ceramics forms, marquettes, paintings and drawings, donated by the artist to facilitate research and interests into materials, processes, and artistic development.
For more on the Ng Eng Teng collection, click here.


The Straits Chinese collection is located at Baba House (157 Neil Road), a typical Singaporean shophouse built around 1900s. Restored by a team of architectural and heritage experts, the building provides a typical example of the ornate architectural and decorative features of a house that had belonged to a Straits Chinese family. Straits Chinese refers to descendents of earlier Chinese immigrants arriving in Southeast Asia as early as the late 15th century. Complementing the history of the House, fixtures and artefacts, forming the Straits Chinese collection, are conceptualised along an evolving perspectives on material culture associated to the Straits Chinese around the 1920s, characterised by a tension between syncretism and identity.
For more on the Straits Chinese collection, click here.


See a sampling of our collection at our official NUS Museum website, and Virtual Collection of Masterpieces, a project of ASEMUS (Asia-Europe Museum Network)