A few days into being stuck at home and that’s exactly how you may already be feeling—stuck. Confined in the four corners of your house due to the recent circumstances, those who were used to living an on-the-go lifestyle are bound to feel the itch to get out at some point.
Fortunately, an alternative to quench the need to see new sights and set out for discoveries has been made possible by technology.
If you find yourself looking for a way to explore art and culture during your idle time staying at home, search no further—here are 12 museums in Asia that you can visit virtually anytime, anywhere.
National Museum (Manila, Philippines)
Definitely one of the best places to check out for expanding your knowledge of the natural and cultural history of Filipinos and their environment, the National Museum has been home to many cultural and historical artifacts of the country.
Since it is unfortunately closed due to community quarantine currently, the insightful showcases of the National Museum can only be visited online through a virtual tour of the National Museum’s National Art Gallery at the moment.[READ: As a precaution against COVID-19, the National Museum will be closed]
Presidential Museum and Library (Manila, Philippines)
Showing both history and heritage, the Presidential Museum and Library housed at the Kalayaan Hall in Malacañan Palace serves as a tangible monument to a unique legacy that belongs to each and every Filipino.
It houses remarkable artworks and souvenirs from the Philippines’ rich political history, ranging from sculptures and portraits of its previous presidents to copies of official historical records and more.
Accessible to the general public, official visitors and guests, the Presidential Museum and Library can also be accessed online through a virtual tour.
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Seoul, South Korea)
Carrying out their commitment to local art and culture by enriching the first-hand cultural experience of the viewing public, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in South Korea upholds itself as a representative institution of Korean modern art.
Having a total of four branches—namely in Gwacheon, Deoksugung, Seoul and Cheongju, the MMCA’s primary aim is to offer a culturally rewarding experience to its visitors.
Opened to the public in 2013, its branch in Seoul sits in the heart of the city and focuses on introducing global contemporary art. However, one does not need to move an inch to see its beauty as it offers a glimpse of its magnificent interior and picturesque surroundings through its virtual tour.
National Museum of Korea (Seoul, South Korea)
Combining Korean history and life from various periods and dynasties, the National Museum of Korea is one of the perfect places to check out for those interested in exploring the essence of the country’s arts and culture.
With its wide collection, the museum also aims to cater to people of all ages and interests. Check out their collection of porcelain, ornaments, vases and artifacts from various eras in Korean history through its virtual tour.
Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art (Gyeonggi, South Korea)
With the aim of pleasing and awakening the creativity of museum-goers, the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art decorates its halls and panels with a burst of colors and eye-catching elements of contemporary art.
The pieces it curates hope to establish the connection between art and everyday life, artwork and viewer, and local and global—and they can be viewed in its virtual tour.
Museum of Contemporary Art (Bangkok, Thailand)
An avenue to communicate, promote and share authentic Thai art and culture to both Thai people and people from all over the world, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Bangkok aims to showcase the rich legacy and heritage of the country for generations.
Brimming with colors and various interesting elements, the large collection of valuable paintings and sculptures created by famous Thai artists are readily and easily accessible not just through the museum itself but also through its enjoyable virtual tour.
Tokyo Fuji Art Museum (Tokyo, Japan)
Founded in 1983, the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum (TFAM) aims to make its mark as “a museum creating bridges around the world” by promoting cultural exchange through art.
Comprising approximately 30,000 Japanese, Eastern and Western artworks, the TFAM collection ranges from paintings, prints, photography, sculptures, ceramics and lacquerware to armor, swords, and medallions from various periods and cultures.
This expansive collection may be viewed through its aesthetically pleasing virtual tour.
The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma (Takasaki, Japan)
Launched in 1974, The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma continues to expand its collection to create a museum suited to the twenty-first century.
Taking pride in its wide range of modern Japanese and modern Western art, contemporary art and textile, The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma can be visited through a virtual tour which previews pieces from foreign artists like Claude Monet and Edvard Munch along with masterpieces of artists born in Gunma, including Fukuzawa Ichiro, Yamaguchi Kaoru and Tsuruoka Masao.
Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan)
Collecting and exhibiting the region’s modern and contemporary art, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum aims to present the originality and charm of Asian art in a unique and refreshing way which sets it apart from any other museum in the world.
Serving as an avenue for Asian modern and contemporary art which are rich in depth and quality, the museum may be visited via an insightful virtual tour which previews pieces from artists like Carlos V. Francisco and Vicente Manansala from the Philippines, Abdur Rahman Chughtai from Pakistan, Lee Mingtze from Taiwan and more.
Museum Nasional Indonesia (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Opened to the public in 1868, Museum Nasional Indonesia serves as a center of culture and tourism information which proudly houses objects of cultural heritage of Indonesia.
It is popular in the country, most especially with the residents of Jakarta, as the “Elephant Building” or “Elephant Museum” because of the bronze elephant statue gift from Thailand’s King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) that welcomes museum-goers upon entrance.
Its current total of 141,899-managed collection of objects from seven types of collections of prehistoric, archaeological, ceramics, numismatik-heraldic, history, ethnography and geography may be seen through its virtual tour which offers a very insightful introduction into the country’s culture.
Singapore Art Museum (Singapore, Singapore)
Another haven for contemporary art lovers, the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) puts a focus on art-making and art-thinking in Singapore, Southeast Asia, and Asia. Thus encompassing a worldwide perspective on contemporary art practice, SAM has been providing an enjoyable creative space in the country since it was established in 1996.
Fortunately, art lovers may explore its vast collections of contemporary art from the region through a virtual tour which covers every floor, courtyard and corner of the museum.
National Gallery Singapore (Singapore, Singapore)
Landing itself among the world’s leading public collections of modern art from Singapore and Southeast Asia, the National Gallery Singapore houses over 8,000 works from the 19th and 20th centuries in all media, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography and video.
Discover more about Asian heritage and cultural affiliations through National Gallery Singapore’s comprehensive collection in its virtual tour.
Header photo courtesy of National Museum of the Philippines
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Writer: YANN MAGCAMIT