What could be more inspiring than to hold one's next brainstorming session or networking event in full view of artworks, either classic or provocative, or if not, surrounded by relics of your country's history? This quartet of venues below boast that type of enthralling ambiance.
METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF MANILA (THE MET)
Backstory: Established 37 years ago primarily to expose Filipinos to great foreign artworks, it has expanded its mission to include Filipino masters and promising talents. The Bangko Sentral (Central Bank) next door has also contributed tremendously to the Met's development, allowing its historically significant collections of ecclesiastic art and pre-hispanic gold and pottery among others to be exhibited there.
Venues to rent: Four sections in the facility are open for use for cocktail evenings, small concerts, lectures and product launches – Tall Gallery I, Tall Gallery IV, Galeriya Magsaysay Ho and Galeria Bangko Sentral. The Tall Galleries can hold 300 persons for dinner, 400 for cocktails, 300 for lectures, while the Bangko Sentral can cater dinners for 100 people, cocktails for 150 and lectures for 150.
Extra activities: Event planners can request that galleries can be kept open for viewing past normal operating hours while their functions are going on.
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART SHANGHAI (MOCA)
Backstory: The first independently operated contemporary art institution in Shanghai has the backing of the Shanghai Municipal Government and is funded by the Samuel Kung Foundation. It is primarily dedicated to the promotion of Chinese and international modern art as well encouraging cultural exchange between the city and the world.
Venues for rent: ArtLab, occupying the rooftop, is a extremely versatile offering. It consists of a restaurant, a lounge-bar showcasing specially curated artwork and an alfresco terrace with panoramic views of the city and nearby park. Groups of 60 to a little over 700 people can be accommodated here.
On the ground floor is Gallery One and on the first floor is Gallery Two, both glamorous architectural spaces that heighten viewing sensibilities, which adds to the ambiance of an evening reception. Also on level one is the 80 sqm multi-function room that lends itself to seminars, training workshops and conferences among others.
Extra activities: MOCA management takes pride in flexibility when it comes to client requests. Film viewings and small concerts are held at the gallery from time to time.
NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA (NGV), MELBOURNE
Backstory Founded in 1862, it is the oldest and largest public art gallery in Australia and a Melbourne icon that has grown its priceless collection of Australian and international masterpieces, thanks to the generosity of wealthy citizens like local businessman Alfred Felton. The industrialist's generous bequest in 1904 has helped NGV acquire over 15,000 art works through the years.
Venues for rent There are seven options available, the most dramatic being the Great Hall, featuring Leonard French’s breath-taking glass-stained ceiling – said to be the largest in the world – often the scene of cocktail receptions for up to 1,000 guests, dinners for up to 500 guests or a theatre-style set up for up to 600 guests. Fashion shows have also been staged here.
Consider also Federation Court, leading to the Great Hall, Persimmon Café & Bistro, which can be used together with the Grollo Equiset Garden, Multi-Media Lounge for more intimate gatherings coupled with a presentation, Clemenger-BBDO Auditorium featuring 250 fixed seats and a raised stage and the North Foyer outside this as an ideal space to offer hospitality before a lecture or workshop.
The Ian Potter Centre on Federation Square, part of NGV and home of Australian art, boasts three “foyers” and a theatrette with 105 seats.
Extra activities Galleries can be kept open for functions held after normal operating hours, or on the occasion of a major new exhibit such as Monet’s Garden from May 10-August 25, companies can book a viewing night for their corporate clients just as show sponsors Mazda and Singapore Airlines will be doing.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SINGAPORE
Backstory: The Lion City's oldest museum began life in 1849 as part of the library at the Singapore Institution. It is one of four national museums in the country, the other three being Asian Civilisations Museums, Old Tao Nan School and Singapore Art Museum, and focuses on exhibits related to Singapore history. It underwent a three-and-a-half-year restoration, reopening in December 2006, with a new addition, the Singapore History Gallery.
Venues for rent:There are two seminar rooms accommodating 90 people theatre style; the Glass Atrium for a 200-guest banquet or 400-guest cocktail reception with an accompanying concourse for 250 guests standing reception; and the extremely popular Salon, fringed by an outdoor terrace, that hosts 100 guests for a banquet, 120 seated theatre style and 150 for cocktails. Nestle and Audi recently entertained their top clients there.
Extra activities: To extend any exhibit beyond normal operating hours for corporate guests to view, certain charges apply. Other optional services such as tour guide, parking coupons, valet service, bus bay among others are available for a fee.