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Singapore Biennale 2011

The 3rd edition of the Singapore Biennale, titled ’Open House’, is being held from 13 March to 15 May and will feature over 150 works by 63 artists from 30 countries. Janice Seow reports.

Singapore Biennale 2011


March 16th, 2011

For 32 days beginning on the 4th of April, Singapore’s iconic landmark, the Merlion, will be transformed into a temporary luxury hotel suite that will be open in the day for public viewing and in the evening for overnight stays.


The Merlion Hotel – artist’s rendering (2011), Tatzu Nishi

Designed by Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi, the hotel is just one of many key commissioned works being produced for the 3rd Singapore Biennale (SB2011).

Established in 2006, the Singapore Biennale is the largest contemporary art exhibition in Southeast Asia, and sees its role as being the country’s major platform for international dialogue in contemporary art.


Noon Nom (2001-2002), Pinaree Sanpitak, Negotiating Home, History and Nation exhibition, SAM


Another Woman (1996), Amanda Heng, Negotiating Home, History and Nation exhibition, SAM

This year’s show, titled ’Open House’, suggests the crossing of thresholds between public and private spaces. The event will bring together artworks that offer multiple perspectives and myriad creative approaches to questions of how we move across borders, see other points of view, and form connections with others.


Under Estimate (1999), Apotik Komik, Negotiating Home, History and Nation exhibition, SAM


Give Me More Questions (1997), Agus Suwage, Negotiating Home, History and Nation exhibition, SAM

The programme is led by Artistic Director Matthew Ngui, and organised by the Singapore Art Museum (SAM).

“As an artist, I have a strong desire to focus this biennale on artistic process and to communicate this to both the Singaporean public and international visitors… The curatorial team have worked hard to arrive at the heart of SB2011 Open House by connecting these artistic processes to what we do every day, such as working, commuting, shopping, and eating, as well as obsessive or recreational activities in private or public,” says Matthew Ngui.


Frequency and Volume: Relational Architecture 9, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Old Kallang Airport

The biennale will run at 4 key venues: Marina Bay, Singapore Art Museum and SAM at 8Q, National Museum of Singapore, and Old Kallang Airport. Singapore’s first civil airport opened in 1937 and the festival offers the opportunity to once again enter a space that has played an important part in the country’s history.


Main image: Briccio Santos, Heritage Tunnel

Singapore Biennale




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