The fences are down so look inside: Singapore Biennale 2011’s Old Kallang Airport – picture feast

CONTEMPORARY ART EVENTS SOUTHEAST ASIA

Since its closure 66 years ago, what lied inside Kallang Airport in Singapore had been a mystery to the city’s residents and visitors alike. For the duration of  the Singapore Biennale 2011 (13 March to 15 May), the airport has been reopened, transformed into an exhibition venue and renamed Old Kallang Airport.

Martin Creed, 'Work No. 890: Don't Worry', 2008, yellow neon, 50.8 cm x 500 cm x 6 cm. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Martin Creed, 'Work No. 890: Don't Worry', 2008, yellow neon, 50.8 cm x 500 cm x 6 cm. Image by Art Radar Asia.

This historical venue sees 32 of the 63 total Biennale artists from all over the world coming together to exhibit in the East Block, Garden, West Block, Hangar and Terminal Building . The venue presents work by the greatest number of artists when compared with any of the other Biennale exhibition sites spread across Singapore: the Singapore Art MuseumSAM at 8Q, the National Museum of Singapore and Marina Bay.

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Michael Lee Hong Hwee, 'Office Orchitect', 2011, studio of fictitious architect, KS Wong; installation with models, prints and research notes, dimensions variable. Commissioned by Singapore Biennale 2011. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Michael Lee, 'Office Orchitect', 2011, studio of fictitious architect, KS Wong; installation with models, prints and research notes, dimensions variable. Commissioned by Singapore Biennale 2011. Image by Art Radar Asia.

The artists housed in Old Kallang Airport include Song-Ming Ang, Leonor Antunes, Michael Beutler, Genevieve Chua, Phil Collins, Martin Creed, Elmgreen and Dragset, Ceal Floyer (also at SAM at 8Q), Sheela Gowda, Kyungah Ham, Leopold Kessler (also at National Museum of Singapore), Charles LaBelle, Michael Lee (Hong Hwee), Charles Lim, Michael Lin, John Low, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Robert MacPherson, Jill Magid (also at National Museum of Singapore), Dane Mitchell, Tracey Moffatt, Mike Nelson, Rubén Ramos Balsa, Lisi Raskin, Martha Rosler, Arin Rungjang, Charles Sandison, Taryn Simon, Nedko Solakov, Danh Vo, Gosia Wlodarczak and Ming Wong.

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Ming Wang, 'Devo partire. Domani', 2010, five-channel video installation, 12m:58s, co-commissioned by Singapore Biennale 2011 and Napoli Teatro Festival. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Ming Wong, 'Devo partire. Domani', 2010, five-channel video installation, 12m:58s, co-commissioned by Singapore Biennale 2011 and Napoli Teatro Festival. Image by Art Radar Asia.

While some visitors and critics have called the venue stuffy and in an inconvenient location, others declared the choice to be an innovative use of historical space. Art writer and curator Robin Peckham offers more insight into the works on display at the venue in a photo tour published on online culture magazine, Randian.

Michael Beutler, 'Double Up', 2011 mesh wire, paper and wire, dimensions variable. Commissioned by Singapore Biennale 2011. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Michael Beutler, 'Double Up', 2011 mesh wire, paper and wire, dimensions variable. Commissioned by Singapore Biennale 2011. Image by Art Radar Asia.

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Elmgreen & Dragset, 'Deutsche Scheune / German Barn', 2011, steel, plywood, concrete, hay, taxidermied goat, tyre, tools, farming tools, antlers and performers with typical German-style farmers costumes, 800 m x 700 m x 1400 m. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Elmgreen & Dragset, 'Deutsche Scheune / German Barn', 2011, steel, plywood, concrete, hay, taxidermied goat, tyre, tools, farming tools, antlers and performers with typical German-style farmers costumes, 800 m x 700 m x 1400 m. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, 'Frequency and Volume: Relational Architecture 9', 2003, projectors, cameras, computers, radioelectric scanners, antennae, radios and 48-channel sound system, dimensions variable. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, 'Frequency and Volume: Relational Architecture 9', 2003, projectors, cameras, computers, radioelectric scanners, antennae, radios and 48-channel sound system, dimensions variable. Image by Art Radar Asia.

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'Self-Portrait, Our Landscape (SPOL)', 3000 students from 40 primary and secondary schools. Special project developed by Artistic Director of Singapore Biennale 2011, Matthew Ngui. Image by Art Radar Asia.

'Self-Portrait, Our Landscape (SPOL)', 3000 students from 40 primary and secondary schools. Special project developed by Artistic Director of Singapore Biennale 2011, Matthew Ngui. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Phil Collins, 'The meaning of style', 2011, 16mm film transferred to video, 6 mins. Commissioned by the Singapore Biennale 2011. Music: Gruff Rhys and Y Niwl Camera: Hideho Urata. Production: Akanga Films (Fran Borgia) and Shady Lane Productions. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Phil Collins, 'The meaning of style', 2011, 16mm film transferred to video, 6 mins. Commissioned by the Singapore Biennale 2011. Music: Gruff Rhys and Y Niwl Camera: Hideho Urata. Production: Akanga Films (Fran Borgia) and Shady Lane Productions. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Kyungah Ham, 'Nagasaki & Hiroshima Mushroom Clouds 02', 2010, North Korean hand embroidery on silk, 157 cm x 160 cm; 155 cm x160 cm. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Kyungah Ham, 'Nagasaki & Hiroshima Mushroom Clouds 02', 2010, North Korean hand embroidery on silk, 157 cm x 160 cm; 155 cm x160 cm. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Charles Lim, 'All Lines Flow Out', 2011, installation with video and drain socks, dimensions variable. Commissioned by the Singapore Biennale 2011. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Charles Lim, 'All Lines Flow Out', 2011, installation with video and drain socks, dimensions variable. Commissioned by the Singapore Biennale 2011. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Sheela Gowda, 'Behold', 2009, hair and steel, dimensions variable. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Sheela Gowda, 'Behold', 2009, hair and steel, dimensions variable. Image by Art Radar Asia.

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Nedko Solakov, 'The Flying Method of an Artist with a Fear of Flying (or how to make a signature site-specific work from a long distance)', 2011, felt-tip pen on various surfaces (Old Kallang Airport), single-channel DVD, 74m:59s. Commissioned by Singapore Biennale 2011. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Nedko Solakov, 'The Flying Method of an Artist with a Fear of Flying (or how to make a signature site-specific work from a long distance)', 2011, felt-tip pen on various surfaces (Old Kallang Airport), single-channel DVD, 74m:59s. Commissioned by Singapore Biennale 2011. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Charles Sandison, 'Through a Glass Darkly', 2011, computer-generated data projection. Commissioned by Singapore Biennale 2011. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Charles Sandison, 'Through a Glass Darkly', 2011, computer-generated data projection. Commissioned by Singapore Biennale 2011. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Ceal Floyer, 'Overhead Projection', 2006, incandescent light bulb and overhead projector, dimensions variable. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Ceal Floyer, 'Overhead Projection', 2006, incandescent light bulb and overhead projector, dimensions variable. Image by Art Radar Asia.

Have you been to see the works displayed at Old Kallang Airport? What did you think of the venue? The works? Leave your comments below.

JK/KN/HH

Related Topics: biennales, Singaporean art venues

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The fences are down so look inside: Singapore Biennale 2011’s Old Kallang Airport – picture feast — 1 Comment

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