Singapore Biennale reveals the names of a further 12 regional artists and additional projects.

Singapore Biennale 2016 (SB2016) will launch on 27 October 2016, with more than 50 participating artists from across the Asia-Pacific region.

Hemali Bhuta. Image courtesy Singapore Biennale.

Hemali Bhuta. Image courtesy Singapore Biennale.

Indian artist Hemali Bhuta (b. 1978) reflects on man’s role in the transformation of the natural environment and our landscape, while discussing broader issues pertaining change and instability in contemporary society.

Vietnamese Bùi Công Khánh (b. 1972) is fascinated with “social assumptions of cultural heritage”. His practice encompasses performance, painting, sculpture, installation, video and drawing. His work is based on in-depth historical research and acquired skills in traditional craft and plastic arts.

Malaysia’s Chia Chuyia works with painting, installation art, performance art and digital representation. Her recent work focuses on global environmental issues and future food. She expresses “meaning through action” in her performance art, where she questions one’s attitudes and reflects on one’s rights.

Bùi Công Khánh. Image courtesy Singapore Biennale.

Bùi Công Khánh. Image courtesy Singapore Biennale.

Artist, professor and President of the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts in China Deng Guoyuan has recently turned from painting to large-scale installations. This shift was spurred by his experience of the rapid transformations taking place in China in the past three decades, as well as the profound differences and affinities between China’s cultural tradition and that of the West.

Manila-based Patricia Perez Eustaquio (b. 1977) works in a variety of media, from paintings, drawings and sculptures, to the fields of fashion, décor and craft. She explores notions that surround the integrity of appearances and the vanity of objects. Her multifaceted works reveal the mutability of our perception, as well as explore the constructs of ‘desirability’ and how it influences life and culture in general.

Thai artist Sakarin Krue-On creates complex site-specific installations and video works bearing traditional Thai cultural influences.

MAP Office. Image courtesy Singapore Biennale.

MAP Office. Image courtesy Singapore Biennale.

MAP Office is a multidisciplinary platform devised by Laurent Gutierrez (b. 1966, Casablanca, Morocco) and Valérie Portefaix (b. 1969, Saint-Étienne, France). The duo works on physical and imaginary territories, using drawing, photography, video, installations, performance, and literary and theoretical texts. Their entire project forms a critique of spatio-temporal anomalies and documents how human beings subvert and appropriate space.

Pala Pothupitiye (b. 1972) was born in a traditional southern Sri Lankan craft-artists and ritualists cast, and incorporates and reinterprets the material and philosophical content of traditional art. His practice engages with issues of colonialism, nationalism, religious extremism and militarism, extending also into questions of caste, the distinction between art and craft, tradition and modernity, and a critique of Euro-centrism.

Singapore’s Melissa Tan employs paper cutting and silkscreen techniques, to explore her interest in materiality. Her work is based on nature, themes of transience and beauty of the ephemeral. Her recent projects revolve around landscapes and the process of formation. She also works in video, sound and objects.

Vertical Submarine. Image courtesy Singapore Biennale.

Vertical Submarine. Image courtesy Singapore Biennale.

Singaporean art collective Vertical Submarine comprises Joshua Yang, Justin Loke and Fiona Koh. Often requiring an acquired sense of humour, their practice spans installations, drawings and paintings that deal with the otherwise serious issues of policy and identity in Singapore.

Japanese Harumi Yukutake works at the intersection of craft, art and environmental design. Using glass as a primary medium, she engages with natural phenomena and human perception in her artworks.

Kumari Nahappan, 'Anahata', 2013, Saga seeds, soundscape, dimensions variable. Collection of the Artist. Singapore Biennale 2013 commission. Image courtesy Singapore Biennale.

Kumari Nahappan, ‘Anahata’, 2013, Saga seeds, soundscape, dimensions variable. Collection of the Artist. Singapore Biennale 2013 commission. Image courtesy Singapore Biennale.

SB2016 Affiliate Projects

SB2016 also includes affiliate projects in its programme, which are presented with partner institutions across the city and respond to the Biennale’s 2016 curatorial theme. So far, the Biennale has announced four Affiliate Projects to be held by DECK and Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, LASALLE College of the Arts (ICAS).

ICAS will feature two exhibitions opening on 28 October 2016 and running until 1 February 2017. “The world precedes the eye”, curated by Ms. Bala Starr, Ms. Silke Schmickl and Ms. Melanie Pocock, will include works by artists based in Asia, responding to SB2016’s overarching theme, through a material examination of contemporary art practice in Asia. Examining matter as a resource, the artists explore materials that are unique in contemporary art.

teamLab, 'Peace Can Be Realised Even Without Order', 2012, interactive digital Installation, dimensions variable. Sound: Hideaki Takahashi. Voice: Yutaka Fukuoka, Yumiko Tanaka. Collection of the Artists. Singapore Biennale 2013 commission. Image courtesy Singapore Biennale.

teamLab, ‘Peace Can Be Realised Even Without Order’, 2012, interactive digital Installation, dimensions variable. Sound: Hideaki Takahashi. Voice: Yutaka Fukuoka, Yumiko Tanaka. Collection of the Artists. Singapore Biennale 2013 commission. Image courtesy Singapore Biennale.

The second event is a solo exhibition entitled “Black-Hut” by Boedi Widjaja, which will bring together architecture, modernism, memory and place. Key issues explored include Widjaja’s migration at the age of nine from Indonesia to Singapore before the beginning of the 1985, a dream he remembers from 2014, the relationship between the architecture of urban Singapore and the home of his Chinese grandfather, MoMA’s groundbreaking 1932 “Modern architecture: International exhibition”, and the ‘black box turned inside-out’ architecture of the LASALLE campus.

Singapore’s newest photography art space DECK will present two solo shows from 19 November 2016 to 22 January 2017, including Robert Zhao Renhui’s “The Natural History of an Island”, which looks at the natural history of Singapore in a 100-year frame, based on the artist’s collection of images of Singapore’s natural landscape from the 1900s. The artist travelled around Singapore in a self-made mobile expedition vehicle, exploring and mapping out natural spaces in the city and uncovering historical narratives. The exhibition examines the various ways in which the landscape has been altered based on needs and desires from nature.

Suzann Victor, 'Rainbow Circle: Capturing a Natural Phenomenon', 2013, mixed media installation: sunlight, water droplets and modified solar tracker, dimensions variable. Collection of the Artist. Singapore Biennale 2013 commission. Co-commissioned with the National Museum of Singapore as part of its Art-On-Site series. Image courtesy Singapore Biennale.

Suzann Victor, ‘Rainbow Circle: Capturing a Natural Phenomenon’, 2013, mixed media installation: sunlight, water droplets and modified solar tracker, dimensions variable. Collection of the Artist. Singapore Biennale 2013 commission. Co-commissioned with the National Museum of Singapore as part of its Art-On-Site series. Image courtesy Singapore Biennale.

Meanwhile Ang Song Nian’s “Hanging Heavy On My Eyes” delves into the phenomenon of regional haze spells due to increased forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia, which contribute to severe air pollution conditions. Based on the artist’s collection of average recordings of data on particulate matter (PM2.5), the exhibition recalls, as SAM writes,

the artist’s experience with the discomfort and unease of reduced and affected visibility – a result of conditions in human’s continuous bid to control, intervene and manipulate landscapes and environment aligned to narrow-minded agendas.

C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia

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Related Topics: South Asian artists, Southeast Asian artists, biennales, biennals, curatorial practice, news, events in Singapore

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Brittney

By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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