Singapore Biennale ~ Ai Loon’s pick for the week ~ 20 November

Hello there, have you seen any artwork of the Singapore Biennale 2013 yet? Better get moving now as there are so many to see, listen to and be part of.

This week I am looking for more action than just being a visitor. I have got artist Lee Wen’s work and workshop within the range of my radar and I hope the final artwork from his weekly workshops will send thought-provoking signals to the radars around.

Lee Wen aka “The Yellow Man”, who has had a solo show staged last year at singapore art museum, has aspired to release or mimic the release of sun lanterns in early February 2014 or the last day of the Biennale. These lanterns will be made with dried leaves, biodegradable materials and Asian currencies. Yes, currencies, money, notes.


The link? I would say, the key words are forests, nature, consumerism, economic development. Perhaps also, the rise of Asian economies. And in the end, all these will rise to the occasion by rising high into the sky, floating to somewhere no one knows for sure, or being burnt together eventually.

A pioneer in performance art in Singapore, Lee Wen has, for many times, surprised people, to the extent that security personnel in museums may have been caught off-guard by him. Thought-provoking is an under statement. Maybe epiphany-striking. Do keep track of the progress of his work. His works are never “confirmed” and too foreseeable even after the exhibition guide has been published.

His workshop, located at singapore art museum at 8Q (go up to level 3, the gallery to your right from the stairs), reminds us of the spirit of ‘gotong royong’ (community volunteerism in Malay language). So get social and involved in a little bit of grapevine. Lee Wen may also entertain you by playing his guitar and singing. Go find out more about the work from the man himself or simply engage yourself in sewing leaves together to make the lanterns, at his workshop that he has named The International Conference of Leaves 國際葉會議.


I have summarised the workshop timetable here for you from the original that’s written on the gallery wall. To register for a time slot, please email to: with your contact details. Admission to the workshop is free.

Fridays 6.30pm-9pm: 22nd, 29th November 2013 | 10th, 17th, 24th January 2014

Saturdays 2.30pm-5.30pm: 23rd, 30th November 2013 | 11th, 18th, 25th January 2014


You really don’t have to be too particular with any written introduction and set a specific objective for yourself at the workshop or the way you look at the whole project. Be more fluid and go with the flow. For once, just relax.

More about the project here on facebook.

COSMOS, Currencies OfferingS Move Over Sky, 2013

by Lee Wen

Dried leaves and lanterns

singapore art museum at 8Q, level 3

Collection of the artist

Singapore Biennale 2013 commission