Singapore Biennale 2016: the sensorily impactful fifteen (part 1 of 3)

Initially I had aimed to seek visually impactful artworks, after all, visual art is supposed to be quite visual right? I thought it should be visually artistic too, then again, contemporary art seems to heavily shoulder the mission of reflecting social, political, economical, psychological matters of sort, and to convey certain solemn messages. This has somewhat broaden the meaning of being visually artistic.

Well, when it comes to Singapore Biennale 2016, I was more than fascinated by how my other senses, apart from my sense of sight (ophthalmoception), were aroused and agitated by certain works. These 15 sensorily impactful artworks are selected for their powerful impact on my sensorium in one way and/or another, without any influence from their artist, title, wall text or any review and comments by anyone. I pretend that I am illiterate, and I avoid letting people talk to me about the Biennale. It’s “impact at first sight, love/hate at first sight”.

Works at National Museum of Singapore & Stamford Green, Asian Civilisations Museum, The Arts House, and Singapore Management University are not taken into consideration, because I have not seen them personally. Therefore, the 15 works in this three-part post are shown at Singapore Art Museum, and 1 at Peranakan Museum.

These artworks are attention-grabbing and curiosity-piquing, below are five of them.

(Download the Exhibition Guide or visit the Digital Exhibition here.)

(Read a good piece, Zoned Out at the Singapore Biennale 2016, for insightful insights here.)

Hemali Bhuta, Growing (2016). Sense: olfaction, visual

Hemali Bhuta, Growing (2016). Sense: olfaction, visual

Hemali Bhuta, Growing (2016). Sense: olfaction, visual

Hemali Bhuta, Growing (2016). Sense: olfaction, visual

Hemali Bhuta, Growing (2016). Sense: olfaction, visual

They look like they are burning, they are not. Hemali Bhuta, Growing (2016). Sense: olfaction, visual

They look like they are burning, they are not. Hemali Bhuta, Growing (2016). Sense: olfaction, visual

Hemali Bhuta, Growing (2016). Sense: olfaction, visual

Hemali Bhuta, Growing (2016). Sense: olfaction, visual

Martha Atienza, Endless Hours at Sea (2014, 2016). Sense: audition, visual. Emotion-induced sensation: visceral, probably sea sickness

Martha Atienza, Endless Hours at Sea (2014, 2016). Sense: audition, visual. Emotion-induced sensation: visceral, probably sea sickness

Martha Atienza, Endless Hours at Sea (2014, 2016). Sense: audition, visual. Emotion-induced sensation: visceral, probably sea sickness

Watch this YouTube video, fast forward to start from approximately 2:05, and you will get a feel of the artwork in a more integral manner. The on-site sound (think waves rocking, thunder roaring, metal clanging) and lights (or the lack of lights) play an important part in one’s experience of the artwork, which can only be felt there and then.

Martha Atienza, Endless Hours at Sea (2014, 2016). Sense: audition, visual. Emotion-induced sensation: visceral, probably sea sickness

Martha Atienza, Endless Hours at Sea (2014, 2016). Sense: audition, visual. Emotion-induced sensation: visceral, probably sea sickness

Deng Guoyuan, Noah's Garden II (2016). Sense: visual (it's eye-pricking); sense of direction, balancing

Deng Guoyuan, Noah’s Garden II (2016). Sense: visual (it’s eye-pricking); sense of direction, balancing

Deng Guoyuan, Noah's Garden II (2016). Sense: visual (it's eye-pricking); sense of direction, balancing

Deng Guoyuan, Noah's Garden II (2016). Sense: visual (it's eye-pricking); sense of direction, balancing

Deng Guoyuan, Noah's Garden II (2016). Sense: visual (it's eye-pricking); sense of direction, balancing

Deng Guoyuan, Noah's Garden II (2016). Sense: visual (it's eye-pricking); sense of direction, balancing

Deng Guoyuan, Noah's Garden II (2016). Sense: visual (it's eye-pricking); sense of direction, balancing

Deng Guoyuan, Noah's Garden II (2016). Sense: visual (it's eye-pricking); sense of direction, balancing

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory). This is one of 7 pieces of artworks.

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory). This is one of 7 pieces of artworks

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory)

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory). This is one of 7 pieces of artworks.

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory). This is one of 7 pieces of artworks

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory)

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory)

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory). This is one of 7 pieces of artworks

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory). This is one of 7 pieces of artworks

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory)

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory)

Chia Chuyia, Knitting the Future (2015, 2016). Sense: visual, curiosity; a by-product sense is touch - warmth from my own breath by cupping my face very near the glass to avoid any reflection on the glass, so as to get a clearer view of the performance art

Chia Chuyia, Knitting the Future (2015, 2016). Sense: visual, curiosity; a by-product sense is touch – warmth from my own breath by cupping my face very near the glass to avoid any reflection on the glass, so as to get a clearer view of the performance art

Chia Chuyia, Knitting the Future (2015, 2016). Sense: visual, curiosity; a by-product sense is touch - warmth from my own breath by cupping my face very near the glass to avoid any reflection on the glass, so as to get a clearer view of the performance art

Chia Chuyia, Knitting the Future (2015, 2016). Sense: visual, curiosity; a by-product sense is touch - warmth from my own breath by cupping my face very near the glass to avoid any reflection on the glass, so as to get a clearer view of the performance art

Chia Chuyia, Knitting the Future (2015, 2016). Sense: visual (so this is the final product, wow!); touch (visitors may feel (and even study closely) the material (leeks) and texture of the "knitwear"

Chia Chuyia, Knitting the Future (2015, 2016). Sense: visual (so this is the final product, wow!); touch (visitors may feel (and even study closely) the material (leeks) and texture of the “knitwear”

A video documentation of the performance art. Chia Chuyia, Knitting the Future (2015, 2016)

A video documentation of the performance art.
Chia Chuyia, Knitting the Future (2015, 2016)

Read part 2 here.

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