Less than a week’s time to get your Early Bird tickets to Singapore Biennale 2016!

Yes it’s back! From 27th October 2016 until 26th February 2017. Without further ado, let’s get straight to the ticketing information with the two tables below.

Early Bird tickets for students, seniors, NS men, and the general public are available until 26th October 2016, the eve of the opening day. All tickets on sale at Singapore Art Museum and at SISTIC.

The second table shows ticket prices after the opening of Singapore Biennale (SB2016) and other ticketing information visitors should take note of.

Early Bird tickets available until 26th October 2016, the eve of the opening day. Prices include GST (where applicable) but not the SGD1 Booking Fee for each ticket priced SGD20 or below. Image source: screenshot from SISTIC website

Early Bird tickets available until 26th October 2016, the eve of the opening day. Prices include GST (where applicable) but not the SGD1 Booking Fee for each ticket priced SGD20 or below. Image source: screenshot from SISTIC website

 

Ticket prices after the opening of SB2016. Prices include the SGD1 Booking Fee for each ticket priced SGD20 or below. Image source: screenshot from SB2016 website

Ticket prices after the opening of SB2016. Prices include the SGD1 Booking Fee for each ticket priced SGD20 or below. Image source: screenshot from SB2016 website

Do keep a lookout for my next post coming up real soon on how I will sieve out my weekly (or fortnightly) picks of artworks this time round. To read my picks in the previous edition, If The World Changed, click here.

To get an idea of the idea behind SB2016, see the screenshot below or explore their website here!

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An artist who uses his body to show the message – Khvay Samnang

Cambodian artist Khvay Samnang (b.1982) not only looks at the social welfare and human rights issues in his homeland, he also gets physically involved by submerging his lower body in lakes and pouring sand over his head to mimic property developers’ moves to fill up lakes and turning a blind eye to the “small and negligible” dwellers who are still living by the lake or in stilt houses above the lake.

20150215_111813 khvay samnang lake filling series artscience museum

Untitled
2014
Digital C-Print
80 x 120cm
ArtScience Museum, Singapore

“He offers new interpretations of history, longstanding cultural practices, and contentious current affairs. The artist works like an anthropologist, quietly observing subtleties within Cambodian society in order to post questions of their affects.” – exhibition wall text, Prudential Eye 2015, ArtScience Museum

Samnang goes down to the ground, both figuratively and literally, to show the plight and the stories of people on the ground that have often been carpeted over by promising news of yet another development or major infrastructure investment in the country, showing the world how much the country has progressed, etc, etc.

Watch below the interview with him by Singapore Biennale 2013 where his untitled work of a five-channel video & sound (2011-2013) was shown. More works by Samnang here.

Singapore Biennale ~ closing weekend (2 of 2 parts)

20140213_235745As promised, let’s continue from part 1! By the way, there is also a photo gallery.

The Biennale 2013/14 is about life and things close to the soul, about having fun and fantasies, about cultural interaction and understanding our neighbours better. It is jam-packed with works so dynamic and eclectic that, do watch your steps and your head while moving around. Yes I said jam-packed right.

But if you are looking for a more spacious gallery that you can stretch out while appreciating the art? Consider Into the Sea by wacky Vietnamese twin brothers at Singapore Art Museum (SAM) @ 8Q or Rainbow Circle under the rotunda of National Museum of Singapore (NMS). For the outdoor person, there are Urban Play at the SMU (Singapore Management University) campus in between SAM and NMS as well as Road to Nirvana in the heritage-rich Fort Canning Park, go at night to see it illuminates.

Want to lend support to fellow human beings? Take a look at Exorcise Me, made in collaboration with young students from SOTA (School Of The Arts). Perhaps write a warm reply to a message in a bottle at the inner lobby of SAM, where the work named Telok Blangah drops anchor.

Or visit The Peranakan Museum to appreciate the work, Seeing (from) the Other, co-created by inmates from Changi Women’s Prison. In the same museum, there is another work called A Botanical and Wildlife Survey – Singapore, put together by 150 students from five secondary schools under the Artists-in-Schools programme.

If you crave for some hands-on and participation, have a go at Happy and Free, a karaoke to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the formation of Malaysia, from which Singapore separated in 1965. Boogey a bit or just walk through and enjoy at Peace Can Be Realized Even Without Order. Also, be a conductor mixing and matching sounds familiar to Singapore at Conducting Memories.

Meanwhile, travel back in time by digging through the biscuit tins at home for photos (or digital images) taken with the National Theatre (1962-1986) to share with the artist of National Theatre @50. You may also show your photos taken with the Biennale structure. Do share your photos and other related memorabilia here or here.

Check with gallery sitters for any nooks and corners that you may miss out. I have not noticed any barricade or Do-Not-Cross tapes around any artwork, so start blending in and being part of the Biennale!

Happy visiting!

Don’t forget that, admission to all Biennale venues is free from 14th to 16th February 2014. The three participating museums will open from 10am till 9pm on Friday and Saturday; and from 10am till 7pm on Sunday. Click here for the closing programmes and other details!

Singapore Biennale ~ closing weekend (1 of 2 parts)

Time flies. The Singapore Biennale 2013/14 is drawing to a close this weekend. Admission to all Biennale venues is free from 14th to 16th February 2014. The three participating museums will open from 10am till 9pm on Friday and Saturday; and from 10am till 7pm on Sunday. Click here for the closing programmes and other details!

Have you visited any exhibition under the Singapore Biennale or at least seen a work or two by now? Say, the tipi-lookalike structure made of bamboo and called Wormhole on the front lawn of National Museum of Singapore (NMS)?

What about National Theatre @50 along Tank Road? Oh, don’t know how to get there? Take the complimentary shuttle bus looping around the five major Biennale venues in the Bras Basah.Bugis Precinct, and you can walk to Waterloo Centre which is a stone’s throw away from Singapore Art Museum (SAM).

It would be too presumptuous of me to group Biennale artworks under certain topics or techniques. For instance, Payatas and The Face of the Black River that have been set up next to each other in the same gallery. Ostensibly belonging to the same theme of environment-related waste management issues, but the humans involved are different, the histories and stories of the dumping grounds are unique, and the artists’ intentions are not the same.

The days of art viewing is exclusive to the rich and famous are long gone, especially when it comes to contemporary art. Then again, the basis of visual art forms remains. You want something that’s flat and hung on the wall like a painting? Check out the three flat TVs hung on the wall at SAM’s lobby, it’s entitled The End of Art Report.

You like life-sized sculptures? We have five on the front lawn of SAM, not by Rodin or Michelangelo though. They are not only life-sized, they are alive and you can get up close with them.

Too much reading? Skip to photo gallery. Miss the remaining write-up at your own risk.

If you prefer functional art, look no farther than Forefinger, a set of nifty benches in the form of giant fingers around the ground floor of SAM (not at SAM @ 8Q as shown in the Biennale short guide). Simply appreciate the work as a creative piece of art, or find out about the poignant meaning behind it by reading the wall caption.

No one and nothing dictates how intimate you want to get along with a piece of work. I cannot teach you how to exchange vibes with the artworks because the experience is very personal. Maybe a been-there-done-that grin, a subtle nod, a sourish nose, goosebumps, a frown, laughing out loud, a wow, or a strange consolation that there is now an art piece representing your sentiment or aspiration.

To be continued. Real soon. Meanwhile, check out the photo gallery.

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Singapore Biennale ~ closing weekend ~ photo gallery

Cosmology of  Life by Toni Kanwa, installation, wood. In the background: Terra Sensa-Lovell by Jeremy Sharma, high-density polystyrene foam

Cosmology of Life by Toni Kanwa, installation, wood.
In the background: Terra Sensa-Lovell by Jeremy Sharma, high-density polystyrene foam

Lit Cities by Ng Joon Kiat, acrylic on cloth

Lit Cities by Ng Joon Kiat, acrylic on cloth

Superbarbara Saving the World by Boonsri Tangtrongsin, single-channel video, 11 episodes
Superbarbara Saving the World by Boonsri Tangtrongsin, single-channel video, 11 episodes
The Garden by Sean Lee, set of 12 photographs

The Garden by Sean Lee, set of 12 photographs

A part of the AX(is) Art Project, Singapore Art Museum level 2 Learning Gallery

A part of the AX(is) Art Project, Singapore Art Museum level 2 Learning Gallery

A part of the AX(is) Art Project, Singapore Art Museum level 2 Learning Gallery

A part of the AX(is) Art Project, Singapore Art Museum level 2 Learning Gallery

Satanni, a community project led by a group of artists from Thailand, Singapore Art Museum level 2

shop opening at Toko Keperluan by Anggun Priambodo, installation with wooden shop, consumer items, video and performance

Satanni, a community project led by a group of artists from Thailand, Singapore Art Museum level 2

Satanni, a community project led by a group of artists from Thailand, Singapore Art Museum level 2

Satanni, a community project led by a group of artists from Thailand, Singapore Art Museum level 2

Satanni, a community project led by a group of artists from Thailand, Singapore Art Museum level 2

Waiting Room by Shieko Reto, mixed media installation

Waiting Room by Shieko Reto, mixed media installation

Untitled (detail), 2013 by Marisa Darasavath, oil on canvas

Untitled (detail), 2013 by Marisa Darasavath, oil on canvas

We Live by Bounpaul Phothyzan, mixed media installation

We Live by Bounpaul Phothyzan, mixed media installation

The 5 Principle No-s by Iswanto Hartono & Raqs Media Collective, installation

The 5 Principle No-s by Iswanto Hartono & Raqs Media Collective, installation

Tiempos Muertos (Dead Season) by Nikki Luna, sugar and resin diamonds installation

Tiempos Muertos (Dead Season) by Nikki Luna, sugar and resin diamonds installation

The End of Art Report by Urich Lau, 3 multi-channel videos

The End of Art Report by Urich Lau, 3 multi-channel videos

Singapore Biennale ~ Ai Loon’s pick for the week ~ 30 January

As the closing of the Singapore Biennale is nigh, I wish to introduce this piece of work that I would describe as down-to-earth, both metaphorically as well as literally. You have until 16 February 2014 to visit the Biennale and good news is, you gain free admission to the Singapore Art Museum on 1st February 2014, Saturday, because it’s Lunar New Year open house!

Environmental activism is an uphill battle anywhere in the world, especially when cost-benefit evaluation is the priority of policy makers. It’s often an agony to see relatively untouched rural areas, that are blessed with natural resources and climates friendly to the agriculture, succumb to natural calamities like droughts and floods.

This is what Lao artist Bounpaul Phothyzan’s work is about. The emerging artist started off as a painter but later on felt the need to move farther into things in order to better put across his message regarding the environment and social changes.

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He therefore now spends more time and effort engaging in performance and installation art, such as the one he has created for the Biennale. By involving the local people of Phnonkham Village in Lao, the artist created a site-specific land art installation by a dried up river bank in the village with the assistance of villagers, from whom he has earned the trust.

We Live, 2013

by Bounpaul Phothyzan

Mixed media installation

Singapore Art Museum, level 2, Special Exhibition Gallery

Collection of the artist

Singapore Biennale 2013 commision

300114_2

Besides gaining a personal experience of helping to set up huge fish skeletons using logs from dead trees, the villagers also learnt about environmental issues and how their actions could affect the environment positively or negatively through sharing sessions and conversations with the artist.

A video documentation of the art-making process is available in the Biennale gallery to facilitate understanding and appreciation of Bounpaul’s work. As the different forms of contemporary art proliferate, we will gradually be more comfortable with not seeing the actual artwork at an exhibition venue itself.

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Singapore Biennale ~ Ai Loon’s pick for the week ~ 23 January

The days of art viewing is exclusive to the rich and famous are long gone, especially when it comes to contemporary art. Then again, the basis of visual art forms remains. You want something that’s flat and hung on the wall like a painting? Check out the three flat TVs hung on the wall at Singapore Art Museum’s lobby, it’s The End of Art Report by Urich Lau.

Be it in the 18th century or the 21st, and in whichever sector of the art world, bread & butter are always in the centre, or right next to the centre, of concern. Perhaps in the olden years, art exhibitions and museums received stable support from the wealthy nobles, so long as they liked the works.

Today, as policy makers try to bring arts and culture to the mass, funding from all possible avenues to sustain art & cultural institutions is crucial. We have seen museums closing down when Europe was hard hit by the financial crisis. During the 16-day partial shutdown of Obama’s administration last year, museums and parks were one of the first victims.

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The artist Urich Lau has come up with three fictional news of the imminent closure of three cultural institutions in Singapore. By encrypting real newscasts aired on Singapore’s national TV with the fictional news presentations, he has once again displayed his forte in video art, to the extent that, one can give up attempting to differentiate between the real and the fictional.

While efforts have been put in to make art and culture more accessible, is the public echoing sufficient support? Urich has utilised his work of media to engage the public as well as to bring to the fore, how people in Singapore view museums, arts & culture, and how important they are to people in general. 

Along the way, a sense of loss may creep in when the days of an art institution are numbered. But is that a knee-jerk reaction or a result of real interest in the arts? If the fiction were to become the truth, who will turn the situation around? How do we move on from here? And toward which direction? 

The End of Art Report, 2013

by Urich Lau

Three multi-channel videos

Singapore Art Museum, main lobby

Collection of the artist

Singapore Biennale 2013 commission

Interestingly, as I look at the photo I have taken of the art work, the public sitting below the art work appears to be nonchalant to the news and minding their own business. Is that a valid representation of the mass?

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Singapore Biennale ~ Ai Loon’s pick for the week ~ 26 December

251213_2Has any architectural structure such as a building, a bridge or a tower left you with a deeply-etched impression even after ages? Is there one that has become or was once a part of your life? So much so that you have fond memories of it or you have taken it for granted?

In land-scarce Singapore where land development and re-development are always on the plate, both public and private buildings come and go in short spans of time with the exception of just a handful of buildings mainly comprising of places of worship and pre-war shophouses.

The National Theatre, once a place of cultural exchange and demolished in 1986, has hosted various international performances, charity shows, universities’ convocations and national day rallies. Prominent artistes who have performed here include Poon Sow Keng (潘秀琼), Teresa Teng (邓丽君), Louis Armstrong and The Bee Gees.

Officially opened on 8th August 1963 to commemorate Singapore’s gaining of self-government, the National Theatre was built with a huge cantilevered roof against its facade made up of five diamond-shaped structures, which represented the five stars on the Singapore flag.

I am so glad to see a work dedicated to mark the 50th anniversary of the National Theatre at Singapore Biennale 2013. Architect-artist Lai Chee Kien has created a half-scale replica of the frames of the five diamond-shaped structure, facing the original site of the National Theatre at the foot of Fort Canning Hill.

There will be a poetry-reading at the artwork this Saturday, 28th December 2013, from 3.30pm till 6.30pm. More information here on Memories and Lost Spaces: A site-based reading.

National Theatre@50

by Lai Chee Kien

Tank Road

Site-specific architectural installation with aluminium, timber and concrete

Singapore Biennale 2013 commission

Googling ‘national theatre singapore’ will lead you to many photos of the memorable building. This one of the Biennale structure shared here stands out to me as it has an additional meaning to me. No matter rain or shine, everyone has a place in the heart for a special work of architecture.

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More photos can be found here and here.

To pay a visit to the Biennale structure surrounded by plenty of greenery, you may take the Biennale shuttle bus. Or refer to this map and the how-to-get-there information.

To complete the work, start digging through your biscuit tins at home for photos (or digital images) of the National Theatre or take photos of the Biennale structure and share them with the artist by emailing to him at cheekien.lai@gmail.com or posting them on the event page. Scroll down the thread on the event page to see wonderful photos, past and present, including “the star/celebrity series”, “the jump series” and “the memorabilia series” of admission tickets and the like.

To help defray the expenses of creating the work, please write a cheque to: Lai Chee Kien and mail it to him at:

c/o Mr David Chew

Singapore Biennale 2013

Singapore Art Museum

61, Stamford Road

#02-02 Stamfort Court

Singapore 178892

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The Straits Times, Tuesday, October 29 2013. Life! section C5