13 March – 15 May 2011

Download: singapore biennal 11 mar 2011

5 December, 2010
An Open House to Singapore as Home, City and International Port

The third edition of the Singapore Biennale (SB2011), Open House, features over 150 works by 63  artists from 30 countries. Open to the public from 13 March to 15 May 2011, this edition of the Biennale is led by Artistic Director Matthew Ngui and curators Russell Storer and Trevor Smith, and is organised by the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) of the National Heritage Board and supported by the National Arts Council, Singapore.

As the leading Biennale in Southeast Asia, SB2011 situates contemporary art from Singapore and Southeast Asia within a broad international conversation.  The title is conceived not as a theme but as an invitation or „open house‟ onto contemporary artistic practice. Artists‟ practices are not simply grounded in describing or portraying subjects in the world, but are often actual attempts to exchange information, translate experiences and trade places and perspectives. Open House suggests the crossing of thresholds between public and private, where boundaries and borders are made permeable. It is in this fluid space that contemporary art often emerges, out of a need to bridge the gaps between the experiential and the psychological, and between social and political hierarchies.
Focused on the journey of making art, rather than defining its final destination, SB2011 studies these artistic processes and their relationship to the daily transactions that take place between people. From trading objects to swapping stories, from sharing food to dressing up, we are constantly making exchanges – as individuals, groups, cities and nations. Open House brings together artworks that offer multiple perspectives and myriad creative approaches to questions of how we move across borders, see other points of view, and form connections with others.

Artistic Director, Matthew Ngui says, “As an artist, I have a strong desire to focus this biennale on artistic process and to communicate this to both the Singaporean public and international visitors. This is not an easy task, as contemporary artists‟ processes are so diverse and often not immediately evident. The curatorial team have worked hard to arrive at the heart of SB2011 Open House by connecting these artistic processes to what we do every day, such as working, commuting, shopping, and eating, as well as, obsessive or recreational activities in private or public. We have consciously related these processes to the urban spaces in which they take place in Singapore, which in turn has shaped the structure of each exhibition venue and the placement of artworks. Works will be presented in ways that relate to the private space of the home, transactional spaces in the city and finally to our ports, which provide the springboard for international exchange. In this way, our exhibition venues have a more direct conceptual and formal link to the artworks.”

With this focus on artistic process, real spaces and people, more than half of the artists will be creating new site-specific commissions or premieres.

About the Singapore Biennale
The Singapore Biennale was established in 2006 as the country‟s pre-eminent platform for international dialogue in contemporary art. It places Singapore‟s artists within a global context, and fosters productive collaborations with the international arts community. In this way, the Biennale provides new opportunities for local visual artists, arts organisations and businesses, and cultivates deeper public engagement with the arts. It complements achievements in other areas of arts and culture, collectively enhancing Singapore‟s international profile as a vibrant city in which to live, work and play. Singapore Biennale 2011 is organised by the Singapore Art Museum of the National Heritage Board, and supported by the National Arts Council, which first inaugurated the Biennale in 2006 and was also the organizer for the 2008 edition.

About the Singapore Art Museum
The mission of the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) is to document, interpret and promote the contemporary art practices of Singapore and the Southeast Asian region. Opened in January 1996 as a museum under the National Heritage Board of Singapore, SAM has amassed one of the world‟s largest public collections of modern and contemporary Southeast Asian artworks. Since 2009, SAM has focused its programming and collections development initiatives around contemporary Southeast Asian art and art practices. Through strategic alliances with arts and cultural institutions and community organisations, SAM facilitates visual arts education, exchange, research and development within the region and internationally. SAM is also the organiser of the Singapore Biennale 2011.

About the National Arts Council, Singapore
The National Arts Council was established in September 1991 to spearhead the development of the arts in Singapore. To realise its vision of developing Singapore into a distinctive global city for the arts, NAC provides total support to nurture artistic talent, promotes the practice and appreciation of the arts among Singaporeans, builds up capabilities and resources, facilitates internationalisation and advocates the value of the arts. Through its holistic range of programmes and initiatives to develop the entire arts value chain, the Council champions the growth of a vibrant arts sector where the arts are accessible to all, and the community of artists, arts groups and arts businesses can innovate, excel and achieve sustainability in the long term.

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