Belief - List of Participating Artists, Exhibition Sites and Programmes
SINGAPORE BIENNALE 2006
4 September – 12 November 2006
(Vernissage: 1 – 3 September 2006)
List of Participating Artists
Exhibition Sites and Programmes
The Singapore Biennale 2006 (SB2006), Singapore’s inaugural international biennale of contemporary art will open to the public on 4 September 2006. Under the theme of BELIEF, the curatorial team, headed by Artistic Director Fumio Nanjo, has invited 95 artists and artist collectives from over 38 countries and regions, including Singapore, to participate in the country’s first ever major international exhibition of contemporary visual art.
Through the conceptual framework of BELIEF, 198 artworks will be unveiled to the public across 19 exhibition venues and sites. In addition to 87 loaned artworks from across the world, a total of 111 newly commissioned artworks have been specially created for SB2006. As a result of research visits to Singapore, more than one third of the participating artists have created site-specific projects and artworks in response to the unique cityscape and context of Singapore – one of Asia’s most extraordinary examples of cosmopolitan faiths, communities and cultural heritages.
As a small island nation where different faiths, languages and ethnic groups co-exist within a society that is also one of the world’s most prosperous economic states, the idea ofSingapore also provides the compelling backdrop against which the Biennale’s timely theme of belief has been explored. Through the questions of belief that conjoin and divide society not only in Singapore but also across the world, this pioneering exhibition draws together a unique range of artists, artworks and exhibition venues to reflect upon the invariably complex and, at times, contradictory value systems that surround and inform contemporary thought in the world today.
To launch this groundbreaking project a spectacular public event will take place on 1 September at the Padang. Situated in front of City Hall, the stage of many historic events associated with Singapore’s nationhood and one of the Biennale’s carefully chosen exhibition venues, the opening party will include commissioned artworks and performances by Usman Haque (Open Burble, 2006) and Jenny Holzher (For Singapore, 2006), alongside performances by Jonathan Allen, Yason Banal, Yayoi Kusama, Pratchaya Phinthong (with Pattara Chanruechachai), Ana Prvacki, and Rizman Putra. For the full list of participating artists and opening night special events please refer to Annex 1 and 7.
The selection of artists for SB2006 portrays a diverse range of practitioners living and working across the world, of which half are based in the Asian region with a total of 12 artists hailing from Singapore. To guide audiences through this multi-venue exhibition, the internationally renowned architect Shigeru Ban has created a specially designed pavilion to house the Biennale’s public information and media centre. Located in the campus grounds of the Singapore Management University (SMU), Paper House (2006) will take up temporary residence alongside a cavalry of specially customised rickshaws entitled Belief and Practices (2006), from the award-winning Bangladeshi photographic and human rights agency Drik Picture Library Ltd.
Along with Federico Herrero’s Hamacorio (2006), a specially created hammock lounge at Tanglin camp, Barabara Kruger’s limited edition Belief (2006) multiples and Luchezar Boyadjiev’s Guiding Agents of Belief (2006) – an alternative artist tour of the Biennale, many of the artworks in SB2006 take the form of projects that circulate outside the traditional systems of value judgement commonly associated with the viewing of contemporary art.
Continuing such an approach, one of the key features of SB2006 resides in the unprecedented number of artworks that will be discovered in the context of seven major religious sites, all of which are in active use by the Singaporean public. Along with Jaume Plensa’s sculpture of light Singapore Bridge of Light, positioned in front of the Maghain Aboth Synagogue, evocatively sited works by Yayoi Kusama (Ladder to Heaven, 2006) and N.S Harsha (Cosmic Orphans, 2006) at the Sri Krishnan Temple create thoughtful interventions across contexts steeped in belief and history.
In addition to these places of worship, about one third of the artworks in SB2006 have been created in response to public spaces, which are in daily use by a broad range of local communities. Integrated into the physical surroundings of Orchard Road, a Housing Development Board (HDB) block, the National Library and the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, works by Jin Shan (In the Games Outside the Game, 2006), Nakhee Sung (Passage, 2006), Wilfredo Prieto (Biblioteca Blanca, 2006) and Simryn Gill (Guide to the Murals at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, Singapore, 2006) respectively deal with the myths, histories and patterns of belief embedded within the public realm.
As a reflection of belief’s multi-faceted meanings, the majority of artworks in SB2006 will be exhibited across three principal exhibition venues. These include the decommissioned government building, City Hall where 63 artworks will be shown, including works by Rashid Rana (Departure Lounge, 2006), Lim Tzay Cheun (The Opposite is True #2, 2006) and Jane Alexander (Verity, Faith, Justice, 2006).
In dramatic contrast, Tanglin Camp, a cluster of colonial buildings, previously used to house departments from the Ministry of Defence, will include a selection of 55 works by artists such as Agus Suwage & Titarubi (Crossroad, 2006), Alwar Balasubramaniam (Wound, 2006) and R&Sie(n) + D + L (The Hypno Chamber, 2006).
In the case of these two venues, SB2006 will be offering public access to these environments of historic and architectural interest for the first time. The third main venue is the newly refurbished National Museum of Singapore, which houses 21 artworks, including Mariko Mori’s Tom Na H-iu (2006). For a full list of exhibition venues and sites, please refer to Annex 5.
As part of the inaugural SB2006, two large-scale art projects have been realised in collaboration with local communities. Working within the context of a kindergarten at Block 79, Indus Road, one of Singapore’s oldest public housing (HDB) complexes, the art collective Learning Site have developed a land-use project that enables children of the kindergarten to experiment with farming techniques. In the context of a non-agricultural, land-scarce country, Underground Mushroom Garden (2006) explores pertinent questions around development and economics. By contrast, Takafumi Hara has interviewed several members of the general public and community groups in Singapore as part of his ongoingSigns of Memory project. Literally canvassing their opinions and views, which are then transcribed onto bright pink boards that are mounted across the windows of City Hall, the work gives bold display to a real and imagined ‘voice of the people’.
SB2006 is organised by the National Arts Council, Singapore in partnership with the National Heritage Board of Singapore. It is the anchor cultural event for Singapore 2006: Global City. World of Opportunities, the umbrella event where Singapore will play host to the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group.
Please find the following annexes enclosed for information:
- Artist Summary Sheet
- Fact Sheet
- Profiles of Curatorial Team
- List of Networking Curators
- Exhibition venues & Exhibition Designers
- Education & Outreach
- Opening Party Programme
- List of Vernissage Events
- Special Exhibitions
- Biennale Partners