Singapore Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia
23 April - 27 November 2022
Artist | Shubigi Rao
Artist and writer Shubigi Rao’s interests include libraries, archival systems, histories and lies, literature and violence, ecologies, and natural history. Her art, texts, films, and photographs look at current and historical flashpoints as perspectival shifts to examining contemporary crises of displacement, whether of people, languages, cultures, or knowledge bodies.
Her current decade-long project, Pulp: A Short Biography of the Banished Book is about the history of book destruction and the future of knowledge. In 2020, the second book from the project won the Singapore Literature Prize (non-fiction), while the first volume was shortlisted in 2018. Both books have won numerous awards, including AIGA (New York)’s 50 best books of 2016, and D&AD Pencil for design. The first exhibition of the project, Written in the Margins, won the APB Signature Prize 2018 Juror's Choice Award. Rao has also been featured in March Meets 2019, 4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2018), 10th Taipei Biennial, (2016); 3rd Pune Biennale (2017), Digital Arts Festival, Copenhagen, Denmark (2013); and 2nd Singapore Biennale (2008). She is currently the Curator for the upcoming Kochi-Muziris Biennale.
Curator | Ute Meta Bauer
Ute Meta Bauer is a curator of exhibitions and presentations, connecting contemporary art, film, video and sound through transdisciplinary formats. Since October 2013 she serves as Founding Director of NTU CCA Singapore – Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore — a research centre of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), where she is a full professor in the School of Art, Design and Media (ADM). Since 2018 she is a Co-Chair of the Master of Arts in Museum Studies and Curatorial Practices co-initiated by NTU School of Art Design and Media and the NTU CCA Singapore. Her current research focus supported by the Ministry of Education Singapore is on “Climate Crisis and Cultural Loss“.
From 2012 to 2013, she served as Dean of Fine Art at the Royal College of Art, London, UK. Prior to that, she was Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, where she was the Founding Director of the Program in Art, Culture, and Technology (ACT) (2009–2012) and Director of the MIT Visual Arts Program (2005–2009). She served as professor for 10 years at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria (1996 – 2006), heading the Institute of Contemporary Art and as Vice-Rector (International Relations).
During her tenure as Founding Director of the Office for Contemporary Art (OCA) in Oslo, Norway (2002-2005), she was also commissioner of the Nordic Pavillion (Norway, Sweden) at the 50th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (2003) and the commissioner/curator for the Norwegian contribution for the Bienal de São Paulo (2004). Furthermore, she was co-director with Hou Hanru of the World Biennial Forum No. 1, Gwangju, South Korea, 2012; Artistic Director of the 3rd Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, 2004; and Co-Curator of documenta11 (2001–2002) on the team of artistic director Okwui Enwezor. In 2020 Bauer was invited into the working group of Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present (March - May 2023) and was appointed as curator of the 17th Istanbul Biennale alongside Dr David Teh and artist Amar Kanwar (September - November 2022).
At the NTU CCA Singapore, Bauer curated and co-curated Paradise Lost (2014), Theatrical Fields (2014), Yang Fudong, Incidental Scripts (2014/2015), Simryn Gill, Hugging the Shore (2015), Allan Sekula: Fish Story, to be continued (2015), Tomás Saraceno: Arachnid Orchestra. Jam Sessions (2015), Joan Jonas, They Come to Us without a Word (2016), Amar Kanwar, The Sovereign Forest (2016), Incomplete Urbanism: Attempts of Critical Spatial Practice (2016/2017), The Making of an Institution (2017), Ulrike Ottinger, China. The Arts – The People (2017), Ghosts and Spectres – Shadows of History (2017), The Oceanic (2017/2018), Tarek Atoui, The Ground: From the Land to the Sea (2018), Trees of Life: Knowledge in Material (2018), Stagings. Soundings. Readings. Free Jazz II (2018), Siah Armajani: Spaces for the Public. Spaces for Democracy (2019), The Posthuman City: Climates. Habitats. Environments. (2019/2020) and Non-Aligned (2020). The last exhibition curated by Bauer and presented at Block 43, NTU CCA Singapore, was Trinh T. Minh-ha: Films (2020/2021).
In 2015, Bauer co-curated with MIT List Centre for Visual Art Director Paul Ha, presenting eminent artist Joan Jonas, the US Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia that received Honorary Mention for best National Pavilion by the International Jury. Bauer was an expedition leader of TBA21-Academy The Current (2015–2018) exploring the Pacific Archipelago and littorals that are most impacted by climate change and human interventions in their environments that led to the exhibition The Oceanic (2017/2018) at the NTU CCA Singapore.
Bauer served as Chairperson of the Goethe Institute Visual Art Board (2004-2008) and on the International Scientific Advisory Board of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation (2001-2011). Currently, Bauer is a member of Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) Advisory Board, Shanghai, member of the Expert Team of IHME Helsinki and of documenta15 Commission in Kassel, Germany. Bauer serves on the Real Patronato (board of trustees) of the Museo National Centre del Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, on the Governing Council of the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) and is a member of the Academy of the Art of the World (ADKDW), Cologne, Germany.
In Singapore, she serves on the National Gallery Singapore’s Research Panel (since 2015), and was a steering committee member of the 6th Singapore Biennale 2019/2020.
Commissioner | Rosa Daniel (CEO, National Arts Council Singapore)
Rosa Daniel is the Deputy Secretary (Culture) in the Singapore Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and the Chief Executive Officer of the National Arts Council Singapore (NAC). She was Chief Executive of the National Heritage Board from February 2013 to May 2017. Prior to joining the culture sector, Rosa held other senior appointments in the economic and social sectors.
In her capacity as DS Culture, Rosa oversees the policies and implementation work of the Ministry and its statutory boards, the National Heritage Board and the National Arts Council, on issues related to the arts and heritage. She also works with the companies under the Ministry, namely School of the Arts, National Gallery, Singapore Art Museum and the Esplanade.
As the Chief Executive of the NAC, Rosa oversees its work to champion the creation and appreciation of the arts through nurturing excellence and community outreach. She also works with key partners to profile Singapore internationally through the arts.