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Singapore Biennale

Singapore Biennale

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Listing created by Iswariya on November 28, 2012    

The Singapore Biennale is a contemporary art biennale in Singapore. The biennale featured different types of contemporary art including performances, photography, video and sound. 


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Creatively Artistic concepts.

Contemporary Art come to me! Being the avid art fan that I am, I love to appreciate the different art forms that come in the package of Contemporary art.

Once every two years, Singapore holds the Biennale which is full of interesting concepts and artistic visuals which never fail to blow my mind. I too, had participated in one of the Biennale projects a few years back, and part of my artwork was shown in the Old Airport which showcased that particular work. Even so, that was trivial compared to the monumental and huge scaled works that many artists create. The sheer scale and dimensions of the work makes it obvious that many of these artists actually put their heart and soul into the creation and crafting of a single work - so painstakingly meticulous that it is almost emotionally moving when I see an artwork sometimes.

With the different locations that exhibit these works, the Biennale is always a good place to visit if you want to explore the boundaries of your mind - and by that I mean the limits of your creativity. Where will these artworks take you?

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Whole load of freshness

I was stunned when I realised that the Singapore Biennale I was heading to was located at City Hall. I clambered up the flight of steps there anticipating the contents beneath those sturdy British infrastructure. The contents didn't disappoint.

The artworks were impressive! The vintage hanging over each pillar seemed to boost these art works with some sort of mystical vibe. However, this gallery was rather silent. I could here my friend grinding his teeth as loud as a reverberating echo even when he was across the room. They should probably install some symphonic orchestra as a background track to provide the ambiance with an uplift.

There were loads of doors, windows, rooms within this compound. It was like a maze! My friends and I were amazed as to how we managed to navigate our way through that compound like a professional. Oh, the toilets are rather ancient but it's tiled walls made it a perfect singing sanctuary! We hummed our way into the toilet and was astonished when our hums morphed into a stereo sounded quality! Try it!

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Modern art made accessible

"Aiyoh, what is this? Part of the Singapore Biennale?" exclaimed my mum a while ago, upon seeing a pair of old socks and some plastic bags strewn on the floor.

I couldn't help but be amused at how this bienniel event had so subtly transformed the perspectives of art among the general public here in Singapore.

When news of the first Singapore Biennale was released in 2006, I looked forward to the event with much anticipation, and much trepidation at the same time. With Biennales throughout the world being known for their extreme and thought-provoking art pieces (such as a burning chandelier intentionally made to crash to the floor), I did not quite know what this new local event had in store.

While the event, I must say, turned out not quite as bold and outrageous as I had expected,(perhaps due to the more conservative culture here), I found it a good window for those new to modern art to explore this area that is so often viewed as inaccessible. With splashes of clashing colours, unusual shapes and forms, and materials and venues that you would least expect, the exhibits were bound to pique one's interest in the possibilities of art as a communicative tool and redefine one's notion of art.

Over the years, I've been encouraged to see higher levels of engagement at the Biennale, with more opportunities for students and members of the public to participate in artistic creation and reflect on its underlying processes. The event's seamless organisation never fails to impress me each time and the informative labelling of artworks certainly helps even those with minimal art knowledge to appreciate the deeper intended meanings behind each art piece. One of the greatest things I've always enjoyed is the distinct Asian-ness behind the Biennale's featured works (which are mostly by local and regional artists), which makes one realise how our common glorification of Western art and messages has so often overshadowed the immense potential of our local and regional talent.

All in all, the Singapore Biennale is to me modern art made accessible and an event that I believe all, whether art professionals or the common public, would be able to take away much from.

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