This post was made possible by “notabilia,” an artsy/crafty New Yorker living in Singapore. She writes about literature, art, independent design, creative people, pretty things, and regional travel.
The third Singapore Biennale features 63 artists from 30 countries presented across the Singapore Art Museum and 8Q, the National Museum of Singapore, Old Kallang Airport, and Marina Bay. Here’s just a sampling of some of works on display. These pieces ask viewers to explore the different ways of making and thinking about contemporary art.
In Factum, a video installation by Candice Breitz, the artist showcases dual-channel and tri-channel footage from extensive interviews with seven pairs of identical twins and one set of identical triplets. (The triplets have become the “face” of the Singapore Biennale; their visages can be found on billboards all over the city.)
British artist Charles Sandison’s digital projection of text, Through a Glass Darkly, is inspired by conversations overheard on public transportation in Singapore’s four official languages: English, Malay, Chinese (Mandarin), and Tamil. His computer algorithms “immerse us in an ever-changing sea of words.”
Singaporean artist, Koh Nguang How, presents his treasure-trove of contemporary art news from English- and Chinese-language newspapers. Koh is an artist, archivist, and curator and the clippings presented here are just a fraction of his extensive collection, The Singapore Art Archive Project.
In one of my favorite works, Spring and Autumn, husband and wife team Shoa Yinong and Muchen use traditional Suzhou embroidery to create a large-scale, highly detailed tapestries of obscure currencies.
Particularly moving (pun-intended) is Martin Creed’s Work No. 112: Thirty-nine metronomes beating time, one at every speed, a row of metronomes whose hypnotizing pendulums are each set to different tempos.
Compound by Cambodian artist, Sopheap Pich uses rattan and bamboo that are primarily used in “craft and agriculture.” This intricate structure, made of simple, indigenous materials, fills the rotunda dome of the National Museum of Singapore.
And I’d be remiss without mentioning Tatzu Nishi’s The Merlion Hotel. It’s a luxury hotel built around Singapore’s iconic landmark, The Merlion. The merlion is a mythical creature — half-fish, half-lion — and is the “mascot” of this city-state.