Entertainment Arts The sixth edition of the Singapore Biennale is back with a showcase...

The sixth edition of the Singapore Biennale is back with a showcase of contemporary Southeast Asian art




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Singapore Biennale is back for its sixth edition with an exquisite showcase of contemporary Southeast Asian art in diverse mediums by talented artists and art collectives from the region.

A total of 77 artists and art directives from 36 categories and territories will participate.

Singapore Biennale 2019 (SB2019) opened across 11 venues in Singapore on Friday (Nov 22) and will run until Mar 22, 2020.

Locations for the event include the National Gallery Singapore, Gillman Barracks, Lasalle College of the Arts, the National Library and the Asian Civilisations Museum.

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Commissioned by the National Arts Council and organised by the Singapore Art Museum, this year’s event is bigger and more focused than ever.

Titled “Every Step in the Right Direction”, it will exhibit over 150 works utilising varied mediums—performance, film, installation and sound art.

Previous editions of the Biennale were in 2006, 2008, 2011, 2013 and 2016. It has since been touted as the country’s leading stage for international dialogue and presence in contemporary art.

The exhibition invites participation through the act of artistic exploration, zeroing on the importance of making choices in life and considering current conditions and the collective human effort for change.

Artists were asked to express awareness of global issues and,  through their own artistic interpretations, propose ways to address humanity’s shared problems.

The Biennale will also feature 50 never-before-seen commissions and works, pieces that have not been presented in contemporary art biennales and exhibitions internationally.

This first weekend promises to be big. An interesting line-up of artist performances, tours and talks will be taking place.

It includes the Artist and Curator Tour on Nov 23 at Gillman Barracks, Chang En-Man’s showcase of Taiwanese aboriginal and locally-inspired recipes at the Telok Ayer Arts Club on Saturday (Nov 23), and the Phum Style show at Far East Plaza on Nov 23 and 24, featuring an exciting appearance by Phare, the Battambang Circus from Cambodia.

You can view the complete calendar of events of the SB2019 here.

The brains behind SB2019 are artistic director Patrick Flores and his team of six curators, each of them drawing inspiration from different backgrounds and interests.

“The Singapore Biennale 2019 puts its faith squarely in the potential of art (and its understanding) to rework the world, expressed in the Biennale title: ‘Every Step in the Right Direction’,” said Flores.

“I hope that this Biennale will inspire creativity and creation, and renew a necessary sense of curiosity and attentiveness to the everyday,” he added.

Rosa Daniel, CEO of The National Arts Council, said the Biennale is a chance for Singaporeans “to experience and be curious about contemporary art of Southeast Asia”.

“With the exhibition sited at historical, cultural, and public sites across Singapore, we hope that through art, Singaporeans deepen their connection with the city and the region, and overseas visitors will discover more about Singapore and Southeast Asia,” expressed Daniel.

The Biennale is “a cross between a seminar and a festival, an archive and a workshop”. Audience members and art-appreciators are invited to “cherish the joy of experiencing art and, at the same time, value the moment of contemplation that this distinct encounter brings”.

Flores closed his Artistic Director’s statement with this—”SB2019 offers a sustainable, self-renewing project of change, and moves everyone to act – to make a step.”

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