Saturday, November 22, 2008

Singapore Biennale 2008 Part I - Art became Accessible

I visited the Biennale 2008, 2 weeks ago.

The Biennale was staged at 3 locations, the South Beach Development, City Hall and Central Promontory.The theme is Wonder and it finally ended its run on 16 Nov 08. I missed the last Biennale, but I am super glad I didn't miss this one.

It's very impressive. For the first time, I felt that the art installations were more accessible to the masses, in a non arty-farty sort of way. Perhaps, it's because the art was true to the theme, inspiring wonder in the viewer, and are aesthically pleasing to the eye. To me, that's enough. If I don't understand it, then I don't understand it. I won't kill my brain cells unneccessarily from thinking too deeply about the message the artist is trying to convey. Neither will I hate the piece because I don't understand it. You may think that seems superficial, but that's how I see them.

South Beach Development was the former headquarters of Singapore’s volunteer defence forces. It's not air conditioned, so leave your scarf and boots behind.

Here are some of my favourites.

Swiss Artist, Felice Varini's "Drill Hall" looks brilliant, even when viewed at different angles

Russian artist, Tishkov Leonid's "Private Moon"

Private Moon is a collection of various photographs of the artist himself, together with his 'pet moon'. He carries his pet moon on his back, he sleeps with his pet moon and even rows a boat with his pet moon. Humorously set in a fantasy backdrop, what's not to like?

Vietnamese artist, Truong Tan's "The Dancer"

Yeah, I can't find this dancer's head either.

Leandro Erlich's "Hair Salon"

This artist's attention to detail is amazing. The Her World magazine cover is a complete mirror image on the other side of the "mirror". The items on the table were arranged to completely mirror the items on the other side of the "mirror". The retro set up of this installation gets my thumbs up too.

"Distorted Reality" by Faisal Samara looks a little disturbing, admittedly

Luxemburg-born artist, Tse Su-Mei's "Swing"

"Fei Zhao"by Italian artist, Paolo W. Tamburella

Besides challenging the convention that art is only seen, I can smell this one. Yes, of soap.

"Teh Tarik" by local artist Cheo Chai Hiang

More about the installations at City Hall in another post. For now, I leave you with Heman Chong's work. Thanks also to Loveflower, for most of the awesome photos posted here.

One Hundred Years of Solitude


Loveflower loves this installation

Made of tons of tiny stickers, I *heart* this work

Sufficiently impressed with this Biennale, I'm now wishing I could go to the Venice Biennale.

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