The 2011 Singapore Biennale: moving away from big-picture themes

The 2011 Singapore Biennale: moving away from big-picture themes

Artistic director Matthew Ngui has taken a different tack with this year's Singapore Biennale, aiming to make it a platform for experimentation by moving away from big-picture themes and throwing the focus on the artistic practice and daily life influences. He says: “Open House is not strictly a theme, but more of an attitude and way of thinking. It is not so much about identifying works that talk about space, but rather identifying artistic processes and practices, and the way they work in specific spaces and interact with them.”
One of the first responses to the change of tack comes from Pauline J. Yao in a piece published by art agenda.
“Perhaps it comes as no surprise to that Singapore would present a polished exhibition so safe and measured that it not only obviates any stance or statement but leaves very little room for critique. Given the congenial tone and and aesthetically pleasing yet neatly understated works, one could almost forget that it was a biennale at all. In fact as I wandered through the show, I kept finding myself wondering in what sense this show constitutes a biennale; and now, given the task of writing about it, I am forced to consider on what terms it is to be judged.” Read more…
Image: Shao Yinong & Muchen, “1990 100 Chinese Note (Four leaders)”, 2004 – 2010, silk embroidery 280 x 380cm