Statement des künstlerischen Leiters

Von Matthew Ngui

As an artist, I prefer to work in a site-specific manner, where art engages in some way with the site's history, socio-cultural identity and physical space. This is not uncommon amongst artists where their art processes often engage deeply with the respective environments, producing works that are grounded and relevant to these sites. It is this engagement in all its possibilities that I hope to explore with Singapore Biennale.

Wonder, the theme for the last Biennale was a development from Belief (the theme for the first Biennale), where the curious, questioning mode in "wonder" challenged the notion of "belief" - a point the previous curatorial team under the directorship of Fumio Nanjo made. Working as a curator on that second exhibition, I also came across the sense of wonder and surprise present in the making of art. This process of working with sites and/or communities of people is a combination of the exploratory, curious and questioning nature of the artists' research and the sense of surprise and fresh insight that often happens when the artwork is installed. To focus on this process of art-making is an extension of the concept of Wonder and therefore a further development of the themes of the 2 previous biennales. I hope that for this next Biennale, we would be able to encourage these exploratory and revelatory art processes to happen in the many potentially interesting sites on the island of Singapore, and perhaps elsewhere also.

The structure of the Biennale would have three focal points. The first is to develop sitespecific projects with local and international artists to be researched and made in Singapore; the outcome of which will be a range of small and major artworks to be shown at the various exhibition spaces, including public sites. The second focus would have a broad international perspective on site-specific works that reveal something of the respective sites the artists have engaged with. The third, and coming from the other end, is where there will a conscious attempt to work with specific sites in Singapore through a collaborative framework of artists, our Biennale office and the owners of the public or private spaces. All foci, however, will be related to Singapore as a site, a home and country, and other spaces and nations, where revelatory art practices occur.

 

(Pressemitteilung der Singapur Biennale, 3. Juni 2009)
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