Duo chosen for Venice Biennale

Duo chosen for Venice Biennale
Curator Shabbir Hussain Mustafa of the National Gallery (left) and artist Charles Lim will represent Singapore at the Venice Biennale 2015.

SINGAPORE - Singapore will return to the prestigious Venice Biennale exhibition next year, represented by artist Charles Lim and curator Shabbir Hussain Mustafa, who researches art from Singapore and South-east Asia at the National Gallery Singapore.

The announcement was made by Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong at the official opening of the Singapore Art Museum exhibition, Medium At Large, yesterday night.

Mr Wong, in his speech pledging the Government's commitment to contemporary art, also said it is working towards a long-term lease for a pavilion space at the biennale to secure Singapore's presence at the international art event and provide a longer lead time to plan and commission works.

Singapore has taken part in every edition of the biennale since 2001, but it was absent from last year's show because its participation was under review by the National Arts Council. Mr Wong, however, reaffirmed the ministry's commitment to showing at the biennale in Parliament last year.

The proposed exhibition by Lim will draw from his ongoing body of work, Sea State, which explores issues such as the environment and territorial borders as well as notions of histories and everyday life.

The series, which comprises works in different mediums including photography and video, has been widely exhibited since 2005 to critical acclaim, including a special mention at the 2011 Venice Film Festival for the short film, All The Lines Flow Out (2011).

This film, which journeys through Singapore's drains and canals, is on show at the Singapore Art Museum as part of its other exhibition, Unearthed.

For the biennale, Lim plans to open a new chapter on the Sea State series and show new works.

Mustafa, 29, and Lim and their proposal were selected from a pool of eight submissions received by the commissioning panel for the biennale.

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