Singapore Biennale 2019: Dates, artists, locations, and everything else you need to know about the art event
Commissioned by National Arts Council and organised by Singapore Art Museum, Singapore Biennale returns for its sixth edition on 22 November. This year, the biennale will showcase over 150 works across a breadth of diverse mediums including film, installation, sound art, and performance by over 70 artists and art collectives from around the world in 11 venues across the city.
Theme — Every Step in the Right Direction
Based on theme "Every Step in the Right Direction", the four-month long art event will reflect on the potential and abilities of art and artists to transform the world around us.
The biennale's first-ever external artistic director Patrick Flores explained, "What is the possibility of art, the artist, and the audience in light of this trouble? What is the responsibility of the artwork, its making, and its experience in the prospects of future action? As we believe, every effort to change the world for the better matters. SB2019 puts its faith squarely in the potential of art and its understanding to rework the world, expressed in the Biennale's title."
Some artistic highlights to look forward to include Singaporean artist Amanda Heng's restaging of her seminal performative series 'Let's Walk', Laurie Anderson and Hsin-Chien Huan's award-winning immersive AR work 'La camera insabbiata (The Chalkroom)' as well as Zakkubalan's video, photography, and ambient soundscape collab with renowned Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Singapore Biennale will introduce Coordinates Projects, a series of seven ground-up initiatives that focus on heritage, moving image, and performance to encourage engagement with local communities beyond traditional white-cube galleries. These will take the form of various formats including walking tours, interactive workshops, and film screenings. Some notable programmes worth checking out include socially engaged theatre company Drama Box's popular participatory theatre piece 'The Lesson' that tackles land issues as well as Geylang Adventures' alternative walkout around Singapore's infamous red-light district.
Key Dates and Venues
Singapore Biennale will take place prominently at National Gallery Singapore and Gillman Barracks as well as other cultural and heritage venues including sites within the Bras Basah Bugis precinct. Singapore Biennale will run from 22 November 2019 to 22 March 2020.