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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Singapore Biennale 2011, National Museum of Singapore

The Singapore Biennale 2011 was yet another opportunity for us to visit the museums for free! We parked at Fort Canning which was just across the road, on the day that they happened to be staging Shakespeare in the Park - Macbeth.

The area surrounding my favourite red pepper was undergoing improvement works.

Down the escalator and into an entire space devoted to the works of Ruangrupa, a collective of artists from Jakarta. Their installation, Singapore Fiction, 2011 was commissioned by the Singapore Biennale. I found it interesting and humorous, albeit a little amateurish.

Postcards that made me chuckle!

Horror. Brought to mind school days and stories of decapitated heads atop revolving ceiling fans.

The supernatural. And a free ghost story to go along.

What we are famous for, and by that I mean our no spitting law. And again no, we're not China.

I almost passed this installation by, without so much as a glance, had the boy not pointed it out to me. Our fave pastime as kids.

Blow up dolls not available then?

There was a different exhibition going on inside the Lower Level Gallery. Upon entry, the first thing we saw was Flooded McDonald's (2008). A film created by Superflex to engage people in everyday issues of globalisation, it was "a slow narrative of the destructive process".

I was facsinated by the Spring and Autumn series of embroidered images by husband and wife team, Shao Yinong and Muchen. Developed over 6 years and exhibited for the first time, the 13 pieces feature delicate Suzhou silk embroidery, suggesting the fragility of political and economic power. The notes featured are all obsolete as the ruling powers that created them are no longer in power.

"Currency becomes so feathery light and thin that it floats in the air. It looks so delicate and weak but it is as sharp as a blade and fatally lethal. This is the lost arena hidden within currency."

1935, One Chinese Note (Temple of Heaven)

1910, 100 Russian Note (Catherine II)

1942, 10,000 Chinese Note (Dr Sun Yat-sen)

White Discharge, 2010 by Teppei Kenuiji. White polyester resin freezes once familiar objects into a permanent and unfamiliar state of transition, with the 'whiting out' suggesting wiping out and thus potential of blank space. I think I still know what they once were, do you?

From Pak-kun, August 10, 2008 is a collection of letters that Chiang Mai-born artist, Navin Rawanchaikul, wrote to his daughter Mari when he was working abroad. Of Indian ethnicity and living and working between Chiang Mai and Japan, his works explore local identity and the impact of migration and globalized culture.

Steps of Predicaments by Gigi Scaria explores the seismic impact of rapid urban development and the rural-urban migration to the city, on people and social structures. Does sad pigeon holes of anonymity and homogeneity indicate progress?

On that note, I would like to say that we have a need for quality instead of quantity when it comes to people and technology. Seems harsh?

Open house at the old Kallang airport coming up next!

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