singapore biennale 2008 opens

Artists worldwide showcase talent at the Singapore Biennale 2008

The Singapore Biennale 2008, organised by the National Arts Council, opened in September 2008 to showcase artworks from around the world.

On show are 137 artworks by 66 artists all around the world. A major feature is the Kids Biennale with art and creative workshops catering to children. Read more about the arts show below.

$6m art show kicks off with a big bang

ART was literally a pie in the sky concept last night at the opening of the Singapore Biennale 2008.

Australian artist Deborah Kelly used video and projection to flash four words in the sky – Beware of the God – at South Beach Development, one of the three venues for the contemporary art show.

Some 1,000 invited guests and artists witnessed the installation.

Mr John Chia, 19, a design student at Temasek Polytechnic was awed by the projection. “It’s cool,” he remarked as the words floated through the sky.

The biennale was officially declared open by Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong. He pressed a switch which lit a lantern on a podium outside the building and triggered the word – Wonder – the theme of the biennale, on the stage backdrop.

This was followed by a viewing of the artworks at South Beach Development.

There are 137 artworks by 66 artists from around the world on display at three sites – the Central Promontory Site in the Marina Bay area, City Hall along St Andrew’s Road and the South Beach Development – till Nov 16.

The $6-million biennale is organised by the National Arts Council. Tickets are priced at $10 per entry to City Hall and South Beach Development while exhibits at the Central Promontory are free.

At the opening ceremony last night, Dr Lee Boon Yang, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts noted that the biennale exhibits are located conveniently close to the upcoming SingTel Singapore Grand Prix’s circuit and said this would make it very convenient for visitors to enjoy the best of both worlds.

He added that this showcase of art ‘will also show how the arts have become an integral part of Singapore’s development’.

This is the second time that the contemporary art show is being held in Singapore. The inaugural show in 2006 coincided with the World Bank/International Monetary Fund meetings held here that year.

This year’s show is a scaled down version with fewer venues and fewer artists, but there are new features such as a Kids Biennale and Showcase Singapore, a boutique art fair.

The curatorial team, led by artistic director Fumio Nanjo (Japan) who also helmed the first show, includes Ms Joselina Cruz from the Philippines and Singaporean Matthew Ngui.

Mr Nanjo says the biennale is not just for people who already know art. He said, “It is for each of us to look at the reality of our lives, to provoke thought and opinion, to stimulate questions and to question the world we live in.”

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