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Perks for seniors at Singapore Biennale

Toh Wen Li on 22 Nov 2019

The Straits Times


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The Singapore Biennale is back from today to March 22, with perks for seniors.


The four-month event, set to the title Every Step In The Right Direction, features art by more than 70 artists and collectives from South-east Asia and beyond in about 10 venues - such as National Gallery Singapore, Gillman Barracks and Lasalle College of the Arts.


Merdeka and Pioneer Generation card holders can also visit ticketed Biennale venues (but not ticketed events) for free. Multilingual tours at the National Gallery Singapore and Gillman Barracks titled Kopi, Teh, And Contemporary Art have also been designed with seniors in mind.


The public can also look out for performances, talks and other events, some of which are happening on the opening weekend: Phare, The Battambang Circus will perform a circus show at Far East Plaza, and Taiwan artist Chang En-Man will teach participants to prepare and wrap aboriginal millet dumplings with snails at the Telok Ayer Arts Club.


The biennale is organised by the Singapore Art Museum and helmed by artistic director Patrick Flores as well as six other curators.


"I'd like to consider the title as an invitation for the public to think about the world we are in today, and an inspiration for them to take steps to make it better, or do something different about it," Dr Flores said at a preview on Wednesday.


During a speech to members of the arts community on Tuesday, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu said she would like the biennale to inspire people, act as a platform for spotting new talent, promote conversations among those from different backgrounds and be accessible to underserved groups and the less mobile.


The last biennale drew 600,000 people, nearly half of whom came from overseas.


Five biennale artists have been shortlisted for the Benesse Prize, which comes with a cash prize of three million yen (S$37,500) and the chance to have their work exhibited or collected at Benesse Art Site Naoshima in Japan. The prize was presented at the prestigious Venice Biennale between 1995 and 2013 and has been awarded at the Singapore Biennale since 2016.


The finalists are Singapore performance artist Amanda Heng, who is revisiting her Let's Walk series; Robert Zhao Renhui from Singapore, for his cabinet of curiosities with objects from the forest next to Gillman Barracks; Thai artist Dusadee Huntrakul, who has created 16 ceramic reproductions of ancient pots, with modern inscriptions next to them; Turkish artist Hera Buyuktasciyan for her wood and metal installations; and street artist Haifa Subay from Yemen, who has nine murals responding to issues such as child recruitment and the casualties of landmines.


Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.



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