50TH VENICE BIENNALE :
INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION
(14 June – 2 November 2003)
Established in 1895, the Venice Biennale is the oldest and most important international visual art event in the world.
This year, the world's most famous visual arts biennale will once again see the participation of Singaporean artists. Tan Swie Hian, Heman Chong and Francis Ng Teck Yong will represent Singapore at the 50th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale (or Biennale di Venezia), from 15 June to 2 November 2003. Singapore's presentation of these artists at the Biennale is organised by the National Arts Council and the National Heritage Board.
The Singapore pavilion at the Biennale will be at the Fondazione Ugo e Olga Levi - San Vidal, 2893, 30124 - Venezia.
The Venice Biennale is the oldest and most important international visual art event in the world. Initially started in 1895 to showcase Italian art, it has evolved to become the international platform for contemporary art. It attracts hundreds of thousands of people to each event and is recognised as the most strategic and high-profile cultural event of its kind.
WHY IS IT SIGNIFICANT FOR SINGAPORE?
The Venice Biennale is the most important event on the international visual art calendar. No other international event captures this much attention and attendance from key international art professionals, media and general visitors. Some quick facts on the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001:
WHO IS IT MANAGED BY?
The managing organisation of
the Biennale event, La Biennale di Venezia, was recently
transformed from an Ente Autonomo (independent company) to a Societa di
Cultura (a special, non-profit-making foundation open to contributions from
the private sector). The Biennale enjoys the support and backing of
the Italian Government and Parliament, which have defined it by law as an
organisation of national importance.
WHAT’S ON FOR THIS YEAR’S BIENNALE?
Biennale di Venezia presents the 50th International Art Exhibition with
USA-based curator Francesco Bonami as artistic director. He is currently
Manilow Senior Curator at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. The theme
of this Biennale is Dreams and Conflicts-The Viewer's
Dictatorship. According to the artistic director, the show aims to be an
"exhibition of exhibitions", laid out in the various spaces within the
Arsenale and in the Giardini della Biennale, including the national
participations in the Giardini pavilions, as well as in other locations in
the heart of Venice and elsewhere again.
WHEN WILL IT BE ON?
After the 3-day preview, called the Vernissage (from 12 to 14 June), the Venice Biennale will officially open on 14 June and members of the public can visit the exhibition from 15 June to 2 November 2003.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE VERNISSAGE?
The three days of the Vernissage (preview period) before the official opening is attended by VIPs, media and invited art professionals but is closed to the general public. The Vernissage has an important networking and promotional function. Of the 20,000 people who attend the Vernissage, the Biennale authorities estimate that more than 10,000 official media representatives attend during those few days. Directors and curators of all major museums mix with commercial gallery dealers, collectors, critics and artists. Openings, media launches and private functions facilitate numerous professional exchanges. Although the Biennale is a non-commercial event, there are certainly many commercial opportunities available to artists and their representatives.
Singapore will present Tan Swie Hian, Heman Chong and Francis Ng Teck Yong at the Singapore pavilion located at the Fondazione Ugo e Olga Levi - San Vidal, 2893, 30124 - Venezia.
Our exhibition is headlined by multi-talented visual artist and writer Tan Swie Hian, winner of this year’s Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum. Tan’s unique blend of art reflects his Chinese, Indian and Buddhist philosophy, combined with his insight as a modern Chinese Singaporean. Heman Chong’s practice defies categorisation as his "trans-disciplinary" style involves the use of graphics, photography, text and video. Heman is currently in Berlin as part of NAC’s Künstlerhaus Bethanien International Studio Programme. NAC’s Georgette Chen Arts Scholarship recepient Francis Ng is known to juxtapose existing and reconstructed spaces, bringing a whole new experience for the viewer.
Singapore’s second participation in the Biennale is organised by the National Arts Council and the National Heritage Board.
FACTS AT A GLANCE