About Singapore Biennale 2022

Natasha

The seventh edition of the Singapore Biennale (SB2022) is named Natasha. The act of naming serves as a prompt to artists, collaborators, and audiences to re-discover ways of seeing and relating to the world. Going to Natasha is to embrace the possibility of intimacy and spontaneity afforded by such recognition, as well as to reflect on the transformative potential within life and its relations — from self to others, from human to non-human, from living to non-living and vice versa, and beyond. The artists and collaborators thus become ‘fellow travellers’ in the journey of Natasha, expressed through artistic imagination and research. Featuring over 50 artists and collaborators embarking on a collective journey with Natasha, Singapore Biennale 2022 will take place from 16 October 2022 to 19 March 2023.

The Singapore Biennale was established in 2006 as the country’s pre-eminent platform for international dialogue in contemporary art. It presents and reflects the vigour of artistic practices in Singapore and the region within a global context, and fosters productive collaborations and deep engagement with artists, arts organisations, and the international arts community.

The Singapore Biennale cultivates public engagement with contemporary art through a period of concerted activities including exhibitions, public engagement and education programmes that feature artist and curator talks and tours, school visits and workshops, and community days. It complements achievements in other areas of arts and culture, collectively enhancing Singapore’s international profile as a vibrant city in which to live, work and play.

The 2006 and 2008 editions of the Biennale were organised by the National Arts Council (NAC). NAC has commissioned SAM to organise the Biennale since 2011.

Co-Artistic Directors
Ala Younis's image
Ala Younis

Ala Younis is an artist with research, curatorial, film, and publishing projects. She is co-Head of Berlinale’s Forum Expanded, member of the Akademie der Künste der Welt, Cologne, and co-founder of the
independent publishing initiative, Kayfa ta. She co-initiated and codirected a national group for researching and developing cultural policy in Jordan (2012–18). Younis seeks instances where historical and
political events collapse into personal ones. Her artworks were featured in major exhibitions, including solo shows in New York, Seville, London,
Prague, Cairo, Amman, Sharjah, and Dubai, and in the Istanbul,
Gwangju, Orléans and Ural biennales. Her project Plan for Greater Baghdad (2015) premiered at All the World’s Futures, 56th Venice Biennale.

In 2013, Younis curated Kuwait’s first pavilion at the Venice Biennale. She curated Museum of Manufactured Response to Absence, collection and interventions in Kuwait, Algiers and Ramallah (2012–14).
She also co-curated How to find meaning in dead time in Berlin and Hands in Cologne (both 2021); How to Reappear: Through the quivering leaves of independent publishing in Beirut and Amman and How to Maneuver: Shapeshifting texts and other publishing tactics in Abu Dhabi (both 2019–20); and Out of Place at Tate Modern and Darat al Funun (2011). Younis edited an extensive monograph on late Palestinian artist Abdul Hay Mosallam and co-edited The Time Is Out Of Joint published by Sharjah Art Foundation in 2020 and 2016 respectively. She co-edited and published over 18 publications through Kayfa ta initiative.

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Nida Ghouse's image
Nida Ghouse

Nida Ghouse is a writer and curator. She is Visiting Lecturer at the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities at Princeton University for Spring 2022. With Vic Brooks, she received the 2021 Andy Warhol Foundation curatorial fellowship for the exhibition Shifting Center at EMPAC, upcoming in 2023. She curated A Slightly Curving Place at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (2020), in the framework of An Archaeology of Sound, a collaborative project responding to the acoustic archaeologist Umashankar Manthravadi. The project travels to Alserkal Arts Foundation (2021-22) and encompasses ‘Coming to Know,’ a discursive programme with Brooke Holmes; ‘A Supplementary Country Called Cinema,’ a film programme with Surabhi Sharma; and An Archaeology of listening, a publication series with Archive Books. She previously co-curated La presencia del sonido at Botín Foundation (2012), was part of the exhibition Anarchéologie at Centre Pompidou (2017) and has a collection of writing on listening. Ghouse has co-curated Parapolitics: Cultural Freedom and the Cold War (2017) at Haus der Kulturen der Welt and co-edited its accompanying publication (Sternberg Press, 2021). Her work ‘Lotus Notes’ which started with Mada Masr has since appeared in multiple text and talk formats. Her engagement with Hassan Khan’s practice has taken shape in a two-week event ‘14 Proper Nouns,’ as well as artist seminars, writing workshops, conversations and essays like ‘The Loss of Tokyo.’ Ghouse’s collaborative projects include Emotional
Architecture with Malak Helmy, and Take to the Sea with Lina Attalah and Laura Cugusi, first presented at Manifesta 8 (2010) and later nominated by Bassam El Baroni for the Vera List Center Prize (2014). The question of what an exhibition can be is a preoccupation manifest in her curatorial projects, such as Untitled Exhibition #1 with Padmini Chettur, Desert of Images with Melik Ohanian, Bartered Collections with
CONA Foundation, and Rehearsing the Witness with Zuleikha Chaudhari. She began her practice through a curatorial programme at Townhouse Gallery in Cairo, and once served as director of an experimental exhibition space Mumbai Art Room. Her writing has been featured in numerous periodicals, as well as in the publications of MuKHA, New Museum, Palazzo Grassi, the 56th and 58th Venice Biennale, Van Abbemuseum, among others. Her text ‘From the Resistance to the Clouds: on panning to the sky’ is forthcoming with Ashkal Alwan’s publishing platform Perpetual Postponement.

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Binna Choi's image
Binna Choi

Binna Choi is the Director at Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons, Utrecht since 2008, where she engages with both its artistic programming and the organisational cultural practice as part of the curatorial. This practice follows the path marked by mostly longterm, trans-disciplinary, and collaborative projects like Composing the Commons (2013–16) with the extended team of Casco consisting project-exhibitions such as Site for Unlearning (Art Organization) (2014–18) with Annette Krauss, We Are the Time Machines: Time and Tools for Commoning (2016), and New Habits (2014) with commissions for new works, research groups, publishing and networks like Arts Collaboratory and Cluster, and The Grand Domestic Revolution (2010–12) with Maiko Tanaka, Yolande van der Heide and many others. The latest programmes under her directorship and co-curatorship include Parasite Lottery by Wok the Rock, The Library of Unread Books by Heman Chong and Rene Staal, Army of Love by Ingo Niermann and Dora Garcia, four solo exhibitions in one (Babi Badalov, Ansuya Blom, Ama Josephine Budge, Mire Lee), Het is of de stenen spreken (silence is a commons). Longterm, collective projects such as Travelling Farm Museum of Forgotten Skills with the Outsiders, Unmapping Eurasia with You Mi, and the annual Assembly for commoning art institutions, and the infrastructural project under development Commons.art with Yin Aiwen, are amongst the ways to de/re instituting at Casco in light of the commons.

Choi also works for Dutch Art Institute and Islands Culture Diversity Network. As a member of Akademie der Künste der Welt, Köln, she curated Gwangju
Lessons over the 18 May Democratic Uprising with Christian Nyampeta and took it to Asia Culture Center as part of the MaytoDay by the Gwangju Biennale
Foundation (2020). Choi was a curator for the 11th Gwangju Biennale: The Eighth Climate (What Does Art Do?)

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June Yap's image
June Yap

June Yap is the Director of Curatorial & Collections at Singapore Art Museum, where she oversees the museum’s exhibitions and curatorial programmes. Her prior roles include Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator (South and Southeast Asia), Deputy Director and Curator at the Institute
of Contemporary Arts Singapore, LASALLE, and curator at the Singapore Art Museum. Amongst exhibitions she has curated are: The Gift for Singapore Art Museum presented at National Gallery Singapore (2021) as part of the transregional curatorial collaboration, Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories; They Do Not Understand Each Other co-curated with Yuka Uematsu from National Museum of Art, Osaka, at Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong (2020); No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia as part of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2013), Asia Society, Hong Kong (2013) and NTU Centre for
Contemporary Art Singapore (2014); The Cloud of Unknowing for the Singapore Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale with artist Ho Tzu Nyen (2011); The Future of Exhibition: It Feels Like I’ve Been Here Before at
the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, LASALLE (2010); Paradise is Elsewhere at Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Stuttgart and Berlin (2009); media art exhibitions Twilight Tomorrow and Interrupt at the Singapore Art Museum (2004 and 2003, respectively).
Yap is the author of Retrospective: A Historiographical Aesthetic in
Contemporary Singapore and Malaysia (SIRD, 2016).

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About Singapore Biennale
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Singapore Art Museum opened in 1996 as the first art museum in Singapore located in the cultural district of Singapore. Known as SAM, the museum presents contemporary art from a Southeast Asian perspective for artists, art lovers and the art curious in multiple venues across the island, including a new venue in the historic port area of Tanjong Pagar. The museum is building one of the world's most important public collections of Southeast Asian contemporary art, with the aim of connecting the art and the artists to the public and future generations through exhibitions and programmes. SAM is working towards a humane and sustainable future by committing to responsible practices within its processes. To find out more, visit www.singaporeartmuseum.sg

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The National Arts Council champions the arts in Singapore. By nurturing creative excellence and supporting broad audience engagement, our diverse and distinctive arts inspire our people, connect communities and profile Singapore internationally. We preserve our rich, cultural traditions as we cultivate accomplished artists and vibrant companies for the future. Our support for the arts is comprehensive – from grants and partnerships to industry facilitation and arts housing. The Council welcomes greater private and corporate giving to and through the arts so that together we can make the arts an integral part of everyone’s lives. For more information on the Council's mission and plans, visit www.nac.gov.sg.

Past Editions
Singapore Biennale 2006: Belief's image
Singapore Biennale 2006: Belief

Singapore's inaugural international biennale of contemporary art was opened to the public from 4 September to 12 November 2006. The biennale was curated by Artistic Director, Fumio Nanjo, with curators, Roger McDonald, Sharmini Pereira, and Eugene Tan. Through the conceptual framework of BELIEF, artists were invited to examine the complex questions that surround and inform the questions of belief, which manifest in contemporary society.

Singapore Biennale 2008: Wonder's image
Singapore Biennale 2008: Wonder

The second edition of the biennale ran from 11 September to 16 November 2008. Fumio Nanjo reprised his role as Artistic Director and worked with curators, Joselina Cruz and Matthew Ngui. The biennale investigates the articulation and creation of marvels, riddles and illusions in our world today. The artworks in the exhibition call the visitors to question and be curious; to reach beyond the surface, surpassing the apparent; and to be surprised, awed, tantalised and challenged.

Singapore Biennale 2011: Open House's image
Singapore Biennale 2011: Open House

The third edition of the biennale was held from 12 March to 15 May 2011. Under the artistic direction of Matthew Ngui and curators Trevor Smith and Russell Storer, the biennale sought to examine multiple perspectives and myriad creative approaches to questions of how we move across borders, see other points of view, and form connections with others.

Singapore Biennale 2013: If the World Changed's image
Singapore Biennale 2013: If the World Changed

The fourth edition ran from 26 October 2013 to 16 February 2014. With a 27-member curatorial team, biennale explored the rich cultures and geographies of the Southeast Asian region have historically been the corridor of the world's major civilisations. The ebb and flow of these complex cultural interactions have yielded responses of accommodation and resistance, leaving legacies of layering and sedimentation within the varied communities.

Singapore Biennale 2016: An Atlas of Mirrors 's image
Singapore Biennale 2016: An Atlas of Mirrors

The fifth edition was held from 27 October 2016 to 26 February 2017 and explores the shared histories and current realities within and beyond the region. Curated by a team of nine curators and led by creative director, Susie Lingham, the biennale presented artworks and projects around nine subthemes, or zones.

Singapore Biennale 2019: Every Step in the Right Direction's image
Singapore Biennale 2019: Every Step in the Right Direction

The sixth iteration of the biennale ran from 22 November 2019 to 22 March 2020. Helmed by Patrick Flores as the biennale’s Artistic Director, and with a curatorial team of six members from Singapore, Southeast Asia and beyond, this edition focused on the imperative of making choices and taking the steps to consider current conditions and the human endeavour for change.