SAM to continue to helm Singapore Biennale

Filipino artist Ryan Villamael’s paper-and-felt installation, Locus Amoenus, is suspended from the ceiling of the second floor of Singapore Art Museum during the Singapore Biennale.
Filipino artist Ryan Villamael’s paper-and-felt installation, Locus Amoenus, is suspended from the ceiling of the second floor of Singapore Art Museum during the Singapore Biennale.PHOTO: SINGAPORE ART MUSEUM

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) will organise the next two editions of the Singapore Biennale in 2019 and 2022.

The National Arts Council (NAC) announced SAM's re-appointment to helm the contemporary visual art event in a statement on Monday (April 30).

SAM has organised the past three Biennales in 2011, 2013 and 2016. The event was launched in 2006, with its first two editions organised by the NAC.

The last Biennale, An Atlas Of Mirrors, featured 58 works, including installations and video art, by 63 artists and artist collectives from 19 countries and territories in the region. It received more than 600,000 visitors.

NAC chief executive Rosa Daniel, who co-chairs the Singapore Biennale 2019 Steering Committee with former SAM chair Jane Ittogi, said: "Over the years, the Biennale has not only been instrumental in establishing Singapore as a go-to destination for South-east Asian contemporary art, but has also proven to be an important developmental platform for art practitioners from Singapore and the region to showcase their works to an international audience."

The steering committee, which comprises representatives from the arts community, has appointed art historian Patrick D. Flores, a professor of art studies at the University of the Philippines and curator at the Vargas Museum in Manila, as artistic director for the 2019 edition of the Singapore Biennale.

He said: "I look forward to making the biennale platform more open to engaged forms of interaction with audiences through the public discourse of art. Perhaps the best way to do this is to turn the Biennale into an intersection between a festival and a seminar, a moment to think through what is happening around us and a time to take in the creative energy of the region."

The NAC said more information on the 2019 Biennale will be shared in the last quarter of this year.