SINGAPORE - Malaysia's Chia Chuyia knitted a garment out of leeks. Another artist, Melati Suryodarmo from Indonesia, used her face as a stamp to ink rice paper. A third, Sakarin Krue-On from Thailand, retold a traditional folktale about a tiger hunt through theatre.
These three thought-provoking performance art pieces marked the opening of the Singapore Biennale on Wednesday night (Oct 26) at the Singapore Art Museum.
The guest of honour was Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
The leading contemporary art exhibition, which is into its fifth edition, is organised by the museum and commissioned by the National Arts Council.
This edition spotlights art from South-east Asia and places it in the wider context of Asia.
Titled An Atlas Of Mirrors, it exhibits works that map and reflect the complex social, political, geographical and historical relationships shared by people and places in Asia. Its aim is to help viewers consider how they picture the world and themselves from where they stand.
It features 58 works, including installations and video art, by 63 artists and artist collectives from 19 countries and territories in the region.
Five artists participating in the biennale have also been short-listed for the Benesse Prize art award, which comes with a cash reward of 3 million yen (S$40,000) and a commission to create a work to be exhibited at Benesse Art Site Naoshima, an acclaimed art project on the small islands of Naoshima, Teshima and Inujima in Japan.
The biennale is curated by a 10-member team comprising five curators from the museum, four independent curators from the region and the biennale's creative director, Dr Susie Lingham.
Ms Nur Hanim Khairuddin, an artist-curator from Malaysia who is also an associate curator for the biennale, said: "The process of collaboration among curators from China, India, Malaysia and Singapore provides many vantage points for visitors and presents a dynamic view of art in the region."