Good choices for Singapore at Venice Biennale

I applaud the National Arts Council in choosing artist Zai Kuning and curator June Yap to represent Singapore at next year's Venice Biennale (Forgotten Histories Head For Venice, Life, Aug 18).

Zai is unique and fearless in exploring the nomadic orang laut communities and is able to refresh the topic from a spiritual perspective, giving it a contemporary spin.

His selection also makes sense after artist Charles Lim's Sea State presentation at Venice last year, which dealt with Singapore's relationship to the sea. This allows some continuity of curatorial thought at the Singapore Pavilion.

Art historian Yap is a proven talent. She did well curating Ho Tzu Yen's Venice showcase in 2011 and No Country, a seminal exhibition on South-east Asian art, at the Guggenheim in New York in 2013.

The Venice Biennale is the Olympics for the visual arts. We could have another Joseph Schooling moment if this pair delivers.


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Hua Tye Swee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2016, with the headline 'Good choices for Singapore at Venice Biennale'. Print Edition | Subscribe