"The quality of the biennale experience, rather than a numbers game, was foremost in our minds," she says. And it will be extremely rich and varied, she adds, because the artists have responded to the theme in "beautiful and wonderfully imaginative ways".
An installation called Noah's Garden II by Chinese artist Deng Guoyuan, for example, is a glasshouse made of mirrors, with vividly painted plants and ornamental stones placed in the space. The kaleidoscopic environment conjures up the dazzling and dizzying experience of discovering the unknown.
Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie's work, titled One Has To Wander Through All The Outer Worlds To Reach The Innermost Shrine At The End, on the other hand, features glass sculptures of chimerical beasts standing watch over hand-painted maps of imaginary and real lands. It alludes to how early adventurers, while driven by curiosity and attracted to mysterious lands, would halt their explorations when they encountered strange creatures.
Singapore artist-curator Michael Lee, who is an associate curator of this year's biennale, says the exhibition's move from an outlook that was international in its first three editions to a regional focus since the last edition in 2013, has allowed it to be more introspective and self-directed.
And although it is sticking with a regional approach, it has not stayed stagnant, he says. In 2013, the biennale highlighted artists practising away from the usual capitals of art in South-east Asia. This time, the scope has been extended beyond South-east Asia to include East Asia and South Asia.
Broadening the context of the biennale has an added perk. Independent curator Suman Gopinath, who is based in Bangalore and is also an associate curator for this biennale, says: "It brings together a variety of art practices and opportunities for research and long-term collaborations that can continue even after the biennale comes to an end."