Tuning in to S'pore at Venice Biennale

The humble recorder is taking centre stage at the Singapore pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Recorder Rewrite, a film installation by artist Song-Ming Ang and curator Michelle Ho, is the centrepiece of the pavilion - launched today by Mr Baey Yam Ken
PHOTO: COURTESY OF OLIVIA KWOK

The humble recorder is taking centre stage at the Singapore pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Recorder Rewrite, a film installation by artist Song-Ming Ang and curator Michelle Ho, is the centrepiece of the pavilion - launched today by Mr Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, and Culture, Community and Youth. The three-channel film installation features a group of 20 children at the Singapore Conference Hall playing music of their own devising on soprano, alto, tenor and bass recorders. It is on display at the Arsenale - a former shipyard complex, which is one of the main venues of the biennale - and part of Ang and Ho's show Music For Everyone: Variations On A Theme. The show serves as a counterpoint to the state-driven vision of the Music For Everyone concerts, which were organised by the then Ministry of Culture in the 1970s and 80s to encourage public appreciation of the arts. The exhibit also features collages made out of music manuscript paper, textile banners which reproduce a selection of original posters for the Music For Everyone concerts, and watercolour reproductions of posters of 1970s lyric and songwriting competitions organised by the now defunct National Theatre Trust. The Venice Biennale, now in its 58th edition, opens to the public on Saturday and runs till Nov 24.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 09, 2019, with the headline 'Tuning in to S'pore at Venice Biennale'. Print Edition | Subscribe