The 7th Singapore Biennale 2022 (SB2022) or Natasha, announced an exceptional line-up of over 50 artists and collaborators.
This edition of the Singapore Biennale, organised by the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) and commissioned by the National Arts Council, Singapore (NAC), has been named by the Co-Artistic Directors, Binna Choi, Nida Ghouse, June Yap, and Ala Younis.
This act of naming encourages fellow artists, collaborators, and audiences to re-discover ways of seeing and relating to the world, as they embrace intimacy and spontaneity towards the transformative potentials in life and relationships within it — from self to others, from human to non-human, from living to non-living and vice versa, and beyond.
The artists and collaborators are also referred to as ‘fellows’ of the journey with Natasha, and will share their own inquiries through artistic imagination and research.
Natasha’s fellow artists and collaborators are invited from Singapore and Southeast Asia as well as Germany, India, Jordan, South Korea, the Netherlands, and other geographies of the world.
These are places where the Co-Artistic Directors live, have lived, or have had significant journeys. The invitations emerged from the intimate and deeper relations with the life and practices of the invited artists, and how the process of creation is integral to everyday life. Natasha’s fellows comprise not only visual artists, but also musicians, writers, researchers, academics, and art professionals.
SB2022 Co-Artistic Directors, Binna Choi, Nida Ghouse, June Yap and Ala Younis, said, “While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we used to live by suspending ordinary life, and causing the loss of many, we now witness a process of normalisation, whether voluntary or forced. Many biennales have also celebrated this ‘return’ post-pandemic, with a renewed hope for a world different from what we live(d) in. Visiting Natasha is not only to return, but to be conscious of the values most intensively experienced during the pandemic: intimacy, living the unknown, the capacity to adapt, realising other possibilities of living and relating to the world.”
Audiences can look forward to projects that create spaces for interaction, reflection and which invite public participation.
“The Library of Unread Books” initiated by Heman Chong (Singapore) and Renée Staal (Netherlands / Singapore) will transform a retail unit into a reference library comprised of donated books belonging to individuals that remain unread.
The books are accessible to anyone who visits the library, returning them to a common resource pool. Valentina Desideri (Italy) and Denise Ferreira da Silva (Brazil) will bring their ongoing studio process to SB2022, which facilitates collaborative studying and experimenting with different tools for reading and healing within the exhibition space.
Materials and reading tools are provided for the public to engage with, and the artists will also conduct workshops within the space.
A selection of works in SB2022 delve further into Natasha’s interests in drawing attention to and discussing the facets of life which connect or intersect with creating, writing, encoding, and navigating each other and the world.
Artists such as Assem Hendawi (Egypt) draw perspectives from various disciplines to explore an artificial intelligence programme that aims to create a planned economy and manage infrastructural commons across Africa. Similarly, Kiraṇ Kumār’s (India) work looks at the life of pioneer computer scientist Alan Turing (1912–1954) through a piece of speculative history.
Offering different readings of histories, social practices and myths are works by artists such as Natasha Tontey (Indonesia) who will present a different interpretation of Minahasan society and ritual; Wu Mali (Taiwan) whose project researches stories arising from the locals of the Cijin region.
In addition, Elina Waage Mikalsen (Norway) will explore the cultural meaning and narratives of fire in Sami traditions; and Doa Aly (Egypt) explores the space of excavation as an aesthetic and forensic encounter, where the fidelity of historical interpretation is put into question.
The invited works and interventions are presented in close conversations with a variety of environments across different places in Singapore.
Among these sites is Tanjong Pagar Distripark (TPD) where SAM is located. TPD is situated in a historic port, where logistics and thousands of containers make the surrounding landscape.
Natasha will present works, including many new commissions, on two levels in TPD, as well as at Sentosa Cove, before a ferry trip takes visitors to Lazarus Island and St John’s Island where the journey with Natasha continues.
Spaces such as Yan Kit Playfield, Regional Libraries, SAM Residencies, are also taken as Biennale venues, and will allow for everyday engagement with the general/unintended public.
Singapore Biennale 2022 is pleased to be working with a variety of partners whose generous support of the international platform has enabled the diversity and depth the Biennale continues to offer to the public.
This year’s edition of the Biennale is proudly supported by our Principal Supporter, Mapletree who has been a staunch supporter of the arts over the years.
Benesse Holdings Inc. will be collaborating once again with Singapore Art Museum on the Benesse Prize at the Singapore Biennale. In its third edition with the Singapore Biennale, the winner of the Prize will be announced during the opening of SB2022 in October.
Singapore Biennale 2022 will run from 16 October 2022 to 19 March 2023. Audiences can enjoy a two-for-one early bird ticket promotion from July to September (only available in pairs). More information on ticketing can be found on Singapore Biennale 2022’s website. You can also join the conversation on Facebook (@SingaporeBiennale) and Instagram.
Remaining artists, artworks and programmes will be announced in October 2022.
Cover image supplied by Singapore Biennale.