by Vatsala SethiJan 11, 2023
The Singapore Art Museum, earlier this year, announced the title of the sixth edition of the Singapore Biennale: Every Step in the Right Direction. Through this title, the Singapore Biennale 2019 (SB2019) will explore curatorial and artistic themes common to our human conditions and the catalytic role ‘hope’ plays in pushing for change. SB2019 will pivot on Southeast Asia, and from there, extend to the rest of the world. The international contemporary art exhibition is organised by the Singapore Art Museum, and commissioned by the National Arts Council, Singapore.
Helmed by Patrick Flores as SB2019 Artistic Director, and with a curatorial team of six members from Singapore, Southeast Asia and beyond, Singapore Biennale 2019: Every Step in the Right Direction will focus on the imperative of making choices and taking the steps to consider current conditions and the human endeavour for change and betterment.
SB2019 would reflect on the potential and abilities of the artists to rework the possibilities of the world. It will invite the audience to be open to such works and to such a world that is made different through the making of these works, and, thus, also attempting to make the world right. Through the act of artistic exploration, SB2019 invites participation to transform the world around us, and to get things done the right way. This process begins with a step, from a crucial decision to make changes happen. The reiteration of this commitment leads to the right direction - a direction that each of us is entitled to move towards. Informed by such an impulse, SB2019 aims to offer a sustainable, self-renewing project of change, and moves everyone to act - to make a step.
Led by Flores, the curatorial team consists of a combination of in-house and external curators, including Singapore Art Museum’s Assistant Curators Andrea Fam and John Tung, National Gallery Singapore Assistant Curator Goh Sze Ying, Manila-based independent researcher and curator Renan Laru-an, art historian and Seoul-based independent curator Anca Verona Mihulet, and Bangkok-based independent curator Vipash Purichanont.
Patrick Flores explains, “It may be said that the world is troubled. To sense such a state of flux is to acknowledge the situation and begin to face it. For Singapore Biennale 2019: we ask – what is the possibility of art, the artist, and the audience in light of this trouble? What is the responsibility of the artwork, its making, and its experience in the prospects of future action? As we believe, every effort to change the world for the better matters. SB2019 puts its faith squarely in the potential of art and its understanding to rework the world, expressed in the Biennale title: Every Step in the Right Direction.”
The SB2019 will take place from November 22, 2019 to March 22, 2020.