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ABOUT SINGAPORE
BIENNALE 2016

Exploring shared histories and current realities within and beyond the region, Singapore Biennale 2016 presents a constellation of artistic perspectives that provide unexpected ways of seeing the world and ourselves.

Titled An Atlas of Mirrors, the international contemporary art exhibition features site-specific and never seen before contemporary artworks by more than 60 artists across Southeast Asia, and East and South Asia.

Find out more with the Singapore Biennale Exhibition Guide here.


Curatorial Statement:
Singapore Biennale 2016 – An Atlas of Mirrors

From where we are, how do we picture the world – and ourselves?

In charting our way around the world, humankind has relied on instruments of vision as well as navigation. Atlases map and mirror our journeys of discovery and often make visible more than just physical terrains; driven by our needs and desires, they embolden us to venture into the unknown.

From our coordinates in Southeast Asia, the arc of our shared histories encompasses East and South Asia. These regions bear the imprints of one another’s diverse cultures, even as boundaries are also constantly reimagined. Fraught and unstable, these borders are characterised by fluid movement and migration which also reflect pre-state national entities, and highlight the challenges that beset contemporary conditions.

Where navigational tools like the atlas – a compendium of maps – enable us to set our sights further afield, one instrument in particular – the mirror – brings us into that which is still so mysterious: the self. While we depend on mirrors to show us to ourselves, their reflective surfaces are not always reliable for they echo, skew, magnify and invert.

How will a coupling of an atlas and the curiosities of the mirror shift our perception of the world? Through combining the divergent literal and metaphorical characteristics of these devices, a new instrument of vision and thought is imagined, giving rise to a constellation of artistic perspectives which trace our migratory, intertwining histories and cultures.

An Atlas of Mirrors positions Southeast Asia as a vantage point through which we recognise our world anew.

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About the
Singapore Art Museum

The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) is a contemporary art museum which focuses on art-making and art-thinking in Singapore, Southeast Asia and Asia, encompassing a worldwide perspective on contemporary art practice. SAM advocates and makes accessible interdisciplinary contemporary art through research-led and evolving curatorial practice. Since it opened in January 1996, SAM has built up one of the most important collections of contemporary art from the region. It seeks to seed and nourish a stimulating and creative space in Singapore through exhibitions and public programmes, and to deepen every visitor’s experience. These include outreach and education, research and publications, as well as cross-disciplinary residencies and exchanges.

In 2011, SAM was the venue organiser of the Singapore Biennale, becoming the main organiser in 2013 and 2016. www.singaporeartmuseum.sg

About THE
National Arts Council, Singapore

The National Arts Council champions the arts in Singapore. By nurturing creative excellence and supporting broad audience engagement, we want to develop a distinctive global city for the arts. With a nod to tradition and an eye to the future, we cultivate accomplished artists and vibrant companies. Our support for the arts is comprehensive – from grants and partnerships to industry facilitation and arts housing. The Council welcomes greater private and corporate giving to and through the arts so that together we can make the arts an integral part of everyone's lives. For more information on the Council's mission and plans, please visit www.nac.gov.sg