The seventh edition of Singapore Biennale 2022 (SB2022) named Natasha, officially opens to the public on Sunday, 16 October 2022. Conceived as exploratory spaces for audiences to wander, rest and converse, SB2022 will take place in a variety of locations beyond Tanjong Pagar Distripark and traditional gallery settings. International Plaza, the iconic Singapore Flyer and 22 Orchard Road are now part of the multiple locations visitors to the Biennale can experience art, in addition to the previously announced Sentosa Cove, St John’s Island, Lazarus Island, as well as everyday spaces like regional libraries and Yan Kit Playfield.
The Singapore Flyer will serve as one of many locations under AWKNDAFFR’s (Wayne Lim and Soh Kay Min) multi-authored project Islandwide Coverage, which spans six diverse locations in Singapore, taking audiences from a well-loved icon of the Singapore skyline to regional libraries in the heartlands. By activating a variety of viewing experiences through these locations, AWKNDAFFR charts a course towards a sense of “no-whereness”. Through the integration of the artworks into the movement and mechanism of each venue, the audiences’ encounter with each location will be transformed. In keeping with AWKNDAFFR’s artistic practice of exploring forms of gathering, the art collective will also stage a roving exhibition consisting of a series of trailers and work-in-progress materials such as photographs and sketches of the presented artists’ work. The roving exhibition Prologue will be staged at the following three Regional Libraries:
● Woodlands Regional Library (Wednesday 9 November – Monday 26 December 2022)
● Jurong Regional Library (Wednesday 28 December 2022 – Sunday 26 February 2023)
● Tampines Regional Library (Wednesday 1 March – Sunday 9 April 2023)
Venturing to SAM Hoardings, AWKNDAFFR’s Islandwide Coverage will be featured at the Hoardings along Bras Basah Road. Designed by CROP, the work uses a combination of symbols and shapes to represent networks and connectivity.
Apart from these works under Islandwide Coverage, audiences can also encounter Yejin Cho’s draw2play, an independent work presented on the Hoardings along Queen Street. The work consists of ten geometric notations with accompanying rules and instructions on how to play the associated games. Through this work, Cho invites audiences to gather and play, thereby creating a space for conversation and exchange.
From December, audiences can look forward to experiencing Natasha at 22 Orchard Road, an old shop house building that will feature artistic practices that puts the artists’ local communities at the core of the project such as Malaeb, Nina Bell F. House Museum, and S.O.I.L. Community with CONA PROJECTS. Also presented at this space are the works of Areumnari Ee, Sarah Abu-Abdallah, and Jaemin Cha, inviting more personal encounters and reflections. Brazilian-Indonesian artist Daniel Lie will present a new site-specific installation in January 2023.
Natasha will also take audiences past Singapore’s coastline to the Southern Islands with the support of the Sentosa Development Corporation and the Singapore Land Authority. These islands provide a space for reflection, imagination, and projection while serving as a potent site for art, artists, and the public to gather in lived encounters. Audiences can look forward to six artistic projects that engage with our relationship to nature, social practices and myths.
As audiences embark on their reflective journey with Natasha, they will come across a variety of artworks that respond to their respective environments, and spanning multimedia installations, immersive experiences and participatory workshops.
Spanning various spaces on Levels 1, 3 and 5 of Tanjong Pagar Distripark, the homeground of SAM will play host to an exciting and diverse selection of works of artists from Singapore, Southeast Asia, the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. This includes renowned artists such as Haegue Yang, Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Cevdet Erek, and Wu Mali and homegrown Singapore artists like Berny Tan and Ong Kian Peng. For the first time, audiences will be introduced to the practices of seminal artists including Samia Halaby and Joo Jae-Hwan and encounter newly commissioned works by Angkrit Ajchariyasophon, Kanitha Tith, Natasha Tontey, Kiran Kumar, Aarti Sunder, Brian Fuata, Ali Yass, Moad Musbahi, and Valentina Desideri and Denise Ferreira da Silva, among others.
As part of SB2022’s artist residencies in partnership with Darat al Funun – The Khalid Shoman Foundation, Singapore artist Ong Kian Peng will present an immersive multimedia installation titled The Viscous Sea, created during his three-month residency in Amman, Jordan. Jordanian artist Raed Ibrahim, who is in-residence in Singapore till November 2022, will present on Level 5 a series of clay tablets coded and customised to reflect a subject that is missing, obstructing or obscuring, exploring the anonymity of established concepts. Singapore artist, curator, and writer, Berny Tan will also be in-residence from November 2022 to January 2023 at SAM’s EX-SITU space on Level 3, with a curatorial research project titled Page Break that looks at how everyday objects and scenes are explored through the medium of the art book.
To celebrate the return of Singapore Biennale, SAM will be presenting a series of public programmes as it kickstarts the opening week of Natasha. Programmes are held across two weekends on 16, 21 and 22 October 2022, where audiences can participate in art experiences that reflect the vulnerabilities and stories of transformation of the artists and collaborators.