A Share of Borders, Singapore Biennale 2016

Walls and boundaries bear witness that overlapping territories are strategically and ideologically mapped and staked; yet is there common ground, belonging to neither party on either side of the drawn line?

“If you can dream a better world you can make a… (2016) by Melissa Tan
This work features laboriously and painstakingly hand-cut paper and laser-cut metal sculptures that translate the continually expanding urban physical landscape and terrain of Singapore into abstract visual and sonic contemporary expressions.

Presented as an imagined island sculpture together with three ‘music boxes’, the artwork incorporates ‘data points’ that are composed of impressions made on physical features such as pavements, paths, walkways and roads.

Land of Undefined Territory (2014 – 2015) by Munem Wasif
Repetitive frames of barren land with no significant geographical or political identity: this land could be anywhere, as the title of the artwork suggests, and yet it is not. It is one of the most contested territories in recent history, over which lives have been lost and wars have been fought: the border that separates India from Bangladesh.

These photographs explore not only people’s political relationship to land, but also the effects of aggressive industrialisation.

Another Chronicle of Loss, Sarhad 3, Testimony … (2015) by Nilima Sheikh
‘Another Chronicle of Loss’ and ‘Shadows, Stains’ are informed by the poems of Kashmiri poet Aga Shahid Ali, while Sheikh’s extensive use of stencilwork alludes to the latticework typical of vernacular Kashmiri architecture. Her paintings are a multifaceted meditation on the nature of destroyed beauty, the necessity of memory, and the forms and adequacy of memorialisation.

Srinagar II (2016) by Praneet Soi
In ‘Srinagar II’, Soi explores the plurality of influences in Kashmir and the migratory nature of forms and images through the papier-mâché tiles. The slideshow of Sufi shrines and other images are an ongoing visual diary of Srinagar that Soi constantly updates.

The Pheran (2016) by Abeer Gupta
Gupta explores the material culture of Kashmir through the pheran – a garment that is used widely by men, women and children across class and religion in this region. He sees the pheran as a symbol of Kashmiri identity that has witnessed the political, social, cultural and aesthetic changes that have taken place in the area.

Witness to Paradise (2016) by Sanjay Kak
Kak curates 30 photographs by five photojournalists – Meraj ud-Din, Javeed Shah, Altaf Qadri, Showkat Hussain Nanda and Syed Shahriyar Hussainy – to excavate photography as a key artistic practice that has emerged from 25 years of endemic conflict in the Kashmir valley.

Singapore Biennale 2016: An Atlas of Mirrors
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.

Singapore Biennale 2016 is organised by the Singapore Art Museum, commissioned by National Arts Council and and supported by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth of Singapore.

Singapore Art Museum
The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) focuses on international contemporary art practices, specialising in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Housed in a restored 19th-century mission school, Singapore Art Museum opened its doors in 1996 as the first art museum in Singapore. Also known as SAM, the museum is now a contemporary art museum.

SAM has built one of the world’s most important public collections of Southeast Asian contemporary artworks, with a growing component in international contemporary art. SAM draws from its collection and collaborates with international contemporary art museums to co-curate and present contemporary art exhibitions. Contemporary art of the region is also given international exposure through SAM’s travelling exhibition programme and collection loans.