A Somewhere of Elsewheres, Singapore Biennale 2016

Displacement, homelessness and alienation in migrant experiences disorientate, amplified by growing distrust and fear, and the ongoing threat of the violence of war; still, a dream of belonging somewhere glimmers.

Dread of Not Night 1,3,4,7-9 and Blood Stains t… (2015 – 2016) by Adeela Suleman
In Suleman’s decorative, stylised paintings on found ceramic plates mounted on elaborately carved wooden frames, she uses the images of Persian and Mughal miniature painting to create a critical visual vocabulary for her contemporary narratives.

While the traditional miniaturist’s repertoire consisted of idyllic landscapes and courtly scenes, Suleman’s works are replete with the imagery of bloodshed, death and violence.

Dislocate (2013 – 2015) by Bui Cong Khanh
Khanh combines the woodworking craftsmanship of his ancestral province of Fujian, China, with the cultural identity of central Vietnam, to investigate and highlight the geo- and sociopolitical tensions between Vietnam and China.

Koboi Balik Lagi (The “Koboi” Returns Again”) (2016) by Niranjan Rajah
This installation is an expansion of Niranjan’s original Koboi Balik Kampung (The ‘Koboi’ Returns Home) series, where he explored personal and family narratives, as well as the cultural, political and social landscapes of Malaysia. It reflects Niranjan’s psychological and sociocultural consciousness as an artist living and working in Canada, and as a Malaysian citizen.

Home, and a Home (2016) by Rathin Barman
Juxtaposing the large, minimal sculptures of shop-houses (heritage buildings which are sometimes used as dormitories for hundreds of workers today) alongside rust-transferred drawings and cement sculptures, Barman explores the parallel realities of the migrants’ experience – the house they live in in Singapore and the ‘home’ they dream of in Bangladesh.

Related Post

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.