Singapore Biennale 2019: Every Step in the Right Direction

Singapore Biennale 2019

The Singapore Biennale 2019 Artistic Director and curatorial team. From left to right: Mr. John Tung, Ms. Goh Sze Ying, Mr. Renan Laru-an, Mr. Patrick Flores (Artistic Director of SB2019), Ms. Andrea Fam, Ms. Anca Verona Mihulet, and Mr. Vipash Purichanont. Image courtesy of Singapore Art Museum.

Singapore Biennale 2019
Every Step in the Right Direction

November 22, 2019–March 22, 2020

The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) announces the title of the sixth edition of the Singapore Biennale: Every Step in the Right Direction. Through this title, 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 SAM and commissioned by the National Arts Council, Singapore.

SB2019 Title: Every Step in the Right Direction
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 focuses on the imperative of making choices and taking the steps to consider current conditions and the human endeavour for change and betterment.

SB2019 reflects on the potential and abilities of the artists to rework the possibilities of the world. It also invites 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 offers a sustainable, self-renewing project of change, and moves everyone to act—to make a step.

Patrick Flores, Artistic Director of SB2019 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.”

SB2019 Curatorial Model
Led by Patrick Flores, the Artistic Director of the Singapore Biennale, the curatorial team consists of a combination of in-house and external curators, including SAM Assistant Curators Ms. Andrea Fam and Mr. John Tung, National Gallery Singapore Assistant Curator Ms. Goh Sze Ying, Manila-based independent researcher and curator Mr. Renan Laru-an, art historian and Seoul-based independent curator Ms. Anca Verona Mihulet, and Bangkok-based independent curator Vipash Purichanont.

Born in the 1980s and early 1990s, the six curators offer a perspective from their generation, with an aim to enhance the potential of SB2019 to fully engage with the “current” atmosphere of both discourse and expression.

Dr June Yap, SAM’s Director of Curatorial, Programmes and Publication says, “The Singapore Biennale is envisioned by SAM as an opportunity to engage with the public on matters of the human condition through contemporary art, its contexts and related discourses. The appointment of Patrick Flores as Artistic Director for SB2019 puts into practice SAM’s commitment to enriching exchanges and championing aesthetic appreciation. We are thus encouraged by the Biennale’s proposition of the meaningfulness of the aesthetic act and its potential for positive transformation.”

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