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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Artistic Director Fumio Nanjo Helms Singapore Biennale 2006

Singapore Biennale 2006
8 September to 12 November 2006

Singapore’s first visual arts biennale, Singapore Biennale 2006 (SB2006), will be curated by the highly accomplished Fumio Nanjo. Nanjo is internationally reputed for having headed the programming and adjudication of major art events throughout the world. Commissioner for the Taipei Biennale in 1998 and Japan Pavilion at the 1997 Venice Biennale, he co-founded the Yokohama Triennale in 2001. Nanjo was also a jury member for the Turner Prize by Tate Gallery (1998) and Artes Mundi Prize in Wales (2004), and will adjudicate for the prestigious Leon d’Or Prize at the Venice Biennale this year. Nanjo is the Deputy Director of Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum and lectures at the Keio University in Japan. As Artistic Director of SB2006, Nanjo will chart the direction and programming for the iconic event that will boost Singapore’s position as a global visual arts hub.

“The Singapore Biennale marks another milestone in the rich history of Singapore’s visual arts development. Since the era of our pioneering artists, our artists have captured the imagination of the international arts community, receiving invitations to participate in prestigious visual art biennales and events. Today, over 500 exhibitions are held in Singapore every year. Visuals arts activity and appreciation here have reached a level of sophistication that will be further enhanced with the Biennale,” says Lee Suan Hiang, Chairman of the Singapore Biennale 2006 Steering Committee, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the National Arts Council. He adds, “Fumio-san has extensive experience in curating, commissioning, as well as critiquing several key arts projects in Asia and other parts of the world. He also has excellent understanding and knowledge of Southeast Asian culture and will be able to relate the role and importance of contemporary art practices in the region to the global world, thus creating an impactful and unique Biennale.”

SB2006 is also the first such major international contemporary art event of its kind in Southeast Asia. Organised by the National Arts Council and National Heritage Board, SB2006 provides the platform for exchange, dialogue and presentation of international art practices, with a focus on those from and of Singapore and Asia. The Biennale will encompass a conglomeration of multi-venue visual arts exhibitions, performances, symposiums, lectures and workshops programmed such that the event will be accessible to multiple levels of audience. It aims to draw interest from top local, regional and international artists, art historians, critics, and practitioners, arts and cultural organisations, museums, corporations and governments, as well as build new audiences and participation across ages and demographics.
Setting the Biennale itself apart from other established events throughout the world, Nanjo will profile artists operating in and from the equatorial belt between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn and beyond. Several important components pertinent to the rich and diverse cultural and historical development within Singapore and ASEAN will be presented. The event seeks to reposition the dreams, desires, conflicts and catastrophes found throughout Central Africa, Middle-east, South Asia to Southeast Asia, Pacific Ocean and South America, highlighting the artistic practices and discourses that are relevant to the multiplicities of cultural morphing, examined in tandem with the currency of economic flux and influences within each region. These creative and innovative schemes of artistic practices will be introduced to the international arts circuit and audience to initiate further dialogues and documentation of the diasporal effect of globalisation.

Together with his team of curators, Nanjo will locate exhibitions and projects in multiple sites within the city and beyond and create a comprehensive educational, public, outreach and children’s program with artists in residence.

SB2006 will place Singapore’s contemporary visual arts development on the world map, creating new opportunities for Singapore artists, curators and visual arts businesses, and new content for our arts scene as well as for the international art world. It will stimulate broader demand for visual arts in Singaporeans, further cultivating and elevating their appreciation for contemporary art and enhancing Singapore’s cultural image as a progressive and attractive cosmopolitan city to live, work and play in.

SB2006 will coincide with Singapore 2006 - Global City: World of Opportunities, an Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group. The Annual Meetings is an important forum for international cooperation where representatives of the 184 member countries unite to discuss the course of global economic development and challenges facing the world today.

Please refer to the following annexes for more information:

Annexes - Statement from the Artistic Director Fumio Nanjo
- Profile of Artistic Director
- Profiles of Curators: Roger Christopher McDonald PhD (Japan), Eugene Tan (Singapore),
Sharmini Pereira (Sri Lanka/UK) and Ahmad Mashadi (Singapore)