The National Arts Council (NAC) announced the appointment of Singapore artist, Charles Lim and curator, Shabbir Hussain Mustafa, as the artistic team to represent Singapore at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Their proposal, Sea State, was the strongest out of the eight proposals NAC received.
Says Dr Eugene Tan, Director of the National Gallery, Singapore and Co-Chair of the Commissioning Panel, “After carefully reviewing the proposals that we received, the panel were convinced by the proposal of Charles and Mustafa, as well as their close artistic partnership. Their proposed exhibition will serve as a culmination of Charles’ on-going body of work, SEA STATE, which has been widely exhibited in various forms to critical acclaim. Exploring issues such as the environment, territorial borders and de-territorialisation, their proposal demonstrates how artists can speak to international audiences, such as the international art industry that congregates at the Venice Biennale, while engaging with issues that are specific and locally determined. Charles’ practice, together with his collaboration with Mustafa, ensures that Singapore’s representation at the Venice Biennale will possess the intellectual and artistic conditions for stimulating artistic discourse and interest in contemporary art practice in Singapore.”
Sea State looks at the notions of borders, histories and everyday life, and how these may be generated through our perceptions of the sea. Says curator, Shabbir Hussain Mustafa, “The Singapore Pavilion presents a wonderful opportunity for us to explore how Charles’ practice and his work, SEA STATE, will interact with ongoing debates in the global contemporary art world. Charles has already received critical acclaim for past works at international events such as Venice Film Festival in 2011; and prior to that at Documenta 11, as part of the net art collective tsunamii.net. In many ways, Singapore and Venice will meetthrough the sea itself, and we are keen to see how more of such discussions will be generated along the way as we develop and display the work.”
Artist, Charles Lim, adds, “We are honoured to be chosen to represent Singapore for Venice Biennale 2015. Following the brilliant success of the last two Singapore representatives, I hope that our work, SEA STATE, will make a similar impact on international audiences, continue to show them the amazing work our artists are capable of, and give them a glimpse into the vibrancy of our artistic scene here in Singapore.”
Arsenale, Castello, 2126/A (Campo della Tana)