Singapore Biennale has ended but public will be able to access the artworks online

SINGAPORE – The Singapore Biennale closed on March 22, but art lovers can still check out the works online.

All works from 11 venues will be uploaded to the Google Cultural Institute by the end of April.

The works from 77 artists and collectives will form an online exhibition by organiser Singapore Art Museum (SAM) on Google’s platform.

Some works were uploaded to the biennale’s Facebook page in March in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The tightening social distancing measures this year also meant that the Biennale, which was on from Nov 22, recorded a drop in visitors. This year’s event attracted more than 400,000, a dip from the fifth edition in 2016 which drew a record of more than 614,000 visitors.

A SAM spokesman said: “Like cultural institutions in Singapore and globally, the Covid-19 situation has presented unprecedented challenges and led to an overall decline in visitorship. These uncertain times have prompted us to introduce virtual art experiences, such as live-streaming and 360-degree virtual galleries.”

The Biennale’s Symposium and Finale activities were livestreamed and the Symposium proceedings are available to watch at the Biennale’s website.

The edition’s workshops and events drew more than 26,000 participants. The most popular public programmes included Kopi, Teh and Contemporary Art, multilingual tours led by senior volunteers in English, Mandarin, Hokkien, and Malay, and a sold-out series of Art & Wellness programmes which included yin yoga and gong baths.

Another highlight of this edition was the Benesse Prize, which went to Singapore artist Amanda Heng. The 69-year-old is the first Singaporean to win the prize, which comes with a cash award of three million yen ($36,931) and the chance for her work to be exhibited at Japan’s Benesse Art Site Naoshima.

Dr Eugene Tan, SAM’s director, said in a statement: “Although the past few months have been challenging for the global community, we are encouraged by the interest and attendance from the public who have visited the exhibition and participated in our events.”

This edition, with the theme Every Step In The Right Direction, was curated by artistic director Patrick Flores and a team of six curators from around the region.

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