July 19, 2018 - National Arts Council of Singapore - Song-Ming Ang: Music for Everyone: Variations on a Theme
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July 19, 2018

National Arts Council of Singapore

Song-Ming Ang, Parts and Labour (still), 2012. Video.

Song-Ming Ang
Music for Everyone: Variations on a Theme
May 11–November 24, 2019

58th Venice Biennale: May 11–November 24

Singapore Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Arsenale – Sale d’Armi
Campo della Tana 2169/F
30122 Venice
Italy

www.nac.gov.sg
Facebook / Instagram / #SingaporeInVenice

The National Arts Council, Singapore (NAC) announces the appointment of Singaporean artist Song-Ming Ang and curator Michelle Ho as the artistic team representing Singapore at the 58th Venice Biennale from May 11 to November 24, 2019.

Marking Singapore’s ninth participation in the Biennale since 2001, the duo will present an exhibition titled Music for Everyone: Variations on a Theme for the Singapore Pavilion, located at the Sale d’Armi building in the Arsenale. The work extends Ang’s practice of using music as a platform to explore ideas of public involvement and the various ways people relate to music, both individually and as a society.

Music for Everyone: Variations on a Theme derives its title from a series of concerts organised by Singapore’s then-Ministry of Culture in the 1970s and 80s to encourage public appreciation of the arts. Ang’s presentation will span various media, drawing from experimental music practices and the spirit of amateurism to establish a counterpoint to the state-driven vision of Music for Everyone. A major component of his presentation is Recorder Rewrite, a new work based on the recorder, a music instrument that has been part of Singapore’s music education in schools since the 1970s. Other components include developments of his earlier works such as You and I, in which Ang compiled and mailed out personalised CD-R mix-tapes as a response to anyone who wrote him a letter.

Ang’s multi-disciplinary art practice often examines the contexts in which music is produced, disseminated, and consumed. His work has been presented at Camden Arts Centre (London, UK, 2015), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin, Germany, 2012), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin, Germany, 2011), Hong Kong Arts Centre (Hong Kong, China, 2014), Museum Voorlinden (Wassenaar, the Netherlands, 2017), Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney, Australia, 2014), the 3rd Singapore Biennale (2011) and the 14th Istanbul Biennial (Istanbul, Turkey, 2015), among many others.

Ang said of his appointment, “I'm very honoured and excited to be representing Singapore at the 58th Venice Biennale. Having seen many of our previous presentations in Venice, all of which have been complex and meaningful in their own ways, I hope to present an exhibition of similar depth and nuance.”

Curator Michelle Ho elaborated, “Previous presentations at the Singapore Pavilion have dealt with the themes of identity, historical memory, and the complexities of land and coastal geographies. I’m glad that public participation as a critical force in art-making will be highlighted in the upcoming presentation, through Song-Ming’s practice that investigates our encounters with music, and music-making.”

Mrs Rosa Daniel, CEO of NAC and Co-Chair of the Singapore Pavilion Commissioning Panel, said, “Singapore’s participation in the Venice Biennale remains an important platform for us, as it provides our artists with significant opportunities to showcase the best of Singapore art on the global stage and to develop critical international connections. Our visual arts sector and visual artists have much to offer in the areas of artistic production and research.”

She added, “Music for Everyone: Variations on a Theme stood out as a conceptual and reflective work that uses music as a subject to spotlight arts appreciation in Singapore. The appeal of his work is that it is both cutting-edge yet nostalgic, and international yet personal all at the same time, offering audiences unusual insights into Singaporean life on a variety of levels, through the universal concepts of music and sound. We look forward to presenting Ang’s work to local and international audiences, a depiction of our unique Singapore story told through his perspectives in a multi-disciplinary approach.”

For more information, please visit: www.nac.gov.sg/SingaporeinVenice

Binjin HO
National Arts Council
T +65 6346 9471, HO_Binjin [​at​] nac.gov.sg

Stephanie Chailert
Ogilvy, Singapore
T +65 6213 7969, stephanie.chailert [​at​] ogilvy.com

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