October 19, 2014 - Singapore Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - Artistic team for pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale
October 19, 2014

Artistic team for pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale

Curator Shabbir Hussain Mustafa (left), and artist Charles Lim (right), to represent Singapore for Venice Biennale 2015. Photo: Zephaniah Tan.

Charles Lim

9 May–22 November 2015


The National Arts Council, Singapore is pleased to announce the appointment of Singapore artist Charles Lim and curator Shabbir Hussain Mustafa as the artistic team to represent Singapore at the 2015 Venice Biennale.

Dr Eugene Tan, Director of the National Gallery Singapore and Co-Chair of the Commissioning Panel, says: “The commissioning panel were convinced by the proposal of Charles and Mustafa, as well as their close artistic partnership. Their exhibition will serve as a culmination of Charles’s  SEA STATE project, which has been widely exhibited to critical acclaim. Their proposal demonstrates how artists can speak to international audiences, such as that which congregates at the Venice Biennale, while also engaging with issues that are specific and locally determined.”

Initiated in 2005, the SEA STATE project examines the biophysical, political and psychic contours of Singapore through the visible and invisible lenses of the sea. Taking as its metaphor the World Meteorological Organization’s code for describing sea conditions—ranging from calm, to moderate, to the phenomenal—SEA STATE inverts perceptions of sea and land in the Southeast Asian city-state. As the curator, Shabbir Hussain Mustafa notes, “The Singapore Pavilion presents a wonderful opportunity to explore how Charles’s work intersects with ongoing debates in the global contemporary art world. Singapore and Venice will meet through the sea itself, and we look forward to the rich conversation that will be generated along the way.”

Ms Kathy Lai, CEO of the Council and Co-Chair of the Commissioning Panel, adds, “As a focal point for international contemporary art, the Venice Biennale remains an important platform for Singapore’s visual artists to showcase their work and build international networks. The 2015 representation will continue to raise Singapore’s profile as a centre for artistic production and research in Asia.”

SEA STATE was the first breakaway series developed by Charles Lim after the dissolution of the seminal net-art collective tsunamii.net in 2004. For the past decade, Charles’s works and projects related to the sea, borders, maritime legacies and land reclamation in Singapore and Asia at large have had a tremendous influence on artists and other researchers seeking critical and alternative perspectives on how the island nation is seen, developed and reimagined.

More information on Charles Lim and Shabbir Hussain Mustafa is available here.

Media enquiries
Pamela Tham
National Arts Council
T +65 6436 9470 / pamela_tham [​at​] nac.gov.sg

About National Arts Council
NAC was set up to spearhead the development of the arts in Singapore while advancing the country’s aspiration to be a distinctive global city for the arts. NAC’s mission is to nurture the arts and make Singapore’s rich and diverse culture an integral part of people’s lives. Anchored on the twin strategies of excellence and engagement in the arts, NAC aims to build a vibrant arts sector by creating a conducive environment where the arts is accessible to all, and artistic talents have the necessary resources and capabilities to excel and achieve long-term sustainability. For more information on NAC’s programmes and initiatives, please visit www.nac.gov.sg.

Singapore Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
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