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Singapore at 51st Venice Biennial 2005
(Press release by the organizer, 3 March 2005)

The Singapore Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennial will feature the work of LIM Tzay Chuen. Established in 1895, the Venice Biennale is the most established international contemporary art event and widely regarded as one of the most significant. This will be Singapore's third participation at this event.

Born in 1972, Lim lives and works in Singapore. He has participated in numerous exhibitions in Singapore and internationally. Amongst his more notable exhibitions and projects in Singapore include those realised at the Substation (2001) and TheatreWorks (2003), while, internationally, Lim's work has been exhibited at Polypolis at the Kunsthaus Hamburg (2001), the Gwangju Biennale (2002) and the Sydney Biennale (2004).

The work of Lim Tzay Chuen questions and redefines aesthetic experience — by compelling viewers to reflect upon their experience of his work, viewers are led, to critically re-evaluate perceptions and assumptions as to what constitutes aesthetic experience. This is achieved through intricate and complex engagements with the social, economic, cultural and political processes that define the particular contexts around which his work is situated. Lim's interventions acknowledge the transitory and fragmented nature of space and memory, and it is their engagement with the volatility and uncertainty of situations that is significant. His work rejects the construction and definition of prescribed meanings as to what comprises a work of art. Instead, the recognition of an aesthetic event derives from moments of self-discovery, often involving reflexivity and intuition.

As Russell Storer, Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney has written: "Lim's work has, amongst other things, involved the altering of conditions within a gallery space, exhibition or catalogue so that those who encounter them are compelled to think, and rethink, this encounter. Something as simple and automatic as turning a page in a catalogue might be frustrated by an order from the artist to the printer to leave two pages uncut, so that the reader has to force them apart with their fingers; or to skip page numbers, which are then referred to in the bibliography or artist statement in the back. Are these errors, or deliberate? You are not entirely sure until you rip the pages apart to find an image of fingers performing this very action, or read the pages more closely to realise that the text flows on, despite the jump in the numbering sequence. These tiny alterations create an ambiguous space where initial confusion may lead to irritation, laughter, indifference or a spark of understanding that nothing, no matter how small, needs to be assumed or taken for granted. It also has the potential effect of slowing down the process of reception, calling for attention to be given, whether cognitively or not."

Lim's exhibition at the 51st Venice Biennial will be curated by Eugene TAN, Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (ICA Singapore). Established by LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, the ICA Singapore is devoted to the exhibition and research of contemporary art in Asia. In late June, Singaporeans will have the opportunity to experience Lim's work as the ICA Singapore will present a solo exhibition by Lim. This exhibition will not merely illustrate or document Lim's exhibition at the Venice Biennale, but instead unveil a new work by Lim, which will give audiences in Singapore the opportunity to gain insight into Lim's work and the processes which underpin his work.

We invite you to publicise the appointment of LIM Tzay Chuen and Eugene TAN for the Singapore Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennial. Interviews and visuals are available.


Singapore at Venice Biennale: 51st International Art Exhibition

12 June - 06 November 2005

Calle della Tana, Castello 2126,
Arsenale, 30122 Venice, Italy

Commissioner: KHOR Kok Wah (Mr)
Vice-Commissioner: Paolo De Grandis (Mr)
Artist: LIM Tzay Chuen (Mr)
Curator: Eugene TAN (Dr)

Organisers: National Arts Council, Singapore, Singapore Art Museum
Co-organiser: Arte Communications, Venice

For more information on the Venice Biennale please visit: www.labiennale.org/en/visualarts

For media enquiries, please contact:

Ms KIM May, Corporate Communications Manager
National Arts Council, Singapore
DID: +65 6837 9574, mobile: +65 9680 5469
E-mail: kim_may@nac.gov.sg

Ms Lynn TAN, Marcom Executive
Singapore Art Museum
DID: +65 6332 3219, mobile: +65 9382 3072
Email: lynn_tan@nhb.gov.sg

Dr Eugene TAN, Curator
c/o Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore
DID: +65 6340 9101, mobile: +65 9151 6266
Email: icas@lasallesia.edu.sg


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