A cloud-like lattice of acrylic knots that transmits light and captures the scent of the Vanda Miss Joaquim flower will form the centrepiece of the Singapore Pavilion at the prestigious Venice Biennale later this month.
Details of the Singapore Pavilion were announced at a press conference yesterday.
The two inverted acrylic pyramids, which will be suspended from the ceiling of the Sale d’Armi building in the Arsenale area of Venice, were designed by curators Wu Yen Yen and Jason Lim and handcrafted mostly by students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and National University of Singapore (NUS).
The Singapore Pavilion’s No More Free Space? showcase features light projections, videos and images of 12 projects where architects, urban planners and place-makers have demonstrated creative use of space in land-scarce Singapore.
These include the Enabling Village, a community space dedicated to integrating people with disabilities in society; Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park; Khoo Teck Puat Hospital; and Lucky Shophouse, a bookstore-turned-house.
This is part of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, which runs from May 26 to November 25 this year.
In 2015, the National Arts Council took up a 20-year lease for a 250 sq m space at the Sale d’Armi building, allowing it to be used for both the art and architecture biennales which are held on alternate years.
No More Free Space?, Singapore’s sixth showing at the International Architecture Exhibition since 2004, is a response to the biennale’s theme of “free space” this year – which organisers have said describes “the generosity of spirit and a sense of humanity at the core of architecture’s agenda”.
Singapore, which is home to 5.6 million people spread over 720 sq km, has one of the highest population densities in the world.
The Singapore Pavilion was commissioned by the DesignSingapore Council and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), and curated by SUTD in collaboration with NUS’ Department of Architecture.
Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran said in a statement to the media that the Singapore Pavilion embodies the ethos of the Singapore story – one of turning adversity into opportunity. “Our architects have not allowed limited physical space to limit their ambitions. They have used their imagination to create more with less, which is also relevant for a rapidly urbanising Asia and the world.”
Mr Larry Ng, URA’s group director of architecture and urban design excellence, said good design in Singapore’s spaces “not only sparks imagination, but can also evoke wonder and turn spaces from the functional and utilitarian into a delightful community asset”.
The works on display in No More Free Space? will be restaged for the public in Singapore next year.
(RELATED: Singapore artist Zai Kuning’s 17-m long “ship” is at last back from Venice Biennale)
• For more information, visit www.nomorefreespace.com
This article was originally published in The Straits Times.
Photo: Singapore Pavilion