Singapore Biennale opens today, here are our picks for what to see

The Singapore Biennale arts festival opens this weekend with more than 150 works to check out including films, installations, and performances.

For its sixth outing, this year’s festival features 70 artists and art collectives hailing from 36 countries and territories, including Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines — a full list of which you can find here

The festival, which runs today through March 22, is organized by the Singapore Art Museum and commissioned by the National Arts Council. Events take place at 11 venues and tickets for all are on sale at SISTIC ticketing service counters.

Here are some of the coolest things to check out, including collateral projects held in conjunction with the Singapore Biennale. 

The Lesson: A Workshop

The Lesson by Drama Box

Singaporean theatre company Drama Box wants to teach you how to be a politically engaged citizen through its participatory theatre performance in which audience members explore Singapore’s land issues and democratic processes. This work aims to provoke a deeper understanding of the city-state’s culture, history, and identity. 

Nov. 29, Dec. 6, Mar. 13, Mar. 20
National Gallery Singapore

Lorongs of Wisdom

Lorongs of Wisdom by Geylang Adventures

Tour Singapore’s Geylang red-light district on a walking tour with organizer Geylang Adventures, presenting an alternative interpretation of the neighborhood as well as the changes the area has experienced over the years.

Nov. 16 to Mar 21.
1 Lorong 23 Geylang

Takashi Makino

Memento Stella by Takashi Makino

Experimental filmmaker Takashi Makino is said to be one of Japan’s most influential moving-image artists. Get a glimpse of his work at the screening of his one-hour film Memento Stella at The Projector movie theatre. 

Takashi will also be in town for a separate sound and art installation called Inconsolable Ghost, complete with a live performance by Dutch artist Gideon Kiers (computer, electronics) and Berlin-based British artist Hilary Jeffery (trombone, electronics).

Dec. 12 (Inconsolable Ghost); Dec. 13 (Memento Stella)
The Projector

Suddenly Turning Visible: Art and Architecture in Southeast Asia (1969–1989)

Suddenly Turning Visible: Art and Architecture in Southeast Asia (1969–1989)

Explore abstract works taken from Southeast Asian art institutions including Bangkok’s Bhirasri Institute of Modern Art and Singapore’s Alpha Gallery that touch on the theme of rapid urban development. 

Nov. 19 – Mar. 15
National Gallery Singapore

Stealing Public Space

Stealing Public Space

Explore the many ways public spaces can be used to engage and empower people on collective, social issues through historical and newly-commissioned works, several of which invites audience participation. Curated by Singapore art historian Lola Lenzi, the exhibition features works from regional artists including Indonesia Restu Ratnaningtyas and Thailand’s Sutee Kunavichayanont. 

Jan 11 – Feb 23
Mon to Fri; 9am – 6pm
The Substation


Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys was a German multidisciplinary artist. He was performer, painter, sculptor, medallist, installation artist, graphic artist, and art theorist. Thirty years after his death, Beuys continues to inspire and influence many.

Get a close view of, and personal insights into, Beuys himself through archival footage of the artist’s most intimate and personal ramblings on art, activism and the mysticism of the creative world, post-World War II.

Jan. 11 and Jan. 19.
The Projector.

Assemblage Workshop by Biennale Artist, Khairullah Rahim

Assemblage Workshop by Biennale Artist, Khairullah Rahim

Get creative in a hands-on assemblage workshop led by Singaporean artist Khairullah Rahim. Enjoy the interactive session while learning more about his approach to working with objects as material and about the ideas behind them.

Jan 18.
Gillman Barracks.

From the Coromandel Coast to the Straits: Revisiting Our Tamil Heritage – Indian Heritage Centre

From the Coromandel Coast to the Straits: Revisiting Our Tamil Heritage – Indian Heritage Centre

This exhibition highlights the history, culture, and contributions of 19th century Tamils in Singapore. Works responding to topics by three contemporary artists – Lavanya Mani, Kumari Nahappan and Anurendra Jegadeva – will be showcased, in the form of textiles, paintings, sculptures, and more.

Nov. 23 – June 30
Indian Heritage Center

More on Singapore’s art scene at

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