|The Merlion Hotel project, part of the upcoming Biennale|
“When the new National Art Gallery opens in 2013, it will allow for permanent galleries dedicated to 19th-and 20th-century Southeast Asian art and will enable more of the collection to be exhibited,” says the museum’s director Tan Boon Hui. The Singapore Art Museum also plays a role as co-organizer of the Biennale, which will run for two months and be spread over three venues. Pointing out that 9 of the 63 participants are Singaporean, Biennale cocurator Trevor Smith, the contemporary art curator at the Peabody-Essex Museum, says that one goal was to highlight the range of local artists, who have been both a force behind the country’s recent focus on the arts sector and beneficiaries of it. “When I first went there in the late 1990s, there was a real grassroots push for venues and opportunities for exhibiting,” says Smith. “It is really quite staggering to see the extent to which the infrastructure and the scene has developed since then.” Read the whole story in Art News' March issue.