SEA STATE, a project by artist Charles Lim and curator Shabbir Hussain Mustafa, has been selected to represent Singapore at the 2015 Venice Biennale as the city-state returns having not participated in the last one.
The proposal is for SEA STATE to look at the notions of borders, histories, and everyday life, and how these may be generated through our perceptions of the sea. “In many ways, Singapore and Venice will meet through the sea itself, and we are keen to see how more of such discussions will be generated along the way as we develop and display the work,” says curator Shabbir Hussain Mustafa.
Lim, a former national sailor who competed in the 1996 Olympics, has already received critical acclaim for past works at international events such as the Venice Film Festival in 2011, Manifesta7, the Shanghai Biennale and most recently, the Singapore Biennale. The Venice Pavilion will serve as a culmination of his on-going body of work on water and the environment.
“Charles’ practice, together with his collaboration with Mustafa, ensures that Singapore’s representation at the Venice Biennale will possess the intellectual and artistic conditions for stimulating artistic discourse and interest in contemporary art practice in Singapore,” said Eugene Tan, director of the National Gallery and co-chair of the commissioning panel.
Lim’s latest short film, "All The Lines Flow Out" won a "Special Mention Award" in Venice, making him the first Singaporean to ever win an award at the world-renowned festival. The film, where the artist contempoates the drainage system in Singapore, has since gone on to win four more awards at other major film festivals.