Daily Archives: September 8, 2006

City Hall and the Singapore Art Biennale

Dear Diary,

I must profess to be a person that doesn’t write to you. It does feel awkward, but I am sure you will understand. An artist doesn’t write about such things, they either end up spiralling into a fiction, or self-wallow at time spent away from the canvas.

The visit to City Hall happened by chance. I called a friend for help with server space for this art writing blog. While nothing was conclusive to that matter (I decided to try wordpress’s free signup), I was invited for a free visit to the City Hall Exhibit, a part of the Singapore Biennale.

It is perculiar to think that a majestic colonial building like City Hall would be converted into a contemporary art exhibition space. Jenny Holzer’s text was projected on the facade of City Hall on September the 1st, using powerful Xenon Projectors, and operated by her own crew of technicians. You would imagine a building with less historical baggage to house cutting edge art.  I suppose there has been an increasing trend to house contemporary art in really old buildings, or really hip and trendy, purpose built futuristic ones.  The Tate Modern Gallery of London was a dis-used power station before its transformation into an international art venue. The Guggenheim Museum staff shared their vision of a hi-tech museum on the fringe of the desert in Mexico, hanging over a canyon, when there were discussions in Singapore about having an art museum in our Intergrated Resorts (IR).

Two years ago, you certainly wouldn’t find yourself trampling noisy on the fourth floor of City Hall. Now, you can even peer into the Judges’ chambers or the the Chairman of the Public Service Commission Office! More writing on the artworks in the next few entries…

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