Singapore Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2016

Singapore Pavilions at Venice Architecture Biennale 2016Image courtesy of Don Wong

Singapore Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2016

In line with the primary theme of 15th Venice Architecture Biennale, Singapore’s presentation “Space to Imagine, Room for Everyone” goes behind its infrastructures, modern cityscape and beyond the walls of private abodes to look at how the city and its people are interacting and using the environments. The theme celebrates people and their creative actions in forging social bonds, new identities and connections to place. The Singapore Pavilion showcases a selection of works in three segments: People and their Homes, People working the Land and People engaging the City.

 

Singapore Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2016Image courtesy of Don Wong

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The 240-square-metre Singapore Pavilion, located at the Sale d’Armi building at the Arsenale region, features a centrepiece display of 81 customised lanterns illuminating photographs inviting visitors to have a look into the homes of each family to discover their ordinary living and the space they call their own. Artefacts and interview footage are parts of the exhibition too. They narrate the stories of citizens and families stepping out and taking actions to adopt and own their environments, such as mud-bricks made by the community for the walls of their new building.

 

Singapore Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2016Image courtesy of Don Wong

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In two broad themes (archetypal terrains), at every scale, in the boundary between the private and public realms, actions like participation, contestations, activations, appropriations, transgressions and occupations are enacted. All these happen in the building and urban fabric – on the grounds, in the void decks, in the private abodes of their housing estates, and in their public spaces. The aim of this “battery of actions” is to forge a new society built on the gains of the previous more austere generation.

 

Singapore Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2016Image courtesy of Don Wong

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In pushing against this front, in turning Singapore inside out, they move beyond from being productive and technocratic, to be creative and egalitarian. Thus, these “battles” at the front is a poignant visual account of their human capacity building, in looking at the past with new eyes, and broadly, in their attempts to humanise the environments of Singapore.

 

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