Singapore Participates in the Venice Biennale 9th International Architecture Exhibition


DesignSingapore Council will present a national pavilion showcasing our architectural works and aspirations in the Venice Biennale 9th International Architecture Exhibition for the first time. The exhibition will be held in Venice, Italy, from 12 September to 7 November 2004.

2.     Singapore’s participation is in line with DesignSingapore’s strategy to promote local designers overseas on international platforms.

3.     “We are proud to be presenting Singapore’s architectural works in the Venice Biennale, a prestigious event with participation from more than 50 other countries, that will attract international media publicity and numerous foreign visitors. The exhibition will be subject to international review” said Dr Milton Tan, Director of DesignSingapore Council.

4.     The theme for the 9th International Architecture Exhibition is ‘Metamorph’, and the Singapore Pavilion is presenting ‘Tropical Genteelity’ which will explore the relationship between architecture and nature, and how it affects our lifestyles.

5.     Dr Wong Yunn Chii, lead curator for the exhibition explained that “Tropical Genteelity is best dramatised in our built design responses to nature, and to establish a new balance and sensibility. It is an elegant re-organisation of many facets of live-work, play and contemplation around nature, place and weather affecting a larger populace.”

6.     The curatorial team from the National University of Singapore, Department of Architecture had selected works from 13 local architectural firms and National Parks Board for the exhibition. The list is attached in Annex A.

7.     The Venice Biennale started as a showcase of Italian art in 1895, eventually becoming the oldest and most important international visual art event in the world. As an international platform for contemporary art, it does not limit its cultural spectrum to that of the visual arts. It has evolved over the years to include architecture, music, cinema, dance and theatre. It attracts hundreds of thousands of people to each event and is recognised as the most strategic and high-profiled cultural event of its kind.

8.     The Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition is held in alternative years to the Venice Biennale International Exhibition of Art. Singapore participated in the Venice Biennale for Art held in 2001 and 2003.

9.     The Singapore Pavilion in the Venice Biennale 9th International Architecture Exhibition is organised by DesignSingapore Council and co-organised by National Heritage Board and National Arts Council.

Annex A

About DesignSingapore

As Singapore seeks to remake its economy and stay competitive, it must enhance its creative capacity as well as develop its creative industries - namely the arts and cultural, media and design industries in Singapore. DesignSingapore is a specific initiative targeting design as part of Singapore's creative industries.

DesignSingapore Council is set up by the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. It involves leaders and individuals from the various industry stakeholders, the design community and government. The Council works closely with the design and industry associations, which currently sit on the Council’s Industry Development Panel.

While the different design and industry associations cater to the needs of specific design professions or industries, the DesignSingapore Council is set up as a national body to steer and coordinate the overall development of the various design industries as an integrated cluster, to promote design in Singapore as well as Singapore design internationally. For more information on DesignSingapore, please visit