GRIOT Guide To The Venice Biennale | Asian And Australian Pavilions

Returning a year later than planned due to the ongoing pandemic, the 59th edition of the International Art Exhibition in Venice runs from 23rd April to 27th November 2022. More than 200 artists will participate under the theme The Milk of Dreams, directed by Italian curator Cecilia Alemani.

by Anna Milano Brandalise - Published on 11/04/2022
Shubigi Rao, "Pulp III: A Short Biography of the Banished Book", Singapore pavilion at the Venice Biennale

SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC The Syrians People: a common Destiny

Curator: Emad Kashout
Artist
s: Saousan Alzubi, Ismaiel Nasra, Adnan Hamideh, Omran Younis, Aksam Tallaa, Giuseppe Amadio, Marcello Lo Giudice, Lorenzo Puglisi, Hannu Palosuo
Location: Isola di San Servolo

SAUDI ARABIA – The Teaching Tree

Curator: Reem Fadda
Artist: Muhannad Shono (Riyadh, 1977)
Location: Arsenale

Muhannad Shono works by experimenting with different mediums such as drawing, sculpture and robotics and technology in general. For his creations he is inspired by the migratory history of his family and the title of the work proposed for this Biennale, The teaching tree suggests that he will follow the same line. Curator Reem Fadda described him as an artist “who represents an energetic, progressive, and visionary mindset coming out of Saudi Arabia.”

ARMENIA – Gharib

Curators: Anne Davidian, Elena Sorokina
Artist: Andrius Arutiunian (1991)
Location: Campo della Tana, Castello 2125

Gharīb, which translates as a ‘stranger who enters into our midst’ or as dissonance, is the title of the show artist and composer Andrius Arutiunian  for the Armenian pavilion. The exhibition will include a series of objects and sound installations that in part refer to Gurdjeff, an Armenian-Greek mystic and composer. With this work, Arutiunian tries to explore forms of organization and world ordering, both musical and political, which remain outside the Western imaginaries.  The artist has shared a phrase / manifesto that seems to be an integral part of the show: “One starts by merely imagining real things. Eventually, the real things themeselves manifest.”

AZERBAIJAN – Born to Love

Curator: Emin Mammadov
Artists: Narmin Israfilova, Infinity, Ramina Saadatkhan, Fidan Novruzova, Fidan Akhundova, Sabiha Khankishiyeva, Agdes Baghirzade
Location: Procuratie Vecchie San Marco 153/a/139

BANGLADESH – Time: Mask and Unmask

Curator: Viviana Vannucci
Artists: Jamal Uddin Ahmed, Mohammad Iqbal, Harun-Ar-Rashid, Sumon Wahed, Promity Hossain, Mohammad Eunus, Marco Cassarà, Franco Marrocco, Giuseppe Diego Spinelli
Location: Palazzo Pisani Revedin, San Marco 4013

CHINA – Meta-Scape

Curator: Zhang Zikang
Artists: Liu Jiayu, Wang Yuyang, Xu Lei
Location: Arsenale

The Chinese pavilion hosts a collaborative project between three artists: Wang Yuyang, who participates with his sculpture Snowman, Liu Jiayu and Xu Lei. The Meta-Scape installation concerns a reading of the jing – “the vital essence” – in a modern take, which translates into the fusion of man and machine

KOREA – Gyre

Curator: Youngchul Lee
Artist: Yunchul Kim
Location: Giardini

Yunchul Kim is an electroacoustic music composer, visual artist, who works with fluids, photonic crystals and magnets. Through Gyre, the artist presents a series of interconnected and monumental installations in the Korean Pavilion, imaging it as a sprawling body of entanglements: an embodiment of the placenessness of things, where he explores the boundary space between natural and artificial.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim: Between Sunrise and Sunset

Curator: Maya Allison
Artist: Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim (Khor Fakkan, 1962)
Location: Arsenale

Experimental artist Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, presents an installation biomorphic, abstract and organic sculptures. These human-sized sculptures are built up over loose skeleton structures that shift and settle into their final position as he works.  Often incorporating actual earth, leaves, tea, coffee, and tobacco, the texture of the forms derives from his raw materials.

PHILLIPINES – Andi taku e sana, Amung taku di sana / All of us present, This is our gathering

Curators: Yael Buencamino Borromeo, Arvin Flores
Artists: Gerardo Tan, Felicidad A.Prudente, Sammy N. Buhle
Location: Arsenale

The exhibition at Philippine pavilion sees the collaboration between artist Gerardo Tan, musicologist Felicidad A. Prudente and accomplished weaver Sammy Buhle. The exhibition involves an interdisciplinary approach to transmitting culture with sound and textile, weaving the customary and the contemporary across the archipelago. It presents a highly mediated process of generating sound, performance, image, and object.

GEORGIA – I Pity the Garden 

Curators: Vato Urushadze, Khatia Tchokhonelidze, Giorgi Spanderashvili
Artists: Mariam Natroshvili, Detu Jincharadze
Location: Spazio Punch, Fondamenta S. Biagio 800/O, Giudecca

Georgia will be represented by artistic duo Mariam Natroshvili and Detu Jincharadze, who will present an installation with a curious title, I Pity the Garden. The exhibition is built on VR technology for the presentation of the central piece and is accompanied by a large-scale video installation. The work invites the viewer into a surreal, dystopian environment on the backdrop of climate crisis, global and local turmoil and transformations.

JAPAN – Dumb Type

Curators: Dumb Type (Shiro Takatani, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Ken Furudate, Satoshi Hama, Ryo Shiraki, Marihiko Hara, Hiromasa Tomari, Takuya Minami, Yoko Takatani)
Location: Giardini

Dumb Type is an art collective founded in 1984. Its members work in various different fields—from visual arts, dance, computer programming, video. The group’s creative practice is based on non-hierarchic collaborations. At the biennale they present an installation on the theme of post-truth, which refers to a society in which personal feeling influence public opinion rather than objective facts.

KAZAKHISTAN – Lai-Phi-Chu-Plee-Lapa / Centre for the New Genius

Curators: ORTA collective (Alexandra Morozova, Rusten Begenov, Darya Jumelya, Alexander Bakanov, Sabina Kuangaliyeva)
Location: Spazio Arco, Dorsoduro 1485

This is the first-ever participation of the country at the Venice Biennale. The Kazakhstan pavilion will be inaugurated by the ORTA Collective, which plans to pay homage to Sergey Kalmykov, a Russian avant-garde artist who made decorations for a number of theatrical productions

KIRGHIZISTAN – Gates of Turan

Curator: Janet Rady
Artist: Firouz Farman Farmaian
Location: Hydro Space, Giudecca Art District, Giudecca 211/C

Like its neighboring country Kazakhstan, Kirghizistan will make its Venice biennale debut this year. Working with craftswomen based in the country, artist Firouz Farman Farmaian will create 10 hand-stiched works that refer to the ancient region of Tur. The artist has defined the work as an immemorial nomadic mythical cosmonogy.

LIBANON – The World in the Image of Man

Curator: Nada Ghandour
Artists: Ayman Baalbaki, Danielle Arbid
Location: Arsenale

The Lebanon pavilion presents the works of Danielle Arbid, director and videomaker of the diaspora, and of visual artist Ayman Baalbaki. The World in the Image of Man is an artistic project influenced by the current Lebanese context, thus by the unprecedented economic, social and political crisis that Lebanon has been facing since the end of 2019. “The ambition of this project is to allow Lebanon’s artistic scene to shine on the international map of contemporary art and to send a strong message of commitment and encouragement to the artists of this country currently going through the most difficult times in its history,” curator Nada Ghandour said.

MONGOLIA – A Journey Through Vulnerability

Curator: Gantuya Badamgarav
Artist: Munkhtsetseg Jalkhaajav
Location: Castello 2131

In his artistic research Munkhtsetseg Jalkhaajav starts from the concepts of healing and rebirth, drawing inspiration from Mongolian traditional medical approaches and spiritual healing. The characters of many of his works derive from the symbolism of the Mongolian tradition, in particular the human-bird character, depicted as half woman and half crow.

NEPAL – Tales of Muted Spirits-Dispersed Threads-Twisted Shangri-La

Curator: Hit Man Gurung, Sheelasha Raj Bhandari
Artist: Tsherin Sherpa
Location: Castello 994

Tsherin Sherpa’s multimedia installation for the Nepal Pavilion – for the first time at the Biennale – is a social critique of Western projections on Nepal, the fetishization of the Himalayan plateau and colonial oppression. As the artist stated, ” International understanding of Nepali art remains plagued by a Western conceptualisation of the Himalayan region,’ Sherpa said. ‘A pervasive, romanticised vision that frames Nepal as static, pure and untouched by time and modernity. We need to create a space to reflect and re-evaluate these biases.’ Tales of Muted Spirits is thought of as a place to start deconstructing these biases.

OMAN 

Curator: Aisha Stoby
Artists: Anwar Sonja, Hassan Meer, Budoor Al Riyami, Radhika Al Khimji, Raiya Al Rawahi
Location: Arsenale

This is also the first pavilion at the Venice Biennale for Oman. Curator Aisha Stoby coordinates several artists who have ties to the country and express an aspect of its culture. Among these is artist Radhika Al Khimji, whose feminist practice employs painting, collage, sculpture, textile work and installations.

SINGAPORE – Pulp III: A Short Biography of the Banished Book

Curator: Ute Meta Bauer
Artist: Shubigi Rao
Location: Arsenale

The installation by Shubigi Rao—all-round artist and writer—is a project concerning the history of the destruction of books.  The project is a lyrical manuscript that charts the breadth of human cultural endeavour through shared stories of humanity and communities of print. Pulp III marks the midpoint of Shubigi Rao’s evocative 10-year project, Pulp, which explores the history of book destruction and those who persist in its margins to protect the futures of knowledge.

TURKEY – Once upon a time…

Curator: Bige Örer
Artist: Füsun Onur
Location: Arsenale

Füsun Onur is a very important artist in Turkey: since the 1970s she has contributed to introducing the canons of the artistic avant-garde in her country. Her conceptual works of painting and sculpture express her poetics through the use of common materials and reflect on space, time, rhythm and form. “The installations of Füsun Onur stand out with their ability to erase the universally defined boundaries such as identity, culture and language, and to linger as a musical note in living beings, regardless of place and space.”

UZBEKISTAN – Dixit Algorizmi: Garden of Knowledge

Curator: Studio Space Caviar (Joseph Grima, Camilo Oliveira), Sheida Gomashchi;
Artists: Charlie Tapp/Abror Zufarov, CCA Lab
Location: Arsenale

The artists of the Uzbek Pavilion Charlie Tapp and Abror Zufarov for their project they drew inspiration from a mathematician and student of algorithms native to the city of Khiva: the installation will be a sort of garden, divided into quadrants.

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AUSTRALIA – DESASTRES

Curator: Alexie Glass-Kantor
Artist: Marco Fusinato
Location: Giardini

Marco Fusinato is a contemporary artist and noise-musician. DESASTRES is a culmination of his interests in noise/experimental music, underground culture, mass media images and art history. He developed it during the pandemic lockdowns of the first covid wave, which allowed him to reflect on some dichotomies: noise and silence, order and disorder, purity and contamination.

DESASTRES is a visceral experience of sound and image that places the audience at the centre of the work. Fusinato will perform live in the pavilion using an electric guitar as a signal generator into mass amplification to improvise slabs of noise, saturated feedback and discordant intensities that trigger a deluge of images. The resulting all-consuming experience is open for the audience to interpret and make sense of. “My idea of activating the audience is to remind them that they are alive. That they have a pulse. My work always begins with something I want to experience,” the artist said.

NEW ZEALAND – Paradise Camp

Curator: Natalie King
Artist: Yuki Kihara
Location: Arsenale

Small island ecologies, queer rights, intersectionality and decolonisation are all explored by interdisciplinary artist Yuki Kihara in her Venice Biennale 2022 project Paradise Camp, curated by Professor Natalie King. Yuki Kihara is renowned for delving into the complexities of postcolonial histories in the Pacific and interrogating Western misinterpretations from the perspective of the Fa’afafine (Sāmoan for “in the manner of a woman”, Sāmoa’s third gender) community, to which she belongs. Kihara’s exhibition for Venice will be told through this unique lens, drawing attention to often untold, marginalised histories and issues facing her community.

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Anna Milano Brandalise
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Lareanda in Storia e Critica dell’Arte. Sono creativa e perfezionista. Mi piacciono l’arte contemporanea, i fiori e il bricolage.