Singapore’s representative at the Venice Biennale 2017
BA(Hons) Fine Arts, Class of 1995
Multi-disciplinary artist Zai, a Fine Arts alumnus, represented Singapore at the 57th Venice Biennale. His installation Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge, commissioned by the National Arts Council (NAC), was on display at the Singapore Pavilion until November 26, 2017.
Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge uncovers forgotten stories of the orang laut, sea people of the Riau Archipelago. Central to the presentation is a 17-metre-long ship suspended across the length of the hall, and made only of rattan, string and beeswax.
As the first contemporary visual artist to resurrect Dapunta Hyang’s story, Zai’s journey is a culmination of over 20 years of research and discovery. The colossal ship is the fifth such vessel constructed by Zai, and the largest and most intricate to date. An earlier iteration, The fleeting world of Dapunta Hyang, was exhibited at LASALLE’s Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore in October 2014.