Contemporary artist Zai Kuning’s Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge was launched at the Singapore Pavilion at the 57th edition of the Venice Biennale.
This exhibition reflects Zai’s decades of research on the orang laut (sea people), mak yong (a dying pre-Islamic operatic tradition) and the narrative of the first Malay king of Srivijaya, Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa. He created a 17-metre long ship made of rattan bound with an old technique using only beeswax and red string.
Says Paul Tan, NAC’s Deputy Chief Executive, “Zai’s work opens a thoughtful dialogue on issues of identity, culture and history in Southeast Asia. We’re sure the work will strike a chord with international audiences, allowing them to better understand Singaporean contemporary art and its perspective in the global conversation.”
The Singapore Pavilion was opened by Guest-of-Honour Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Singapore, at the Sale d’Armi building at the Arsenale in Venice. The exhibition will be on from 13 May – 26 November 2017.