20 May '17, 4am

Venice conveys the signs of the times @la_Biennale via @BusinessTimes

Venice conveys the signs of the times @la_Biennale via @BusinessTimes

ZAI Kuning is as much an artist as he is a shaman. At the opening of the Singapore Pavilion in the Venice Biennale last week, he banged on the janggu (Korean drum) while his team members carried out a traditional procession to launch his 17-metre Phinisi ship. It involved spinning rocks and circling the vessel three times. Zai, 52, said he was channelling a spirit of Dapunta Hyang, the 7th century ruler of South-east Asia, to partake in the blessing ceremony. The historical figure was responsible for the spread of Buddhism in the region. However, little is known of Dapunta Hyang today, prompting Zai to focus his decades-long research on the forgotten maharaja. Zai is not alone in his interest in forgotten histories, rituals and traditions. As it turned out, several Venice Biennale artists have also turned to these themes - an antidote perhaps for these anxious, uncertain t...

Full article: http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/lifestyle/arts/venice-con...

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