The pavilions with pulling power: What’s exciting the art-loving crowd at the Venice Biennale

Unofficially christened the Olympics of Art, there’s a reason why the Venice Biennale is one of the most prestigious contemporary art exhibitions in the world.

Every two years, the art spectacle takes place in Italy’s picturesque water city, offering the widest, most thought-provoking variety of contemporary art from around the globe — from paintings and sculptures to videos, installations to live performances.

The number of subsidiary shows and fringe events sprouting up all over the city seems to be increasing with every edition, effectively pushing the cultural conversation forward and rounding out the collective snapshot of the art world now.

And with each edition, the highly anticipated national pavilions provide a platform for many countries to showcase their most relevant and influential art.

With 86 official national contributors scattered across the Giardini and Arsenale at this 57th edition, there is an incredible variety of exhibits to choose from. Besides lending your support to multidisciplinary artist Zai Kuning and his impressive 17m-long ship (part of his installation Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge based on forgotten Malay histories) at the Singapore pavilion, there are many other pavilions and themes to sift through.


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