Venice Biennale

National Arts Council

The Singapore Pavilion at the International Art Exhibition, ‘La Biennale di Venezia’, showcased the conceptual ‘workings’ of artist Lim Tzay Chuen, who attempted and failed to convince the Singapore authorities to allow him to bring Singapore’s iconic symbol of tourism, the 80 tonne Merlion sculpture, to Venice as part of his artwork.

Having set out to create a set of collectible objects rather than mere marketing collaterals for the Singapore Pavilion, H55 designed printed materials that were relevant to the theme and idea behind Lim’s attempt to bring the Merlion (or nicknamed MIKE by Lim) over to Venice. Done in collaboration with Lim, these materials include a peel away Merlion sticker and a board standee which suggested the removal of the Merlion, MIKE badges which explore the issue of national identity, posters which suggest that Lim’s negotiation with the authorities is ‘over’ and a signage with the artist statement.

These design applications gave the ‘empty’ Singapore Pavilion its presence and visual identity, existing between the realms of artwork and promotional material, in the absence of MIKE.

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