Malaysian architects to showcase work at Venice Biennale

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 24 participants comprising established and emerging (Malaysian) architects will collaborate with artists and multimedia designers to present Malaysian ideas and works  at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia.

The exhibition will be held in Arsenale, Venice from June 7 until Nov 23 and the Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) is curating the Malaysian pavilion.

La Biennale de Venezia is internationally recognised as the ultimate exhibition for art and architecture. It is held every two years in the museum city of Venice. The exhibition usually features only a privileged, select few from various countries.

“La Biennale di Venezia is the meeting place for thousands of the world’s most influential architecture, design and visual arts fraternity,” said Malaysian External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) chief executive officer Datuk Dr Wong Lai Sum in a statement recently.

This will be PAM’s third time curating the event. The Malaysian team will be led by Dr Tan Loke Mun, Dr Lim Teng Ngiom and Sarly Adre Sarkum, and supported by Matrade.

“By participating in the exhibition, the Malaysian participants can network with others from the fraternity to pursue business opportunities not only in Italy, but also in other countries,” said Wong.

“It is one of the rare opportunities for Malaysian architects to exhibit their ideas on the world stage as this exhibition receives coverage from many of the world’s leading architecture journals,” said PAM president Chan Seong Aun.

“In order to thrive on the world architecture stage, Malaysian architects must learn to exhibit their ideas in an event such as this. It expands their world perspective and prepares them for the upcoming opening of the architectural consultancy market first to Asean in 2015 and subsequently to the world market,” said Chan.

The event’s theme for this year is Fundamentals and will be curated by renowned Dutch architect, Rem Koolhaas. The Malaysian contingent chose the theme, Sufficiency to complement Biennale’s focus.

The Malaysian pavilion will feature works displayed on suspended pet cages. The idea behind it is to project the concept of surreal floating cages that will illustrate a call for minimal rather than over provision, which is the idea of “sufficiency”, to satisfy the need rather than the want.

The pavilion will present an array of contemporary architectural design and artworks from Lillian Tay, Veritas Design Group and Lee Chor Wah, Lee Chor Wah Architect as well as up and coming architects such as Marisa Diyana Shahrir, Ong & Ong 360 Consultancy, and Dayang Aimi Husna Awang, Daimio Design Studio, among others.

The Malaysian pavilion will feature works displayed on suspended pet cages. Loop by Marisa Diyana Shahrir.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on June 6, 2014.

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