In a commissioned piece, Compound, the Cambodian artist Sopheap Pich used bamboo and rattan to create a fictional city surrounded by bombs, alluding to his country’s still recent violent history. Pictue by Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop
The Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi invites the public to interact with public objects in novel ways. Over the years, he has constructed a temporary one-room apartment around a bronze angel weather vane atop a 14th-century cathedral in Basel, and enclosed a 4.5-meter- high statue of Queen Victoria in Liverpool to make it the centerpiece of a temporary hotel room.
For the Singapore Biennale 2011, running until May 15, Mr. Nishi has transformed the 8-meter, or 26-foot, white cement Merlion, a tourist landmark, into the centerpiece of a luxurious hotel suite. The suite, built around the usually water-spouting half-lion, half-fish beast, comes complete with a bathroom, balcony overlooking the Marina Bay and a dedicated butler from the nearby Fullerton Hotel. During the day the room is open to the biennale public, while at night, a few lucky guests can sleep under the statue’s leonine head, which bursts through the floor in a décor wallpapered with a Toile de Jouy pattern that mixes motifs of Sir Stamford Raffles (who founded Singapore), the Merlion and a Chinese temple.
Keep on reading the article by Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop, for The New York Times: