Singapore to turn iconic statue into hotel for Biennale

Singapore's Merlion is a mythical beast - frozen in time in the shape of an eight-meter tall statue - who is supposed to keep watch over the city's waters and bring wealth and good fortune to its citizens.

As of March, though, the Merlion (that's part mermaid, part lion) will play a entirely different role when its structure is transformed into a hotel as part of this year's Singapore Biennale.

According to the Singapore Tourism Board, work on the project will start on February 7 and the "Merlion Hotel" will be open for overnight stays from March 9 until May 15.

The Singapore Art Museum, which helps curates the Biennale, is behind the project and says more information - such as how many people will be able to stay inside the structure - will be released by the end of the month. Temporary "hotel installations" are increasingly being launched as extensions of art events or exhibitions; some recent examples include the Save the Beach trash hotel in Madrid and the Null Stern hotel in the Swiss town of Teufen.

First built in 1972 and placed at the mouth of the Singapore River, the Merlion was in 2002 moved to its present position overlooking Marina Bay, one of the city's recently re-developed tourism and leisure areas which boasts the boutique Fullerton Bay Hotel as well as the towering Marina Bay Sands casino resort.

The Singapore Biennale was first staged in 2006 and now markets itself as the largest contemporary arts gathering in Southeast Asia - and an Asian rival to the likes of the famed Venice Biennale.

According to organizers, this year's exhibition boasts the works of 63 artists drawn from 30 countries, half of whom have created new commissions or will be premiering new works at the event.

"The curatorial team has worked hard to arrive at the heart of 'SB2011 Open House' by connecting these artistic processes to what we do every day, such as working, commuting, shopping, and eating, as well as obsessive or recreational activities in private or public," artistic director Matthew Ngui said in a statement. "We have consciously related these processes to the urban spaces in which they take place in Singapore, which in turn shapes the structure of each exhibition venue and the placement of artworks."


Singapore Biennale 2011 - Open House
March 13-May 15
(Vernissage March 11-12)
Singapore Art Museum, SAM at 8Q, National Museum of Singapore,
Old Kallang Airport, Marina Bay

www.singaporebiennale.org

MS

 

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Bid / Tender Writing Executive

    £24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executives / Marketing Communications Consultants

    Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a number of Marketi...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

    £20000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established business ...

    Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester

    £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester...

    Day In a Page

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders