Rich Streitmatter-Tran: Lives and works in Vietnam
Chaw Ei Thein: Lives and works in Burma
Sugar, 5.5 tons
A life-size of Burmese pagoda constructed from sugar shimmers like a mirage under the Singapore sun. Pagodas are ubiquitous in Buddhist Burma and speak of the long history and deep roots Buddhism has among its people. The metaphorical resonance of the pagoda plays on all aspects of Burmese life, but the use of sugar deepens this fact in relation to more contemporary events. The two artists worked closely with structural engineers and cooks to come up with a solid sugar composition that could then be pored into molds to create the final structure. The result is an art work that will deteriorate as the days of the Biennale progress.
In the installation, artists have tried to provide different levels of access so that the work itself may be understood and appreciated on several levels depending entirely on the amount of investment the visitor cares to put in. As artists, they have sought to find a poetic way to do this. But, more importantly, artists hope that the thought behind the installation extends beyond Burma, or even Southeast Asia.