21st Biennale of Sydney

16 March — 11 June 2018

Thursday, 15 March, 2018, 6–7pm

Keynote:
Ai Weiwei in conversation with Mami Kataoka

CONCERT HALL, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

To mark the opening of the Biennale, Ai Weiwei appears in conversation with Artistic Director Mami Kataoka in a personal and political discussion that charts changes in the artist’s work since he left China, and his current engagement with the issue of global forced migration through his artworks and films. Presented in partnership with Sydney Opera House.

Tickets on sale Friday, 15 December 2018
Subscribe to our eNews for updates

Ai Weiwei Law of the Journey, 2017
Thursday, 15 March 2018, 8.30pm

Sydney Premiere:
HUMAN FLOW, a film by Ai Weiwei

CONCERT HALL, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

The Biennale of Sydney and Roadshow present the Sydney premiere of Ai Weiwei’s new film Human Flow, a powerful feature documentary that attempts to communicate the scale and human impact of mass displacement, filmed over the course of a year in 23 countries. Presented in partnership with Sydney Opera House.

Tickets on sale Friday, 15 December 2018
Subscribe to our eNews for updates

HUMAN FLOW, (video still), Ai Weiwei, 2017. Courtesy Ai Weiwei Studio and Roadshow.

2018 marks the 45th anniversary
of the Biennale of Sydney and its 21st edition.

The Biennale provides a platform for art and ideas and is recognised for commissioning and presenting innovative, thought-provoking art from Australia and around the globe. A leading international art event, The Biennale of Sydney has showcased the work of nearly 1,800 artists from more than 100 countries. It has attracted over 4 million visitors since its inception in 1973 and holds an important place on both the national and international stage.

The Biennale of Sydney is located on the traditional lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Land and pay respect to Elders, both past and present.

Venues

Art Gallery of New South Wales

Art Gallery of New South Wales

Art Gallery of New South Wales

Established in 1871, the Art Gallery of New South Wales is the leading museum of art in the state of New South Wales and one of Australia’s foremost cultural institutions. It presents nearly 40 exhibitions annually, drawing on significant collections of Australian, European and Asian Art. The Art gallery of New South Wales has been a traditional and primary venue partner for the Biennale of Sydney since 1976.

artgallery.nsw.gov.au

Artspace

Artspace

Artspace
Photo by Zan Wimberley

Artspace was established in 1983 as an artist-run gallery, dedicated to the presentation of contemporary and experimental art in a critical context. It is a site for experimentation, collaboration and advocacy. Housed in the historic Gunnery building in Woolloomooloo, Sydney, Artspace has been a Biennale venue partner since 1992.

artspace.org.au

Carriageworks

Carriageworks

Carriageworks

Carriageworks, located at Sydney’s historic Eveleigh Rail Yards, is the largest contemporary multi-arts centre of its kind in Australia. The distinctive nineteenth century industrial atmosphere of the former railway carriage and blacksmith workshops have been retained, with many heritage iron and brick details featured in the regeneration of the building. Carriageworks joined the Biennale of Sydney as a major venue partner for the first time in 2014.

carriageworks.com.au

Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island
Image courtesy of Airview Online

Cockatoo Island is a former convict settlement and shipyard and the largest island in Sydney Harbour. In 2010, parts of Cockatoo Island were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, along with ten other historic sites that together form the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property. The Biennale of Sydney first used Cockatoo Island as a venue in 2008, The 21st Biennale of Sydney will span the breadth of the island, from the monumental Turbine Hall to the convict-built prison.

cockatooisland.gov.au

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Located at Sydney’s iconic Circular Quay, the Museum of Contemporary Art Austrailia (MCA) is Australia’s pre-eminent art museum devoted to collecting and exhibiting the work of contemporary artists. In 2018, the MCA will continue its role as a major exhibition partner of the Biennale of Sydney, hosting major components of the Biennale’s exhibition across two floors of the museum.

mca.com.au

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House, an architectural icon included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, is one of the world’s best known performing arts centres. The Opera House was the venue of the inaugural Biennale of Sydney, which took place to coincide with the building’s opening in 1973, and has been used as a venue several times in the Biennale’s 40-year history.

sydneyoperahouse.com

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (4A) fosters excellence and innovation in contemporary culture through the commissioning, presentation, documentation and research of contemporary art. 4A’s program is presented throughout Australia and Asia, ensuring that contemporary art plays a central role in understanding and developing the dynamic relationship between Australia and the wider Asian region. In 2018, 4A will be a venue partner of the Biennale of Sydney for the first time.

www.4a.com.au

Artists

  • Julian Abraham ‘Togar’
  • Eija-Liisa Ahtila
  • Ai Weiwei
  • Brook Andrew
  • Sydney Ball
  • Marc Bauer
  • Oliver Beer
  • Michaël Borremans
  • Miriam Cahn
  • Francisco Camacho Herrera
  • Chen Shaoxiong
  • Tiffany Chung
  • Abraham Cruzvillegas
  • Roy de Maistre
  • Marjolijn Dijkman
  • Lili Dujourie
  • Luciano Fabro
  • Marco Fusinato
  • Anya Gallaccio
  • Ryan Gander
  • Geng Xue
  • Simryn Gill
  • Marlene Gilson
  • Tanya Goel
  • Laurent Grasso
  • N.S. Harsha
  • Hsu Chia-Wei
  • Ami Inoue
  • Mit Jai Inn
  • Sosa Joseph
  • Jacob Kirkegaard
  • Yvonne Koolmatrie
  • Suzanne Lacy
  • Tuomas Aleksander Laitinen
  • Liza Lou
  • Nicholas Mangan
  • Cercle d'Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC) with Baloji and Renzo Martens
  • Prabhavathi Meppayil
  • Kate Newby
  • Trinh Thi Nguyen
  • Tom Nicholson
  • Noguchi Rika
  • Ciara Phillips
  • Tawatchai Puntusawasdi
  • Koji Ryui
  • Sa Sa Art Projects
  • Khaled Sabsabi
  • Semiconductor
  • Yasmin Smith
  • Dimitar Solakov
  • Michael Stevenson
  • Svay Sareth
  • Rayyane Tabet
  • Akira Takayama
  • Maria Taniguchi
  • Esme Timbery
  • George Tjungurrayi
  • Su-Mei Tse
  • Martin Walde
  • Roy Wiggan
  • Riet Wijnen
  • Nicole Wong
  • Wong Hoy Cheong
  • Yukinori Yanagi
  • Haegue Yang
  • Jun Yang
  • Yarrenyty Arltere Artists
  • Samson Young
  • Biennale of Sydney Archive

Events

Additional major events will be announced in December.

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our eNews to hear as soon as the full program of events is announced and bookings are live.

Biennale Archive Stories #5

Mami Kataoka: An Open Interview with Judy Annear, Penelope Seidler AM and Tony Bond

Location: Art Gallery of NSW, Centenary Auditorium
Date: 13 December 2017
Time: 6-7.30 pm
Cost: Free

Biennale Archive Stories #6

Director’s Cut: Mami Kataoka in Conversation with Michael Brand, Alexie Glass-Kantor, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE and Lisa Havilah

Location: MCA Australia, Veolia Theatre
Date: 28 February 2018
Time: 6-7.30 pm
Cost: Free

Curatorial
Statement

Mami Kataoka,
Artistic Director

The 21st Biennale of Sydney title borrows the quantum mechanical term ‘superposition’ to link the notions of equilibrium and engagement. In quantum theory, ‘superposition’ refers to the ability of electrons to occupy multiple states at once, to simultaneously take opposing paths and end up in different places. It is only with the application of measurement that matter is reduced to a single definition.

SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium and Engagement will examine the state of ‘superposition’ by examining how it might operate in the world today. We are surrounded by conflicting ideas across all levels of humanity: different cultures; readings of nature and the universe; political ideologies and systems of government; interpretations of human history, the history of art and definitions of contemporary art.

Correspondingly, according to the theory of ‘Wu Xing’ in ancient Chinese natural philosophy, everything in this world is comprised of five main elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Each element gives rise to the next – either through a process of symbiosis, where one element encourages the formation of the others in a circulatory system, or a situation of mutual conflict and antagonism, in which each element resists and suppresses the others. In reality, diverse elements come together in a state of repeated collision, collapse and rebirth.

The participating artists in the 21st Biennale of Sydney have been chosen to offers a panoramic view of how opposing understandings and interpretations can come together in a state of ‘equilibrium.’ My hope is that their artworks will serve as a catalyst for thinking about these principles and concerns, taking one’s own position in society as a starting point.

Mami Kataoka, Artistic Director of the 21st Biennale of Sydney

Internationally renowned curator Mami Kataoka is a key figure in analysing socio-historical and generational trends, particularly in the context of Japanese and Asian art, and frequently writes and lectures on contemporary art in Asia.

She has held the position of Chief Curator of the Mori Art Museum (MAM) in Tokyo since 2009, and Senior Curator since 2003. At MAM, Kataoka has curated numerous notable exhibitions including ‘Roppongi Crossing’ (survey show of contemporary Japanese art) (2004, 2013), ‘Sensing Nature: Perception of Nature in Japan’ (2010); as well as major survey shows of prominent artists in Asia such as Tsuyoshi Ozawa, Ai Weiwei, Lee Bul, Makoto Aida, Lee Mingwei and N.S. Harsha.

Since its inception in 1973, the Biennale of Sydney has provided a platform for art and ideas, showcasing the work of nearly 1,800 artists from more than 100 countries. Today it is considered one of the leading international contemporary art events, recognised for commissioning and presenting innovative, thought provoking art from Australia and around the world.

Professional Preview

The Professional Preview takes place from 13-15 March 2018 and is open to arts professionals and media. Register for accreditation today.

Plan Your Sydney Experience

Travelling to Sydney for the 21st Biennale? It’s a great time of year to experience the city! Visit Sydney.com for everything there is to know about our city.

Subject to availability. Please contact these partners for full Terms and Conditions.

Education Visits

School groups wishing to visit Biennale venues, either educator-led or self-guided, must book in advance.

Subscribe to our Education eNews to ensure you receive news of Education opportunities and resources as they are released.

Media

Press Releases

21st Biennale of Sydney Unveils Artistic Program

Media Contacts

Volunteer

Join us and take part in bringing art and people together. Being a volunteer with the 21st Biennale of Sydney offers a rewarding opportunity to discover more about contemporary art and meet new friends.

The Biennale of Sydney values the individual worth, uniqueness and diversity of all people. We seek to remove barriers to participation in our volunteer program that will enable all people to meet their full potential, and experience meaningful involvement with the Biennale.

For more information about volunteering with the Biennale of Sydney, please contact:
Frances Robinson
Volunteer Manager
+61 2 8484 8703

Partners

Major Government Partners

AU VISAC STRAT
AU COUNC ARTS
CREATE NSW
C C SYDNEY

Principal Patron

NEILSON

Principal Partner

Major Foundations

Venue Partners

Supporting Foundations

ANDREW CAMERON FAMILY FOUNDATION
BREEN MILLS FOUNDATION
IPF OUTSET
ISHIBASHI F
NELSON MEERS F

Contributing Partners

AU I I
AU GOV A-J F
BRITISH C
CANADA C
CONSULAR GENERAL CANADA
CONSULATE CS
CREATIVE NZ
EMB FRANCE
IFA
INSTITUT F
OCULA
NCF LUXEMB
PROHELVET
UNSW AD

Contributing Foundations

JAPAN F
KOREAN F
ORANGES AND SARDINES

Founding Patrons

The Biennale of Sydney applauds 40 years of patronage by
Transfield Holdings and the Belgiorno-Nettis Family

TRANSFIELD

The Biennale Archive includes physical records from the first nineteen editions of the Biennale of Sydney, forming the most comprehensive archive of national and international art activity in Australia. Since the first edition in 1973 the Biennale has featured over 1,800 artists from more than 100 countries and has grown to become one of Australia’s great cultural events. The Biennale of Sydney has been supported by Transfield Holdings specifically to enable the documentation of the Biennale Archive and its gifting to the Art Gallery of New South Wales as part of the Gallery’s new National Art Archive initiative.

The Biennale invites your organisation to join our community of highly respected partners who enjoy the benefits of collaborating with Australia’s most prominent contemporary arts organisation with a significant local and international audience. We are committed to developing mutually beneficial partnerships that achieve your corporate goals.

To become a Partner of the 21st Biennale of Sydney, please contact:
Anna Young
Partnerships Manager
+61 2 8484 8724

Patrons

FOUNDING GOVERNOR
  • Franco Belgiorno-Nettis AC CBE
FOUNDING PATRONS
  • The Belgiorno-Nettis Family
  • Transfield Holdings
PRINCIPAL PATRONS 21st BIENNALE OF SYDNEY
  • The Neilson Foundation
GOVERNORS
  • Susan Acret and James Roth
  • Anonymous
  • Breen Mills Foundation
  • Bridging Hope Charity Foundation
  • International Production Fund: Outset England, Outset Israel, white rainbow
  • Julian Knights AO and Lizanne Knights
  • Penelope Seidler AM
  • Dr Gene Sherman AM and Mr Brian Sherman AM
AMBASSADORS
  • Geoff Ainsworth AM and Johanna Featherstone
  • Andrew Cameron AM and Cathy Cameron
  • Amanda Harkness and Karen Barrett
  • Vicki Olsson
  • Roslyn and Tony Oxley
  • Dr Dick Quan and John McGrath
  • Lorraine Tarabay and Nick Langley
  • Georgie and Alastair Taylor
  • Chizuko Yashiro
ASSOCIATES
  • Ginny and Leslie Green
  • Elizabeth Laverty
  • Medich Foundation
  • Nelson Meers Foundation
  • Janie Michell
  • Victoria Miro Gallery
  • John Sharpe and Claire Armstrong
  • Silverlens
  • Vanessa Tay
  • Mercedes Zobel
BENEFACTORS
  • Antoinette Albert
  • Richard Banks and Chrissie Jeffery
  • Tor and Tony Bannon
  • Ahmed Begdouri and Martin Browne
  • Candy Bennett and Edwina Lehmann
  • Teresa Biet
  • Andrew Birch and Cheryl Sing
  • Peter Braithwaite
  • Chartwell Trust
  • Susan Cocks and Dr Ben Robinson
  • Sarah Cottier and Ashley Barber
  • James Darling AM and Lesley Forwood
  • Hon Mrs Ashley Dawson-Damer AM
  • DETACHED, Hobart
  • Richard and Harriett England
  • Barbara Flynn
  • Heidi Forbes
  • Rick and Jan Frolich
  • Ross and Jinnie Gavin
  • Danny Goldberg OAM and Lisa Goldberg
  • GrantPirrie Private
  • Julian and Stephanie Grose
  • Stephanie and Ian Hardy
  • Susan Hilliard and Shane Allan
  • Sam and Margo Hill-Smith
  • Neil Hobbs and Karina Harris
  • Mark Hughes
  • David and Angela Kent
  • Annette Larkin
  • Lewin Foundation
  • David and Dorienne Light
  • Amanda and Andrew Love
  • Benjamin Mangold
  • Nanda Hobbs Contemporary
  • Mark and Louise Nelson
  • Dr Clinton Ng
  • Lisa and Egil Paulsen
  • John Phillips
  • Belinda and Bill Pulver
  • Alice and Daniel Quai
  • Amelia Ramsden
  • Elizabeth Ramsden
  • Reliable Source Industrial (Cambodia) Co.,Ltd
  • John Schaeffer AO and Bettina Dalton
  • Gosia Schild
  • Anna and Morry Schwartz
  • Richard Sharpe
  • Vivienne Sharpe
  • Lawrence Smith and Anthea Williamson
  • Ezekiel Solomon AM
  • Jennifer Stafford and Jon Nicholson
  • Joanna Strumpf and Ursula Sullivan
  • Taka Ishii Gallery
  • Lucy Turnbull
  • Michael Whitworth and Dr Candice Bruce
  • Dr Terry Wu and Dr Melinda Tee
  • Di Yeldham and Ali Yeldham
COMPANIONS
  • Clitheroe Foundation
  • Dominik Mersch
  • STATION, Melbourne
  • Anna Waldmann

Become an integral part of our exhibitions and programs. You will love how it feels to be involved.

Enjoy an insider’s view of the Biennale! Connect with like-minded art patrons, be among the first to meet visiting artists and art world VIPs and preview the exhibition with the Artistic Director. You can choose to direct your contribution toward the overall exhibition fund, making Biennale exhibitions and programs possible. Or choose an artist project, education initiative or public program to sponsor directly. Engaging with the Biennale as a Benefactor is fun, and your investment in the Biennale is truly appreciated.

We hope you will join us in realising many new and memorable projects.

To become a Benefactor of the 21st Biennale of Sydney, please contact:
Sarah Hetherington
Benefaction Manager
+61 2 8484 8733