The Venice Questionnaire #12: Vincent Huang

May 23, 2013 8:48PM
ArtReview sent a questionnaire to a selection of the artists exhibiting in various national pavilions of the Venice Biennale, the responses to which will be published over the coming days. Vincent Huang will represent the South Pacific island of Tuvalu. The pavilion is at Forte Marghera, Via Forte Marghera, 30, 30173 Venezia

What can you tell us about your plans for Venice?

I am planning to bring together "animal victims" in Venice. This will serve as a metaphor to highlight the negative impact that humans are having against the environment in today’s day and age. As humans we are living in an ever growing economic system- which is in constant pursuit of unlimited growth. Whether you are a country, a company or even an individual-there is an unrelenting desire to consistently be upgrading. My plan in Venice is to show that Capitalism is now pushing Modern Society to the extreme and the pitfalls this can have on the environment. This will be shown by an interactive colossal oil pump installation based in the Forte Marghera. We will invite people to ‘pump gas’ operating a lever that will trigger the entire pump- setting off the guillotine which will begin to slaughter animals and human nature! Modern Atlantis will be an aquarium tank housing coral reefs growing on miniature sculptures of iconic landmarks of civilized and capitalist society. At the entrance of the exhibition site will be a silicon rug made into the shape of Tuvalu turtles. Everyone who enters the site will have to step onto this rug, causing it to ‘scream’.

Are you approaching the show in a different way to how you would with a ‘normal’ exhibition?

Although we were not able to secure one of the famous sites of the Arsenale and Giandini, we have picked a location, the Forte Marghera, due to its symbolism and history. The fact it was a former lagoon fits with our environmental concept. Much like its global location, Tuvalu’s pavilion at the Biennale is positioned on the periphery of the more powerful developed nations.

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Vincent Huang, Oil Soaked Polar Bears, Tuvalu Island, 2012. Courtesy the artist.Vincent Huang, In the Name of Civilisation (installation viewe Forte Marghera, Tuvalu Island), 2012, mass oil pump. Courtesy the artist.