The Venice Biennale is one of the world’s most prestigious contemporary art exhibitions that is held every two years in Venice, Italy. This year at the 56th Venice Biennale it is expected that more than one million people will pass through the pavilion for Tuvalu.
The Tuvalu Pavilion is created by Taiwanese artist, Vincent Huang, who has been working on issues related to climate change since 2005 and created his first art project on Tuvalu in 2010. The pavilion at the Venice Biennale it titled, Crossing the Tide, and contains a turquoise pool that is crossed by two paths that submerge slightly as a visitor walks across it. Visitors will then find themselves in an imaginary space, a dreamscape, consisting only of sky and water.
Crossing the Tide reflects on the plea of small island nations facing the effects of global climate change. This is manifested by rising sea levels and increasing severe storms causing floods, and ultimately threatens the future of these small island nations such as Tuvalu, located in the Pacific Ocean. Huang states,
“I started to create to assist the tiny island nation to get more international attention. The theme of this year’s Venice Biennale is ‘all the world’s future.’ So it’s a sinking nation combined with a sinking city, which is Venice here.”
The large audience at the Venice Biennale will learn of the challenges Tuvalu is facing as a result of a problem it did little to create.
Huang says he was inspired by a speech by Tuvalu’s representative, Ian Fry. At the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference in Denmark, Fry stated, “the fate of my country rests in your hands.”
The 56th Venice Biennale will run from the 9th May to the 22nd November, 2015.