2018

Biennale of Sydney

Branding

Held every two years, The Biennale of Sydney is a the three‑month‑long exhibition featuring a program of artist talks, forums, guided tours and special events, nearly all of which are free to the public.

Flags featuring the branding for the Biennale of Sydney greet visitors as they arrive at the series of exhibitions installed on Cockatoo Island.

Wayfinding for the Biennale at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.

Supergraphics at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney

Overview

The Biennale of Sydney is recognized as one of Australia’s premier cultural events. Widely respected for working with independent artistic directors, the Biennale has a reputation for having shown the work of renowned artists early in their careers. The Biennale was also the first to focus on Asia and the contemporary art of the region (1973 and 1976); the first to show Indigenous art in an international contemporary art context (1979); and in 2008, the first biennale to present an online venue.

The Wu Xing cycle of creation and destruction serves as a conceptual platform for the 21st Biennale of Sydney design. The Wu Xing philosophy is juxtaposed with the concept of superposition: all states of being existing simultaneously in equilibrium. We have translated the relationship of these two elements into visual dualities: order versus chaos, connected versus singular, and static versus in motion.

Along with conceptual alignment — usability, flexibility, and modularity are important components of the 21st Biennale of Sydney identity design, given the myriad environmental and digital applications of the brand. The visual system is multifunctional. In addition to representing a structured representation of the Wu Xing philosophy—adhering to the sequence of the cycle–(wood, fire, earth, metal, water)–the shapes can also be overlayed creating background patterns that are the perfect solution for extending the graphic language of the design across large areas. These alternate iterations of the Wu Xing symbology represent the characteristics of superposition: fluid, amorphic, and ever-changing.