Whereas Singapore is sending just one artist to Venice this year, South Korea has dispatched 15 - its largest delegation to an international art event. Curator Sunjun Kim says the broad age range among the Koreans is reflected in the presentations. Secret Beyond the Door, for instance, features paintings, video images, graffiti and installations. Not letting an opportunity pass them by, the Koreans are renovating the exterior of their exhibition hall in the Giardini pavilion into a separate piece of art. Choi Jeong-hwa will transform it into a 'colossal castle facade' by placing 20,000 red plastic baskets on the roof and veranda. The interior walls will be plastered with translucent blue fibreglass reinforced plastic, courtesy of artist Park Ki-won. Singapore is putting all its energy into Lim Tzay Chuen. 'Given the resources and space, it makes sense to focus all our efforts on showcasing the work of one artist well, rather than compromising the work of multiple artists,' says curator Eugene Tan, director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore. Lim's exhibit isn't without controversy. The artist had originally wanted to move Singapore's iconic Merlion to Venice. The half-lion, half-fish fountain has pride of place across from Singapore's Esplanade theatre and is a big tourist attraction. Lim wasn't able to get approval to move it. 'Logistics and costs were big issues and the Merlion needs to remain where visitors can see it,' said Khor Kok Wah, the commissioner for the Singapore pavilion and the deputy chief executive of the National Arts Council. 'Objectively speaking, it was understandable that permission wasn't given. 'Regardless of whether the proposal is carried out, the idea remains a bold gesture involving a national icon, and the meaning people attach to it. In a sense, the proposal is all the more poignant for its non-performance.' Tan says he chose 33-year- old Lim because he's one of the most interesting artists working in Singapore. 'His work encourages viewers to re-examine their received and established perceptions as to what constitutes an aesthetic experience.' Lim, who graduated from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia in 1997, is gradually making a name for himself in international biennales. His work has also been exhibited at the Gwangju Biennale (2002) and the Sydney Biennale (2004).