Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Gwangju Biennale

This past weekend I finally made it out to The Gwangju Biennale - a roughly 2 month-long (Sept 7th - Nov 11th, 2012) modern art festival occurring once every two years (or biennially).

Biennale Hall.
Gwangju's Biennale was established in 1995 and is widely recognised as one of Asia's biggest and best contemporary art festivals. It is international in scope and is meant to continually embrace the spirit of the civil uprisings and memory of the bloody repression of the Gwangju National Democratization movement in 1980.

This year's theme was the ROUNDTABLE, with six sub-themes: Logging In and Out of Collectivity, Re-visiting History, Transient Encounters, Intimacy, Autonomy and Anonymity, Back to the Individual Experience and Impact of Mobility on Space and Time. Overall 92 artists and groups from 43 countries had a hand in the projects.

While I'm not usually a particularly artsy person, I figured that this was too big of an event not to check it out!

Some of the permanent artwork on the exhibition hall.

Community Members were invited to create their own rubbings while shopping in Daein Market for Do Ho Suh's "Rubbing Project III"

One of the giant wood and steel ginseng roots from Benjamin Armstrong's "Conjurer I-IV".

Possibly one of my favourite pieces, "From Where They Left" by Ahn Kyuchul , was once a full mural, but the tiles have been dispersed about the city.

Immigration instructions at Xijing Men's "Welcome to Xijing: Xijing Immigration Services, 20". I would love it if this was what customs were actually like!

Another piece which I truly enjoyed but which is not photographed here was the 13min 45s parallel videos "El Fin Del Mundo, 2012" by Moon Kyungwon & Jeon Joonho.

Unfortunately the title and artist of this piece eludes me (which is a shame as it was one of my absolute favourites!).

But check out some of the writing on the walls.

Photographing moving film is surprisingly hard. Seeing this projector brought back so many memories of elementary school though!

If you happen to have this or next weekend free and are in the Gwangju area, I recommend that you go check it out. Tickets cost 11,000 won in advance or 14,000 won at the door. Included in this price is free entry to the other museums in the area. At present the Gwangju Museum of Art has only one exhibit up, but the Gwangju Folk Museum is always worth a visit! 

Looking out over the Biennale - Jungeo Park (중어공원) area behind the Gwangju Museum of Art.

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