Jan 26 2017

Yuko Hasegawa announced as curator for the 7th Moscow Biennale

by Ye Eun Nam

Portrait of Yuko Hasegawa. Photo by Yasuyo Takahashi.

On January 23, it was announced that Yuko Hasegawa would curate the upcoming 7th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. Hasegawa is known for her institutional experience and international work with large-scale exhibitions; in 2013 she curated the Sharjah Biennale 11 and is currently the artistic director of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoT), Tokyo, and the Inujima Art House Project in Okayama Prefecture. 

Hasegawa revealed the title of the Biennale as "Clouds ⇄ Forests, which will represent an individual search for identity as well as a communicative vehicle for innovation and generation of fresh ideas and artwork. The forest is a metaphor for those seeking to plant new roots while the cloud above the canopy represents unseen, tangible space for growth. Commenting on the concept, Hasegawa said, “It is between the forest and the cloud that new meanings and masterpieces are created.”

Hasegawa was born and raised in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan and earned degrees from Kyoto University and the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. Prior to her current role at MoCA Tokyo, she worked as chief curator and founding artistic director of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa from 1999 to 2006. Hasegawa was a board member of Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District Authority from 2009 to 2011, and has remained a member of the Asian Art Council at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York since 2008. 

This year will be Hasegawa’s first time to curate in Russia. The Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art has been organized by the Moscow Biennale Foundation with support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Government of Moscow and the historical Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy (VDNKh) venue since 2005. It is the first of its kind in the country, symbolizing the growing interest in international contemporary art in Russia. The 6th iteration of the biennale featured artists such as Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie and Lebanese performance artist Rana Hamadeh, as well as writers and political thinkers. The 2015 edition also saw a radical format change by condensing the fair into 10 days due to budget cuts and a drop in the Russian ruble.

The 7th Moscow Biennale will be held from September 15 to October 28 at the Manezh exhibition hall adjacent to the Kremlin in Moscow and across other locations.

Ye Eun Nam is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific.

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