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  • Nov 29, 2017

12th Gwangju Biennale Curators And Exhibitions Announced

(From left to right) Gwangju Biennale 2018 curators

Following the Gwangju Biennale Foundation’s announcement that it would employ a multiple curator system for the 12th edition of the biennial, the foundation has revealed a team of 11 curators who will spearhead the event’s seven exhibitions.

The 11 curators will stage seven exhibitions, each falling under the theme of “Imagined Borders” to investigate the variegated notions of borders. Tate Modern senior curator of international art Clara Kim will look back to the 20th century to explore how the results of humanity’s reach for utopian ideals. Artistic director of Bangkok’s Jim Thompson Art Center, Gridthiya Gaweewong, will examine border conflicts and mass migration that has taken place since colonial powers expanded across the oceans.

Educator and North Korea specialist BG Muhn will reassess the visual arts of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and hone in on the border between socialist realism and abstract self-expression. Independent curator and art critic David Teh will dive into the Gwangju’s Biennale’s past editions to bolster the biennial’s presentation in 2018.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) curator and acting contemporary art department head Rita Gonzalez will join her colleague, LACMA associate curator of contemporary art Christine Y. Kim to assess the impact of the web, focusing on the conditions of power, access and interconnectedness in a post-internet era.

Two art historians, Seoul-based Yeon Shim Chung and Hong Kong’s Yeewan Koon, will investigate the boundaries that we encounter in our daily lives.

South Korean curators Sung woo Kim, Man Seok Kim and Chong-Ok Paek will collaborate on an exhibition of their homeland’s art that unpacks the concept of borders in three ways: psychological barriers that isolate the individual from the collective, the logic behind assembly and separation and the balance between humanity and nature.

“Imagined Borders” references 1995’s inaugural Gwangju Biennale, which was titled “Beyond the Borders,” as well as the late political scientist and historian Benedict Anderson’s idea of citizenship and national identity. It will open on September 7, 2018, and run until November 11 across various sites in the city, including the Gwangju Biennale Exhibition Hall, the Asia Culture Center and historical sites.

Julee WJ Chung is the assistant editor of ArtAsiaPacific.

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