• News
  • Jun 20, 2024

Gwangju Biennale Expands Pavilion Project

Gwangju Biennale Exhibition Hall. Courtesy the Gwangju Biennale Foundation.

The 2024 Gwangju Biennale Pavilion, to be showcased from September 7 to December 1 at the 15th Gwangju Biennale, will present the works of 180 artists from 32 countries, cities, and art organizations. Established in 2018 to foster cultural exchange between local and international art institutions, this year’s Pavilion Project will be hosted across various cultural venues in the southwest Korean city of Gwangju and correspond with the theme of the main biennale exhibition, “Pansori, a soundscape of the 21st century,” curated by artistic director Nicolas Bourriaud. 

Expanding from nine to 32 participants between 2023 and 2024, the Pavilion Project will welcome a list of new participating countries, including Argentina, New Zealand, Peru, Spain, and Qatar, among others. Each national pavilion will unveil its own unique program, spotlighting an eclectic variety of media art, large-scale installations, and live performances. The American Pavilion will present a selection of works by Asian American artists curated by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, while the Africa Pavilion will spotlight 25 contemporary artists from across the continent.

Additionally, three national pavilions have enlisted the expertise of Korean art professionals to organize and curate their upcoming presentations. The China Pavilion has engaged Art Soul director Choi Sung-rok to coordinate its exhibition, with Shin Hang-seop appointed as curator. Marking the 140th anniversary of Italy’s diplomatic ties with Korea, the Italian Cultural Institute in Seoul has named Soik Jung as its curator; Jung was previously artistic director of the Korean Pavilion at the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale. The Myanmar Pavilion will also be organized by the Gwacheon-based K&L Museum. Meanwhile, seven Southeast Asian countries—Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam—will participate in a program of exhibitions, screenings, and colloquiums organized by the Korea Foundation and Korea-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Center. 

The inaugural Gwangju Pavilion also announced the appointment of Ahn Mihee, former director of the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, as its curator. The Pavilion will present “Equity: Peaceful Strain” at the Gwangju Museum of Art—a tribute to the city’s spirit and future, featuring Seoul-based installation artist Kim Woong-hyun, painter Song Philyong, and multi-disciplinary creator Ham Yang Ah, in addition to works by 15 other Korean artists.

Established in 1994/95 to commemorate the Gwangju Uprising and the 50-year anniversary of Korea’s liberation, the Gwangju Biennale is East Asia’s longest-running biennial of contemporary art. 

Mioie Kwok is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific. 

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