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  • Feb 04, 2021

More Art Festivals Release New Dates Following Covid-19 Concerns

Left: exterior view of the Gwangju Biennale Exhibition Hall. Courtesy the Gwangju Biennale Foundation. Right: exterior view of the Nepal Academy of Fine Arts in Kathmandu, a proposed venue of Kathmandu Triennale 2077. Image via

With a sense of déjà vu, mirroring events of 2020, on February 1 the 13th Gwangju Biennale and the fourth edition of Kathmandu Triennale each announced new opening dates due to ongoing Covid-19-related health concerns and travel restrictions. The Gwangju Biennale is now scheduled to open on April 1 and will run through May 9, and the Kathmandu Triennale will now run from October 27 to November 27.

The Gwangju Biennale was compelled to further delay its event following a string of Covid-19 outbreaks beginning in late January in the central Korean city of Gwangju. Originally slated for September 4 to November 29, 2020, the event was postponed in May 2020 to February 26–May 9, 2021. The latest decision was finalized the morning of February 1 during an emergency meeting held by the Gwangju Biennale Board of Trustees. The 13th Biennale, titled “Minds Rising, Spirits Turning,” and led by co-artistic directors Defne Ayas and Natasha Ginwala, who have already arrived in South Korea to begin the installation process, has also been shortened from a 73-day program to a 39-day one. The Gwangju Biennale Foundation plans to develop online public programs as well, although details are still forthcoming.

Organized by the Siddhartha Arts Foundation (SAF), the Kathmandu Triennale was originally slated for December 2020, but was postponed during its final stages of production in October 2020 due to the pandemic. The current edition has changed its name from the Kathmandu Triennale 2020 to Kathmandu Triennale 2077, reflecting the current year of the Nepali calendar in an attempt to move on from the uncertainties of the past year and to acknowledge the country’s ancestral calendar system in alignment with the Triennale’s decolonization emphasis. Led by artistic director Cosmin Costinas, currently director of Hong Kong’s Para Site, and co-curated by Nepalese artists Sheelasha Rajbhandari and Hit Man Gurung, the Triennale will present programs showcasing the multiplicity of Nepal’s cultural, social, and political matrix.

Yuna Lee is an editorial intern of ArtAsiaPacific.

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