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  • Jul 02, 2020

Seoul Mediacity Biennale Delayed By One Year

The 11th Seoul Mediacity Biennale will open at the Seoul Museum of Art in September 2021. Courtesy Seoul Mediacity Biennale.

The Seoul Mediacity Biennale and its primary venue, the Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA), have decided to postpone the 11th edition of the international contemporary art exhibition to September 2021 due to the risks and complications of holding a large-scale event during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Biennale’s organizers made the announcement on July 2.

In response to a new wave of cases, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has closed museums along with other public facilities until at least July 15. Despite widespread testing and periodic restrictions on social activities, South Korea has seen resurgent clusters of Covid-19, particularly in metropolitan Seoul, since May. Newly reported cases nationwide hit 54 on Thursday, July 2.

SeMA director Beck Jee-sook explained that the postponement “will guarantee that works, artists, collaborators, and the audience can enjoy the full extent of the biennale process and experience.” The artistic director of 11th Seoul Mediacity Biennale, Yung Ma, commented: “We are, undeniably, still in the midst of a global health crisis, and I hope that we can use the time to take stock, rethink, and reimagine what is possible.”

The Seoul Mediacity Biennale, along with the Gwangju Biennale and the Busan Biennale, is one of a trio of mega-exhibitions that have come to anchor the Korean art calendar in September every other year. In early May, the Gwangju Biennale announced it was delaying the opening of its 13th edition until February 26, 2021. Meanwhile the Busan Biennale is pressing ahead with its plans to open the next edition on September 5.

Revised dates for the 11th edition of Seoul Mediacity Biennale, titled “One Escape at a Time,” will be confirmed at a future date.

HG Masters is the deputy editor and deputy publisher of ArtAsiaPacific.

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