Gwangju Biennale boosts art from Asia

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Gwangju Biennale boosts art from Asia

The organizers of the Gwangju Biennale announced their list of participating artists on Monday for the upcoming event along with their desire to put Asia on the map in the art world.

The art festival, which will run from Sept. 7 to Nov. 11, counts 92 artists or teams among its participants this year, 44 of whom hail from Asia.

“Asia takes up at least half of the Earth’s land and is occupied by more 60 percent of the world’s population; but still, its visual culture has not been able to extend across the globe,” said Lee Yong-woo, executive director of the event.

“Through this year’s Gwangju Biennale, we will attempt to show why our biennale is the most recognized of its kind in Asia.”

The concept for this year’s event is “Roundtable,” and organizers said it aims to show audiences that art isn’t just for the exclusive world of the rich and sophisticated.

It’s meant to show that everyday people can enjoy and relate to art, as well.

“Art and everyday society are not as mutually exclusive as everybody thinks,” said co-director Kim Sun-jeong. “People should be able to talk about art as they would be able to do so with topics such as Occupy Wall Street or the Arab Spring.”

To attract art that supports its theme and goal, organizers have made it clear that the theme comes before any individual artist’s single piece of art.

“As opposed to developing a concept to somehow fit with the diverse projects of our popular artists, this time, we have attempted to use a theme to which artists can craft their own innovations,” Kim said.

Exhibitions and related events to support the theme chosen by organizers will be held at various locations in Gwangju. They include the Gwangju Museum of Art, the Dae-in Market in Daein-dong, the temple in Chipyeong-dong and the 800-seat Gwangju Theater.

By Kwon Geun-young [estyle@joongang.co.kr]
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