14th Gwangju Biennale to be centered on the city's spirit
The 14th Gwangju Biennale will be centered around the spirit of Gwangju, its artistic director Lee Sook-kyung said in a press conference on Monday.
It is Lee’s first visit to Seoul after being appointed as the new artistic director for the 14th Gwangju Biennale in December. Lee is the Gwangju Biennale Foundation’s first Korean artistic director in 15 years.
Lee is currently the senior curator of international art at Tate Modern in London.
“I thought long and hard about the identity of a biennale, how Gwangju should be connected internationally and the role of contemporary art,” Lee said. “I’ve come to the conclusion that the spirit and voice of the place [Gwangju] should be reflected.”
Lee explained that she aims to express through the biennale the spirit of Gwangju that transcends nationality and generation. Therefore, the artworks that will participate will not be mere representations of the history of Gwangju, but rather genuinely showcase each artist’s identity with their own personal topics that can connect with Gwangju.
The Black Lives Matter movement, the Covid-19 pandemic and climate crisis issues were examples given by Lee.
“When artists tell their own stories regarding democratization, it will benefit in continuing the spirit of Gwangju,” Lee said. “I wonder how the world can pursue solidarity if we could see the entire world as one whole community.”
Gwangju is a historic city located 268 kilometers (166.5 miles) south of Seoul, which is representative of the democracy movement in Korea after a civilian uprising against the country’s dictator in 1980.
Established in 1994, the Gwangju Biennale is an international art event held every two years. The 14th Gwangju Biennale is slated for April next year.
BY SHIN MIN-HEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]