Thursday, April 5, 2012

[Korea] Busan Biennale 2012

Among many festivals that will be held in South Korea, Busan Biennale 2012 is on top of my list to visit. Busan Biennale is an art festival that integrated three different festivals: Busan Youth Biennale, Busan Sea Festival and Busan Outdoor Sculpture Symposium.

 Artwork from Busan Biennale 2010: SataRLIT, by SATA

Changing the name into Busan Biennale in 2002, Busan Biennale is recognized as a major international culture and art festival of the city of Busan. It became one of the largest art festivals in Korea. Many artists came to Busan to install and exhibit their creations and artworks. The exhibitions took place not only in Busan Museum of Modern Art or Busan Cultural Center, but the installed contemporary art works could be seen in outdoor places such as Gwanganlli Beach and Busan Yachting Center.  

Artwork from Busan Biennale 2010: Structure & Force, Language Series, by Shin Sang Ho

Artwork from Busan Biennale 2010: Untitled, by Chritina DY. 
It was made of charcoal. Video of the making could be seen here

The biennale art event is an event that presents the hard-to-understand contemporary art to the public and gives easy interpretation about it. It is served for public to have an access to contemporary art and to communicate with professional artists both from Korea or other countries. 

Artwork from Busan Biennale 2010: Stage of Meditation, by Anxiong Qiu. 
Location: Gwangalli Beach.

Artwork from Busan Biennale 2010: We Must Be Seen, by Jung Seung. 
Location: Gwangalli Beach.

This year Busan Biennale 2012 will be held in various venues in Busan from September 22 to November 24, 2012.  It was reported that about 270 works by 110 artists from all around the world will be displayed in the biennale under the title "Garden of Learning". 

Roger M. Buergel

The title "Garden of Learning" is an idea from the artistic director of Busan Biennale 2012, Roger M. Buergel who was also the artistic director for Documenta XII Kassel. He proposed the idea of stage collaborations between artists and audiences as the key element of this year biennale. The goal is to create long and lasting effect of the exhibition to the community. People are not supposed to just see the result of artistic creativity or the objects of the exhibition but take part into the process of artistic production. To achieve the lasting effect, the communications between artists and audiences shall start prior to the official exhibition.

Image: Labyrith Garden Château de Vendeuvre (1750), Normandie, France 

As a result, the Busan Biennale offers to local people, both Korean and foreigners who have interest and idea to participate in the planning stages of the Biennale. The "Learning Council" initially looked for 10-12 members who will have the role as intermediary between participating artists and visitors. The Learning Council will also be the source for  participating artists about the history of Busan, the characteristic of people in Busan and any information that  they need for research. However, apparently, more than 100 people showed up their interest and attended the first meeting of Learning Council in February, 2012.

It was presented by the artistic director on the international symposium last year in Busan to make the biennale as unique and different from any other previous biennales around the world that tend to be similar to each other. Personally, I agree with the idea that it is important to make a biennale with characteristic of the place where it is held which by then Busan Biennale has its differentiation from other biennales in the world.


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