Gwangju Biennale is Asia’s oldest and most prestigious biennale of contemporary art.
Established curator and art critic Nicolas Bourriaud – who’s worked across Istanbul Biennial, MoCo and Palais de Tokyo – has been named artistic director for this year's event, which coincides with the 15th event (even years only) and 30th anniversary. This milestone edition has been commissioned in memory of the lives lost in the civil uprising that took place in Gwangju on 18 May 1980.
Not only is the Gwangju Biennale a hub for visual artists, it offers a platform for cultural exchange and discourse on artistic practices. Each year a theme weaves a thread between the exhibiting artists; last year's overarching topic was Soft and Weak Like Water, and the transformative and restorative power of water. The biennale spotlighted over 80 artists from around the globe, and over 40 new works and projects. The title for this year’s chapter is Pansori – a soundscape of the 21st century, which pays homage to the folk genre that originated from southwest Korea in the 17th century.
The city itself offers a historical backdrop to this event, serving as a hub for youth culture, the arts and fashion. It’s South Korea’s sixth largest metropolis, supporting the expansion of contemporary Korean art on the global stage.
Gwangju Biennale is one of the finalists for Trippin 50, a cultural calendar featuring the best events around the world. Check out the Trippin 50 hub here.
Date and Location
Gwangju Biennale is taking place at the Exhibition Hall, Gwangju, from 7 September to 1 December 2024.
The temperature ranges from highs of 25°C to lows of 15°C.
Day adult tickets are under £10.
Located in the northeast, the biennale is over an hour’s journey by train from the city centre and airport.
Local accommodation can be booked for £30-£85 per night.