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May 07 2018

2018 Busan Biennale Artists, Theme And Title Announced

by Julee WJ Chung

The 2018 Busan Biennale, which will take place in the soon-to-be-opened Museum of Contemporary Art Busan (reference image pictured) and the former Bank of Korea building, has released its title, theme and intial roster of participating artists. Courtesy Busan Biennale.

On May 7, the executive director of the Busan Biennale Organizing Committee, Choi Tae Man, announced the title, theme and partial list of artists for the 2018 Busan Biennale, which will take place between September 8 and November 11. 

Under the title “Divided We Stand,” the biennale will showcase the works of 60 international artists who are responding to today’s global political climate, shaped by the segregation of territories, transnational political interests, and the international exchange and obstruction of information. The focused selection of artists is intended to provide an alternative to the grandiose scale of blockbuster exhibitions that are proliferating worldwide, instead giving a comprehensive yet concise show that encapsulates and further sparks critical discussions around the biennale’s themes. 

Curated by the 2018 Busan Biennale’s artistic director Cristina Ricupero and curator Jörg Heiser, who were appointed to their roles in early February this year, the announcement states that “the focus of the exhibition is not just on the documentary of fictional responses artists have made to [the issues addressed by the exhibition]. Crucially, it looks at how souls are inspired, or haunted, by these political divisions.” 

Departing from its routine practice of using the Busan Museum of Art as its main venue, the 2018 edition will take place in two sites that will branch out into their own themes. The Museum of Contemporary Art Busan—the main location of this year’s biennale, a 29,900-square-meter site opening this June on Busan’s Eulsukdo Island—will reflect on the Cold War era and its aftermath, while the former Bank of Korea building will house works by artists who use science fiction to shed light on contemporary socio-political realities. 

The initial roster of participating artists includes:

Lim Min-ouk (South Korea)

Mauricio Dias and Walter Riedweg (Brazil/Switzerland)

Ming Wong (Singapore)

Henrike Naumann (Germany)

Mina Cheon (South Korea)

Min Jeong Seo (South Korea)

Smardar Dreyfus (Israel)

The full list of 60 artists will be released in the coming months.

Julee WJ Chung is the assistant editor of ArtAsiaPacific.

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