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  • Feb 08, 2022

Gwangju Biennale Establishes Park Seo-Bo Art Prize

Photo of (from left to right) Gizi Foundation’s chairman PARK SEONG-HO, artist PARK SEO-BO, and Gwangju Biennale Foundation’s president PARK YANG-WOO at the ceremony. Courtesy Gwangju Biennale Foundation. 

On February 7, the Gwangju Biennale Foundation announced the inauguration of a USD 100,000 prize named after the artist Park Seo-Bo, beginning with the 2023 edition of the Biennale. A jury of Korean and international art professionals will select the winning artist at each of the next ten editions of the Biennale, through 2042.

The Gwangju Biennale Foundation received sponsorship of USD 1 million for the new prize from the Gizi Foundation, which was established in 2019 and gains support from the nonagenarian painter Park Seo-Bo, one of Korea’s most celebrated postwar artists. The stated aim of the prize is to help foster a “sustainable, creative environment for visual arts.”

“As an elder who has devoted an entire life to painting and also as a fellow member of the arts community, I wanted to support artists participating in the Gwangju Biennale. I hope that despite the difficulties that lie ahead, they continue, with a sense of duty as an artist, to be a positive influence on society and improve it,” said Park Seo-Bo.

Gizi Foundation's chairman Park Seong-ho stated: “it is most meaningful for our organization to sponsor the ‘Gwangju Biennale Park Seo-Bo Art Prize’ as its purpose is in line with the Gizi Foundation’s founding principles of supporting creative activities and discovering artists in uncharted fields.” The Gwangju Biennale Foundation’s president Park Yang-woo, commented that he hopes the new art prize will “provide artists who are dedicating their life to creative works with strength and support, and over time, revitalize the whole art community.”

The 14th edition of the Gwangju Biennale will open in April 2023 and will be led by artistic director Sook-Kyung Lee, a senior curator at Tate Modern.