SubjectOutline of the Pavilion Project… Forum for interchange and public relations between countries


Outline of the Pavilion Project… Forum for interchange and public relations between countries

         Palais de Tokyo, HIAP and PCAN’s Exhibitions held all over Gwangju…Mugaksa Temple, Gwangju Civic Center and Leekangha Art Museum

         Gwangju based artists such as Lee Kang Ha, Lee Maelee, Sea Hyun Lee participate


 The exhibition sites, titles, and participating artists of the 2018 Gwangju Biennale’s satellite project, titled the Pavilion Project have been finalized.

 The Gwangju Civic Center, Mugaksa Temple in Seo-gu, and the Leekangha Art Museum in Yanglim-dong, Nam-gu will host the Pavilion Project participated by leading international art institutions and create a synergy effect to connect the entire Gwangju area as a forum for contemporary art.

 As the Venice Biennale holds individual pavilions for countries to present their artists, the Pavilion Project will be a forum for exchange and promotion between countries as art institutions can fund and plan exhibitions to introduce emerging artists from their own countries and Korean artists. The participation of Gwangju-based artists such as Lee Kang Ha, well-known with his Mudeung Mountain painting (passed away in 2008), installation artist Lee Maelee, and photographer Sea Hyun Lee is especially anticipated.

 The Gwangju Biennale has been cooperating with participating international institutions in finding cultural and historic sites in Gwangju and has been concentrated in steering attention to the vivid cultural scenery of Gwangju by encouraging participation of local artists.


● Palais de Tokyo/ Gwangju Civic Center

“Today Will Happen” = ‘Attempt at destroying the border’, creating meaning through modified poetry and music

   Palais de Tokyo plans to host the exhibition, Today Will Happen at the Gwangju Civic Center in Gu-dong, Nam-gu during September 6th through October 20th. This exhibition is part of the off-site program of the Palais de Tokyo and the Institut Français and has been jointly planned and produced by the Asia Culture Center (ACC) and the Asia Culture Institute (ACI).

   The Gwangju Civic Center, remodeled and reopened in 2015, is a historic location embodied with the ‘Gwangju spirit’. It was used by the civilian militia fighting against the martial law military army during the Gwangju Democratization Movement which took place on May 18th, 1980.

   The exhibition Today Will Happenwill be curated by the president of Palais de Tokyo, Jean de Loisy and head of exhibition at the ACC, Kim Seong Won.

   Participating artists include Berdaguer & Péjus, Yun Choi, Julien Creuzet, David Douard, Ni Hao, Michel Houellebecq, Tarik Kiswanson, Hayoun Kwon, Mire Lee, Louise Sartor, and Jang Young-Gyu.

  The exhibition title Today Will Happen is borrowed from Michel Houellebecq’s poem of the same title, published in “The Art of Struggle” in 1996, and the starting point for the planning of the exhibition. Michel Houellebecq’s poem and the poet’s discussions about the poem will be translated into Korean by a Korean poet. It will then be introduced as a song, with a melody put together by a songwriter and mixed by another songwriter based in Gwangju. These elements will become ingredients for a new visual art piece which will be shown at the exhibition.

Jean de Loisy, who initiated the exhibition commented, “After the poem is translated, sung according to specific registers, it will be entrusted to other poets, guest artists and visitors. With their own words, own signs, own languages, the artists cloud, shift, transmute the initial text. It is these metamorphoses that make the exhibition, these transformations that embellish the original meaning and break down boundaries.”


● HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Program / Mugaksa Temple’s Basement and Lotus Gallery

Fictional Frictions = Visualization of overlapping borders and interdependence

  The Helsinki International Artist Programme (HIAP), celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, have announced their site of exhibition as the Mugaksa Temple’s new basement exhibition space and Lotus Gallery in Seo-gu, Gwangju. HIAP, Helsinki’s most prominent international residency program is a nonprofit organization, providing residencies for art professionals from around the world since 1998.

  “Fictional Frictions”, curated by HIAP’s Jenni Nurmenniemi, will present new commissions and recent artworks by South Korean and Finnish artists. The exhibition will consist mainly of sculptural or sound-based installations touching upon diverse aspects of the theme of the Gwangju Biennale, “Imagined Borders”. The five artists highlight co-dependencies and continuums instead of ruptures, breaks and clearly defined borders by dissolving the dichotomies between the past and the present, the individual and the collective, micro- and macrocosm – in relation to the environment of the Mugaksa Temple.

  For the exhibition, a new sculptural installation by Gwangju-based artist Maelee Lee has been commissioned. It mixes personal and collective ideas on what constitutes a historically significant event or a valued landscape.

  Elina Vainio from Helsinki, Finland, constructs large-scale sand installations that contain subtle hints of civilizations’ past, present, or possibly yet to be. Through her sparse arrangements of largely abstract sand casts or nearly identifiable found objects, Vainio points to notions of impermanence and volatility inherent in any a given society and its ways of life.

  Another Helsinki-based artist, Nestori Syrjälä focuses on the changes that human activities are causing to the climate and ecosystems across the planet. Scattered across Syrjälä’s sculptural installation Stele are car side windows resting on natural rocks—as if by some unknown powerful impact. The work connects and mixes seemingly dispersed historical and present-day events.

Korean artist, Mire Lee, who until recently was living in Seoul, now resides in Amsterdam where she is a resident fellow at Rijksakademie. Lee’s sculptural works, even when coming close to pure abstraction, seem capable of gnawing at boundaries and taxonomies of all kinds.

      Under the band name Black Night, Seoul-based artists Jungju An & Sojung Jun have recorded their first full-length album titled Mountain of Delusion. Their LP record has six songs on each side forming a metaphoric landscape of the recent past in Gwangju. One side is derived from the personal, while the other emerges from prevailing common perspectives. For the songs on the record, An and Jun have written lyrics featuring metaphors and events as the famously exclusive watermelon growing on the Mudeungsan mountain, or the subject of huge popular interest in the aftermath of the 1980’s Gwangju Democratization Movement, the local baseball team Hai Tai Tigers.



Philippine Contemporary Art Network (PCAN)/ Leekangha Art Museum and a new art exhibition space in Buk-gu, Gwangju

‘Hothouse’ = The boundaries of natural and artificial, sensibility and space, expressed by Philippine and Gwangju artists

  The Philippine Contemporary Art Network will show six Korean and Filipino artists including Mark Salvatus, Indy Paredes, Dominic Mangila, Renz Lee, Lee Kang Ha, Sehyun Lee, under the title, ‘Hothouse.’ The exhibition is planned by Patrick D. Flores, a former curator of the Philippine Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale and one of the curators for “Position Papersin the 2008 Gwangju Biennale.

  The word ‘hothouse’ refers to a structure which triggers exceptionally rapid growth of plant life out of their natural season. A greenhouse is the contact zone between the natural and artificial and an environment made of glass. The exhibition focuses on the situation which takes place at the intersection of the emotional element, ‘hot’ and space, ‘house’.

 Mark Salvatus, based in Manila, presented his works in the Philippine Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale and the Seoul group exhibition at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in 2018. He was also selected as the residency artist at the MMCA Residency Goyang. Salvatus examines the correlation between horticulture and demonstrations. He calls his overall artistic practice as “Salvage Projects”, taking interest in everyday politics and engaging with tools of photography, videos, installations and participatory projects.

  Indy Paredes examines glass elements used in architecture. Paredes takes notice of the Philippine urban culture and concentrated energy in the densely populated residential environments in mega-cities.

 Dominic Mangila gives shape to the abstract constructed by images in televisions and Renz Lee presents a collage of global actions related to residential issues.