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
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
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
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
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 Happen” will be
curated by the president of Palais de Tokyo, Jean de Loisy and head of
exhibition at the ACC, Kim Seong Won.
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.
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
Frictions” = Visualization of overlapping
borders and interdependence
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.
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,
= 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 Papers” in 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’.
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.
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.