Ceremony Held to Start Gwangju Biennale D-100 Countdown
- An event is held to declare the start of the 100-day countdown to the Gwangju Biennale opening and officially deliver the first ticket, expressing wishes for the Biennale’s success.
- The first ticket is handed to artist Jung Eun-hye, who starred in the drama “Our Blues.”
- Communication with civil society and collaboration to invigorate the local economy are also in the works
- Mayor Kang Ki Jung: “We will create a festive venue for sharing the style and flavor of Gwangju with the people of the world.”
On December 28, Gwangju Metropolitan City (Kang Ki Jung, Mayor) and Gwangju Biennale Foundation (Park Yang-woo, President) jointly hosted a ceremony to mark the beginning of the 100-day countdown to the 14th Gwangju Biennale opening and to deliver its first ticket to its owner.
During the event, held in Citizens’ Hall, on the first floor of Gwangju Metropolitan City Hall, a sail was hoisted to express wishes for a highly successful Biennale.
The 14th Gwangju Biennale, titled soft and weak like water, will run for 94 days next year, from April 7 through July 9. The Biennale will take place at multiple venues, including the Gwangju Biennale Exhibition Hall, Gwangju National Museum, Mugaksa, Artspace House, and Horanggasy Artpolygon.
■ Ceremony to proclaim D-100 and present first ticket
The event on this day, taking place 100 days before the opening of the Gwangju Biennale, was organized to muster the collective strength of the people and government to overcome such difficulties as the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and economic stagnation, high prices for goods, and wars around the world, with art as the medium.
Attending the ceremony were the Mayor, members of the Gwangju City Council, members of the Gwangju Biennale Board of Trustees, members of the Gwangju Biennale Future Innovation Committee, representatives of local organizations related to art and culture, and artists from the Gwangju Biennale Artist Studio Visit program. Their presence supported the collective hope for a highly successful 14th Gwangju Biennale.
A string music trio treated the guests to a performance before the official event, which began with the reading of a progress report on preparations for the 14th Gwangju Biennale. Next, Gwangju Biennale Foundation President Park Yang-woo declared the start of the 100-day countdown to the opening of the Biennale. He was followed by the Gwangju Metropolitan City Mayor Kang Ki Jung, who, in his capacity as Chairman of the Gwangju Biennale Board of Trustees, delivered words of encouragement on a successful Biennale run. After the official delivery of the first ticket, the Gwangju Biennale Supporters presented a video and a cheering performance in which messages of wishes for success were pasted on a sculpture of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation logo.
Gwangju Biennale Foundation President Park said: “The opening of the 14th Gwangju Biennale is coming one hundred days from now. We are focusing our energy on preparing the Biennale, and we intend to present a memorable event in world art history.”
In his address, the Mayor stressed: “Gwangju’s door to the world is opened wide through the Biennale, and Gwangju shall advance further in its unique Gwangju style. The City shall gather all its energy to ensure our collective success.” He went on to say, “The countdown has begun for the Gwangju Biennale, a cultural festival for the world. Let’s make the 14th Gwangju Biennale a celebratory venue for sharing Gwangju’s style, flavor, and just cause.”
Jung Eun-hye, who was handed the first ticket from Mayor Kang on this day, has been involved in multiple pursuits. She is a caricature artist who has also appeared in television dramas as an actress. Ms. Jung said: “I purchased the first admission ticket issued for the 14th Gwangju Biennale. I will, without fail, come to see the Gwangju Biennale, which opens in April.”
■ Civil society communication and promotion, to include content created by the 14th Gwangju Biennale Supporters
The 14th Gwangju Biennale Supporters, a group of fifteen university undergraduate and graduate students, produced a video to commemorate the 100th day prior to the opening of the Biennale. The 1-minute clip can be accessed on social media channels. The Gwangju Biennale Foundation held a ceremony to officially launch the 14th Gwangju Biennale Supporters last February. Starting in March, the group has convened monthly planning meetings with mentors specialized in different areas, developing online content, and engaging in promotional activities. Over the past months, the Supporters have created diverse content related to the 14th Gwangju Biennale and the participating artists. Writings, images, and videos produced by the Supporters are available via social media accounts, including the Gwangju Biennale Foundation website, newsletter, YouTube, and the Instagram accounts of the Foundation and the Supporters.
■ Collaboration with local hospitality industry businesses to invigorate the local economy and tourism
The Gwangju Biennale Foundation will conduct a joint marketing program with local hospitality businesses to offer discount benefits in a bid to invigorate the local economy while at the same time encouraging foreign tourists to visit. Discounted Gwangju Biennale admission tickets will be offered at the Holiday Inn Gwangju, UTOP Boutique Hotel & Residence, ACC Design Hotel, and Ramada Plaza Gwangju Hotel during the 14th Gwangju Biennale.
In addition, an admission ticket valid for two days will also be available to attract more people from outside regions to enjoy not only the Gwangju Biennale but also various culture and art venues in Gwangju, thereby helping to stimulate the tourism business. These tickets can be purchased on-site once the Biennale opens. Advance tickets for the 14th Gwangju Biennale will be sold at a discounted price until April 6. Links to purchase the advance tickets can be found on the Foundation website.