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Most closely watched art biennale in Asia - 13th Gwangju Biennale runs until May 9 Updated: 2021-04-09 16:57:54 KST

The Gwangju Biennale, which started in 1995 to commemorate the May 18th Democratic Movement, has become an integral part of the global contemporary art scene.
Dubbed 'the most closely watched art biennale in Asia' by the New York Times, the 13th edition finally opened at the start of April.

"Here at the Gwangju Biennale Exhibition Hall, most of the artwork by more than 60 artists from around 40 countries is on display. Though the specific message each artwork delivers might vary, they are all connected by one key idea: healing through solidarity."

Women from minorities in northern Norway and Finland have reimagined their traditional hats through a collective project.
And an Indo-Fijian collective have used textiles to report the violence suffered by indentured laborers.

"By taking a look at how people in different regions around the world reconcile and heal themselves such as by trying to preserve the traditions that are left after Westernization and modernization, visitors are able to heal themselves too."

"Three other places are being used as backdrops for the main exhibitions. Among them is Gwangju Theater Korea's oldest operational cinema, where visitors can take a look at artwork that shares the spirit of the site during the May 18th Movement.”

In one piece of artwork, the artist filmed a video at Gwangju Theater using thermal cameras, and others show the spirit of resistance.

'Karrabing Film Collective they also shows their resistance toward authority regarding the aboriginal people in Australia and regarding Zofia Rydet, since she is a female artist in 1911, she just can't help resist her reality to be a female artist."

Five commissions and 12 works by local artists are on display at the former Armed Forces' Gwangju Hospital, which was used to treat injured civilians during the May 18th Movement.

"To bring 12 artists' works back to this site which has been left abandoned for many years to talk about and to reflect on May 18th and its legacies it's very meaningful and relatable to contemporary times as well."

The exhibition runs until May 9th, and visitors are recommended to book online in advance.
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang News, Gwangju.
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