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Gwangju Biennale
Republic of Korea



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Gwangju - South Korea


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Gwangju Biennale

Gwangju (formerly spelled Kwangju) achieved unfortunate fame when, on 18 May 1980, a demonstration against the military regime then in power was cruelly surpressed. Official statistics reported that 200 people were killed, but in reality the number was closer to 2000.

The victims of the city and their role in the democracy movement are given for the reason as to why Gwangju has been honored with such a prestige-laden (and costly) festival. This historical background plays a role crucial to the identity of the Biennale, and is sometimes directly paid tribute to in the program, i.e. in special exhibitions.

As stated in a brochure from the organizers, the Biennale aims to contribute to "blurring distinctions between center and margin" as well as to a "break from the past of discrimination and exclusivity". The criticism of the established international art market cannot be overlooked.

When the Gwangju Biennale began in 1995, it was the first such art event in East Asia.


Gwangju Biennale Foundation

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9th Gwangju Biennale
7 Sept. - 11 Nov. 2012

8th Gwangju Biennial
3 Sept. - 7 Nov. 2010

7th Gwangju Biennial
5 Sept. - 11 Nov. 2008

6th Biennale
8 Sept. - 11 Nov. 2006

5th Biennale
10 Sept. - 13 Nov. 2004

4th Biennale
29 March - 29 June 2002

3rd Biennale
29 March - 07 June 2000

2nd Biennale
1 Sept. - 27 Nov. 1997

1st Biennale
20 Sept. - 20 Nov. 1995