World Biennial Forum No.1


World Biennial Forum No.1

Shifting Gravity


27-31 October 2012

Gwangju,South Korea



Biennial Foundation

i.f.a. Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen


Kim Dae -JungConvention Center

Venue Design:

Choi Jeong Hwa

Initiated by:

Biennial Foundation


Co-Directors: UteMetaBauer & Hou Hanru


Guest of Honor: René Block

Interview by Hans Ulrich Obrist


While most Western countries are experiencing fiscal austerity and slower growth, some of the emerging nations within the Asian continent are handling the strong forces of rapid progression. For centuries the West used to be the economical and cultural center of attention. Now there is an important shift of focus to Asia, a continent that has seen vibrant and innovative developments undergoing economic, cultural and social change, whilst its population is calling for more open and democratic structures within society.

The rapid expanding activities in contemporary art and the rising number of biennials established in Asia during the last two decades has implications for the construction of contemporary art history. How can weundo the teleologies of Euro-centric modernity? Do art biennials inspire and strengthen art communities and help to lay foundations for sustainable infrastructures? Facing increasingly homogenic and universal models of traditional art institutions, are biennials still alternative and sites for experimentation capable of resistance?


Keynote Speakers:

Wang Hui- Professor in the Department of Chinese Language and Literature,TsinghuaUniversity,Beijing.

Nikos Papastergiadis- Professor for Cultural Studies and Media & Communications,UniversityofMelbourne.

Chantal Mouffe- Professor of Political Theory and Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy,UniversityofWestminster,London.


Case Studies:

1.AsiaPacific - part a

AsiaPacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT): Caroline Turner

Biennale Jogja: Alia Swastika

Biennale ofSydney: Jonathan Watkins


2.AsiaPacific - part b

TaipeiBiennial: Fang-Wei Chang

Shanghai Biennale: Zhang Qing

YokohamaTriennial: Eriko Osaka

KobeBiennale: Ritsuko Taho

Moderator: Zheng Yan, Deputy Director,TodayArt Museum,Beijing


3. Architecture - Design - Infrastructure

IstanbulDesign Biennial: Joseph Grima

Gwangju Design Biennale: Pai Hyungmin

Hong Kong& Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture: Ou Ning

GuangzhouTriennial: Wang Huangsheng

Moderator: UteMetaBauer


4. Emergent – Alternative

Emergency Biennale: Evelyne Jouanno

Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Riyas Komu

Land Art Mongolia LAM 360˚: Marc Schmitz

TbilisiTriennial: Wato Tsereteli

Riwaq Biennale: Reem Fadda

Moderator: Marie Le Sourd, Secretary General ‘On the Move’


5.South Korea

Gwangju Biennale: Yongwoo Lee

Mediacity Seoul: Jin Sang Yoo

AnyangPublic Art Project - APAP: Jee-Sook Beck

Moderator: Kim Hong-Hee, Director,SeoulMuseumof Art (SeMA)


6.Asiaand its Margins

Sharjah Biennial: Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi

IstanbulBiennial: Bige Orer

Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art: Alisa Prudnikova

Meeting Points: Tarek Abou El Fetouh

Moderator: Hou Hanru

Biennial Representatives Meeting:

Biennial practitioners from all regions are invited to take part in this meeting in order to discuss common objectives for biennale organizations and their role in society, and to jointly look into the possibilities and benefits of stronger professional alliances and collective and cooperative action.


AnyangPublic Art Porject (Korea), Asia-Pacific Triennial (Australia), Asia TriennialManchester(UK)

Batyam Biennale (Israel), Bergen Assembly (Norway), Berlin Biennale (Germany), Bucharest Biennale (Romania), Cheongju International Craft Biennale (Korea), Dak’Art – Biennale de l’Art Africain,Contemporain (Senegal), Emergency Biennale (Chechnya), Folkestone Triennial (UK), Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana (Slovenia), Geumgang Nature Art Biennale (Korea), Guangzhou Triennial (China), Gyung-gi World Ceramic Biennale (Korea), Gwangju Biennale (Korea), Bienal de la Habana (Cuba), Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism (China), Istanbul Biennial (Turkey), Istanbul Design Biennial (Turkey), Incheon Women Artists' Biennale (Korea), Jogja Biennale (Indonesia), Kobe Biennale (Japan), Kochi-Muziris Biennale (India), Land Art Mongolia LAM 360° (Mongolia), Liverpool Biennial (UK), Luanda Triennial (Angola), Manifesta (Europe), Marrakech Biennale (Morocco), Meeting Points (Arab World), Mediacity Seoul (Korea), Bienal do Mercosul (Brazil), Moscow Biennale (Russia),Triennale di Milano (Italy), Momentum Nordic Biennial (Norway), Triennale Oberschwaben (Germany), Prague Biennale (Czech Republic), Project Daejeon (Korea), Riwaq Biennale (Palestinian Territories), Rural Biennale (UK), Shanghai Biennale (China), Sharjah Biennial (UAE), Biennale ofSydney(Australia),TaipeiBiennale (China),TbilisiTriennial (Georgia), Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary, Art (Russia),YokohamaTriennale (Japan).


Archive Exhibition: Publications from biennials worldwide.


3 Korean Biennials: World Biennial Forum No 1 offers participants the opportunity to visit;

ROUNDTABLE: 9th Gwangju Biennale (7 September - 11 November).

GARDENOFLEARNING: Busan Biennale 2012 (22 September - 24 November).

SPELL ON YOU: 7th Mediacity Seoul (11 September - 4 November).



The World Biennial Forum No 1 will take place from Saturday 27th - Monday 29th of October.

Tours are offered on Tuesday October 30th and Wednesday October 31st.

SeMA DAY is organized by Seoul Museum of Art on 30th of October.


Travel Grant Awards:

The Prince Claus Fund has generously provided 10 travel grants to support the attendance and participation of biennial practitioners from emerging and developing countries.



- Wato Tsereteli, Georgia
- Tarek Abou El Fetouh, Egypt
- Mauro Petroni, Senegal
- Alya Sebti, Morocco
- Basak Senova, Turkey
- Raphael Chikukwa, Zimbabwe
- Lian Ladia, Philippines
- Quynh-Anh Tran, Vietnam
- Alia Swastika, Indonesia
- Reem Fadda, Palestinian Territories



Further Information:

Gwangju Biennale Foundation

WBF Coordinator Harian Cho:


Biennial Foundation:

WBF Coordinator Olga Hatzidaki:



The World Biennial Forum No 1 is supported by the Metropolitan City of Gwangju; the Prince Claus Fund; the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and Arts Network Asia (ANA) as part of the programme Creative Encounters: Cultural Partnerships between Asia and Europe; the Goethe Institute -Seoul, the Seoul Museum of Art – SeMA, and the Italian Cultural Institute –Seoul.