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‘What does art do? Mediating the Gwangju Biennale 2016’ Seminar  Encouraging creativity exchanges by supporting local artists’ participation in international biennales

A seminar titled ‘What does art do? Mediating the Gwangju Biennale 2016’ was presented by Gwangju Biennale Foundation and Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) yesterday, in collaboration with the Department of Fine Arts, School of Humanities, The University of Hong Kong.

The seminar featured experienced art practitioners as speakers, namely Ms. Annie Wan, local visual artist cum participating artist of Gwangju Biennale 2016, Ms. Binna Choi, curator and Ms. Michelle Wong, assistant curator of Gwangju Biennale 2016, Mr. Johnson Chang, Initiator of Inter-Asia Biennale Forum and Dr. Yeewan Koon, Associate Professor, Department of Fine Arts, School of Humanities of The University of Hong Kong. To promote and encourage the art and cultural exchange between Korea and Hong Kong, Professor Yangwoo Park, President of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation and his team was also invited to attend the seminar.

Ms. Annie Wan, the local visual artist selected by the Gwangju Biennale 2016 expressed her views over arts, indicating that the occurrence of arts and the world itself are mutually changeable. Ms. Binna Choi, curator of Gwangju Biennale 2016 also shared the Biennale’s curatorial concept and direction with the seminar attendees. The Gwangju Biennale 2016 intends to help the art practitioners and the general public to re-consider the role and the function of ‘art’ by putting an emphasis on art’s imaginative capacity and by outreaching art in a greater community level.

The 11th edition of the Gwangju Biennale will be held from September to November 2016. A delegation of local visual art practitioners led by HKADC will attend the Biennale in September, which marks one of the HKADC’s important overseas cultural exchange activities for this year. Through the participation in the Gwangju Biennale 2016, HKADC aims to broaden the perspectives and overseas network of the local artists, laying grounds for them to be showcased in the international visual arts arena, and contributing a positive development of the local visual arts field in the long run.

About Gwangju Biennale
Founded in 1995, an international exhibition of contemporary art held every two years, the Gwangju Biennale has not only become the basis of cultural and global communications for Gwangju, Korea, but also extended the cultural exchanges from Korea to Asia as well as the rest of the world. With the themes and exhibition ideas of each edition set by the Artistic Director, the Biennale showcases a great diversity of visual art exhibits and organises fringe programmes such as international academic conferences, so as to induce explorations and discussions on contemporary art culture beyond the demonstration of art exhibits.

The curatorial team of the Gwangju Biennale 2016 comprises of Artistic Director - Maria Lind (Stockholm), Curator - Binna Choi (Utrecht/Seoul) and Assistant Curators - Azar Mahmoudian (Tehran), Margarida Mendes (Lisbon) and Michelle Wong (Hong Kong).