Busan Biennale is back and spread across four locations in the city
One of Busan’s major art events, the Busan Biennale, is back to take over the southeastern port city and make yet another contribution to its history.
The Busan Biennale 2022, under the title “We, On The Rising Wave,” kicked off last week at four venues: the Museum of Contemporary Art Busan, Pier 1 of Busan Port, a factory on the small island of Yeongdo and a house in Choryang-dong in Dong District.
Pier 1 of Busan Port, which is a warehouse space, has been opened to the public for the very first time.
“I immediately thought of the word ‘waves’ when curating this edition of the biennale,” said artistic director Kim Hae-ju during a press/VIP preview event on Friday. “It’s not only because Busan is a port city that overlooks the sea, but because whenever I’m driving on the roads of Busan and see the ocean view appear after passing by the hills, that itself reminds me of waves. I feel like Busan has come to life by these crashing waves as it is a city of mountains.”
The subthemes the biennale aims to focus on are issues regarding migration, labor and women, urban ecosystems and technology and locality. Kim said that these topics are directly correlated with the society and history of Busan.
For instance, labor and women should be dealt with as one matter because it’s important to acknowledge that narratives related to Busan have always been centered on men due to it being a port city.
“Being on the rising wave [referring to the biennale’s title this year] can mean a situation in which a person confronts a [metaphorical] crash,” Kim said. “When you encounter waves, you can move forward with it or not. I also wanted to toss the question of who is riding on these waves, which ultimately became our theme.”
A total of 239 artworks by 64 teams of artists are scattered throughout the city. They are not necessarily divided according to the subthemes, but rather mixed together as some encompass numerous topics.
Mostly paintings, small installations and video works are on display at the contemporary art museum, and larger, more exotic installation pieces are set up at the port and on Yeongdo. In the tiny shed-like house in Choryang are a couple of paintings and videos displayed on smartphones.
Each venue has its own meaning because they symbolize different sides of Busan. Choryang-dong, for instance, is densely packed with small homes nestled on the hillside and shows the lives of the people of the small town, as opposed to city life.
Busan Biennale 2022 runs through Nov. 6. Tickets cost 12,000 won ($8.70) for adults and allow admission into the museum and port venues. The exhibitions on Yeongdo and Choryang are free to enjoy. For more information, visit the biennale’s website.
BY SHIN MIN-HEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]