Busan Biennale 2016 announces Yun Cheagab as new Artistic Director

Director of China’s How Art Museum will curate the Busan Biennale in 2016.

Yun Cheagab will bring a longstanding expertise in contemporary art, with a strong knowledge of and involvement in the Asian art scene.

Yun Cheagab. Image courtesy Busan Biennale.

Yun Cheagab. Image courtesy Busan Biennale.

The Busan Biennale Organizing Committee convened on 11 November 2015 after considering the candidacy of eight influential curators from across the world for the role of Artistic Director of the next Busan Biennale, starting in September 2016. The choice fell on fellow national Yun Cheagab, currently Director of How Art Museum in Wenzhou and Shanghai, China.

Who is Yun Cheagab?

Yun Cheagab (b. 1968) is a Korean curator who has been involved in contemporary art, especially in Asia, for more than a decade. He holds a BA in art studies from Hongik University, and completed an MA course in Chinese art history at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts and another master’s course in Indian art history at Tagore University in India.

While serving as Co-director of Alternative Space LOOP from 2003 to 2006, he also was Visiting Professor at University of Incheon, Incheon, Korea. From 2005 to 2010 he was Executive Director of Arario Galleries, at the time with locations in Cheonan, Beijing, Seoul and New York (now only in Seoul, Cheonan and Shanghai).

In 2011, he was selected as the commissioner of the Korean pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, where he curated a solo exhibition by Lee Yong-baek.

Chiharu Shiota, 'Accumulation - Searching for Destination', 2014, vintage suitcases, red rope, red net, dimensions variable. Image courtesy the artist, Gallery Daniel Templon and Kenji Taki Gallery.

Chiharu Shiota, ‘Accumulation – Searching for Destination’, 2014, vintage suitcases, red rope, red net, dimensions variable. Image courtesy the artist, Gallery Daniel Templon and Kenji Taki Gallery.

He has curated approximately 200 exhibitions at home and abroad since 2000, including, among others, “Plastic Garden: Chinese and Korean Contemporary Art” at 798 Art Factory in Beijing (2015), “Plastic Garden: Korean Contemporary Art” at Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai (2010), “Subodh Gupta” at Arario Beijing (2008), Asia Art Forum at Shanghai Art Museum (2007), “Hungry God: Indian Contemporary Art”, Busan City Museum (2006) and “Facing Korea: Korean Contemporary Art”, De Appel Centre, Amsterdam (2003).

Since 2012 he has served as the first Korean director of the How Art Museum located in Wenzhou and Shanghai, where he has been praised for opening a new prospect for hallyu, the ‘Korean Wave’, in the field of art.

Commenting on the selection of the new Artistic Director, the organizing committee of the Busan Biennale highlighted the fact that Asia can now be regarded as a new contemporary art hub, and therefore the choice of an Asian curator is “an opportunity to break away from the trends and conventions of Western art”.

Adrian Paci, 'The Column', 2013, colour, sound, 25 min. 40 sec. Image courtesy the artist and Kaufmann Repetto, Milan.

Adrian Paci, ‘The Column’, 2013, colour, sound, 25 min. 40 sec. Image courtesy the artist and Kaufmann Repetto, Milan.

The Busan Biennale

The forerunner of the Busan Biennale, called Busan Youth Biennale, was founded in 1981 to support young artists in Busan (then still known Pusan). The Sea Art Festival came in 1987 and was an event that put art on the beach of Busan, attracting more community and public participation for a better understanding of art. Since 1991, there also has been an open air sculpture symposium in the city. From all these separate events came the biennial Pusan International Contemporary Art Festival (PICAF), which saw two editions in 1998 and 2000. From 2001, the Festival was renamed Busan Biennale and has been running biennially ever since.

The latest edition in 2014, curated by Olivier Kaeppelin, was themed “Inhabiting the World” and took place from 20 September to 22 November 2014. It saw the participation of international artists such as Adrian Paci, Anish Kapoor, Chiharu Shiota, Hayoun Kwon, Huang Yong Ping, Jitish Kallat, Kimsooja and Recycle Group, among others.

C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia

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Related Topics: curators, biennales, connecting Asia to itself, events in Korea, news

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