10 highlights from the Busan Biennale 2016

Questioning the status quo of the art world, this year’s Busan Biennale draws together a mix of innovative artists from all over the world.

Art Radar takes a look at some of the highlights from the 10th Busan Biennale, closing on 30 November 2016.

Robin Rhode, 'The Moon is Asleep', 2015, super 8mm film transferred to digital HD, 1min. 50sec. Image courtesy Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, Hong Kong.

Robin Rhode, ‘The Moon is Asleep’, 2015, super 8mm film transferred to digital HD, 1min. 50sec. Image courtesy Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, Hong Kong.

From 3 September to 30 November 2016 the 10th Busan Biennale has taken over key venues in the Korean city. The overall theme for this edition is “Hybridizing Earth, Discussing Multitude”, within which there are three main projects.

The first project is an exhibition at the Busan Museum of Art of avant-garde work from China, Japan and Korea, curated by an international team comprised of Guo Xiaoyan from China, Sawaragi Noi, Tatehata Akira, Ueda Yuzo from Japan and Kim Chan Dong from Korea. The monumental exhibition has 148 artworks from 65 artists.

Wang Guangyi, 'Great Criticism Casio', 1993, oil on canvas, 150x120cm. Image courtesy Chang Tsong Zung's Collection, ®œWang Guangyi Studio.

Wang Guangyi, ‘Great Criticism Casio’, 1993, oil on canvas, 150x120cm. Image courtesy Chang Tsong Zung’s Collection, ®œWang Guangyi Studio.

The second project is an exhibition at F1963 (KISWIRE Suyeong Factory) entitled “Hybridizing Earth, Discussing Multitude”, curated by Yun Cheagab, Director of the How Art Museum. This project consists of 168 artworks from 56 artists over 23 countries.

The third project is a multiplatform education programme involving a host of professionals from the industry. Art Radar takes a look at some of the key highlights from Project 1 and Project 2 of the 10th Busan Biennale.

Huang Yongping, 'Library Project - Chair', 1988, cane chair, paper pulp, 80x50x55cm, 1988. Image courtesy the artist, ®œJJY.

Huang Yongping, ‘Library Project – Chair’, 1988, cane chair, paper pulp, 80x50x55cm, 1988. Image courtesy the artist, ®œJJY.8)

Project 1

1. Huang Yongping

Born in China and now based in Paris, Huang Yongping is a founding member and leader of the Xiamen Dada artists group. A number of influences can be seen in Huang’s work, such as Joseph Beuys, arte povera, John Cage and elements from traditional Chinese art and philosophy. Through a number of media and installations, Huang explores relationships between Eastern and Western cultures. His work for the Busan Biennale is Library Project – Chair (1988), a rattan chair wrapped with disintegrating paper pulp from books, juxtaposing traditional ideas with modern concepts in order to offer new perspectives.

Chim↑Pom, 'Pavilion', 2016, folded-paper crane, dimensions variable. Image courtesy Cooperation International Peace Promotion Department, The City of Hiroshima, gallery G, MUJIN-TO Production.

Chim↑Pom, ‘Pavilion’, 2016, folded-paper crane, dimensions variable. Image courtesy Cooperation International Peace Promotion Department, The City of Hiroshima, gallery G, MUJIN-TO Production.

2. ChimPom

Chim↑Pom, a group of six artists from Japan, are the youngest artists presented in the exhibition. The group formed in 2005 and respond to social issues through their art. They embrace a multidisciplinary practice, working primarily across video, installations and performances. They also have recently begun curating exhibitions. One of their significant projects is “Don’t Follow the Wind”, which looks into the restrictions around Fukushima after the 2011 nuclear disaster. For the Busan Biennale, Chim↑Pom’s work Pavilion (2016) is based around the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the paper cranes that were sent from all over the world in solidarity, which have been preserved.

Hori Kosai, 'Revolution', 1971-1972-2014-2016, cloth, drawing on paper, 318 sheets installation, performance, dimensions variable. Collection of the artist. Image courtesy Cooperation Mizuma Art Gallery.

Hori Kosai, ‘Revolution’, 1971-1972-2014-2016, cloth, drawing on paper, 318 sheets installation, performance, dimensions variable. Collection of the artist. Image courtesy Cooperation Mizuma Art Gallery.

3. Hori Kosai

Hori Kosai’s first significant work was a performance piece entitled Self-Burial Ceremony, which began his activism in the movement known as Bijutsuka Kyoto Kaigi (Artists Joint-Struggle Council) or “Bikyoto”. The movement began in the late 1960s and questioned the institutionalised nature of art and the foundations of art itself. Hori’s practice also investigates issues that are at the edges of society through his installation and performances pieces. At the Busan Biennale, Hori presents the installation and performance Revolution (1971-1972-2014-2016), a work that explores the importance of reaching out beyond generation, place and time.

Yanagi Yukinori, 'Article 9', 1994, neon tube, electric relations, dimensions variable. Collection of the artist. Image courtesy the artist and Busan Biennale.

Yanagi Yukinori, ‘Article 9’, 1994, neon tube, electric relations, dimensions variable. Collection of the artist. Image courtesy the artist and Busan Biennale.

4. Yanagi Yukinori

From the 1980s Yanagi Yukinori has been pushing the boundaries that define sculpture. He was a pioneer of using neon tubes and electricity to make sculptures in the 1990s. By using electricity, his works explore the complex challenges surrounding the use of nuclear power. The installation Article 9 (1994) focuses on Japan’s postwar constitution and the promise to give up war.

Choi Byung-So, 'Untitled', 1973, ball pen on newspaper, 64x46cm. Image courtesy the artist.

Choi Byung-So, ‘Untitled’, 1973, ball pen on newspaper, 64x46cm. Image courtesy the artist.

5. Choi Byung-So

Korea’s Choi Byung-So, a key member of the Daegu Contemporary Art Festival (1974-1987), has been manipulating images from newspapers since the 1970s. His practice involves erasing newspaper print with pencils and black pens, critically imagining a world that goes beyond the superficial reporting of events. A collection of these works are on display at the Busan Biennale.

Lida Abdul, 'In Transit', 2008, 16mm film transferred to dvd, 4min. 55sec. Image courtesy Giorgio Persano Gallery.

Lida Abdul, ‘In Transit’, 2008, 16mm film transferred to dvd, 4min. 55sec. Image courtesy Giorgio Persano Gallery.

Project 2

6. Lida Abdul

Lida Abdul is a video and performance artist from Afghanistan. She is well known for her work based around her native country. In Transit (2008) is a video work that shows more than 70 children between 5 and 9 years of age in the outskirts of Kabul. The war-ravaged landscape is the backdrop for the children as they try to fill the bullet holes of a crashed bomber aircraft in order to make it fly like a kite. Innocence and hope for the future shine through the piece, in spite of its implicit violence.

Kiri Dalena, 'After Mebuyan 635', 2016, pieces of handshaped 14K Gold, dimension variable. Image courtesy 1337Mabini, the Philippines.

Kiri Dalena, ‘After Mebuyan 635’, 2016, pieces of handshaped 14K Gold, dimension variable. Image courtesy 1337Mabini, the Philippines.

7. Kiri Dalena

Kiri Dalena is a visual artist and filmmaker who develops work around social inequalities and injustices in the Philippines and beyond. After Mebuyan (2016) presents the Philippine goddess of the underworld, who controls life and death using rice. The work references violence perpetrated by governmental authority of the Philippines over the past 15 years. In one such case, more than 6,000 farmers of the Province of Cotavato in the Philippines barricaded the highway to ask for rice aid due to severe drought. The protest dissolved into violence when confronted by the police and one of the farmers was killed.

Saleh Husein, 'And Everything Around Us Is Beautiful', 2014, video installation, 3min. 30sec. Image courtesy the artist and Busan Biennale.

Saleh Husein, ‘And Everything Around Us Is Beautiful’, 2014, video installation, 3min. 30sec. Image courtesy the artist and Busan Biennale.

8. Saleh Husein

Indonesian artist and musician Saleh Husein creates works that explore themes of personal memory, often working with archives of found documents. In his work he challenges the space between memory and experience. For the Busan Biennale he presents And Everything around Us is Beautiful (2016), a hymn to the hopes and dreams of Indonesian Islamic Socialism and drawing influence from the 1966 riots. He looks at how politics can make use of songs as tools to control and manipulate.

Reena Kallat, 'Hyphenated lives', 2016, mixed media installation, dimensions variable. Image courtesy Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai and Nature Morte Gallery, New Delhi.

Reena Kallat, ‘Hyphenated lives’, 2016, mixed media installation, dimensions variable. Image courtesy Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai and Nature Morte Gallery, New Delhi.

9. Reena Kallat

Reena Kallat is an Indian visual artist with a practice that spans drawing, photography, video and sculpture. She draws of themes of memory, exploring what people choose to remember as well as ways of thinking about the past. The rubber stamp is an important motif in her work, representing the bureaucratic apparatus. At the Busan Biennale she presents Hyphenated Lives (2015-2016), a representation of various species of birds, animals, trees, flowers that symbolise conflict between countries. The work explores independence and interdependence between neighbours and countries and our relationship with boundaries.

Aya Ben Ron, 'Rescue', 2012, mixed media, 270 cm x 82 cm. Image courtesy AANDO FINE ART, Berlin.

Aya Ben Ron, ‘Rescue’, 2012, mixed media, 270 cm x 82 cm. Image courtesy AANDO FINE ART, Berlin.

10. Aya Ben Ron

Aya Ben Ron is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel. Her work for the Busan Biennale investigates illness and death. She has spent years studying medical manuals and sketches, diseases and medical treatment in order to explore medical procedures. Through the memory of an ill body, she explores perception of death, morality and pain in a social context, which she presents in her work Rescue.

Claire Wilson

1414

Related topics: lists, curators, curatorial practice, globalisation of art, biennals, biennales, connecting Asia to itself, events in Korea,

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