The 52-year-old takes the lead at the 22 year-old South Korean arts and cultural institution.
Ranked number 88 on the list of ArtReview’s Power 100 in 2015, the South Korean curator is poised to watch her star rise further with her recent appointment.
Making waves for her innovative and dynamic approaches to contemporary Asian art, Kim Sun-jung commenced a three-year term as President of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation in July 2017 this year. Her appointment builds on her reputation for putting up some of South Korea’s most memorable curatorial projects, including Real DMZ Project, a series of exhibitions held since 2011 on the border area near the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea.
Kim takes over a growing biennale programme known for presenting art that unapologetically pushes boundaries. In recent years, the Gwangju Biennale has been hailed as one of Asia’s most important art biennales.The last edition of the Gwangju Biennale, The Eighth Climate, pulled together more than 250 artworks from 120 artists, across 37 countries. Boasting visitorship numbers that consistently reach six figures (the 2014 edition drew 200,000 in 66 days), the Gwangju Biennale is rising both in terms of visibility and clout, rivaling the likes of biennale stalwarts such as the Venice Biennale. Entwined with the growing reputation of Gwangju as an international art capital, which has, in recent years, seen a growing influx of artists and creative workers, the Gwangju Biennale has become an increasingly important platform for the promotion of emerging contemporary art practices.
Prior to her new appointment, Kim was the director of the Art Sonje Centre, a private art museum in Seoul. Under her leadership, Art Sonje Centre built a reputation for presenting contemporary and experimental art, introducing international artists to Seoul. Turner Prize-winning British artist Martin Creed, for example, held his first ever South Korean solo exhibition at Art Sonje Centre. Kim is also no stranger to Gwangju, having been involved in many key art and culture projects for the city. In 2010, she was the Artistic Director for arts programme Media City Seoul, and in 2012 she also served as the Artistic co-director of the 9th Gwangju Biennale. She was also the Artistic Director of ACC Research & Archive in Asian Culture Center in Gwangju from 2014 to 2015.
- “Eighth Climate”: 6 highlights at Gwangju Biennale 2016 – October 2016 – Gwangju Biennial’s ambitious programme hopes to expand the imagination
- National Gallery Singapore launches first international presentation at Gwangju’s Asia Culture Center – September 2015 – Singaporean artist represents National Gallery Singapore in its first international exhibition in Gwangju
- 10 highlights from the Busan Biennale 2016 – November 2016 – this year’s Busan Biennale draws together a mix of innovative artists from all over the world
- Wang Nanming appointed new Director of Shanghai Himalayas Museum – July 2017– the Chinese critic and artist will lead the Shanghai institution after Yongwoo Lee
- 5 international biennials and triennials not to miss around Asia in Fall 2016 – August 2016 – Art Radar compiles a list of its articles on biennials and triennials around East and Southeast Asia this Fall
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