The Busan Biennale is a biannual international contemporary art show that integrated three different art events held in the city in 1998: the Busan Youth Biennale, the first biennale of Korea that was voluntarily organized by local artists in 1981; the Sea Art Festival, an environmental art festival launched in 1987 with the sea serving as a backdrop; and the Busan International Outdoor Sculpture Symposium that was first held in 1991. The biennale was previously called the Pusan International Contemporary Art Festival (PICAF) before it launched.
The biennale has its own unique attribute in that it was formed not out of any political logic or need but rather the pure force of local Busan artists’ will and their voluntary participation. Even to this day their interest in Busan's culture and its experimental nature has been the key foundation for shaping the biennale’s identity.
This biennale is the only one like it in the world that was established through an integration of three types of art events such as a Contemporary Art Exhibition, Sculpture Symposium, and Sea Art Festival. The Sculpture Symposium in particular was deemed to be a successful public art event, the results of which were installed throughout the city and dedicated to revitalizing cultural communication with citizens.The networks formed through the event have assumed a crucial role in introducing and expanding domestic art overseas and leading the development of local culture for globalized cultural communication. Founded 38 years ago, the biennale aims to popularize contemporary art and achieve art in everyday life by providing a platform for interchanging experimental contemporary art.
The Sea Art Festival in the Busan Biennale 2006 offers a unique venue for exhibiting marine art in the world-class marine capital, Busan. The exhibition is designed to embody viewer-centered art an innovative art form in which artists alter the urban environment by adding artistic elements to existing 'Street Furniture' the mundane paraphernalia of everyday life. Truly 'interactive,' the artworks function with the participation and use of viewers. The exhibition will comprise three exhibitions : 'Public Furniture' and 'Living Furniture,' both of which will be held on streets near Haeundae Beach.
Until the dawn of the twentieth-century, art was in synchrony with everyday life. However, since that point, the dominant sentiment has become "art for art's sake" a view of art, which has kept it at a distance from daily life. In fact, this radical split between life and art has been valid for only a century. In other words, it is not so much a natural "fact," as a ruling ideology. The artistic direction of the past one-hundred years is thus better described as a trap than a destiny. But, properly understood, the rules of the game are not so much written as waiting to be defined. Of course, from the viewpoint of the past and the ruling ideology, the rules for art appear to be fixed. But art, being a process more than a set of rules, is able to clear a path to the future a future in which rules don't apply or are not yet defined.
In this respect, the Public Furniture of the Sea Art Festival in Busan Biennale 2006 is not so much a modern, formalistic, or experimental event, as a living, practical alternative to current public art. That is, instead of being reserved for an educated elite, or a select social group, it is truly poli-cultural and genuinely open. Indeed, anything less could not bridge the gap between life and art.
The Busan Sculpture Project is a special exhibition of the Busan Biennale. Its goals are to raise awareness of the impotance of the natural environment, of taking thee proper measures to protect the global ecosystem as well as appreciating the interconnectedness of human beings with all living things. To facilitate this purpose, the exhibition is composed of site-specific modern artworks as in 'street furniture', to related to both the artistry of monumental mass-a characteristic of sculpture art and aesthetic traditions with poetic metaphor and polyvalent.
Humanity's relentless destruction of nature is disrupting the ecological order around the world. As such, it continues to pose a great danger not only to human beings, but also to all living things on the planet earth. That makes environmental protection a truly global concern. Unfortunately, however, the vast majority of human beings still see nature as something to be conquered, rather than a "friend" with whom they should peacefully co-exist. The environment, in fact, would be best protected if humanity were to "neglect" it, leaving it as it is. However, this approach has not been possible since the advent of industrialization. Since then, human beings have had to take deliberate steps in order to protect the natural world.
Faced with this environmental challenge, the Busan Sculpture Project in the Busan Biennale 2006 will gather artists from around the world, under the banner 'Homage to the Earth. 'The artworks will underline the importance of the natural environment, suggest directions for improvement, as well as point to problems. These messages will be delivered through a variety of forms, including monumental art, street furniture, site-specific and group-created works, with active citizen participation. The artistry of monumental mass, a characteristic of sculpture art, to be related to both the artistry of monumental mass-a characteristic of sculpture art-, and aesthetic traditions with poetic metaphor and polyvalent.