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.
Busan Biennale 2010
Living in Evolution
Living in Evolution
We are living individual lives. One’s life begins from the moment that he / she is born, and ends at the moment of death. On the other hand, the human race is living on a longer time span which has continued from ancient times. Throughout this long history, the human race has been experiencing the evolution of both intelligence and biological aspects. And it will keep evolving like this in the future. In other words, we are living on a longer evolutionary time axis as well as living individual lives.
However, this is a complex and sometimes contradictory territory. Often the development of economic systems or political power may be the cause of pressures for individual lives, and the developments of science have been used for war. Whilst the inventions of civilization have greatly benefited our daily lives, many people have also criticized these inventions ever since the Industrial Revolution. In the realm of the mass media and advertising the image of beautiful or strong people has become the standard encouraging humans to evolve in this idealized direction. However, such developments have also marginalized many people who do not fit the ideal.
Art, in all its various forms, has contributed to the human race's intellectual evolution. In the realm of art history, for example, the paintings of Edouard Manet in the 19th century or the objects produced by Marcel Duchamp in the early 20th century, serve as examples of works which were not highly valued at the time of their creation. The value and perception of their works have changed over the passage of time.
We can suggest that the axes of individual life and evolution are not always separate. Sometimes they touch one another, as for instance when an individual artist’s work contributes to the broader human evolution.
We are living individual lives. Yet at the same time, we are living in the processes of evolution. Evolution will continue. But no one knows the direction of this evolution. This exhibition will try to think through the relations between art, society, world, history and the future by considering the dual time axes in which we are living today.