17 Aug 2024 - 20 Oct 2024

Busan Biennale 2024

Various locations


The full list of participating artists for Busan Biennale 2024, which will be held for 65 days from August 17 to October 20, has been released. The city of Busan and the Busan Biennale Organizing Committee announced that 62 artists and collectives (78 people total) from 36 countries and territories will participate in the exhibition, under the theme of “Seeing in the Dark” and curated by Vera Mey and Philippe Pirotte. The exhibition will be held in the original downtown area of Busan, making use of the Busan Museum of Contemporary Art, the Busan Modern & Contemporary History Museum, HANSUNG1918-Busan Community Cultural Center, and Choryang House – an old house with a unique atmosphere in Choryang-dong, Busan.

The theme of Busan Biennale 2024 is “Seeing in the Dark,” a visual paradox. Darkness blocks vision and is thus contrasted with seeing. This paradox invites visitors to view the exhibition independently by deviating from all of their senses, including sight, while encouraging them to think outside the box. The concept for the Biennale looks at the intersection between ‘Pirate Enlightenment’ as an alternative history of the world, and how that might intersect with ‘Buddhist Enlightenment’ particularly in Asia, using South Korea as another way to navigate seeing and being in the world.

The exhibition will feature works that include metaphorical darkness—such as the domination of Western powers, social power structures, and labor issues—by artists such as Nguyễn Phương Linh & Trương Quế Chi (Vietnam), Than Sok and Kanitha Tith (Cambodia), as well as experiential works by artists like HongLee Hyunsook (South Korea), who directly incorporates darkness into her works and uses the senses of hearing and touch in situations where vision is limited. Also included are works by Dina Nomena Andriarimanjaka (Madagascar), whose matrilineal heritage is linked to prominent Malagasy women part of the of the Betsimisaraka Kingdom, a community that was foundational for ‘Pirate Enlightenment’ histories. Contemporary artworks such as videos and installations from African and Caribbean countries — Senegal, Jamaica, Côte d’Ivoire, and Togo — will also be exhibited.

Over the years, the Busan Biennale has showcased local idle spaces and utilized them as exhibition venues, all while considering a wide range of spaces in the original downtown area as candidate venues for this year’s event. This year’s event will be held at the Busan Museum of Contemporary Art, located on Eulsukdo Island, as well as other venues in the original city center. Specifically, the Busan Biennale is making use of the Busan Modern & Contemporary History Museum’s Vault Art Museum, while also organizing an exhibition specializing in sound projects in a nearby space and highlighting Busan’s distinctness by opening up an old, unique house called Choryang House in Choryang-dong, Busan. As part of a special project, the Biennale will also collaborate with PanStar Cruise to present videos, installations, and an array of other related programs on board one of its ferries.

Press release from the Busan Biennale

Image: Busan Museum of Contemporary Art. Image courtesy of the Busan Biennale

Busan, South Korea