Gwangju Biennale 2014

Opening Ceremony of the Gwangju Biennale via

Last week Art in America was the first Western source to reveal first hand information about the censorship of Hong Seong-dam’s Sewol Owol and subsequent resignation of the current president and cofounder of the Gwangju Biennale, Lee Yong-woo. The satirical painting includes criticism of the current president, Park Guen Hye and references the Korean ferry that sank last spring tragically taking many lives. The Korean Herald also covered the topic quoting Mr. Lee saying “‘From an art critic’s point of view, the painting should be on exhibit. I don’t think it is taboo to satirize a country’s president,” said Lee. “Freedom of artistic expression should not be restricted by the government just because they have the exhibition budget under their control.”‘

Among the controversy, some sources were able to shift focus back to the artwork. Art Radar Asia reviewed eight artworks from the Biennale including Minouk Lim’s Fire Cliff 3. I wrote about Lim’s Fire Cliff series when she came to Chicago in 2013. The Economist also touched on some of the artwork and the head curator, Jessica Morgan. Morgan has continued to progress; Art in America just announced  that the curator will be the new director of the Dia Art Foundation.

Sunday Morning Coffee [Ladies in the Limelight]

via Lil Mol’

Maud Lavin write about the “Bad Barbies” Gang for Slate Magazine.

Irina Ionesco pays her daughter Eva Ionesco for the explicit photos the mother published of her daughter when she was a young girl via Art Daily. 

Gwangju Design Biennale appoints Young Hye Lee to be director  for the 2013 Biennale via e-flux.

South Korea nominated their first female president on Wednesday, Park Guen-hye. She is the daughter of former president Park Chung-hee who is responsible for both an economic turn around and a dictatorship-like reign. Some hope that a female president in South Korea will help break down traditional Confucian social boundaries. 

London is getting contemporary Korea crazy!



I wish I were spending the month of June in London. Not because I want to spy on royals and eat scones (does that still happen in London?) but because this month London is looking at the contemporary art scene from South Korea. If you happen to be in London and you have an ounce of my passion for the subject, I hope that you are able to take advantage of these amazing programs:

*A Roundtable on the 9th Gwangju Biennale at the Tate Modern. E-flux gives a nice summary of the biennale listing the curators, themes, and other information.

*The Korean Contemporary Art International Conference: Between Tradition, Modernity, and Globalisation a conference at the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Korean Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Korean Pavilion Website

The website linked above chronicles South Korea’s involvement at the Venice Biennale since the Korean Pavilion was built in 1995. The website is organized by year. Lee Yongbaek, who I am writing about in a chapter of my thesis, represented South Korea at the Biennale last year. The website has a PDF of the catalogue which I am about to read. As with most biennale, the selection of artists who represented South Korea at the Venice Biennale do not fully exemplify the breadth of work produced by the country but it does give a nice taste. Enjoy!

Sunday Morning Coffee (Superbowl Sunday!)


Above is an art homage to the Superbowl at the Indianapolis Museum of Art by Robert Indiana. Enjoy your chili!

I have a VCS Noontime Lecture this Friday in MC 112 South Michigan, Room 501. I’ll be discussing Body Project and I’d love to see you there!

Art Radar‘s third installment of What is ahead for contemporary Asian art, 2012 and beyond? Part III.

The earliest copy of Mona Lisa found at the Prado.

More on the  9th Gwangju Biennale. If I were in Korea I would try to get to one of these workshops.

First Family art stroll.

Paul Gauguin right before he died said, “I have wished to establish the right to dare anything…The public owes me nothing, since my achievement in painting is only relatively good, but the painters–who today profit by this liberty–they owe me something.” Modern Art by Sam Hunter, John Jacobus, and Daniel Wheeler page 44.