Fever Variations

Jungoei Park, Gwangju, Korea

The word ‘fever’ evokes a certain feeling of passion and enthusiasm, but also gestures towards those cultural tendencies which are in vogue and of the moment. Emphasizing the current phenomenon whereby Asia’s new energy for change and dynamic vision expand, spreading and disseminating in all directions, the 6th Gwangju Biennale intends to illuminate and re-interpret international contemporary art from the standpoint of Asia. The title "Fever Variations" reflects the cultural abundance of Asia and its multiple significances in the way they affect the world.

Asia is on the move. A fantasy of a New Asia is constructed from the current dynamism of Asia, Asia that refuses to be confined to a fixed identity and that energetically breaches boundaries with verve and flexibility. This is not an othered fantasy fabricated from a Western viewpoint but a subversive fantasy, emerging out of the collective unconscious as its substance and entity cannot be physically articulated.

The city of Gwangju, aspiring to be an Asian cultural hub city, will function as a geographic metaphor illustrating Asia’s continuous change and dynamism. The dynamic relation between Gwangju and Asia – centrifugal and centripetal – is generated out of a narrative of ‘from here,’ whereby Gwangju reaches towards Asia and the world, and Asia and the world in turn gather in Gwangju. The Biennale consists of two comprehensive exhibitions that will visualize the effects of this origin narrative.

The First Chapter_Trace Root : Unfolding Asian Stories

The First Chapter_Trace Root takes a diachronic standpoint tracing back to the root of the Asian sprit in the context of contemporary art culture. This exhibition intends to track the process and procedure of the modernization and globalization of Asian art, in pursuit of re-locating its position in the global context and deconstructing the dichotomy between Western and Eastern arts.
This exhibition strives to understand the historical stages of contemporary art and even to foretell its future prospects, illuminating the flow of exchanges and mutual influences between West and East.

The Last Chapter_Trace Route : Remapping Global Cities

Taking Asian cities as its theme to capture the phenomenon of an Asia in process and on the move, The Last Chapter_Trace Route employs a synchronic method to network global simultaneity and concurrence, and trace their routes. Starting from Gwangju and Seoul in Korea, this exhibition will create connections with other Northeast Asian cities as well as cities from other continents with major Asian immigrant communities actively synthesizing regional culture with Asian heritage.

The Third Sector_Citizen Program : 1.4 Million Torches

This Citizen Program is designed as a scheme to link the Biennale to the citizens of Gwangju and the general public. This program accentuates the site-specificity of Gwangju while conceptually and practically joining to the two main exhibitions, The First Chapter_Trace Root and The Last Chapter_Trace Route.
Diverse collaborative programs including ‘Night Biennale’ and ‘Biennale Art Fair will be organized, in which Gwangju’s citizen will be directly involved in artistic and cultural education, promotion of the Biennale and other creative activities.

Artistic Director: Kim Hong-hee
Chief Curator of The First Chapter_Trace Root: Wu Hung
Chief Curator of The Last Chapter_Trace Route: t.b.a.
Chief Programmer of The Third Sector_Citizen Program: Kim Sang-yun