Kim Won-jung's "A homely gathering," top, Park Yong-seon's "Leaf," will take part in the PyeongChang Biennale 2017. / Courtesy of PyeongChang Biennale
A year ahead of the highly anticipated PyeongChang Winter Olympics next year, the PyeongChang Biennale and Gangneung Folk Art Festival 2017 are ready to heat up Olympic venues with cultural enrichment.
The events had been organized separately ― the PyeongChang Biennale since 2013 and Gangneung Festival since 2014 ― but they joined hands to introduce the rich culture of the region and connect with global contemporary art.
Sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Gangwon Province, the main theme of the events held at Gangneung E-Zen is "The Five Moons: In the East Sea, the Sky, the Lake, in the Wine Glass and in One's Eyes," inspired by the lyrical beauty of the moon reflected by the Gyeongpo Lake in Gangneung.
Oh Il-joo, chairman of the Gangwon International Art Exhibition & Folk Art Festival Organizing Committee, said the events mustered all cultural resources of the province to prepare for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, which will be held in February 2018.
The main exhibition of the PyeongChang Biennale, running from Feb. 3 to 26, is titled "The Five Moons: Return of the Nameless and Unknown." It features pieces by of 50 domestic and international artists.
Some of the notable works include Kim Won-jung's "A homely gathering," an installation of weeds growing on a stack of tables; Ann Yong-seon's Korean painting "Sound of Nature," Park Yong-seon's sewing piece "Leaf" and American artist Josh Begley's video "Best of Luck with the Wall" portraying a voyage across the border between the United States and Mexico.
The special exhibition "Foehn: Heritage of Gangwon" presents pieces by 10 veteran artists from Gangwon Province, including Kim Chong-hak, Ham Sup, Hong Suk-chang and Lee Gil-jong.
"We escaped the obsession of showcasing works of famous artists and focused on representing local characteristics and those marginalized," Kim Sung-yeon, executive art director of the biennale, said during a press conference held at the Press Center in Seoul, Tuesday.
The Gangneung Folk Art Festival 2017, which will be held for three days from Feb. 3 to 5, is packed with diverse performances ranging from traditional Korean music to EDM and b-boying.
Themed "Five Moons, Push & Pull Play," the festival aims to connect tradition and modernity and present harmony between humanity and nature.
Musicians from Spain, India, Malaysia and Canada will perform their traditional music. The festival also offers a busking spot for street performers where people can experience live music and communicate with the musicians.
"It is going to provide a rare chance to enjoy music of top Korean musicians Jeong Ga Ak Hoe, Jambinai, Second Moon, Coreyah and Black String at one place," said Jo Hyun-joo, art director of the folk art festival.
For more information, visit pcbien.org or call 033-243-0784 for the PyeongChang Biennale and visit gifaf.org for the Gangneung Folk Art Festival.