20.April. — 24.November.2024
Il Giardino Bianco Art Space

Where We Become Us

Gwangju Biennale Foundation
30th Anniversary Exhibition

20th April — 24th November 2024
Il Giardino Bianco Art Space

Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 1814,
30122 Venezia VE, Italy

Madang: Where We Become Us, a special commemorative archival exhibition marking the 30th anniversary of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation, reflects on the biennale’s history and envisions its future. The Gwangju Biennale has evolved into Asia’s leading contemporary art biennale by intertwining the “spirit of Gwangju,” which embodies values such as revolution, democracy, and community, with the realm of art. This exhibition, comprised of archival materials accumulated over the years, works from the Gwangju Biennale Foundation collection, and additional works expanding its significance, does not merely seek to chronicle the biennale’s history; it has the overarching goal of proposing a perspective that contemplates the spirit of Gwangju through the gaps and scenes existing within materials and artworks, reestablishing the contemporary value of the Gwangju Biennale.

The title of the exhibition includes the Korean word madang, literally translating as “yard” in English; it signifies a core space in Korean. In traditional Korean residences, the yard serves as the “face” of the house, a pivotal element so integral to the house’s structure that a dwelling lacking a yard would not be considered a proper home. Furthermore, the yard functions as a space for communication, where various gatherings take place, both significant and minor decisions are made within the village, and festivities are held—essentially serving as a place where people constantly come and go. This exhibition illuminates the Gwangju Biennale’s past fourteen exhibitions through fourteen “madang,” each representing previous biennales.

Functioning as a gateway to contemporary international art, the Gwangju Biennale has moved beyond merely importing Western art to embrace the synchronic flows and cultural diversity of global art that extends to South America, Africa, and the Middle East. The themes explored in the Gwangju Biennale’s exhibitions, such as the climate crisis, race, gender, and democracy, are a testament to its endeavor to transcend geographical boundaries and contemplate the era from a planetary perspective. Simultaneously, the discourse of community, an integral part of the Gwangju Biennale from its inception, has sought multifariousness in various scales and forms, ranging from Gwangju city to Korea, Asia, and the global community. Against the backdrop of ongoing wars, discrimination, and hatred towards minorities across the globe, the Gwangju Biennale Foundation once again affirms the power of art as a madang, symbolizing diversity and inclusion.


Opening Ceremony

18th April 2024, 11 am
Il Giardino Bianco Art Space

Madang Dialogues I:
Madang Dialogues in Venice
— “Do biennials weather?”

18th April 2024, 2 pm
Il Giardino Bianco Art Space

Thinking about the perennial events’ life cycles – their temporal and durational nature – we hope to explore how biennials around the world seek to be ‘in time’ with the present moment, yet by making references to the past and speculating on the future. Considering time through the metaphorical notion of weathering, this roundtable will bring together different perspectives on what it means to historicize and commemorate a biennial such as the Gwangju Biennale, and to discuss the relevance of biennials as a format, concept, and methodology.

Moderator: Sooyoung Leam
Panel: Ayoung Kim, Joan Kim, Sylbee Kim, Nathalie Boseul Shin, Hans D. Christ, Davide Quadrio
Language: English

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Chair of Gwangju Biennale Foundation

Ki Jung Kang

President of Gwangju Biennale Foundation

Yang-woo Park

Chief Curator, Head of Gwangju Biennale Foundation Exhibition Department

Dusu Choi


Nam June Paik, Kcho(Alexis Leiva Machado), Ayoung Kim, Sojung Jun, Sylbee Kim

Exhibition Architect

So Young Han

Graphic Identity

Joheun Yeom

Research Coordinator

Jaemin Hwang

Local(Venice) Coordinator & Visitor Guide

Victoria Stephanie Uzumyemezoglu


Seoul Selection, Victoria Stephanie Uzumyemezoglu

Website Development

50 Tablespoons

Transport & Art Handling


Exhibition Agency

Culture Communication Center
Anna Choi, Dooyoun Kim, Jimin Park, MInjeong You, Chaerin Jo, Seungheui Lee



Opening Performance Artist

Sang Sik Sung

Curatorial Team

Juri Cho, Jaehee Kim, Jihyun Han, Sujin Jung, Nahyun Kim, Yeoreum Lim

Program Curator

Nathalie Boseul Shin

Program Manager

Jaehee Kim, Yeoreum Lim

Public Relations

Sarah Cho, Elisa Lee


Mihee Ahn


5·18 Archives, Istituto Culturale Coreano in Italia

Gwangju Biennale, 30 Years of Perspective

Project Manager

Sujin Jung

Film Director

The Docent (Yunsuk Baek)

Film Team

SungKeun Cho, Eunsuk Baek

Interviewed by

Anton Vidokle, Ayoung Kim, Eunyang Cho, Hong-hee Kim, Inseon Park, Jason Waite, Kyoung nam Yoo, Kyung-Woon Jeong, Mami Kataoka, Mark Rappolt, Riwon Lee, Sarah Cho, Sylbee Kim, Yang-woo Park, Yeon-gyun Kang


Project Managers

Jihyoun Han, Sujin Jung

Chief Editors

Juri Cho, Sujin Jung

Editorial and Publication Manager

Jaemin Hwang

Publication Designer

Joheun Yeom



Korean Copy Editor

Jaemin Hwang

Translation and copyediting from Korean to English

Maya West

Translation from English to Korean

Jinyi Han

Translation from Korean to Italian

Seoul Selection

Translations Copyediting

Victoria Stephanie Uzumyemezoglu


Kim Hong-hee, Jessica Morgan, Fatoş Üstek, Emiliano Valdés, Enna Bae, Teresa Kittler, Han Kang

Gwangju Biennale Foundation

Chair, Mayor of Gwangju Metropolitan City

Ki-jung Kang


Yang-woo Park


Kwang Gu Park, Won Sik Im, Jun Gi Gim, Shinjoong Kang, Sang-Hoon Kim, Dong Il Ro, Mihee Ahn, Mangil Choi


Jung Hyun Cho

General Secretary

Chang Ok Yun

Head of Administration Office

Keunchong Rim

Head of Exhibition Department

Dusu Choi

Head of PR & Marketing Department

Chang Ok Yun

Head of Gwangju Folly Department

Sun Ok Yang

Chief of Exhibition Team

Juri Cho

Exhibition Team

Haein Kim, Eui Hyeok Lee, Jihyoun Han, Sujin Jung, Hawon Jeong, Nahyun Kim, Do Hee Jun, Hayooung Kim, Nasung Lee, Jinseon Bea, Jeongmin Lee

Education & Event Team

Jungsun Han, Jaehee Kim, Yeoreum Lim, Jung Won Yoo

Chief of Planning & Finance Team

Hyeon Kim

Planning & Finance Team

Daseul Kim, Donggeun Im, Jongin Park

Chief of General Affairs & HR Team

Mansub Roh

General Affairs & HR Team

Jin Yu, Yeji Lee, Chang Hun Jeong, Jihyun Han, Mijeong An, Meeyoung Jung, Byeong Hwan Na, Yunhee Choi, Jiwoo Im, Seonhwa Jeong, Hanbyul Jang

PR & Marketing Department

Sarah Cho, Elisa Lee, Yunju Lee

Gwangju Folly Department

Jaewon Jeon, Riwon Lee, Hana Yang, Hayoung Kim, Ohweong Lee