The Korea Herald


Lee Young-chul to lead Korean Pavilion at upcoming Venice Biennale

Media artist Kim Yun-chol chosen as featured artist

By Park Yuna

Published : Aug. 18, 2021 - 14:48

    • Link copied

Lee Young-chul (Arts Council Korea) Lee Young-chul (Arts Council Korea)

Arts Council Korea on Tuesday announced that Lee Young-chul would serve as the artistic director of the Korean Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale.

Lee is currently an art professor at Kaywon University of Art and Design. Born in 1957, Lee became the inaugural director of the Nam June Paik Art Center in 2008 and the chief curator of the second Gwangju Biennale in 1996.

Arko also announced that media artist Kim Yun-chul had been chosen to work on the Korean Pavilion’s theme for the upcoming biennale, “Campanella: The Swollen Sun.” The theme was inspired by the Italian philosopher Tommaso Campanella (1568-1639), who wrote “La citta del Sole (The City of the Sun),” which describes a Utopian society where goods are held in common, according to Arko.

Kim is a media artist and electroacoustic music composer who asks fundamental questions about material and has explored the creation of another reality beyond the realm of human experience. Currently based in Seoul, Kim studied audiovisual media at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne in Germany.

The screening process for the Korean Pavilion’s artistic director commenced in July after a new selection committee of nine experts was formed. (A complaint had been filed in June alleging a conflict of interest between applicants and a selection committee member.) Three nominees were chosen after the first round, which entailed a review of documents, and Lee was selected based on an interview and a presentation on the exhibition’s theme, according to Arko.

As commissioner of the Korean Pavilion for the Venice Biennale, Arko manages the Korean Pavilion and puts together the screening committee that chooses its artistic director.

“It is not known whether more artists will join the Korean Pavilion. It is up to the artistic director,” an official from Arko told The Korea Herald. “But it is rare for a single artist to represent the pavilion.”

The 59th International Art Exhibition, another name for the Venice Biennale, will take place from April 23 to Nov. 27, 2022, and will be curated by Cecilia Alemani, an Italian curator based in New York. The theme is “The Milk of Dreams.”