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Busan Biennale 2020, successfully on going

2020 Busan Biennale evolves around 10 short stories and 5 poems on the city of Busan.
The opening ceremony being held online due to the Covid-19 ended with a big success.
Limiting the number of visitors per hour and keep the quarantine guidance.
Digital contents including audio books, 3D web exhibitions and soundscapes are accessible on its official website.

The 2020 Busan Biennale evolves around the short stories Words at an Exhibition 《열 장의 이야기와 다섯 편의 시》 an exhibition in ten chapters and five poems drawing the city of Busan. The city of Busan was translated from different perspectives as a real or a fictional city in the writings and visual arts and musical pieces created upon inspiration by the selected short stories are added to complete the theme of Busan Biennale 2020. Jacob FABRICIUS, a Danish Artistic Director, added a virtual layer to Busan and chose three locations for the exhibition (Museum of Contemporary Art Busan, the Old Town and Yeongdo Harbor) that are separated yet organically connected each other within a mixture of cultures. He suggests audiences to walk through each location and discover the history and memories of the city so as to awaken their sense of art while meeting their own Busan.

While the Covid-19 forces many domestic and international biennales to be canceled or postponed, the Busan Biennale Organizing Committee (hereinafter “the Committee”) believed that the current circumstances where people were suffering from the new normal of everyday life required more than ever deep thoughts and various experiments on what kind of roles the art should play. Therefore, the Committee made preparations considering various options from the planning stages when the pandemic was somewhat under control in Korea and when the participating artists became unable to come to Korea, it rapidly moved to support them via photos, video, images and video calls for transporting and installing their art works. With the government announcing in August that the strict social distancing rules would remain nationwide, the Committee decided to go online for the opening ceremony and to hold the exhibition online first.

The online opening ceremony held on September 5th at 4pm in the Museum of Contemporary Art Busan was streamed live through its YouTube channel recording 5,292views and ended with a big success. In the Part 1 of the ceremony, one of the participating artists Mercedes AZPILICUETA opened it with her performance “Green is for sorrow” and talks with the Executive Director and the Artistic Director was held featuring exhibition introduction and video interviews with the participating international artists. The Part 2 of the ceremony released the video of online exhibition tour featuring Artistic Director Jacob FABRICIUS in person walking through art pieces at the three venues: Yeongdo Harbor, the Old Town and the Museum of Contemporary Art Busan. It is the first-ever trial in the 20-year history of the Busan Biennale to offer online experience of the guide with the artistic director, which presents a new art paradigm to deal with Covid-19.

Meanwhile, from September 30th (Wed), the Busan Biennale 2020 faced a new phase of its journey. Following the decision of the government and the City of Busan to resume the social distancing level, it’s possible to open exhibition halls, MOCA Busan, Old Town and Yeongdo Harbor to encourage the citizens from the extended quarantine.

The organizing committee is focusing on visitors’ safety first.
The timed tickets will be available for online booking and when entering the exhibition halls, visitors are required to be measured their body temperature, make queue with social distance, use hand sanitizer and wear masks all the time.
Visitors said, “It is a shame but it is pleased to be able to enjoy the exhibition having personal space than any other year due to the time limit”

Busan Biennale 2020 Words at an Exhibition 《열 장의 이야기와 다섯 편의 시》 an exhibition in ten chapters and five poems helps visitors to imagine the past, present and future of the city of Busan by finding new perspective and hidden meaning in a different way.
Join us at Busan Biennale 2020 and walk like a detective in the footsteps of history, contemporary fiction stories, soundscapes and visual artist’s video art, paintings, photographs, sculptures and installations.

1. Detective Jacob. 051
Jacob FABRICIUS, Artistic Director, hosts an exhibition tour for each venue with detailed explanations on the participating artists and their works.

2. 3D Viewing Room
An online 3D exhibition is provided on the website that visitors can view the artworks, descriptions and videos of the Busan Biennale 2020. You can reach the exhibition anywhere, anytime on the official website.
Link :

3.Audio Book
Featured in the Busan Biennale anthology, Words at an Exhibition 《열 장의 이야기와 다섯 편의 시》 an exhibition in ten chapters and five poems are now available in Audio Book form collaborating with Busan English Broadcasting (BeFM), and 20 residents(10 in Korean and 10 in English) were chosen through an open call to lend their unique voices for this project, with the soundscapes incorporated as a background music.

Busan Biennale 2020