NEWS: Art Censorship Shakes Gwangju Biennale

Aug 20, 2014 12:13AM

On August 18, Lee Yong-woo, president of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation, announced his decision to resign over controversy surrounding a satirical painting of South Korean president Park Geun-hye. 

Lee’s resignation came after Sewol Owol (2014), a contentious work by artist Hong Seong-dam—which depicts president Park Geun-hye as a scarecrow being controlled by her late father and former South Korean president Park Chung-hee (1917–79) and her chief of staff Kim Ki-choon—was deemed politically inappropriate by the Gwangju City Government. The city government, which controls the Biennale’s budget, has called for the work to be changed. Originally on view at the Gwangju Biennale’s 20th-anniversary exhibition, “Sweet Dew–After 1980,” at the Gwangju Museum of Art, the Biennale Foundation has decided to postpone the display of the piece until a decision is reached following a scheduled debate on September 16.


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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019