May 11, 2020
News

The 13th Gwangju Biennale was postponed until 2021.

The artistic directors of the 13th Gwangju Biennale, Natasha Ginwala and Defne Ayas. Photo by Victoria Tomaschko, courtesy of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation.

The artistic directors of the 13th Gwangju Biennale, Natasha Ginwala and Defne Ayas. Photo by Victoria Tomaschko, courtesy of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation.

The Gwangju Biennale Foundation postponed the 13th edition of the Gwangju Biennale due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, the exhibition was to be held from September 4 to November 29, 2020, but will now take place from February 26 to May 9, 2021, in the city in southern South Korea.
Foundation president Kim Sun-Jung said in a press release:
Having adjusted the schedule from September 2020 to February next year, we will work to address the various challenges and variables that will arise in the production of this international art event that involves artists from around the world. In the midst of this global pandemic, the Gwangju Biennale is hoping for the prompt recovery and healing of the global society and the art world on a humanitarian level.
The decision to postpone the biennial, one of the most closely watched recurring exhibitions of its sort in the world, was made in conjunction with artistic directors Defne Ayas and Natasha Ginwala. The press release cites the “safety of the artists and other participants” and “concerns regarding the production of new site-specific commissions” among factors for postponing the exhibition. The Foundation also noted the difficulties of transporting artworks and international travel.
This postponement comes as international art events adapt to the “new normal” brought on by COVID-19. Art Basel’s Hong Kong fair was held entirely online in March during the onset of the pandemic’s global spread. Art Basel’s marquee expo in Switzerland was also postponed until mid-September.

Further Reading: Ongoing Coverage of COVID-19’s Impact on the Art World