Garden of Learning / Busan Biennale 2012 stems from a slow, largely improvised exhibition process involving around 80 people from Busan and wider Korea, a comparatively small number of artists and the Artistic Director. Collaborating closely in a body called Learning Council (LC), these people shared their doubts about the relevance of the Biennale-type exhibition, explored possibilities for reaching a wider community and learned about various artistic approaches to the realities that keep challenging us.
The main exhibition, also titled “Garden of Learning”, is being held at Busan Museum of Art. It is meant to look like a modest museum collection, and features around 41 participating artists. The decision to make a Biennale-type exhibition as a global museum collection was taken by the LC as away of reinforcing the dignity of public institutions in the face of both market forces and populist demands.
Garden of Learning is embedded in an educational program that is jointly conceived by the team. Mirroring the self-education processes that characterize LC meetings, this program tries to grasp and account for Busan’s many historical and contemporary layers. Questioning everyday matters, including topics such as cooking and schooling, the political is understood here as the normative way things are done.
The special exhibition is jointly organized by nine emerging curators under the title “Outside of Garden”. They seek to extend Garden of Learning beyond its museum premises by including spaces that resonate in Busan’s historical memory, including Busanjin Station, Busan Culture Center and Me World.
Biennale Urban Square is composed of smaller festivities and events where curators, artists, Learning Council members and general audiences meet in a causal way, enjoying the many niceties of Busan.
In addition, a Gallery Festival will be jointly celebrated by
19 art galleries in Busan.
(C): Busan Biennale. Design: Vier5