December 4, 2010 - Gwangju Biennale - 10.000 Lives: The 8th Gwangju Biennale
December 4, 2010

10.000 Lives: The 8th Gwangju Biennale

Download 10,000 Lives:
The Eighth Gwangju Biennale

In its 66 day run, 10.000 Lives: The 8th Gwangju Biennale—organized by the Gwangju Biennale Foundation and Directed by Massimiliano Gioni—has welcomed 491,697 paying visitors. If you missed it, you can now download the entire short guide, photographic documentation and watch the entire show online.

- Read a digital version of the short guide created for the Biennale containing artist-by-artist descriptions in each gallery (20 MB .pdf)

- View installation photos of each artist in the Biennale (please refer to the short guide for captions and descriptions)

- Explore each venue of the Biennale through streaming video footage

Conceived as a temporary museum examining the relationships that tie people to images, the Biennale presented 134 artists and thousands of art works and cultural artifacts from 30 countries throughout the world. The attendance of over 490,000 marked a 25% increase from the previous edition, placing 10,000 Lives among the most visited exhibitions and biennials in the world.

Numerous museum professionals, institutional representatives, and cultural and political delegates visited the exhibition, including groups from the Guggenheim Museum, the New Museum, and the G20. Students from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, De Appel Curatorial Course, and the University of New South Wales were among the many young professionals who attended the exhibition. More than 280 South Korean schools visited the exhibition and nearly 50,000 students from across the nation participated in the organized tours of the Biennale.

In October it was announced that beginning in 2011 the 8th Gwangju Biennale will be included in South Korean text books and art history manuals for high schools students and in the syllabi of college courses.

The 8th Gwangju Biennale coincided with the 30th anniversary of the Gwangju Democratic uprisings in memory of which the Biennale was founded, and marked the launch of several events and programs within South Korea and Gwangju. During the opening ceremony the first Noon Award was presented to artists Gustav Metzger and Haegue Yang, chosen among the participating artists in the Biennale by a jury composed of curators Bice Curiger, Okwui Enwezor, Sungwon Kim, Akira Tatehata, and Vicente Todoli.

Selected quotes from early reviews of 10,000 Lives: The 8th Gwangju Biennale:

‘”One of the best such shows I have ever seen…, 10,000 Lives succeeds uniquely in being more than the sum of its parts. Which is another way of saying that it makes the biennial form feel necessary, rather than a professional obligation.’—Ben Davis,

“The power of 10,000 Lives derives from Gioni’s audacity in undertaking an exhibition about a subject big enough to matter to a broad audience yet specific enough to provide illumination into the individual artists and their work”—Trevor Smith, ARTnews

“The curator selected from our daily life, overwhelmed by images, not only art pieces but also artifacts and documents to put together a family album of the 21st Century. The fil rouge is mortality… The images are like shadows that follow, amplify, participate and delimitate existence, and in the experience of being among them their strength becomes almost totalitarian.”—Eva Karcher, Suddeutsche Zeitung

“Human beings are the only living creatures that create images and they never stopped believing in their magical power to preserve us from death, from the flowing of time, from injustice and being forgotten. I’ve never felt such a part of the human family.” – Giovanna Amadasi, D La Repubblica

“Massimiliano Gioni has achieved a way of viewing that we could do well to understand as we file away the clutter of pictures in our albums and on Facebook, in newspapers and on the Internet. For that alone the trip to Gwangju, whether in a private jet or by cattle class, is worth it”—Kishore Singh,Business Standard

“10,000 Lives, with its overtones of Edward Steichen’s landmark Family of Man exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1955, is the kind of broad survey one yearns to see in a major museum … 10,000 Lives is one of the most viscerally thrilling encyclopedic exhibitions in years.”—Dan Cameron, Art-It

“The final result of the show – which acts simultaneously as an exposition of human nature and a thesis, complete with evidence and proofs – is thoughtful introspection that points toward the paradoxical desires and weaknesses of man.”—Ines Min, The Korea Times

The organizers of 10,000 Lives would like to thank the artists, the lenders, and all the institutions and sponsors that contributed to the success of this edition of the Gwangju Biennale.

Founded in 1995 in memory of the spirit of civil uprising resulting from the 1980 repression of the Gwangju Democratization Movement, the Gwangju Biennale is Asia’s oldest and most prestigious biennial of contemporary art. Under the helm of previous curators that include Kerry Brougher, Sukwon Chang, Okwui Enwezor, Charles Esche, Hou Hanru, Honghee Kim, Yongwoo Lee, Youngchul Lee, Kwangsoo Oh, Wankyoung Sung and Harald Szeemann, the Gwangju Biennale has established itself as a highlight of the international contemporary art biennale circuit.

For additional information and images of the exhibition or of the opening events please contact:

US & International
Andy Cushman
Rumors Communication
Gwangju Biennale Foundation
T: +1 (347) 627-0050
M: +1 (917) 744-4042

Jin Kyong Jeong
Public Relations Department
Gwangju Biennale Foundation
T: +82 62 608 4222
F: +82 62 608 4229

Gwangju Biennale
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