May 3, 2010 - Kunsthalle Gwangju - The Flower of May
May 3, 2010

The Flower of May

Left: Alfredo Jaar
Let One Hundred Flowers Bloom
Zinc, fan, light, flower, wood, soil, water
110 x 116 cm

The Flower of May
12 May – 13 June 2010

Gwangju Museum of Art
Kunsthalle Gwangju

52 Haseo-ro Buk-Gu Gwangju

The Flower of May, refers to the May 1980 Democratic Uprising in Gwangju in which mass demonstrations against the authoritarian state were repressed by government soldiers. A special exhibition to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the uprising, it has been organized by Gwangju Biennale Foundation and Gwangju Museum of Art as a festival, separate from the Biennale, that engages the public and contemporary art world through a major exhibition, performance, and series of panel discussions.

Rather than focusing on empirically witnessing the historical facts, or drawing a historical lesson from them, The Flower of May instead serves to provide a platform for surveying the our understanding of history and its evolution in the past thirty years. The exhibition will serve as a platform for visual culture in situ, by showcasing the diversity of expression in the era of globalization in a way that actively engages the greater public.

The artists on view all share a particular emphasis on art as social practice, focusing on active discourse with the public and a continual investigation of the ideas communicated by contemporary aesthetic products. In part, this is also to demonstrate an archipelago of aesthetics that is revealed not through typology of, or concentration on, a particular theme, but instead by a set of diverse themes with common bonds.

Performance by Arto Lindsay
A live performance by American-born, Brazil-based singer, visual artist, and humanitarian Arto Lindsay will be held on May 11 at 6:00 pm at Chonnam National University’s Main Auditorium. His performance at the University, where the uprising began, will attempt to channel the revolutionary energy of May 1980 and reconnect it to the people of Gwangju via a musical and artistic performance that invites audience collaboration through acts of “gathering,” “transforming,” and “sending.”

Participating Artists:

Ai Weiwei, Kader Attia, Cai Yuan & Jian Jun Xi, Candice Breitz, Lee Bul, Chonggon Byun, Baptist Coelho, Rainer Ganhal, Dora García, Igor Grubić, Seungchan Gwon, Dalyong Heo, Afredo Jaar, Sunguck Kang, Juyon Kim, Kyungho Lee, Leenam Lee, Arto Lindsay, Moonho Ma, Tony Oursler, Nam June Paik, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Matthew Schreiber, Giuseppe Stampone, Caecilia Tripp

Curator at large: Yongwoo Lee
Curators: Inho Cho, Ik Yun
Coordinating Curator: Alessandra Sandrolini

The Gwangju Biennale Foundation
The Gwangju Museum of Art

The Office for Hub City of Asian Culture
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
The Gwangju Biennale Foundation
The GwangjuMuseum of Art

Panel Discussions and Schedule
The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of panel discussions that will visit complex issues largely under-recognized within critical discourse. Examples include the reevaluation of social participatory art; the decline of the art criticism and increasing influence of the art market; the rise of of the spectacle within the proliferation of international exhibitions; the violent imagery often present in these spectacle-oriented works; and the role of the media as a mediator between art and public. This approach intends to avoid the narrative and critical approach taken by art historians and instead focus on artistic practice as a socio-cultural phenomenon.

Session 1: The subversive and experimental values of art movements
Date & Time: May 11 (Tue), 9:30am – 12:50pm
Speakers: Ko Un, Okwui Enwezor, Choi Hyup, Richard Noble
Discussion: Jung Kumhee, Caecilia Tripp, Igor Grubić

Session 2: Alternatives to the emerging phenomena market influence and the decline of art criticism
Date & Time: May 11 (Tue), 2:30pm – 7:40pm
Speakers: Alfredo Jaar, Melissa Chiu
Discussion: Youngho Kim, Alessandra Sandrolini, Baptist Coehlo

Session 3: Art, Media, Market and the Public
Date & Time: May 12 (Wed), 9:30am – 4:30pm
Speakers: Ai Weiwei, Yongwoo Lee, Hisashi Muroi, Mami Kataoka
Discussion: Seungduk Kim, Franck Gautherot, Jiwon Kim

Gwangju Biennale Foundation
Tel. +82 (0)62 608 4231 | Fax. +82(0)62 608 4229 | |

Kunsthalle Gwangju
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