Haeju Kim, a former deputy director of Art Sonje Center, has been named artistic director of the Busan Biennale 2022 through an international open call. Kim’s proposal captured the unique history, culture, and identity of Busan.
The Busan Biennale Organizing Committee (chairman Park Heong-joon, the major of Busan) announced that Haeju Kim, a former deputy director of Art Sonje Center, is named artistic director of the Busan Biennale 2022. The upcoming iteration selected artistic director through an international open call as in the previous edition.
Bringing new energy into the Busan Biennale
Haeju Kim (b.1980) received her BA in Plastic Arts from Université de Paris VIII in France and her MA in Cultural Studies from Panthéon Sorbonne University in France. After returning to Korea, Kim has been involved in a wide range of experimental practices in museums, institutions, and organizations in Korea. She participated in the Busan Biennale 2006 and worked as an assistant curator at the Nam June Paik Art Center in 2008. She also worked as a researcher at the National Theater Company of Korea and curated exhibitions at the Asia Culture Center in Gwangju and Seoul Museum of Art. After that, she served as a deputy director of Art Sonje Center from 2017 till October 2020, curating various exhibitions, including Dust Clay Stone (2020), and Night Turns to Day (2020).
The organizing committee expects that with the young artistic director, the next edition of the Busan Biennale will further bolster its core values as well as its identity of youth and experimental spirit. Furthermore, the appointment of Kim as artistic director will serve as an opportunity to revitalize the Korean art scene and facilitate the artistic practices of young and experimental artists. After having the youngest artistic director for the Sea Art Festival 2021 in the history of the biennale festival, the Busan Biennale Organizing Committee named a young Korean curator as artistic director for the Busan Biennale 2022, raising expectations for a positive shift in the artworks and exhibition as well as changes in the Korean art scene.
Capturing the history, culture, and identity of Busan as a city
Key criteria that the organizing committee considered in selecting the artistic director for the Busan Biennale 2022 include communication with the international art scene and a cooperative approach to local curators and artists, building on the understanding of history, culture, locality, and the Biennale of Busan. The organizing committee found that Haeju Kim’s proposal fulfills such criteria. In the proposal, Kim reiterated, “as the exhibition starts from and takes place in Busan, the preliminary research is vital, and through that process, I will interact with various voices.” Kim spent her primary and secondary school years in Busan and took part in the Busan Biennale 2006 as a coordinator. Such a background highlighted the authenticity of her proposal, which, based on her deep understanding of Busan, can expand into universal implementation and is also known to play a crucial role in her selection as an artistic director.
“I am very pleased to be named artistic director of Busan Biennale,” Haeju Kim said. “I would like to prepare various programs and exhibitions to share with the audience and Busan citizens originating from the story of Busan, a beautiful and dynamic city, so that Busan Biennale serves as a platform to ask questions about and draw discussions on how to live together in this challenging time.”