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Minouk Kim, Mr. Eui Jin Chai and 1,000 Canes, 2014-20. Installation view, GB Commission, Gwangju, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and the Gwangju Biennale Foundation. Photo: Swan Park

Founded to commemorate the Gwangju Democratization Movement of 1980 and its lasting cultural influence, the Gwangju Biennale has established itself as one of the world’s leading contemporary art events since 1995.

During the same period of the 13th edition of the Gwangju Biennale, the Gwangju Biennale Foundation presents the GB Commission and MaytoDay projects at the former Armed Forces’ Gwangju Hospital. Founded in the mid-1960s, the hospital is where students and civilians who were tortured during the May 18 Democratization Movement in 1980 were treated. Despite its designated status as one of the historic May 18 memorial sites, it has been left in ruins since the hospital relocated to Hampyeong in 2007, and it is due to turn into a national trauma centre. In this regard, the Foundation’s two ongoing projects acknowledge what may be the last opportunity for artists to engage with the site in its current state, recalling and imagining the hospital’s past, present, and future.

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