The Gwangju Biennale has selected Defne Ayas and Natasha Ginwala to serve as artistic directors of its 2020 edition. The show is scheduled to open in South Korea in September 2020.
Ayas is currently curator-at-large at the V-A-C Foundation in Moscow, and has previously served as the director of the Witte de Withe Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. When it comes to biennials, she has an extensive history: she oversaw the Turkish Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale, and she was involved in organizing editions of the Moscow Biennale, the Baltic Triennial, and Performa.
Ginwala is an associate curator at the Gropius Bau museum in Berlin and the artistic director of the Colomboscope art festival in Sri Lanka. Among her exhibition credits are serving on the curatorial committee for Documenta 14 in 2017 and on the artistic team for the Berlin Biennale in 2014.
The advisory committee that selected Ayas and Ginwala included Jessica Morgan, the director of Dia Art Foundation in New York; Stephanie Rosenthal, the director of the Gropius Bau in Berlin; Mami Kataoka, the deputy director of the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo; Yongwoo Lee, the president of Shanghai Project; and Yeon Shim Chung, an art historian, curator, and professor at Hongik University in Seoul.
Kataoka said in a statement, “I can anticipate a beautiful and poetic exhibition.”
Sunjung Kim, the Gwangju Biennale Foundation’s president, said, “We hope that their involvement will strengthen the biennale’s commitment to the history and context of Asian and international contemporary art and biennales.”