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Curators and Artists announced for 2017 Venice Biennale's Korean Pavilion

BY HANAE KO | Asia Art Pacific

DAEHYUNG LEE, who was appoionted curator of the Korean Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale. Courtesy Daehyung Lee.

Seoul-based curator Daehyung Lee, notable for having organized the 2009 and 2010 iterations of the “Korean Eye” exhibition series (2009–12) at London’s Saatchi Gallery, has been appointed curator of the Korean Pavilion for the 2017 Venice Biennale. The Korean Pavilion, which has mainly featured presentations of solo artists in recent years, will comprise a group exhibition featuring Lee Wan, Cody Choi and Mr. K—two artists and a journalist, respectively—for its 2017 edition.

In an email to ArtAsiaPacific, Lee described his curatorial concept for the Pavilion as “presenting semi-fictive worlds that reinvent reality and engage our imagination, trigger our empathy, and pique our curiosity through understated means that overall emphasize our human nature and psychological complexity.”

For the exhibition, Lee Wan will create an installation that retells the life of Mr. K, an anonymous journalist who lived through nearly a century of Korea’s tumultuous modern history. As Daehyung Lee explains, using Mr. K’s biography and personal archive of roughly 1,400 photographs, Lee Wan will “explore Korea’s national history, cultural specificity and identity in a manner that is not prescriptive or propagandistic but inquisitive and open-ended,” and also push viewers to “question the universal mechanisms and symbolic strategies by which individuals construct personal meaning as well as national narratives.” Incidentally, the true identity of Mr. K—other than that he was an amateur journalist from Korea—is being kept under wraps until later this year.

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