Busan Biennale: Sea Art Festival 2017

Sea Art Festival

Sea Art Festival 2017
Ars Ludens: Sea+Art+Fun
16 September – 15 October 2017

Following its selection of an artistic director and exhibition theme, the Busan Biennale Organizing Committee has launched its official bid for Sea Art Festival 2017 which will be held from September 16. The Sea Art Festival is an outdoor art exhibition that has been held in Busan on the southeastern tip of the Korean peninsula every odd year. It is a unique type of environmental art festival that makes use of the sea of Busan. The organizing committee has been holding the Busan Biennale every even year and the Sea Art Festival every odd year.

The theme of Sea Art Festival 2017 is Ars Ludens: Sea+Art+Fun. It derives from the question “Is art always serious and difficult to understand or is it amusing?” This year the Sea Art Festival will be held at Dadaepo Beach from September 16 to October 15 for 30 days.

Ars Ludens: Sea+Art+Fun
Ars Ludens is a conjugation of the two Latin words ars (art) and ludens (playing) which roughly means “playful art.” This theme comes from Homo Ludens, a Latin phrase coined by Dutch cultural theorist Johan Huizinga under the slogan “Art / Even art should be fun.” This touches on how the art humans create is laden with playful traits just as how one of the attributes of humans is “playing.” Such playful traits of art will be displayed through 40 artworks on a vast, white sandy beach which highlight three keywords: “sea,” “art” and “fun.”
To be both artistic and fun, artworks should be able to draw a connection between people around the exhibition sites, Dadaepo seashore. The place has become a nearer one to get access for both locals and tourists who visit Busan, due to the opening of the extended subway line at “Dadaepo Beach station” last Spring. Therefore, the exhibition site on the wide seashore will become friendly and fun for all those people. Titled Ars Ludens: Sea+Art+Fun, the exhibition consists of two zones: Art Zone and Fun Zone. The two are planned to be highlighted by various connections to produce more “Spectacles” in their “Simulacre,” providing deeper “Sensations” to the communities in Busan. (The Sea Art Festival 2017 would like to mirror the “fun” spirit of Johan Huizinga’s Homo Ludens.)

Do Taekeun, the artistic director of Sea Art Festival 2017, presently works as a professor at the College of Design and Arts at Silla University in Busan and is also a sculptor. He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions mainly in Busan, Seoul, and Tokyo. He has dedicated himself to vitalizing the local art scene, and participated in the Sea Art Festivals in 1989, 2011 and 2013. The artistic director is expected to curate and mount Sea Art Festival 2017 based on his experiences with the festival and his understanding of Busan’s own specific locality.

Korea’s representative nature art festival, the Sea Art Festival
Launched in 1987, the Sea Art Festival is Korea’s leading nature and environmental art festival that has been held in the sea of Busan. This year sees the 30th anniversary of this art event. This art festival was presented as part of the Busan Biennale from 2000 to 2010 but since 2011 it has been held every odd year as a separate event. Straddling a wide range of genres such as sculpture, installation, and video, the Sea Art Festival has sought to become a popular, communicative, and distinguishing outdoor exhibition. It has managed to grow into Busan’s freestanding public art brand through a variety of programs including the performance and exhibition of experimental art by domestic and foreign artists.

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