Year founded: 1997
Organiser: NGO Kaunas Biennial


Kaunas Biennial is a contemporary art event which has developed from Baltic region textile exhibitions since 1997.

Kaunas Biennial is the largest, longest lasting, most significant and most visited contemporary art festival in Lithuania and the Baltic states.

Organized since 1997, Kaunas Biennial extended its artistic and curatorial interests and became an event for contemporary art in Europe, uniting visual arts, video, performance, contemporary dance, sound art, and other media. More than 1400 artists from more than 60 countries already participated at Kaunas Biennial since its establishment.  

Every event of the biennial is created from scratch, i.e. by changing the structure, the conditions of participation, the character of exhibitions, the conception, also by involving [new] partners, curators, artists and people working in different areas of culture for a common purpose: communication through the expression of art and creative processes.

Kaunas Biennial is a platform and an opportunity for

– artists’ debates and the realisation of innovative ideas,
– collaboration among artists and visitors,
– the enhancement of the sense of community through creative activities,
– interdisciplinary artistic and academic practices,
– international and intercontinental partnerships and
– the creation of a discursive textile culture.

So far the art of textile in Kaunas Biennial was the prime mark of the whole event. However, various contemporary art practices were started to be implemented: community-directed social projects, such as “Friendly Zone” (from 2007) and “Hemispheres” (2009-2011 m.). Kaunas Biennial 2011 was exclusive for its interdisciplinary art projects: visual artists collaborated with contemporary dance artists and performers. Kaunas Biennial can be distinguished not only for the variety of art it presents every two years, but also for its institutional independence.