Returned last Thursday from a rewarding trip to Gwangju in South Korea where I was asked to exhibit my work on the cage homes of Hong Kong – “Cage Dogs” – at the Gwangju Design Biennale 2011. The total exhibit included a reconstruction of three 6 foot by two and a half foot wire cage ‘homes’ set on a floor plan where eighteen cages would be set. The minimalist feel to the exhibit added to it’s poignancy and it slotted it well alongside many other startling exhibits.
The theme of this years Biennale is “Dogadobisangdo” (圖可圖非常圖) – “Design is Design is not Design” – inspired by the first words in Do Duk Kyeong (Tao Te Ching, 道德經)’ of No Ja (Lao Tzu, 老子) – ‘The way道 that is the way is not always the way. The name名 that is the name is not always the name.’ – reinterpreted as ‘design is design is not always design and non-design is non-design is not always non-design’.
So there !
Chinese artist, architectural designer (the Olympic “Bird’s Nest” stadium) and activist – Ai Weiwei – is director/curator but was not in attendance as he is under ‘loose detention’ in China and unable to leave Beijing.
Very entertaining and elaborate opening ceremony with many imposing dignitaries and some excellent audiovisual work from renowned DJ Spooky. The Gwangju Design Biennale is expected to attract about a half million visitors to the city that is the centre of the arts and democracy on the Korean Peninsula.
Image © Brian Cassey 2011