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Artists connect Seoul with Venice Biennale

For the first time in its 115 year history, the Venice Art Biennale is crossing borders by involving the entire network of Italian Cultural Institutes.

The Venice Art Biennale is the most famous festival of its kind.

“The Italian Pavilion in Seoul illustrates one of the characteristics of great Italian Art during the centuries ― the capability of Italian artists to meet and investigate foreign cultures, taking from them energy and ideas to transplant and (fuse) our tradition so that they can flourish bringing totally new fruits,” said Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Seoul Lucio Izzo.
A visitor looks at artworks at the “Venice Biennale: the Italian Pavilion in the World” exhibition in Seoul. (Yoav Cerralbo/The Korea Herald)
A visitor looks at artworks at the “Venice Biennale: the Italian Pavilion in the World” exhibition in Seoul. (Yoav Cerralbo/The Korea Herald)

This year, the Italian Pavilion at the International Art Exhibition of Venice Biennale, opened earlier this month, showcasing joint projects with the aim of taking the pavilion to new heights.

In Seoul, the “Venice Biennale: the Italian Pavilion in the World” presents four artists who are amongst Italy’s most prominent active contemporary artists.

The four artists, who represent Italian contemporary art in Korea, have been chosen for their achievements in different sectors: Paolo Di Capua for sculpture and painting, Andrea Dichiara for design, and Marco Bruno and Simone Carena for video-art and performance.

“Their works speak about Italy but also about Korea,” said Italian Ambassador Sergio Mercuri.

The exhibition runs at the Ilshin Building in Hannam-dong, and in Venice, with the same works presented in both places at the same time.

“This curator’s decision aims at underlining the full correspondence between the Italian and the Korean event,” said Izzo.

The Ilshin Building is the seat of the Italian Cultural Institute, which coordinates the project aboard, and of the Italian Embassy.

“It is also a very special place for culture, with its state-of-the-art open gallery, and its strong architectural project that makes it a landmark in contemporary Seoul,” Izzo said.

To complete the project, the biennale has offered all the artists under 35 years old a stay in Venice, as an additional opportunity for networking and creative comparison with the major cultural Venetian and international institutions in the city.

The Italian Cultural Institutes and the biennale will also produce a bilingual Italian-English catalogue and videos made specifically for this occasion to underline the innovative function performed by the Cultural Institutes and to highlight the work of the artists. An additional Korean version of the catalogue will also be printed.

The exhibition runs until June 30.

More information can be had by visiting or call (02) 796-0634.

By Yoav Cerralbo (