Pyeongchang Biennale 2017

The Nameless and Unknown.


It is dark outside and I have had to use all my power to come out of a deep dull sleep. I have already made a small cup of coffee and I’m sitting on the couch forcing my mind to stay in focus. A school teacher comes to me and says “it’s all lost”. She no longer had control over the class. That was a dream. An hour ago I was on Gyeongpo beach, South Korea that is for real.

Snow on Gyeongpo beach

Snow on Gyeongpo beach

Gyeongpo beach, it is the farthest east I have ever been. I had stood on a cold but sunlit beach covered in a layer of snow while the East sea waves crashed on the sand. At home in The Hague, we would stand on the beach and say, if we were flying a kite and the string would break the kite would fly west to Felixstowe, UK. If I had the kite here and the string would break it would fly straight east to Niagara, Japan.

Pyeongchang Biennale 2017 catalogue

Hot from the press, the catalogue Pyeongchang Biennale 2017

At the preparations for the Pyeongchang Biennale 2017, I have finished my job,  my three paintings are up on display (it was done for me) and I had time to loiter around and  talk to the other artists. I spoke with Kiyoko SAKATA, Japan and Ori ELISAR, Israel and we talked about sea salt crystals with the help of an electronic translator and a pencil and paper. Early in the morning, I met up with Micah GENSKE, USA and talked about his painting depicting large shadows on areal views. With Justyna ADAMCZYK , Poland, we talked about the status and social position of the artist in Poland. I talked to CHUANG Chih-Wei, Taiwan about my work and showed him the embroidered threads on the back of the painting. With CHEN Sai Hua Kuan, Singapore, we talked about the making of physical objects. Several times that day I went to have a look at Junya KATAOKA & Rie IWATAKE, Japan, as they set up their installation.

Junya KATAOKA & Rie IWATAKE, Japan, as they set up their installation

Junya KATAOKA & Rie IWATAKE, Japan, as they set up their installation

They show me the inside details of their work. Also Nils VOLKER, Germany takes me behind the scene of  his  kinetic art work. With Thibault LAGET-RO, France, I talked about the fate of children in the French education system and with JAK, Korea / Germany, about the status of the artists and studios in Germany.

Pyeongchang Biennale 2017

Pyeongchang Biennale 2017

In the evening I take a walk through the exhibition with  the artistic director Seong-Youn Kim. It is a fantastic collection of works. He tells me that he chose for the open call and that during the selection procedure he asked not to see the CVs of the artists, but wanted to judge on the images and artist’s statements alone. I gather that he made some people nervous, but they will agree that the result is quite outstanding. After all the main exhibition event is called  The Five Moons : Return of the Nameless and Unknown.



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