Curatorial Team for the Korean Pavilion, 59th Venice Biennale

Gyre. Amidst the turbulence of endless openings and implosions, energy draws itself towards the centre of the oceanic void. These spiralling ends amass all contiguous material with a force as strong as its centre, generating a vortex that expands unceasingly. Eventually, the knot of the gyre comes undone and new vortices arise. At this blurred, swollen boundary where a spiral ends and another begins, there is motion in stillness and stillness in motion.

Consider the world as a labyrinth. The planets in the solar system orbit the galaxy in their own spirals, while auroras emerge radiantly with bursts of solar wind. Overflowing waves, scattering dusts and the convection currents of the earth's mantle are all vortices, large and small, and they accompany myriad fragments of light passing through the trees that become witnesses to slow swirls at the edge of the sea. Such cosmic connections and circulations occur everywhere at every scale beyond our comprehension and those countless knots that gyrate constantly become things—things thinging again in a worlding world.

In Gyre, Yunchul Kim imagines the Korean Pavilion as a sprawling body of entanglements: an embodiment of the “placelessness” of things. Nameless objects and intricate materials intertwine with cosmic events as viewers encounter intimate tangles of a flarelike whirl of fluids and seawater flowing down through the microtubes around giant knots. In such pataphysical contact zones, what really matters is mattereality in flux, not materiality framed. As our senses, bodies, meanings, materials, non-materials, machines, non-humans, events, and the outer world are in ceaseless intra-action, their (other)worldly potentials emerge and transcend the boundaries of their cultural and social values as well, all flowing into their own emerging horizons.

Swollen Sun

Yet still
on the wings
there grows at once
the fall and redemption.
Das Ende
The end of the world,
To the North Pole
with the moon in the right hand, the sun left
Go on and on
like a perennial plant
of four sudden stages
in the life cycle
of its endless own
with no beginning either
where a ruin ties a knot with running
towards a deep sea or an open sky
wherever unblockable
in a dimension
of unending monadic reproduction and resolution
and one MODE
swollen sun
ice fog
all such present in the air
carved by the flap of wings
like deep sea creatures
asleep since the beginning of deep time
like some dream
one never wakes up from



Yunchul Kim (b. 1970, South Korea) is an artist and electronic music composer whose practice focuses on the artistic potential and the reality of matter through installation, drawings, writing, and music. Informed by his transdisciplinary research combining philosophy, chemistry, physics, mathematics, cosmology, anthropology, and mythology, Kim researches complex ontological entanglements between humans, non-humans, and things while restaging such “a world of materials.” He led the research group Mattereality at the Korea Institute for Advanced Study and was a member of numerous art and science-based group projects including Liquid Things at University of Applied Arts, Vienna, and Fluid Skies. The winner of the 2016 Collide International Award at CERN, his work won awards at VIDA 15.0, Arts Electronica, and Transmediale. Recent exhibitions include Yokohama Triennale, Japan (2020); KUMU, Estonia (2020); National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan (2020); iMAL, Belgium (2020); CCCB, Spain (2019); and ZKM, Germany (2018). In 2014, he founded Studio Locus Solus in Seoul.


Young-chul Lee (b.1957, South Korea), Professor Emeritus at Kaywon University of Art & Design, Korea, is a curator, art critic, and expert in urban public design. Lee began his curatorial career in 1993 when he co-curated Across the Pacific at the Queens Museum of Art in New York City, United States. He was the first Director of the Nam June Paik Art Center, the Artistic Director of the second Gwangju Biennale (1997), the co-curator of the second Pusan International Contemporary Art Festival (2000) which evolved into the Busan Biennale, and the Founder of the Anyang Public Art Project (2005). More recently, he served as the President and the Artistic Director of the Asia Culture Center (2011-2015), Korea, during its preparatory period.


Arts Council Korea(ARKO)

Arts Council Korea (ARKO) was founded to support projects and activities for the promotion of culture and arts with a faith that all of us have the power to change our life to share the joy of creation and enjoy the valuable life. It draws policies of culture and arts through the agreement by 11 council members that are composed of field cultural artists; and has a synchronic structure for private sectors to participate in decision making in the public areas. This helps cultural artists who have been unilateral beneficiaries of the policies to enter as both a planner and a performer of the policies; to innovate the customary cultural administration system and respond actively to the rapidly changing environment of culture and arts for specific alternative production focusing on the field where various environments for culture and arts to confront.

ARKO will emphasize not only the development of its creation, medium, and enjoyment into a virtual cycle structure targeting the non-profit experiment areas of basic arts and cultural industry that have been agreed in and out of culture and arts world such as literature, visual arts, performing arts, traditional arts, and interdisciplinary arts but also the establishment of an infrastructure for that purpose. Through such effort, ARKO will enhance the self regeneration of arts and lead the creation of arts, increase both the artistic development and the social productivity to secure the productivity of arts market. In the meantime, the Arts Council Korea will eventually make an effort to prevent an alienation from creative joy which culture and arts present to all of us.

Korean Pavilion

Commencing in 1986 through to 1994, Korea participated in the Biennale Arte in Venice and showcased Korean art in small formats in various exhibition spaces during the Biennale. The aim was to serve as a bridgehead and introduce Korean modern art and architecture overseas. After artist Paik Nam-june received the Golden Lion in 1993 as a German artist, he and architect Kim Seok-cheol endeavored to build the physical Korean Pavilion by proposing to the mayor of Venice the possibility of a joint exhibition of the two Koreas. In 1995, the Korean Pavilion was built in the Giardini and it became the 26th national pavilion. Since its establishment, the Korean Pavilion, together with the commissioner Arts Council Korea (ARKO), has presented significant and momentous Korean art at the Biennale in its dedicated venue.

Visitor Information


The Korean Pavilion (Padiglione Coreano)
Giardini della Biennale, Castello 1260 30122 Venezia Italia


The Korean Pavilion is located at Giardini, and is open throughout the duration of the Biennale Arte 2022: 23 April to 27 November 2022

from 23 April to 25 September, 11 am - 7 pm

from 27 September to 27 November, 10 am - 6 pm

Closed on Mondays (except Monday 25 April, 30 May, 27 June, 25 July, 15 August, 5 September, 19 September, 31 October, 21 November)

Please find more information for tickets on the main Biennale Arte 2022 page


International press contact:
Carlotta Dennis-Lovaglio, Scott & Co
carlotta@scott-andco.com, 020 3487 0077 (UK Office)


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Arts Council Korea

Yunchul Kim

Curatorial Team
Curator: Young-chul Lee
Deputy curator: Jungyeon Park
Assistant curators: Kahee Jeong, Catherine (Hyun Seo) Chiang

Editorial Team
Editorial Manager: Kyoo Lee
Jungyeon Park, Kahee Jeong, Catherine (Hyun Seo) Chiang

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Studio Locus Solus
Manager: Jungyeon Park
Staff: Earl Park, Gisu Chun, Hocheol Shin, Ingyun Bang, Jangwoo Choi, Jisan Lee, Jong Yoon Ryu, Minji Lee, Minyoung Jung, Oui An, Songin Bang, Yeongho Kim

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