10 Art Biennales Worth Travelling To In 2018


February 15, 2018 | BY Kate Ng of The Artling

Brace yourselves, as we are in for a busy year ahead with major art exhibitions and events to visit all around the world, including at least 25 art biennales scheduled to happen at all four corners of the globe.

These mega art exhibitions take place only once every two years, with the help of carefully chosen guest curators who decide on a theme to lead the exhibition’s direction. Rarely confined to an exhibition space, these biennales spread their roots throughout the city, creating a presence in parks, public spaces and multiple galleries.

Below, we highlight 10 biennales on our radar for 2018:

Photo: Courtesy of Han Sai Por

Gangwon International Biennale, Gangwon, South Korea

Dates: 3 February-18 March 2018

Theme: The Dictionary of Evil

Hong Kyoung-han, an art critic who serves as the art director for GIB 2018, chose to confront the evils that are rampant in modern society to define the direction of this year's biennale. 

Find out more on gwbien.com

10 Art Biennales Worth Travelling To In 2018
Photo: Courtesy of Ai Wei Wei and Narodni Gallery Prague

Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Dates: 16 March-11 June, 2018

Theme: SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium and Engagement

This year's Biennale of Sydney will examine the state of ‘superposition’ by examining how it might operate in the world today. Bonus: to mark the opening of the Biennale, Ai Weiwei will appear in conversation with artistic director Mami Kataoka.

Find out more on biennaleofsydney.com

Photo: Courtesy of Guan Xiao and New Museum

New Museum Triennial, New York City, United States

Dates: 13-27 May, 2018

Theme: Songs For Sabotage

Ok, we know this is a triennial, but it still deserves a spot on this list. The poetic theme of this year's New Museum Triennial questions how individuals and collectives around the world might effectively address the connection of images and culture to the forces that structure our society.

Find out more on newmuseum.org

See also: 10 Korean Sculpture Artists To Watch

10 Art Biennales Worth Travelling To In 2018
Photo: Courtesy of 10th Berlin Biennale

10th Berlin Biennale, Berlin, Germany

Dates: 9 June-9 September 2018

Theme: We Don't Need Another Hero

A conversation with artists and contributors who think and act beyond art, as they confront the incessant anxieties perpetuated by a willful disregard for complex subjectivities.

Find out more on berlinbiennale.de

Photo: Courtesy of Stefan Altenburger

Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea

Dates: 7 September - 11 November 2018 

Theme: Imagined Borders

A discussion of a contemporary phenomenon in depth, wherein national and geopolitical borders are being reorganized after globalization.

Find out more on gwangjubiennale.org

See also: Karena Lam Brings Japanese Artist Watanabe Mayumi's Magic To Hong Kong

10 Art Biennales Worth Travelling To In 2018
Photo: Courtesy of archdaily.com

Yinchuan Biennale, Yinchuan, China

Dates: 9 June - 19 September 2018

Theme: Starting from the Desert. Ecologies on the Edge

Curated by Marco Scotini, the exhibition will involve 15,000 square meters of museum space and other art settlements, including Hui Nongqu Eco-park and the International Artist Village of the River Origins. It intends to address urgent issues (environmental, social and cultural) not only for China but around the world.     

Find out more on moca-yinchuan.com

Photo: Courtesy of Bangkok Art Biennale

Bangkok Art Biennale, Bangkok, Thailand

Dates: November 2018 - February 2019

Theme: Beyond Bliss

Featuring interpretations of joy and happiness, but also touching on socio-political and environmental issues that can lead to a distinct lack of bliss.

Find out more on bkkartbiennale.com

10 Art Biennales Worth Travelling To In 2018
Photo: Courtesy of TFAM

Taipei Biennial, Taipei, Taiwan

Dates: 17 November - 3 October 2019

Theme: Life-support, Living, Survival System

This year's Taipei Biennial brings into focus “the interconnectivity of ecosystemic structures formed between humans and nature”, and aiming to “serve as a platform of social experimentation to generate new interdisciplinary possibilities for long-lasting, community-driven, bottom-up synergies.” 

Find out more on taipeibiennial.org

Photo: Courtesy of Power Station of Art, Shanghai

Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, China 

Dates: 10 November 2018 - 10 March 2019

Theme: Proregress: Art in an Age of Historical Ambivalence

Drawing from E. E. cummings's 1931 collection of W ViVa, peered through the lens of the late Zygmunt Bauman’s 2017 musings on a “retropia”, this theme touches on the age-old and ongoing exploration of our relationships with the past, with nostalgia, and how they define both our today and tomorrow.

Find out more on shanghaibiennale.org

10 Art Biennales Worth Travelling To In 2018
Photo: Courtesy of Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi, India

Dates: 12 December 2018 - 29 March 2019

Theme: Forming in the Pupil of an Eye 

Inspired by ancient theories around sight and perception penned by Middle Eastern physicians and South Asian philosophers, this year's theme asks viewers to really look 

Find out more on kochimuzirisbiennale.org

Related Stories