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Stefano Boeri at the Art Biennale: Do you recognise the exhibition venue?

3 min read
Installation views “Chun Kwang Young: Times Reimagined”, 2022, Palazzo Contarini Polignac, Venice. Courtesy CKY Studio, Copyright © Alice Clancy.

Correct! That's the Palazzo Contarini Polignac in Venice, where our POINTS of contact Meeting Point takes place every two years. Here, the renowned Milanese architect Stefano Boeri has installed a pavilion for the 2022 Art Biennale. As a temporary structure, it is part of the exhibition "Times Reimagined" by the Korean artist Chun Kwang Yeung - in the Palazzo Contarini Polignac, painted several times by Monet, directly on the Grand Canal.

POINTS of contact Meeting Point at the Palazzo Contarini Polignac, 2018

The exhibition "Times Reimagined" is currently on show in the Palazzo. Here, the well-known Korean artist Chun Kwan Young (*1944) shows amazing things made of paper, his favourite material: 40 large-format works, including reliefs, sculptures and installations used. The Hanji paper used, which has been made from the bark of the paper mulberry tree for thousands of years, gives its name to Stefano Boeri's pavilion: Hanji House.

6. Chun Kwang Young - Portrait Copyright © <PUCLIC ART> SEO, JIYOUN
7. Stefano Boeri, Hanji lighthouse, conceptual drawing, 2021, colored felt-tip pen, paper

A paper-like work of art in the middle of the garden

The relationship of the small structure in the garden of the Palazzo to the Asian art of paper folding is immediately apparent, even though it is made entirely of wood. Four white peaks protrude from the garden nature. They continue the edges of the cubic building upwards in the form of pyramids. The team led by the Milan architect adhered to basic geometric forms in the design. The rectangular floor plan of the snow-white building contains the visitors' room in the actual cube. There, visitors can experience an installation by media artist Calvin J. Lee, with which he makes virtual reference to Chun's work.

Installation views “Chun Kwang Young: Times Reimagined”, 2022, Palazzo Contarini Polignac, Venice. Courtesy CKY Studio, Copyright © Alice Clancy.

Golden Lions for ...

The Palazzo and the garden are thus home to an impressive body of work that is definitely worth a visit. Nevertheless, it did not win a Golden Lion. This year, they go to Sonia Boyce for the British Pavilion and to Simone Leigh as best artist. The Art Biennale is open to visitors until 27 November 2022. Next year will once again be dominated by the Architecture Biennale. Then the Palazzo Contarini Polignac will once again become the POINTS of contact meeting point.

Simone Leigh, 2021. Artworks © Simone Leigh. Courtesy the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery. Photo credit: Shaniqwa Jarvis
Simone Leigh, 2021. Artworks © Simone Leigh. Courtesy the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery. Photo credit: Shaniqwa Jarvis
Sonia Boyce © British Council
Room 1 in the British Pavilion © British Council

Outlook: Architecture Biennale 2023

The Art Biennale is always followed in turn by the Venice Architecture Biennale, the most important architectural event in the world. At the beginning of this year, the Scottish-Ghanaian architect and scientist Lesley Lokko was appointed the first black curator.

British Pavilion: What we already know

The British Council has announced that the 2023 British Pavilion will be curated by Jayden Ali (founder of architecture studio JA Projects), Meneesha Kellay, (curator of the Victoria and Albert Museum) Joseph Henry (co-founder of Sound Advice) and Sumitra Upham (head of public programmes at the Crafts Council). They will curate an exhibition that looks at the architecture of the British diaspora through a pre-colonial lens. "Our exhibition will explore diaspora architecture through a pre-colonial lens, celebrating the range of architectural philosophies, making practices and material knowledge within these communities," the curatorial team said. "By foregrounding their relevance at a time of increasing social polarisation and ecological degradation, we aim to amplify voices and perspectives that have been overlooked in British architecture." The group will collaborate with numerous architects and researchers to create as much pluralism as possible. The title of the exhibition has not yet been announced.

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