Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cheongju International Craft Biennale

23 September - 1 November 2009

The over all theme for this years show was "Outside the Box" I think they did a teriffic job of showing 'craft' in it's many forms! From a traditional functional craft stage to fine art installations.
There were Four Main Exhibitions to experience
each was curated seperately with a very different feel and angle - all professional and well done!
1 Pressing Matter
This exhibition urges us to consider the crafts not in egotistical isolation, but in vital and continuous connection with each other. Inevitably, modernist themes of substance, subject and meta-narratives will be resurrected, but the purpose is to demonstrate the variety of elements that meet in the work: the energy released from each object by another and diffused among the whole; the diverse perspectives of producer and consumer, youth and maturity, the egalitarian and the elite, the classical and the romantic, the developed and the developing world. Pressing matter is a stimulating array of works, materials and initiatives.
2 Dissolving Views
This exhibition takes us further beyond the concept of craft as contained in the object as product, or fetish, and towards the idea of craft as a living human impulse, seizing the day, something that has momentum. It includes an open space or performance and other time-based events. Traditionally static gallery pieces are stationed amidst and around works conceived in the world of the passing hours and days: the political, social and cultural, in the form of music, dance, theatre, film, poetry and prose. Dissolving views is neither about the object only, nor about motion only; it is about the meetings and interventions between both in which meaning is discovered and affirmed.
3 The river within us, the sea all around us
The title of this project is borrowed from the last of T.S. Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets,’The Dry Salvages: ‘- for the river is man’s time, the microcosmic rhythm of life, but the sea is the earth’s time, the macrocosmic rhythm of eternity; both are frontiers.’2 The river within us is not another exhibition as such but a conception for a community arts program. As host of the Biennale, the city of Cheongju seeks through this project to integrate artists with its community and to establish a common idea of its history; to embody the corporate tenancy of its culture and past. In this way modern crafts may begin their reinstatement in the lives of the people from which they have vanished. The project therefore takes place within those remembered and actual lives, and is acted out in various public spaces in the city, rather than as a work enshrined in the exhibition space.
4 Unity and Diversity - Canada (guest country)
Canada, hosted this years event with a plenitude of indigenous cultures represented in their display of artifacts by some two hundred artists and craftspeople. The items have been selected by the Canadian Crafts Federation, and the show curated by Dr. Sandra Alfoldy, editor of ‘Neo-Craft: Modernity and the Crafts.’ ‘Unity & Diversity’ is a vital contribution to the contemporary theme of representing cultures, and the fruits of interchange between art, nature and humanity.

There was also a Craft Competition, Craft Fair and Educational and Interactive booths which included potters, flame workers, tea experts ... and we can not forget the performance stage that continuously kept atmosphere going with a beat from the music or dance that was expressing themselves. 'Home Sweet Home' was a fabulous part and different take on things as well - showing viewers how to live with craft / art in your home setting - from contemporary to traditional.

This was a great fair with SO much to see - give yourselves two days at a very fast pace, or more time if you wish to fit in the The Early Printing Museum, Cheongju National Museum and the Cheongju Craft Museum ...

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