Gwangju city has announced that it will invest 118.1 billion KRW (approximately $93 million USD) by 2026 to build a new three-story Gwangju Biennale Hall with a total floor size of 23,500 square meters.
After reviewing twenty-two sites in Gwangju, the city has decided to build a new museum building at the current site’s parking lot. The current exhibition hall is located in Jongwoe Park, which houses the Gwangju National Museum, Gwangju Folk Museum, and Gwangju Museum of Art.
Gwangju Biennale, South Korea’s largest biennial, was founded in 1995. As the building has grown outworn and its space does not correspond to today’s trends in exhibiting contemporary art, Gwangju city mentioned that the new building will become a place that is more suitable for an international biennial.
The problems of the current exhibition hall were that it lacks up-to-date freight, lighting, and ventilation facilities, and there has been a water leak problem.
There also has been a need to expand its storage facility to accommodate the growing number of archival objects that the foundation has collected over time as well as to secure more space to house the artworks during the exhibitions.
In addition, as the pandemic has had a significant impact on the art world, the need for a new type of exhibition space that can operate both offline and online has grown substantially. According to Gwangju city, the new building will be able to function as a hybrid space that can create seamless online content, including virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), as well as live events.
Access to the exhibition hall will be improved with a better viewing environment that can accommodate more visitors than the existing building. Above all, the new building will be redesigned into a structure that can exhibit various types of contemporary art and provide a variety of experiences to visitors.
By 2023, the city plans to accept design submissions for the building to invite one of the world’s leading architects.