Architect Seung Hyo-sang will present the burial ground for former President Roh Moo-hyun at the Venice Biennale of Architecture starting Aug. 29. / Courtesy of Iroje
By Kwon Mee-yoo
The Venice Biennale of Architecture is held on even-numbered years and Korea is ready to present the essence of its architectural talent from Aug. 29.
Seung Hyo-sang, 60, has been invited to this year's International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia . Seung, who was commissioner of the Korean pavilion in 2008, is the only local architect attending the main exhibition themed "Common Ground".
He will introduce 10 of his residential works, including "Bonghwa Village Graveyard", the burial ground and memorial for late President Roh Moohyun. It is the only house for the dead among participating works.
"The concept of burial grounds usually comes from an abstraction of residential areas of the living. The Bonghwa graveyard borrowed the idea from 'woldae', or broad stone
platforms of the royal shrine at Jongmyo", the architect said.
This year's theme of the Korean Pavilion at the acclaimed architecture biennale is "Walk in Architecture".
Commissioner Kim Byung-yoon, professor at Daejeon University, said he aims to show the dynamism of Korean architecture, using video clips to introduce the story behind the buildings.
The list of participating architects includes Kim Tae-man, Hahn Jongruhl, Lee Sang-leem, Park Seung-hong, O Young-wook, Kim Hyun-su, Park Jean-taek and Yun Chang-ki.
Expectations over what Korea will present at next year's Venice Biennale have heightened as Kim Seung-duk, 58, was named for commissioner of the Korean Pavilion, Monday.
She said the 2013 Korean pavilion will be a group exhibition featuring interdisciplinary artists. "Collaboration is the key and I will choose artists from various genres including video, music and performance", Kim said in a press conference at the Artists' House at Dongsoong-dong, central Seoul.
The Arts Council of Korea, which runs the Korean pavilion, said they chose Kim as commissioner because of the exhibitions she has organized and her international network.
Having studied at New York University and Hunter College and earned her doctoral degree at University Paris 1, Kim has extensive curatorial experience in Korea, Europe and the Middle East. She also took the deputy commissioner
role for the 1999 Venice Biennale, accompanying curator Song Misook.
Currently, Kim is director of international exhibitions at Le Consortium and project director for city development projects of Doha, Qatar.
Kim said though she has been living abroad since graduating high school in Korea in the 1970s, she has maintained close connection with the art world here, visiting Korea at least twice a year and contributing to local art magazines. "Korea helped me in growing up as an international curator and I will share my experience to introduce Korean artists at this prestigious event", she said.
The 2013 Venice Biennale will open on June 1, 2013 and run through November. The council said the list of participating artists will be announced around December.