The Korea Herald


Former culture minister Park Yang-woo takes presidency of Gwangju Biennale Foundation

By Park Yuna

Published : Aug. 20, 2021 - 15:30

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Park Yang-woo (Gwangju Biennale Foundation) Park Yang-woo (Gwangju Biennale Foundation)

Former Culture Minister Park Yang-woo was appointed as the new president of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation which will become his second time to lead the organization, according to the foundation.

“Park will start his new position as early as this month. The presidency term is three years and allows consecutive terms,” an official from the foundation told The Korea Herald on Friday.

The announcement of the new president was made after the committee meeting held Tuesday. Park previously served as minister of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism from April 2019 to February 2021 and led the Gwangju Biennale Foundation as the president from February 2015 to January 2017.

“The search committee members concluded Park was the right person for the new position as he had contributed to developing the organization with gentle leadership, successfully hosting the biennale in 2016,” the foundation wrote in a statement. “We expect Park to show the leadership to normalize the Gwangju Biennale and elicit cooperation with the labor union.”

The announcement came following controversy surrounding the former president, Kim Sun-jung, who was accused of misconduct during her term. Kim stepped down from the position in June after her contract expired. She had assumed the presidency in 2017.

The Gwangju Biennale Labor Union has accused Kim of workplace bullying and monopolizing the foundation. The labor union raised the issue in May after collecting complaints within the foundation and uploaded a petition to the Blue House website. The Gwangju Regional Employment and Labor Administration confirmed the allegations concerning Kim on July 27, according to the labor union.