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NYT calls Gwangju Biennale show highlight of 2011

“Basketball Bicket” by Jiang Jun at Gwangju Biennale’s “Unnamed” section (Gwangju Biennale)
“Basketball Bicket” by Jiang Jun at Gwangju Biennale’s “Unnamed” section (Gwangju Biennale)
The New York Times last week mentioned Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei-directed show “Unnamed” at Korea’s Gwangju Design Biennale as one of the outstanding contemporary shows held this year.

In its article titled “From Apple to Occupy, the Design Honors List for 2011,” which was published on Dec. 25, Ai’s show at Gwangju was mentioned as exceptional along with the Museum of Modern Art in New York’s communication design show called “Talk to Me.”

The “Unnamed” show featured design products by 93 relatively less-known designers and companies from 32 countries, an artistic foray into challenging the myth of “named” designers. Ai “challenged traditional definitions of design,” the NYT article said.

The Chinese artist and activist served as the co-director of the fourth edition of Gwangju Design Biennale this year, along with renowned Korean architect Seung H-Sang. Ai could not attend the event held in September in Korea, as he was banned from leaving China for a year following his release on bail in June after 81 days of detention.

He had been arrested in early April, an arrest which civic groups worldwide branded as political repression by the Chinese Communist Party. The apparent reason for Ai’s arrest was tax evasion.

By Claire Lee (
catch table
Korea Herald daum