Review: Daegu Biennale 2010

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Last Updated on November 14, 2010 by Christine Kaaloa

daegu2Daegu Photo Biennale 2010 (website)

Crunchy art.

It’s the last thing I expected Daegu to produce.

To me, crunchy art is very satisfying. It’s a tasty and thought-provoking bit, that you chew on in order to appreciate it’s flavor.

When I first heard Daegu was having a Biennale, my first impulse was to dismiss it.

I’m glad I didn’t.

The exhibition blew me away international works that were witty, gravity-defying, wicked, romantic and… crunchy.

The Daegu Photo Biennale 2010 showcased the works of international photographers, who covered a range of topics: from reality vs imagination, ecology vs. development, war and multi-centrism.

I visited the Daegu Culture and Arts Center in Dulryu Park ,where a total of three exhibitions were housed.

SAM 3697
SAM 3664

The main exhibition, True (E)Motion, dealt with complex relationships between man and nature.

The Helsinki School, also prominent in the collection, holds international reknown for producing leading visionaries in photography.

Other special exhibitions housed in the same building weren’t to be overlooked. The Speak out Peace exhibition showed war photography and the works of war photojournalist, Robert Capra. Meanwhile the  Asia Spectrum| Multi-centrism exhibithosted refreshing works from Asian artists seeking re-identification and re-invention through the subject of nomadism and hybridism.


But getting down to the overall show, I had three favorite pieces.

First of all, Noomi Ljungdell ‘sTopography of Everyday, Landscape” attempts to re-conceptualize the everyday and banal in architectural landscape.

In her piece (photo above), she replaces a photo landscape with a typographical one. Each beam, floor, window and bus stop is replaced with its word.

Remarkably, when read at a distance you can see the vague resemblance to the actual landscape thus impacting her idea that although external skins are removed, their concepts still remain.

By far, my favorite piece.

d gruenstein

All hail to the romantics and their love of ever-flowing hair!

Also born of the Helsinki School, Swedish artist, Denise Gruenstein‘s video and photography works explored the frontier of wickedly, cool romanticism and its beautiful, but dangerous and deadly obsession with hair. I loved this piece. It’s a video staging played in slow motion of a figure standing before a table as locks of hair fall in front of it as a sign of castrated femininity. Photographs surround the video with images of a suffocation and in the end, suicide.


Korea’s Sung Eun CHANG‘s uses the human body as a tool for measurement of space. In the above-right photo, figures defy gravity and only account for themselves and their placement in the frame.

In Rue Visconti (above left photo), she displays that the street itself, is nineteen bodies wide.



Daegu Photo Biennale 2010 (website)

Daegu Culture and Arts Center (Check website for map & upcoming shows )
Located in the northern end of Duryu Park
187 Seong-Dang Dalseo


Getting there By Bus

  • In front of the Performing Arts Center – Bus: 202, 452, 600, 609, 618, 650, 836, 706
  • On the opposite side of the Performing Arts Center – Bus : 202-1, 452, 600, 609, 618, 650,
  • 836, 706

Getting there By Subway

  • 20-mintue walk from exit 1 of Seongdangmot Station (Line 1)

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