Mirror Pavilion, Corn Work by John Gerrard to feature in Gwangju Biennale

31 March 2021

John Gerrard's Mirror Pavilion – Corn Work features in Asia’s Leading Visual Arts Biennale

GIAF Commission Featured At South Korea's Gwangju Biennale

Galway International Arts Festival’s commission for Galway 2020, John Gerrard’s Mirror Pavilion – Corn Work will feature as part of the 2021 Gwangju Biennale in South Korea, one of Asia’s leading visual arts biennale. The latest edition of the biennale is curated by international luminaries Defne Ayas and Natasha Ginwala and runs from 1 April – 9 May.

The star-studded line up of international artists includes Cecilia Vicuña, Tishan Hsu, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Pacita Abad, Moon Kyungwon and Ireland’s John Gerrard. Established in 1995, Gwangju Biennale served as a bridge between Korea and the world and led the flow of contemporary art. It is now one of the most important events of the global art world.

Sixty-nine artists participate in this biennale, titled Minds Rising, Spirits Tuning, with over 40 new commissions unveiled as part of the 2021 edition.

About Mirror Pavilion by John Gerrard

Gerrard’s Mirror Pavilion Corn Work premiered at GIAF’s Autumn Edition 2020 at the Claddagh Quay and was seen by in excess of 120,000 people. A response to the escalating climate crisis, Gerrard’s work pushes the boundaries of digital art using simulation. The work recalls histories of grain milling in Galway and the strong flow of water, which provided a sustainable clean energy source for the city’s now dismantled flour mills. The second part of the work, Leaf Work will premiere later this year at Derrigimlagh Bog in Connemara.

Mirror Pavilion Corn Work at the Gwangju Biennale. Photo: Sang tae Kim

Artistic Director of Galway International Arts Festival, Paul Fahy commented: “The Gwangju Biennale enjoys an excellent reputation as one of the most important biennales amongst curators, audiences and critics and is the leading visual art events in Asia. John Gerrard’s work is widely recognised and celebrated internationally and we are delighted that Mirror Pavilion Corn Work is part of this biennale.”

Gerrard is considered a pioneer of simulation within contemporary art. His work features in the collections of MoMA New York, Tate London, San Francisco MoMA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Irish Museum of Modern Art among others. 

The Gwangju Biennale, Korea runs from 1 April – 9 May.

Marilyn Gaughan Reddan, Head of Programme at Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture stated: “This is such beautiful work and we are thrilled that it will now feature as part of the Gwangju Biennale. Congratulations to John Gerrard and Galway international Arts Festival; we are delighted that work from the Galway 2020 programme is making its way around the world and that more people will enjoy and experience the stunning Mirror Pavilion Corn Work by John Gerrard.”

Galway International Arts Festival would like to acknowledge the support of Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture for funding Mirror Pavilion, and for the additional support provided by Festival Energy Partner Flogas, Festival Partner Aerogen and Bluesky Ireland. Additionally, Galway International Arts Festival would like to acknowledge Culture Ireland's support of Mirror Pavilion, Corn Work at the 2021 Gwangju Biennale.

Galway International Arts Festival also acknowledges the support of its principal funding agencies the Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland, Galway City Council, its Education Partner NUI Galway, and Drinks Partner Heineken®