We leave traces of our lives everyday, for instance by taking photos of the ones we love, scribbling down notes or writing e-mails. But seldom do we ever wonder about the reasons behind our actions or worry about what is going to happen once we forget about our creations. Living under a barrage of images, writing, objects and all sorts of data stored in numerous gadgets today, perhaps now is a good time to stop and think.
Two art shows currently underway in Gwangju, South Jeolla Province, ponder the question in different ways. One investigates the relationship between images and people and the other focuses on digital data and how to preserve it.
The 8th Gwangju Biennale, which kicked off its 66-day run, last Friday, is less spectacular and whimsical than previous editions. More serious and profound instead, this year’s event aims to retrace at least “10,000 Lives” as its title reads. The title is borrowed from “Maninbo” or “10,000 Lives” the 30-volume epic poem by Korean writer Ko Un. While he was in prison for his participation in the 1980 democracy movement, Ko wrote over 4,000 poems, describing every person he had ever met — personally or indirectly — through literature.