Saving memories in Gwangju

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.

Gwangju Biennale

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.

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About Farah Mahbub

Farah Mahbub was born and brought up in Karachi. She attained her bachelor’s degree in fine art, literature and psychology. Being primarily self-taught, she has been working as a professional photographer since 1988. Her photographic journey has taken its course through exploration of various genres, ranging from fine art, commercial, architectural and landscape photography. However for her, personal self-expression is best conveyed through fine art photography, which she continues to explore and dedicate her abilities to. Working formerly in analogue, her present work now is primarily in the digital format. As a practicing artist, Farah’s work has been exhibited in both local and international exhibitions including the 11th Asian Art Biennale in Bangladesh and the Mohatta Palace Museum in Pakistan. Her work has also been published in multiple books most notably Journeys of the Spirit: Pakistan Art in the New Millenium. Farah joined the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in 1997 as a faculty member, where she has been ever since. Under her tenure, photography has evolved from a single class into an undergraduate minor spanning the Communication Design and Fine Art and Interior Design departments. Farah recently had her fifth solo show "Baraka Silsila-e-Nisbat" with an accompanying monograph. View all posts by Farah Mahbub

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