2nd Pusan Biennial, Korea.
Co-curators: Young Chul Lee, Rosa Martínez, Hou Hanru.
October 2 - November 27. 2000. Pusan, Korea

Adel Abdessemed (Algeria)
Kyu-chul Ahn (Korea)
Asaoka Akane (Japan)
Ana Laura Aláez (Spain)
Helena Almeida (Portugal)
Francis Alys (Mexico)
Ghada Amer (Egypt)
Katerina Apostolidou (Greece)
Planet Art (Netherlands)
Sylvie Blocher (France)
Christophe Charles (France)
Shaoxiong Chen (China)
Fei Cao (China)
Alexandre Da Cunha (Brazil)
Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset (Denmark, Norway)
Michel François (Belgium)
Hiroshi Fuji (Japan)
Wineke Gartz (Netherlands)
Kendell Geers (South Africa)
Federico Guzmán (Spain)
Jin Ham (Korea)
Carl M von Hausswolff (Sweden)
Wee-young Heo (Korea)
Solrun Hoaas (Australia)
Myung-seop Hong (Korea)
Soon-myung Hong (Korea)
Ken Ikeda (Japan)
Jae-whan Joo & Young-kook Park (Korea)
Simone Aaberg Kaern (Denmark)
So-ra Kim (Korea)
Elke Krystufeck (Austria)
Surasi Kusolwong (Thailand)
Kyupi Kyupi (Japan)
Soo-kyung Lee (Korea)
So-mi Lee (Korea)
Jung-ran Lee (Korea)
Ken Lum (Canada)
Zwelethu Mthethwa (South Africa)
Aydan Murteazoglu (Turkey)
Nikos Navridis (Greece)
Veronica Nicholson (Ireland)
Honoré d'O (Belgium)
Ebru Özsecen (Turkey)
Jae-hyun Park (Korea)
Dan Perjovschi (Rumania)
Steven Rand (USA)
Sam Samore (USA)
Bülent Sangar (Turkey)
Anne Seagrave (Ireland)
Ene-Liis Semper (Estonia)
Young Shi (China)
Myung-eun Shin (Korea)
Jeung-eun Shon (Korea)
Santiago Sierra (Spain)
Ross Sinclair (United Kingdom)
Nedko Solakov (Bulgaria)
Grazia Toderi (Italy)
María Zárraga (Spain)
Guogu Zheng (China)
Tiehal Zhou (China)

The title "Leaving the Island" refers both to the desire and the need of making political, aesthetical and existencial borders more fluid and porous. Geographically, islands are pieces of land surrounded by the sea, and they are usually conceived as isolated worlds. In the human imaginary, islands have been mythical allegories of dreamed paradises, places for adventure and locations to rest after difficult journeys. But without human beings speaking about them, islands would be mute, silent pieces of rock and sand. Like human beings, islands are physical, economical and spiritual geographies. Water is the matter that sets the distance between islands and at the same time it is the medium that needs to be traversed to reach those distant realities. It is a frontier and a means of communication.
Artworks have long been seen as islands that condense meaning and beauty. Today the notion of the commodified art object linked to capitalistic ideologies is put into question and art is becoming a means to create new situations and to connect simbolically different individuals and communities. The sea is a powerful metaphore of a fluid and changing medium. Artists can then be seen as producers of deep streams or superficial movements of the waters. Art can be a tool to create new ways of navigation.
A new space of confrontation, negotiation and exchange between different cultures is hence created. It allows us to explore fundamental and urgent questions from aspiration to a better world in a new millennium to everyday violence, from social progress to new conflicts between classes, from globalisation to small events in life.
The three curators of the show - Young Chul Lee, Hou Hanru and Rosa
Martinez- have taken into account the maritim character of the city of
Pusan as a laborious and rich harbour where different kinds of trade take place. Relating this to the above mentioned need to erase aesthetical borders and to provoke new interchanges, they have decided to integrate their thoughts, their visions and their passions for different international artists with the goal of creating a unique mosaic in which the frontiers of who has selected whom are erased. By joining their forces, they are creating a temporary archipelago in which the artists, like floating islands, offer to the public their understandings of a very fast changing present.
In the context of an increasingly globalized world where the power of the media is commodifing even ideas and attitudes, "Leaving the Island" wants to update the utopian idea of connecting art and life, and it expresses the will of shortening the distance that separates art from other spheres of reality. The modernist glorification of the autonomy of art is not seen anymore as a sign of power but as an evidence of its loneliness. The idea of originality is no longer connected to the individual inspiration of a "genius" but to the stablisment of collaborative networks of critical interchange. The meaning and the function of art are being reinvented in relation to the last scienctific, anthropological and technological developements, as well as in connection to the global economies that make cities compete among them.

We conceive exhibitions as open zones and interrelated systems. This is why we hope that the show "Leaving the Island" makes of Pusan a meaningful place where the artists and the public share an atmosphere of aesthetical innovation and ethical concerns; where they can interchange ideas, emotions and sensations, and where they can understand a little bit better contemporary social, ethnical, religious and economical contradictions. Like this, maybe the different islands become peninsulas related to the rest of the world.

Young Chul Lee, Rosa Martínez, Hou Hanru.