Introducing the International Biennial Association (IBA)

International Biennial Association (IBA), Gwangju, South Korea
15 Jan 2014


It has been nearly a hundred and twenty years since the word “biennial/biennale” became first introduced to the art arena as a form of art event. Now, somewhere in between one hundred and fifty to possibly over two hundred similar art-related disciplines are being organized across the world. The biennial, which first began as a vehicle to connect contemporary art to the public sphere, has transformed beyond functioning as a mere medium to a platform displaying multidisciplinary discourses on socio-political, regional and global, cultural and artistic issues.

The International Biennial Association (IBA) is a non-for-profit arts association composed of institutions, individuals and associates from the Biennial community and arts-related industry created to expand and share activities of curatorial and artistic creation and knowledge production through cooperation and exchange among biennials and institutions, contributing to the development of cultural and artistic production by providing strategies, methodologies and vision through a platform for collaboration and support among a network of art professionals.

In October of 2012, The World Biennial Forum No1, “Shifting Gravity,”  was held in Gwangju, South Korea, gathering over 450 participants across 150 international art biennials, triennials and art-related institutions. Over 60 biennial representatives attended the ‘Biennial Representatives Meeting’ and as an outcome from the discussions, the International Biennial Association was formulated.

A preparatory committee comprised with delegates from 21 various biennales and triennales gathered in Sharjah in March of 2013. Representatives from differing regions, histories and backgrounds were chosen to voice the diversity of political and social perspectives. Two separate meetings in Venice and Istanbul since the initial meeting in Sharjah took place, covering key objectives for the future direction of the association. Four working committees (Research, Constitution Structure and Membership, Programming Content and Pedagogy and Finance) were formulated and workshops undertaken to achieve the fundamental mission of the association.

President of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation Yongwoo Lee was elected interim President for the International Biennial Association. Marieke van Hal, director of the Biennial Foundation, and Bige Örer, director of the Istanbul Biennale, were elected to serve as the two interim Vice Presidents for the first term. The location of the IBA office is the country of residence of the President, in Gwangju, South Korea.

The inaugural ceremony will take place at the General Assembly later this year. A follow up announcement, outlining dates, location and agenda for the Assembly will be further released along with membership sign-up, which will be available through the website from late March.

For all enquiries, please contact

Current Board of Directors of the International Biennial Association: 
Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi (Sharjah Biennial), Elke aus dem Moore (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), Marah Braye (Biennale of Sydney), Donna de Salvo (Whitney Biennial), Patricia Druck (Mercosul Biennial), Margarita González (Havana Biennial), Marieke van Hal (Biennial Foundation), Gabriele Horn (Berlin Biennale), Hong-Hee Kim (MediaCity Seoul), Helena Kontova (Prague Biennale), Yongwoo Lee (Gwangju Biennale), Patrick Mudekereza (Lubumbashi Biennale), Bige Örer (Istanbul Biennial), Eriko Osaka (Yokohama Triennale), Mauro Petroni (Dakar Biennale), Zhang Qing (Shanghai Biennale), Thierry Raspail (Lyon Biennale), Alya Sebti (Marrakech Biennale), Alia Swastika (Jogja Biennale), Sally Tallant (Liverpool Biennial), Tan Boon Hui (Singapore Biennale) 

International Biennial Association (IBA)
111 Biennale-Ro, 3rd Floor
Buk-gu, Gwangju, 500-845
Republic of Korea

+82 (0) 62 608 4134
+82 (0) 62 608 4139


All content © 2024 Contemporary And. All Rights Reserved. Website by SHIFT