Jeju Biennale 2017, Jeju’s first biennale, will open tomorrow (Sept. 2) and continue until Dec. 3. The three-month biennale is one of the biggest art events on Jeju island. The opening ceremony will be tonight. (Sept. 1.)
With one day left before the event opens to the public, some local media and participating artists have voiced criticism of the event. They allegedly claimed that some artists who were invited to this biennale are working without a contract and that nothing has been signed between artists and the organizers.
One artist who joined this year’s event, said “It is common that artists are paid before their work is done once the selection of artists and theme of their works is finalized. But I do not have even a contract yet and only part of the artist fee was paid. This is not the standard etiquette for invited artists. I was upset.”
Another concern from local media is the lack of support seen from local residents and also a lack of publicity. They said that Jeju Biennale seemed like it was in “a league of its own.”
“Holding a biennale takes years for a city to prepare for it. And it requires local and international organizers and arts organizations to work together. More importantly, the event needs the support of the local residents. However, Jeju is not ready for the biggest Jeju art festival and it seems too rushed. “
However, some in the artistic community felt like it was crucial to give the Biennale time. “In the end, it’s a good thing,” some in the artistic community said. “This is the first biennale. It’s an opportunity to rethink where we stand and who owns the future of the Biennale.”