• Shows
  • Apr 18, 2024

Guide to the 60th Venice Biennale: Solo and Group Exhibitions

The 60th Venice Biennale returns on April 20 and will feature 332 artists and groups from across the world. The central exhibition, themed “Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere,” is curated by Adriano Pedrosa, the first artistic director to hail from South America. As the title suggests, “Foreigners Everywhere” not only intends to provide a survey of itinerant artists but to demonstrate how differences are produced and enacted across subjectivities—from diasporic and queer experiences to those of outsider artists. Beyond the 90 national pavilions and 30 collateral eventsAAP editors have compiled a comprehensive list of the myriad solo and group exhibitions being staged concurrently—from Lee Bae, Wallace Chan, and Shahzia Sikander to the Mumbai-based nonprofit Chanakya Foundation, the Gwangju Biennale Foundation, and Qatar Museums.

Solo Exhibitions 

Installation view of "Yu Hong – Another One Bites the Dust" at Chiesetta della Misericordia, Venice, 2024. Photo by George Darrell. Courtesy Lisson Gallery and Asian Art Initiative of the Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Yu Hong
Another One Bites the Dust
Chiesetta della Misericordia

Presented in the abbey of a former monastery in Venice’s Cannaregio district, Chinese painter Yu Hong’s first major European exhibition is curated by Alexandra Munroe, the senior curator at large of the Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. Its title, “Another One Bites the Dust,” references a ballad from 1980 by the British rock band Queen and reflects the themes of Yu’s new, site-specific figurative and narrative paintings. Borrowing motifs from religious paintings and imagery found on social media of people in real and simulated situations of danger, Yu depicts the life cycles of human existence, from birth to death.

Daljip teugi ritual in Cheongdo, South Korea, organized on occasion of the exhibition "La Maison de La Lune Brulee," collateral event of the 60th Venice Biennale.

Lee Bae
La Maison de la Lune Brûlée
Wilmotte Foundation

“La Maison de la Lune Brûlée” (The House of the Burning Moon) showcases South Korean artist Lee Bae’s charcoal-derived works as curated by Valentina Buzzi. Exploring the centuries-old “moonhouse burning” ritual, Lee’s dramatic artworks intertwine folklore and heritage with themes of renewal, circularity, and nature.  The exhibition presents his video work of the daljip teugi ritual, Burning (2024); charcoal-on-canvas works from his Issu du Feu (2024) series; the nearly five-meter-tall black-granite sculpture, Meok (2024), and an empheral sculptural installation Moon (2024), which leads to the Venetian waters.

SEUNDJA RHEE, A City of Yong Keuk May, 2003, acrylic on canvas, 150 × 150 cm. Courtesy of Seundja Rhee Foundation.

Seundja Rhee
Towards the Antipodes

Curated by the former director of the Korea’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bartomeu Mari, “Towards the Antipodes” showcases nearly 20 paintings by the late South Korean artist Seundja Rhee (1918–2009). A pioneering Asian modernist, Rhee is known for revolutionizing the field of Korean abstract painting. Born in Jinju, she emigrated to Paris in 1951, during the outbreak of the Korean War. “Towards the Antipodes” exhibits Rhee’s paintings from 1959 to 2008, as she began creating works that integrate the East Asian theory of yin and yang—in Korea, eumyangohaeng —with sensibilities from Western painting. 

SHAHZIA SIKANDER, Segments of Desire Go Wandering Off, 1998, collage with vegetable color, dry pigment, watercolor, graphite, and tea on wasli paper. Courtesy the aritst and Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg, New York. 

Shahzia Sikander
Collective Behavior
Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel

“Collective Behavior” brings together more than 30 artworks by Pakistani-American artist Shahzia Sikander, engaging with themes such as South Asian and Persian histories, gender, colonialism, and intersectional identity. Organized by Cincinnati Art Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art, the exhibition opens with Sikander’s graduate thesis work The Scroll (1989–90), which established her as a leading figure in Pakistan’s contemporary neo-miniature movement. Sikander also debuts new site-specific drawings and glassworks that respond to the architecture of the exhibition site and Venice at large.

YOO YOUNGKUK, Work, 1975, oil on canvas, 32 × 41 cm. Courtesy Yoo Youngkuk Art Foundation.

Yoo Youngkuk 
A Journey to the Infinite 
Fondazione Querini Stampalia

Curated by Kim Inhye, “A Journey to the Infinite” is a retrospective of Korean abstract painter Yoo Youngkuk (1916–2002), an artist known for his expansive collection of vivid-hued paintings of the Taebaek Mountains in eastern Korea. Presented across three floors of the historic Fondazione Querini Stampalia, the exhibition marks the first solo showcase in Europe of the late artist’s oeuvre, comprising 30 oil paintings and more than 20 drawings and prints. In the museum library, archival materials and photographs from the 1960s and ’70s provide insights into the life and practice of the influential postwar painter.

MF HUSAIN, Karbala, 1990, 2 × 3.3 m. Courtesy Kiran Nadar Museum of Art.

MF Husain 
The Rooted Nomad
Magazzini del Sale

“The Rooted Nomad” will mark the first immersive exhibition of the late Indian painter MF Husain (1915– 2011), featuring projections of his works. Curated by KNMA director and chief curator Roobina Karode, the show will take place at the Magazzini del Sale, in Venice’s Dorsoduro neighborhood. Exemplifying his widespread acclaim as India’s foremost modernist artist, the show highlights Hussain’s diverse and medium-defying oeuvre, exhibiting everything from paintings, photographs, films, collages, and wooden toys to letters and poetry.

CHU TEH-CHUN, La Grace de l’aurore, 2001, oil on canvas, 200 × 300 cm. Courtesy Adagp, Paris; Foundation Chu Teh-Chun.

Chu Teh-Chun 
In Nebula
Fondazione Giorgio Cini

This major retrospective of Franco-Chinese painter Chu Teh-Chun’s work is curated by art historian Matthieu Poirier in collaboration with Fondazione Giorgio Cini, a venue in the historic San Giorgio Maggiore opposite Venice’s Piazza San Marco. “In Nebula” will displays 50 emblematic paintings from Chu’s large body of work that were mostly created after 1955, when he settled in Paris. These paintings will be exhibited in reverse order from his most recent large format paintings to some of his earliest small format works. “In Nebula” will additionally highlight rare loans from institutions such as the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris. 

Installation view of "Wallace Chan – Transcendence" at Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pieta, Venice, 2024. Photo by Federico Sutera. Courtesy FLINT Culture.

Wallace Chan
Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pieta

Chinese artist and jewellery designer Wallace Chan returns to Venice with his latest exhibition “Transcendence,” an exploration of attaining a meditative state, or enlightenment, and transforming conflict into opportunities for growth. Visitors will experience a gradual transition from conflict to peace and tranquility as they move through the Chapel of Santa Maria della Pietà and witness four of Chan’s titanium sculptures suspended from the ceiling, complemented by a Brian Eno soundscape. The artist uses titanium to create an ethereal effect, drawing inspiration from Chinese Buddhism and Christian ideas. 

ZENG FANZHI, Nirvana, 2019-23, oil on canvas, 16 panels, 150 × 150 cm each; 600 × 600 cm overall. Courtesy Zeng Fanzhi.

Zeng Fanzhi 
Near and Far/Now and Then
Scuola Grande della Misericordia

Beijing-based artist Zeng Fanzhi will debut new works at the former charity building Scuola Grande della Misericordia, or the “Old School of Mercy.” The exhibition, “Zeng Fanzhi: Near and Far / Now and Then,” is organized by LACMA and will feature new abstract paintings, as well as works on handmade paper rendered in ink, graphite, chalk, and gold dust. The solo show will shed light on the Chinese artist’s practice of redefining the abstract through exercises in figurative representation; and conversely, how he redefines the figurative through abstraction. 

Group Exhibitions 

LATAI TAUMMOEPEAU, Deep Communion sung in minor (ArchipelaGO, THIS IS NOT A DRILL), 2024, at "Re-Stor(y)ing Oceania," Ocean Space, Venice. Photo by Giacomo Sosua. Courtesy the artist and TBA21

Re-Stor(y)ing Oceania
Ocean Space, Chiesa di San Lorenzo

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) research division’s upcoming presentation “Re-Stor(y)ing Oceania” is curated by Bougainvillean artist Taloi Havini. The show comprises two new site-specific commissions by Indigenous Pacific Islander artists, including Gadigal Ngurra-based Latai Taumoepeau’s Deep Communion sung in minor (archipelaGO, THIS IS NOT A DRILL) (2024) and Wāhine architect Elisapeta Hinemoa Heta’s The Body of Wainuiātea (2024). Deep Communion is a performance piece using song to highlight the ongoing issues of deep sea mining, while Heta’s work comprises a multisensory installation that embodies ritual and ceremony, guided by the Māori concept of tikanga: to behave in a way that is culturally proper or appropriate. 

MADHVI PAREKH and students, 2023. Photo by Vismay Mirgal. Courtesy Chanakya Foundation

Chanakya Foundation
Cosmic Garden 
Salone Verde – Art & Social Club

The Mumbai-based nonprofit Chanakya Foundation’s “Cosmic Garden” will feature paintings and sculptures by New Delhi-based artists Madvhi Parekh and Manu Parek, both of whom take inspiration from Indian myths and ancestry. With the support of Chanakya creative director Karishma Swali and 320 artisans from the institution she cofounded, Chanakya School of Craft, the artists will also exhibit hand-embroidered artworks that reimagine their paintings and sculptures through traditional, three-dimensional textiles. In doing so, the exhibition interrogates hierarchical divisions between art and craft, forging a new artistic language that celebrates India’s rich cultural history and artisanal legacy. The show is curated by Rome-based art historian and curator Maria Alicata and Paola Ugolini, a curator at the In Between Art Film Foundation in Rome.

ADAM BROOMBERG and RAFAEL GONZALEZ, Anchor in the Landscape, 2022, photograph of the Al-Badawi olive tree. Courtesy the artists.

Artists x Allies x Hebron
SOUTH WEST BANK - Landworks, Collective Action and Sound
Magazzino Gallery

Presented in collaboration with Dar Jacir for Art and Research in Bethlehem, the non-government organization Artists + Allies x Hebron presents a group show of artists, collectives, and allies based in and around Palestine’s southern West Bank. The exhibition will showcase works by nearly 20 artists, including Dac Jacir’s and Artist + Allies x Hebron’s founders, Palestinian artist and filmmaker Emily Jacir and South African artist Adam Broomberg, respectively. The artworks will respond to themes of dispossession and occupation, evoking a post-colonial Anthropocene. Participating artists aim to showcase the power of dance, planting, music, and poetry as a form as resistance throughout Bethlehem, a city nominally under Palestinian control, as well as shed light on the post-1997 division of Hebron that rendered approximately 20 percent of the city under Israeli control.  

Still from MARINA ABRAMOVIC and PICHET KLUNCHUN’s The Spirits of Maritime Crossing, 2022. single screening, directed by Apinan Poshyananda, stereo: 34 min 27 sec. Courtesy the artists and Bangkok Art Biennale Foundation.

Bangkok Art Biennale Foundation 
The Spirits of Maritime Crossing
Palazzo Smith Mangilli Valmarana

The Bangkok Art Biennale Foundations’s “The Spirits of Maritime Crossing” showcases a constellation of artworks from Southeast Asia, reflecting upon cultural flows and moving water as metaphors of unexplored ocean and territories. Featured artworks highlight themes of displacement, diaspora, and colonialism, with an emphasis on the symbolism of water and maritime crossings. In a new film, performance artist Marina Abramović’s spirit encounters the Monkey King, played by dancer Pichet Klunchun, on travels from Venice to Bangkok. Meanwhile, Jompet Kuswidananto’s chandelier sculptures evoke broken dreams, and Jakkai Siributr’s textile works narrate stories of asylum seekers.

Installation view of "Every Island is a Mountain" at Palazzo Malta – Ordine di Malta. Courtesy ARKO.

Arts Council Korea
Every Island is a Mountain
Palazzo Malta – Ordine di Malta

Marking the 30th anniversary of Korea Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, “Every Island is a Mountain” centers around Nam June Paik’s practice and spirit of using art to communicate with society. Featuring more than 80 works by 36 artists who left their imprint on past editions of the Korea Pavilion since the first in 1995. An archival section on the building’s architecture (it was designed by Seok Chul Kim and Franco Mancuso), drawings by Yun Hyong-keun, and early projects by Bahc Yiso and others anchor the exhibition. From the 2000s come key artworks by Do Ho Suh and Yeondoo Jung “Every Island is a Mountain” also features numerous newly created artworks and installations, including Jewyo Rhii’s tribute to her numerous artistic collaborations and Choi Jeong Hwa’s new oversized cairn sculpture.

Still from SHAIMA AL-TAMIMI‘s _Don’t Get Too Comfortable_, 2021. Courtesy the artist and Qatar Museums.

Qatar Museums
Your Ghosts Are Mine, Expanded Cinemas, Amplified Voices 
ACP–Palazzo Franchetti 

“Your Ghosts Are Mine, Expanded Cinemas, Amplified Voices” is produced by Qatar Museums and co-organized by Doha Film Institute, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, and the future Art Mill Museum. The exhibition is curated by Matthieu Orléan and will feature films and video works from over 40 filmmakers and artists hailing from various countries. The films and video works span genres such as fiction, documentary, animation, and memoir. Visitors will be taken through ten galleries, each dedicated to themes such as deserts, ruins, women’s voices, borders, and exile. 

Installation view of NAM JUNE PAIK’s Dolmen, 1995. Courtesy Gwangju Biennale Foundation.

Gwangju Biennale Foundation
Madang: Where We Become Us
Il Giardino Bianco Art Space

The Gwangju Biennale Foundation will showcase a special exhibition across three sections, commemorating its art event’s 30th anniversary. “Madang: Where We Become Us” takes inspiration from the Korean word madang (“courtyard”), which, like the Biennale itself, represents human convergence, connection, and unity. The exhibition will present archives from across the Biennale’s three-decade-long history, including posters from previous editions, a documentary on the event’s legacy, works from its collection—including by renowned Korean artist Nam June Paik and its 1995 grand prize winner, Cuban artist Kcho—as well as series from three female Korean artists who have previously participated in the Biennale: Sylbee Kim, Ayoung Kim, and Sojung Jun.  

SAAD ELTINAY, Untitled, 2021-22, from the photography series Alive and Eternally Rising, 2021- . Courtesy the artist.

Alserkal Initiatives
When Solidarity Is Not a Metaphor
Navy Officers’ Club

Alserkal Initiatives, a Dubai-based arts and cultural enterprise, has collaborated with Paris’s artist residency Cité internationale des arts and the Venetian agency Lightbox to showcase “When Solidarity Is Not a Metaphor,” a group exhibition that aims to foster mutual exchange. Participating artists include Damascus-born Palestinian artist Majd Abdel Hamid; queer Ukrainian artist Yana Bachynska; Gaza City-based photographer Rehaf Al Batniji; Spanish artist Paula Valero Comin; Sudanese photographer Saad Eltinay; Aboriginal (Bidjara-Ghungalu-Garingbal) multidisciplinary artist D Harding; Italian-Libyan artist and filmmaker Adelita Husni-Bey; Burmese multimedia artist Nge Lay; French-Caribbean curator and researcher Olivier Marboeuf; Tehran-born sculptor Koushna Navabi; South Asian photography archive Nepal Picture Library; Ramallah-based artist Shada Safadi; Palestinian artist and architect Dima Srouji; and Rutgers professor of gender studies Jasbir Puar. 

Subscribe to ArtAsiaPacific’s free weekly newsletter with all the latest news, reviews, and perspectives, directly to your inbox each Monday. 

Related Articles