Focus countries: Japan and South Korea

Frame’s special focus for 2013–2018 is to create networks between Finnish, Japanese and South Korean contemporary art professionals and organisations.

In the period from 2013 to 2015, Frame has invited several contemporary art professionals from Japan and South Korea to visit Finland. Since 2014 we have been part of Port Journeys, a Yokohama-based international artist network bringing together port cities around the world. In 2015 we invited the Finnish artist-run gallery Forum Box to join the network through an open call.

In 2015 we organised an open call for the Akiyoshidai artist residence with the Finnish Institute in Japan. In March 2016 Frame organised a study visit to Tokyo and Seoul. In 2015–16 we were partners in the HIAP Helsinki International Artist Programme’s project in Asia and in 2018 HIAP’s Gwangju Biennale Pavilion Project, with the support of Gwangju Biennale Foundation.


The Gwangju Biennale Pavilion Project of 2018

HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme participates in the Gwangju Biennale 2018 Pavilion Project with the exhibition Fictional Frictions.

Located at the Mugaksa Temple and curated by Jenni Nurmenniemi, the exhibition consists of three new commissions and two context-specific iterations of recent artworks by South Korean and Finnish artists: Jungju An & Sojung Jun (Black Night), Maelee Lee, Mire Lee, Nestori Syrjälä and Elina Vainio. 2018 Gwangju Biennale Pavilion Project HIAP is realised at Mugaksa Temple with the support of Frame Contemporary Art Finland and Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland.

Their installations open up spaces for questioning many imagined borders: namely those between the past and the present, individual and collective, micro- and macrocosm. In subtle dialogue with the architecture and surroundings of the temple, the artworks form poetic-political entanglements that highlight co-dependencies and continuums instead of ruptures, breaks, and clearly defined boundaries.

Located in the 5.18 Memorial Park, Mugaksa is an urban Buddhist Temple of Jogye Order. The temple is also a centre for cultural activities without any religious barriers. It hosts a book cafe and gallery, as well as a traditional tea house. The temple is also known as a supporter of young artists from the region.

The 12th edition of Gwangju Biennale with the theme ‘Imagined Borders’ will present 153 artists from 41 different countries in a series of seven exhibitions spread across the city. The inaugural edition of Gwangju Biennale Pavilion Project features exhibitions by HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme, Palais de Tokyo, and Philippine Contemporary Art Network.








Mugaksa temple in Gwangju. Image: Choi Hyeanggeun.