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Exhibitions to Visit in 2017


Exhibitions to Visit in 2017
Singaporean artist Charles Lim for the Singapore Pavillion at the Venice Biennale (Image courtesy of ArtNews)

If 2017 could be characterised by one thing, it would probably be the mega exhibition. In a strange aligning of the art planets, two of the biggest exhibitions - Documenta and the Venice Biennale - will be happening this year.

As a quick introduction to those that have no clue what a biennale (or by that extension, a triennale) is, then here's a quick (and so not exhaustive) working introduction for you. According to Wikipedia, 'biennale' is Italian for 'every other year' and an event that happens once very two years; a biennale is thus a large-scale international contemporary art exhibition that happens every other year. A triennale - based on the prefix 'tri' - is an exhibition that happens once every three years. Usually these exhibitions have a a geographical focus, whether local, international or regional. They often happen over a relatively short period of time and have unique themes, which is why the works are often a cultural experience with a call to action. The works focus on the present state of things, and works are often specially created for each biennale or triennale.

In this guide, we bring you some of the biennales and triennales featuring Asian art we will be looking forward to this coming year!


Honolulu Biennial

"Footprints of Life" (2016) by Yayoi Kusama
Image courtesy of AJ Feducia

Dates: 8 March - 8 May 2017

Theme: Middle of Now | Here

Director: Fumio Nanjo

Participants: Yayoi Kusama, MAP Office and Mohammed Kazem


Sharjah Biennal

The Sharjah Biennal 11 with an installation by SANAA
Image courtesy of Frieze

Dates: 10 March – 2 June 2017

Theme: Tamawuji

Curator: Christine Tohme

Participants: Futurefarmers, Koo Donghee, Oscar Murillo, Uriel Orlow, Monika Sosnowska, Shou Tao, Mario Garcia Torres and more


Kathmandu Triennale

Chinese artist Song Dong's - a participating artist in the Kathmandu Triennale - "Waste Not" at MoMA
Image courtesy of IFAContemporary

Dates: 24 March – 9 April 2017

Theme: The City, My Studio / The City, My Life

Curator: Philippe Van Cauteren

Participants: Francis Alÿs, Amrit Bahadur Karki, Ang Tsherin Sherpa, Biksha Shrestha, Lee Kit, Shilpa Gupta, Song Dong, and more


documenta 14

Film still of "From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf" (2013) by Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran (CAMP)
Image courtesy of the artist and documenta 14

Dates: 8 April – 16 July 2017 (Athens); 10 June – 17 September 2017 (Kassel)

Theme: Learning from Athens

Director: Adam Szymczyk

Participants: Not yet released


Venice Biennale

"The Key in The Hand” by Chiharu Shiota at the 56th Edition of the Venice Biennale
Image courtesy of coolhunting

Dates: 13 May – 26 November 2017

Theme: Viva Arte Viva

Director: Christine Macel

Participants: Rasheed Araeen, Jianyi Geng, Xiao Guan, Kim Sung Hwan, Lee Mingwei, Liu Ye, Sopheap Pich, Kishio Suga, Yee Sookyung & many more! (See the full list here)


Yokohama Triennale

Yin XiuZhen's entry to an earlier edition of the Yokohama Triennale
Image courtesy of Tokyo Weekender

Dates: 4 August – 5 November 2017

Theme: Islands, Constellations & Galapagos

Directors: Eriko Osaka, Akiko Miki & Tomoh Kashiwagi

Participants: Not yet released


Istanbul Biennale

"Prada Marfa" by Elmgreen and Dragset who will be curtaing this year's Istanbul Biennale
Image courtesy of Paddle 8

Dates: 16 September – 12 November 2017

Theme: A Good Neighbour

Curators: Elmgreen & Dragset

Participants: Not Yet Released


Karachi Biennale

The Karachi Biennale Trust’s public outreach programme
Image courtesy of DAWN

Dates: 22 October – 5 November 2017

Theme: Witness

Director: Atteqa Malik

Participants: Not yet released


Jakarta Biennale

Dates: 4 November – 10 December 2017

Theme: TBC

Director: Melati Suryodarmo

Participants: Not yet released


Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.

Related Articles

Venice Biennale 2017: Viva Arte Viva

Zai Kuning's Singapore Pavilion at Venice Came to Him in a Dream

Exhibitions to Visit this April: Bangkok

City Art Guide: Hong Kong


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