First 21 artists announced for the 21st Biennale of Sydney taking place in 2018

Today the curators of the 21st Biennale of Sydney have announced the first group of 21 artists who will take part in the 21st instalment of the leading contemporary art event in the Asia-Pacific region. The 21st Biennale of Sydney will be presented across 12 weeks in 2018, from Friday 16th March until Monday 11th June, at multiple locations across the city. The 2018 edition will also see the Biennale celebrating their 45th anniversary.

The 21st Biennale will feature both major new commissions and recent work from a selection of contemporary artists from Australia and around the world. There will be approximately 70 artists invited to take part in the event, and already with the first artist announcement there are some internationally renowned artists in the mix, including Ai Weiwei, Laurent Grasso and Eija-Liisa Ahtila.

Whilst the exhibition’s title and further details of the themes and concerns at play within the exhibition won’t be announced until July, Artistic Director Mami Kataoka, has suggested that the Biennale will “explore multiple viewpoints in a search of a state of equilibrium” and that “rather than focusing on a specific concept of or theme, the exhibition will suggest multi-layered perspectives of the world and its histories simultaneously”.

In celebration of the organisation’s 45th anniversary, the exhibition will also revisit some of the rich history of the Biennale with a close examination of its archive, drawing on 45 years of art and encounters. And there is plenty of past work to revisit. Since it’s beginnings in 1973 the Biennale of Sydney has showcased the work of close to 1,800 artists from over 100 countries!

Of the 21 artists announced today four are from Australia, ten come from Asia, five from Europe and one from North America. A full list can be found on the Biennale’s website, but includes: Eija-Liisa Ahtila (Finland), Ai Weiwei (China), Brook Andrew (Australia), Nguyen Trinh Thi (Vietnam) and George Tjungurrayi (Australia).

For more information on the Biennale and more detailed information on the artists taking part visit HERE

Header Image: ​L-R (Brook Andrew, Yasmin Smith, Hoy Cheong Wong, Koji Ryui, Mami Kataoka (21st Biennale of Sydney Artistic Director), Rika Noguchi, NS Harsha Photo: Catherine McElhone 


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Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.