The Gwangju Biennale, founded in September 1995, is Asia’s first and most prestigious contemporary art biennale. Founded in memory of the spirit of civil uprising of the 1980 repression of the Gwangju Democratization Movement, the Gwangju Biennale presents a global perspective on contemporary art. The Gwangju Biennale and the Gwangju Design Biennale are held in alternative years.
Centered on the Biennale Hall in Gwangju’s Jungoe Park, the presence has elevated the city of 1.5 million to become a cultural hub of East Asia. It is home to some of the best-preserved cultural relics in the nation, and is known locally as the “City of Art, Cuisine and Culture.”
Location: 111 Biennalle-ro, Buk-gu, Gwangju
Period: Every two years from early September to November
Admission: Adults 12,000 won/ Teenager 6,000 won / Children 4,000 won
Gwangju Kimchi Festival
The Gwangju region is the agricultural heartland of Korea and is known as “home of the delicacies”. It has been producing rice and other agricultural products on its wide-open plains since long ago, and gets plenty of seafood from the Seohae and Namhae oceans. Due to the area’s abundance of fresh ingredients, it is believed to produce some of the best tasting dishes in Korea. The Gwangju World Kimchi Festival started to spread the excellence of kimchi, with shows of kimchi-making, kimchi-exhibitions and performances.
Address: 60 Kimchi-ro, Nam-gu, Gwangju
Period: Quarterly May – December
7080 Chungjang Festival
The 7080 Chungjang Festival performances, exhibitions, experiences, and regional food are all centered on the themes of the 1970s and 1980s, along with the streets decorated in memory that captures Chungjangno’s luxurious moments of the 1970s and 1980s. Various festive events, performances, exhibitions, and hands-on activity programs are scheduled, which will evoke nostalgia from the 1970s and 80s. During the festival, the streets in the festival venue are decorated to look like streets from those periods. The 7080 Chungjang Recollection Festival feature a street parade, alumni reunion, performance by artists designated as intangible cultural assets, and the Chungjangro Alley Cultural event.
Location: Chungjang-ro, downtown Gwangju
Period: Every year around October
Gwangju Fringe Festival
The festival is designed to establish Gwangju as "the city of tourism, the center of culture, and the community of cultural city," Fringe Festival has filled Gwangju streets with culture, art, tourism, and distributions of arts. Through the event, the spirit of Gwangju speaks the value of human life and peace in the global village.
Location: The area of Geumnam-ro – 5.18 democracy square Dong-gu, Gwangju
Period: Every May – December, Saturday, 6 – 10 p.m.
Daein Art Night Market
Inspired by local artists' project, every Saturday night is a night market where local artists, professionals and amateurs, set up shop to sell unique artworks, from silver accessories, luxurious ceramics, handmade soap, metal crafts, to paintings, to name a few.
Location: Jebong-ro 194beon-gil 7-1, Dong-gu, Gwangju
Period: Every Saturday 7 – 11 p.m.
Nabiya Gung-dong Gaja (Butterfly, Let's go to Gung-dong!)
Nabiya Gung-dong Gaja is an art party happening on Art Street on Saturday. The festival features a variety of programs for citizens and children to enjoy such as puppet show, magic show, bubble show, and more.
Location: The area of Art Street, Gung-dong, Gwangju
Period: Every April - October
Gwangsan Woori Mil Festival
Gwangsan Woori Mil Festival aims to revive the farming culture and farming area by growing and marketing healthy wheat.
Location: The area of Songsan Resort, Gwangsan-gu, Gwangju
Period: Every May
May Music Festa
May Music Festival is presented with the theme aimed for younger rituals of Korea, including communicating with society, considering resistant minds against absurdity, freedom, and co-existing lifestyles.
Location: May 18 Democracy Square in ACC
Period: Every May 7 p.m.
The Korea Youth Theatre Festival
The National Youth Festival is a high school drama festival that aims to foster awareness of education and culture by helping teens learn about their culture and performing arts; and foster their creativity and cultural skills.
Location: Asia Culture Center 1F (Contest) / 2F (Performace, Closing Ceremony) Dong-gu, Gwangju
Period: Every July - August
Chosun University Rose Festival
Chosun University Rose Garden features over 18,000 roses of 227 species in all colors and shapes. The garden is open throughout the year and is free of charge.
Location: 309-1 Pilmun-daero, Chosun University, Dong-gu, Gwangju
Period: Every May