KOO JEONG A – ODORAMA CITIES, Korean Pavilion 2024, La Biennale di Venezia, Installation view, Courtesy of Pilar Corrias, London, and PKM Gallery, Seoul, Photo by Mark Blower.

Korean Pavilion at Biennale Arte 2024 Giardini, Venice
20 April – 24 November 2024

The Korean Pavilion presents ODORAMA CITIES by Korean artist Koo Jeong A. In this new commission, the artist will delve into the nuances of our spatial encounters, investigating how we perceive and recollect spaces, with a particular emphasis on how scents, smells, and odours contribute to these memories.

During the summer of 2023 over the course of three months, Koo collected scent memories for ODORAMA CITIES with the aim of building a portrait of the entire Korean peninsula. After a public open call issued by Koo and the pavilion curatorial team via social media, advertisements, one-to-one meetings, Koreans and non-Koreans with a relationship to Korea submitted descriptions in response to one central question: “What is your scent memory of Korea?” This process generated more than 600 written statements recollecting the country through the prism of scent.

“On spring days when Korean rosebays are in bloom, I find myself missing my hometown even more. Here in South Korea, I smell the flowers, hoping to find the same scent as the ones back in North Korea. And indeed, they share the same scent.”1

Thereafter, Koo and the curators tasked and collaborated with perfumers to translate and categorise these memories into 17 distinct scent experiences created specifically for the pavilion. At the pavilion itself, Koo will explore an expanded tactility – returning to key interests that mark the artist’s work including immaterialism, weightlessness, endlessness, and levitation. Those concerns are embedded and engraved as infinity symbols directly into a new wooden floor for the Korean pavilion and manifest as two floating wooden möbius-shaped sculptures and a levitating, scent-diffusing bronze figure, and ultimately are symbolized in the scents that transform the pavilion into a sprawling collection of olfactory memories.

An exhibition catalogue will accompany the pavilion presentation including contributions from Frank Boehm, Grégory Couderc with Jean- Claude Ellena, Hyesoon Kim, Namjo Kim, Seolhui Lee & Jacob Fabricius, Sooyon Lee, Young June Lee, Jessica Morgan, Hans Ulrich Obrist with Koo Jeong A, Eva Tind, Luca Turin, and Kyung Jin Zoh.


Commissioner: Arts Council Korea (ARKO)

Curators: Seolhui Lee & Jacob Fabricius

Artist: Koo Jeong A

Assistant Curators: Yoojin Jang, Najeong Lee

Architect: Jens Rønholt Schmidt

On-Site Manager: Eunjeong Kim
Editorial Manager: Haelee Kim, Sarah Quigley
Graphic Designer: kontaakt (Wonseop Lee, Wonyeong Baque) Publisher: Distanz

In partnership with Hyundai Motor
Partners: NONFICTION, LUMA Foundation, Dinesen
Collaborator: LUSH
Sponsors: ILJIN Culture Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Nicoletta Fiorucci Foundation, Agnès b, Bazaar Art, Art Hub Copenhagen
Supporters: Albarrán Bourdais, Pilar Corrias, Pinksummer Gallery, PKM Gallery
PR: Sutton Communication