So with all this talk about biennials, some of you may be wondering what a biennial is. According to the Asia Art Archive,

The word ‘Biennale’ is Italian and means “every other year”. Thus, biennale describes an event that happens every two years. Biennial is the English spelling of the word Biennale. The first international biennial was the Venice Biennale inaurgated in 1895.

With the plethora of biennials over the years, the notion of the word has evolved to refer to, most commonly, as a large-scale exhibition held periodically to showcase international contemporary art and simultaneously act as a vehicle from which to establish the cultural positioning of a city.

The Asia Art Archive also gives lots of other fun facts about biennials. Such as:

Biennials/Triennials currently active: over 60

Year with most number of biennials held: 2005 with 27

Percentage of biennials initiated by the government vs independent: 65%: 35%

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