PNG eyes participation at Venice Art Biennale

To elevate its cultural profile on the global stage, Papua New Guinea is preparing for potential participation in the 2026 Venice Art Biennale, a prestigious international art festival.

Executive Director of the National Cultural Commission (NCC) Steven Enomb Kilanda recently attended the VIP opening week of the Biennale in Italy, representing the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

The Venice Art Biennale, known as the 'Olympics of the art world,' celebrates its 130th anniversary this year. With over 90 nations participating, the event attracts more than 800,000 visitors, including a vast array of journalists, cultural experts, and international art collectors.

Kilanda’s visit was sponsored by ‘The Mariwai Project’, an initiative led by artist Shiva Lynn Burgos to promote PNG's arts and bridge cultural boundaries.

During his time at the Biennale, Kilanda engaged with numerous international delegates and influential figures in the art community, who showed great enthusiasm for PNG’s unique cultural and artistic expressions.

This warm reception boosts the prospects for PNG's debut at the 2026 edition, potentially supported by international sponsors.

The Mariwai Project has significantly contributed to the global recognition of PNG’s artistic talents, showcasing them in various international galleries and museums.

"The Venice Biennale is the premier venue for highlighting PNG’s artistic heritage and contemporary innovation. We are proud to support Mr. Kilanda’s significant presence at this year’s event," stated Burgos.

Skinder Hundal MBE, Global Arts Director at the British Pavilion, emphasized that PNG’s participation would add a valuable perspective and enrich the biennale by showcasing the vibrant traditions and contemporary artists from Oceania.

In addition to planning for the Venice Biennale, PNG is also preparing for the Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture in Hawaii this June, where it will join 27 other island nations in celebrating and sharing its cultural heritage.

The national government has extended strong support for these initiatives, recognizing the vital role of cultural diplomacy and international arts exchange.

This landmark endeavor not only underscores PNG’s dedication to fostering its artistic and cultural sectors but also aims to introduce its rich cultural tapestry to a broader global audience.

Loop Author