Tuesday 18 June

Sydney, Australia: The 24th Biennale of Sydney, titled Ten Thousand Suns, closed on Monday 10 June, following a record-breaking three-month run that attracted over 771,000 visitors. White Bay Power Station, one of seven sites for the edition, was revitalised and opened to the public for the first time in over 100 years, welcoming 172,000 visitors alone, making it the most attended non-museum site in the history of the Biennale.

After 50 years of presenting the most dynamic contemporary art in Sydney’s unique cultural hot spots, the Biennale continues to innovate, inspire, and captivate audiences, both locally and internationally.

Ten Thousand Suns featured 400 artworks by 96 exhibiting artists and collectives. The exhibition, with free admission, was presented with an eclectic program of events with 140 musicians, performers, and creatives across live music, performance art, workshops, talks, feasts, guided tours, theatre, education programs and family days. The events program booked out, with over 20,000 tickets booked.

Highlights of the 24th Biennale of Sydney (2024) include:

  • There were 46 new public art commissions created specifically for this edition, including work by 14 First Nations artists commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney in partnership with the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain. Kuku Yalanji man and one of Australia’s foremost contemporary artists Tony Albert was appointed as the inaugural Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain First Nations Curatorial Fellow to work with the First Nations artists to realise their artworks.
  • 73 international artists from 23 countries travelled to Australia for the opening week of Ten Thousand Suns to support their presentation in the 24th edition, connecting with industry, media, and audiences through media interviews, artist talks and workshops.
  • ‘Lights On’ opening night, where almost 4,000 revellers celebrated the inaugural cultural activation at White Bay Power Station, dancing alongside the most dynamic contemporary art, and beneath a starry sky.
  • The music program presented in collaboration with Phoenix Central Park brought a new energy to opening night, Sunday Session, and Art After Dark every Wednesday evening, featuring artists like Charlotte and Bolis, TaikOz, Cakes Da Killa, Pookie and Waakya, and many others.
  • Neighbourhood Feasts engaged local eateries Kabul Social, Colombo Social, Refettorio, and Parliament on King to present a series of free breakfasts, connecting and sharing the history and culture behind each restaurant’s cuisine.
  • Family Days presented by artists living with a disability-led organisations Studio A, Amy Claire Mills, and We Are Studios, engaged kids of every age writing poems, learning a dance, building a flower garden, or colouring, drawing, and making their way through fun filled days of activities.
  • EDGE Festival by Inner West Council presented Legs On The Wall, plus a series of free talks and movement workshops, and a sustainable clothing exchange across two days.
  • The education program provided 101 schools with guided and self-guided education tours and delivered 15 school workshops (kite making and world building) with educational resources to inspire discussion.
  • Free exhibition entry, free and low-cost public programming, Auslan interpreted tours, dedicated low sensory mornings, free wheelchair hire, and accessible viewing platform for outdoor music activations worked to build a safe and accessible space for all patrons.
  • For public transport to White Bay Power Station, Transport for NSW created a dedicated bus line (the 443) to supplement the usual Balmain routes from the city (441 and 442). Sydney Bus Museum ferried over 20,000 visitors across Saturday, Sunday and public holidays on their historic buses, serviced by volunteers. Inner West Council provided a weekend shuttle service too, running 1,238 people to and from Darling St.
  • 221 volunteers plus 125 staff members linked arms to present the 24th Biennale of Sydney, including planning, installation, ticketing and front of house personnel.

This year’s Biennale of Sydney ran from 9 March until 10 June 2024, and was presented at Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artspace, Chau Chak Wing Museum at the University of Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, the Badu Gili sails on the Sydney Opera House, UNSW Galleries and at the iconic and recently restored White Bay Power Station.

With the artistic direction led by Cosmin Costinaș and Inti Guerrero, the 24th Biennale of Sydney proposed celebration as both a method and a source of joy, inspired by legacies of collective resistance and coming together to thrive in the face of injustice. With an exhibition of contemporary art at its core, the event drew from multiple histories, voices and perspectives.

Barbara Moore, Chief Executive Officer, Biennale of Sydney said: “This Biennale celebrates two extraordinary milestones: 50 years of bringing people together through the transformative power of art, and attracting the highest number of visitors in our history to a previously derelict site, opening it to the public for the first time in 100 years with its inaugural exhibition. This year’s edition, across all seven sites, not only honoured five decades of artistic innovation and community engagement, it also set a new benchmark for ways to welcome people to enjoy and participate in contemporary art and cultural diversity, while centring arts and culture by First Nations people and communities. We are incredibly proud of the dynamic and diverse experience the artists and supporters have offered, which have inspired and connected audiences from all walks of life. Ten Thousand Suns hosted some of the best contemporary art and ideas from around the world, complimented by music, live performances, student engagement, and family activities across 93 days. A huge thank you to the artists and Artistic Directors for inspiring us, and their unwavering commitment to creativity.

“We are looking forward to seeing everyone again in 2026.”

John Graham, Minister for the Arts said: “The Biennale of Sydney continues to be an important moment to celebrate our vibrant arts and cultural scene. I was pleased to see the Biennale extend its footprint this year into the White Bay Power Station, as were the 172,000 visitors who took the opportunity to visit this historic site and experience it come to life with art and music. This year’s program was the perfect way to celebrate the opening of the White Bay Power Station and I look forward to more arts and cultural events in this space.”

The 25th Biennale of Sydney will be presented from 7 March – 8 June 2026, with further details to be announced next year. In the meantime, Badu Gili: Celestial is still showing at the Sydney Opera House, every night after sunset, featuring 24th Biennale of Sydney artists Gail Mabo and Nikau Hindin.

For further information on the Biennale of Sydney, please visit biennaleofsydney.art.

Ends

MEDIA CONTACTS: For more information contact Jasmine Hersee, jasmine@articulatepr.com.au, 0451 087 196, Sasha Haughan, sasha@articulatepr.com.au, 0405 006 035, Sian Davies, sian@articulatepr.com.au, 0402 728 462 or Kym Elphinstone, kym@articulatepr.com.au, 0421 106 139.

IMAGES: Available to download here.

Image caption: Left to right: Christopher Myers, Untitled, 2024. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous support from Terra Foundation for American Art and generous assistance from James Cohan, New York. Courtesy the artist and James Cohan Gallery, New York © Christopher Myers. Dylan Mooney, Malcolm Cole – larger than life, 2024. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney and the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain. Courtesy the artist and N.Smith Gallery © Dylan Mooney. Orquídeas Barrileteras, Strengthening Deaf Culture, 2023. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney and the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain. Courtesy the artists © Orquídeas Barrileteras. Mariana Castillo Deball, she bends to catch a feather of herself as she falls nr.26, she bends to catch a feather of herself as she falls nr 8., she bends to catch a feather of herself as she falls nr, she bends to catch a feather of herself as she falls 18, she bends to catch a feather of herself as she falls nr.22, 2022-24. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous assistance from Institut für Auslandsbeziehunge. Courtesy the artist © Mariana Castillo Deball. Trevor Yeung, Five Chaotic Suns (Transiting), 2023. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous assistance from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. Courtesy the artist ©Trevor Yeung. Installation view, 24th Biennale of Sydney Ten Thousand Suns, 2024, White Bay Power Station. Photograph: Document Photography

The Biennale of Sydney is supported by

ABOUT THE BIENNALE OF SYDNEY
The Biennale of Sydney is a leading international contemporary art event. It plays an indispensable role in Australia’s engagement with the world, and a meaningful role in the life of the nation. For 50 years, the Biennale has been a unifying force in the Australian arts sector, embedding boldly creative art exhibitions and experiences in the everyday life of Sydney and putting the artistic excellence of Australia front and centre on the world stage. The Biennale of Sydney has commissioned and presented exceptional works of art by more than 1900 artists from more than 130 countries. The Biennale of Sydney is committed to free access for all.

ABOUT FONDATION CARTIER POUR L’ART CONTEMPORAIN
The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain is a private cultural institution whose mission is to promote all fields of contemporary artistic creation to the international public through a program of temporary exhibitions, live performances, and conversations. Created in 1984 by the Maison Cartier, the institution is exhibiting in Paris in a building designed by the architect Jean Nouvel.

The Fondation Cartier’s singular artistic program explores a wide array of creative fields from visual and performing arts to architecture, design, fashion, philosophy, and the sciences. For nearly four decades, the Fondation Cartier has been instrumental in revealing the talent of some of the greatest contemporary artists and has established its museum spaces as a platform where artists and scientists can meet and create projects to address major issues of today’s world. Its collection consists of nearly 2,000 works from a rich and multidisciplinary program. It is a testament to the relationships forged with more than 500 artists originating from all over the globe.

As part of its ongoing observation of the relationship between human beings and nature, the Fondation Cartier has produced collective projects (exhibitions, individual works of art, publications, performances, and public talks) approaching contemporary environmental issues, such as climate change, biodiversity and deforestation. The Fondation Cartier also built a long-term relationship with contemporary artists from Indigenous communities living in Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela or Australia (as demonstrated by the exhibition of Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori’s paintings it presented in Paris and Milan in 2022), and bear witness to the multiplicity of Indigenous languages and cultures. The Fondation Cartier travels the world, partnering with major art institutions and engaging new audiences to discover the works of contemporary artists, and be challenged by their perspectives.

Find out more here: www.fondationcartier.com/

ABOUT MIRVAC
Founded in 1972, Mirvac – an Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) listed company – has been making a positive contribution to our cities and the urban landscape for over 50 years, through our connected communities, exceptional workplaces and thriving shopping centres. In 2021 we met our target to be net positive in scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions nine years early, and in 2023, we were ranked number one in the world for gender equality by Equileap, for an historic second consecutive year. Our purpose, to Reimagine Urban Life, inspires us to be innovative and bold, as we continue to create and curate extraordinary places and experiences that enrich people’s lives.

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