Gwangju is a city of arts and has given birth to various artists, including LIM Bang-wool, the most renowned Gwangju-born Korean traditional singer, HEO Baek-ryeon (pen name: Uijae), a master of the Southern School of Chinese Painting, JEONG Yul-seong, a Chinese modern musician and PARK Yong-cheol, a Gwangju-born poet. On top of this tradition, Gwangju hosts the Gwangju Biennale and the Design Biennale, international festivals of modern art and design, transforming itself as a cultural capital of Korea and a cultural hub city of Asia. In November 2015 the Asia Culture Center (ACC) was opened to the public, with Korea's longest project (from 2003 to 2023) fostering Gwangju as a cultural hub city of Asia and the Gwangju Design Biennale to be held in 2017. Gwangju hosted the 2015 Summer Universiade which was reputed as a low-cost, high efficiency culture festival that was attended by young athletes from across the world and as a safe, prestigious sporting event that overcame the MERS virus, and accelerated preparation for the 2019 World Aquatics Championships.
Representative festivals: Fringe Festival, Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju Design Biennale, Gwangju Kimchi Festival, LIM Bang-wool Gukak Festival, JEONG Yul-seong International Music Festival