29.7 C
Brunei
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
29.7 C
Brunei
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
More
    - Advertisement -
    - Advertisement -

    ‘Frieze storm’ shakes up Korean art market

    Park Yuna

    ANN/KOREA HERALD – Frieze Seoul was a storm. The inaugural event was not just about the art fair; it brought a new culture to the city, creating a platform for talking about art.

    Parties and exhibitions at galleries and museums in Seoul‘s art districts were full of people late into the night.

    “It has been a fabulous week. I visited a lot of parties and events that took place alongside Frieze Seoul and got to meet many collectors there. It has been kind of an exclusive culture to talk about collecting art here, and as far as I know, we never had an open place for networking with other art people,” said David Kim, 29, who visited Frieze Seoul three days in a row. He started collecting art two years ago.

    On the last day of Frieze Seoul last Monday, “Frieze Seoul is now closed” rang out across the Coex venue, and people got busy taking pictures of art until the very last minute. The visitors were excited and amazed to see artworks by contemporary artists presented by foreign galleries, as well as pieces by old masters such as Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Wassily Kandinsky, Egon Schiele and Andy Warhol.

    “I have been collecting works by Korean artists and only went to local art fairs. I recently started to have an interest in artworks by foreign artists, so it was good timing for me to come to Frieze Seoul. I learned a lot about the artists I did not know before,” said Son Woo-kyung, 41, from Seoul, who was visiting Sao Paulo-based gallery Mendes Wood DM’s booth on Monday.

    Visitors view works during the Kiaf Seoul VIP opening on September 2 at Coex in southern Seoul. PHOTOS: THE KOREA HERALD
    A woman looks at an exhibit from the booth of Dr Jorn Gunther Rare Books at the Frieze Masters section

    Frieze Seoul attracted more than 70,000 visitors over four days and saw “swift sales with galleries reporting widespread collector enthusiasm,” according to Frieze Seoul. Some 110 galleries participated in the inaugural Frieze Seoul. Thaddaeus Ropac saw significant sales, including a Georg Baselitz painting which sold at EUR1.2 million (USD1.19 million). Hauser & Wirth was another gallery with major sales, including Red Portrait Composition by George Condo, which sold for USD2.8 million to a private museum. Seoul-based Jason Haam sold Urs Fischer’s Problem Painting to a Seoul-based private collector for USD1.2 million.

    Artworks worth hundreds of billions of won were sold during the four-day fair and 80 per cent of them were made on the VIP opening day, according to an insider source.

    “It is quite impressive. In the art fairs we are doing in Europe or America, the average age is much older. But here, it is about, let’s say, between 25 and 30, very young,” said Jorn Gunther, who runs Basel-based Dr Jorn Gunther Rare Books, which presented European medieval and Renaissance books at Frieze Masters and was one of the most popular booths at the fair.

    Enthusiasm trickled down to Kiaf Seoul, the 20-year-old international fair run by the Galleries Association of Korea, which took place on the first floor at Coex while Frieze Seoul was held on the third floor.

    The Seoul-based art fair had braced for the joint collaboration with the world’s major art fair with a mix of excitement and worries, but the fair turned out to be a success in terms of vibrancy and sales, according to multiple gallerists.

    “We definitely had good energy this year. Those who wanted to see Korean artists seemed to visit our fair after Frieze Seoul. They showed positive reactions because we presented quality works by Korean artists,” said owner of Park Ryu Sook Gallery Park Ryu-sook that joined Kiaf Seoul and presented works by Korea’s contemporary art masters such as Park Seo-bo, Yun Hyong-keun and Kwon Dae-sup.

    Some foreigners at the joint fair showed interest in seeing more Korean artworks and learning about the Korean art scene.

    “You see many of these things all over the world, which is impressive. But at the same time, the reason why I come here is to learn a little bit about Korea,” said an art dealer based in England Michael Hue-Williams.

    At the end of five hectic days, however, many local galleries were left doing some complicated calculations. Galleries that participated only in Kiaf Seoul and those that participated in both fairs clearly differed in their assessment of the first joint art fair. A total of 12 local galleries were selected to join Frieze Seoul, including those at Frieze Masters, featuring old masters.

    “I think we need to take the advantage of Frieze Seoul, hosting parties and providing a place to meet collectors and other gallerists during the period of the joint art fair. Those local galleries who are smart enough to make the most of this chance will survive,” said director of Gallery Shilla Lee Joon-yub, a 30-year-old gallery based in Daegu and Seoul.

    - Advertisement -
    spot_img

    Latest article

    - Advertisement -
    spot_img