Unrest in Hong Kong, Asian art market moves to Korea
Opened Könik Europe Thadeus Lopak Gallery Seoul branch in Germany
Berlin Perez Project, New York Gladsonton, and Two Palms will also have branches next year.
Competition for expansion and transfer to world-class gallery Pace Lehman Muffin Itaewon
This year’s Kiaf Art Fair is a hit… Expected to hold until next year’s Freeze Seoul
[서울=뉴시스]Correspondent Choi Jin-seok = Konik Seoul, which opened in April. Works are being released to the press on the rooftop of the MCM flagship store in Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. 2021.04.02. [email protected]
Global galleries are flocking to Korea. As Hong Kong, which used to be an art center, is shaken by political unrest, the Asian art market is moving to Korea.
Könick, a famous gallery in Berlin, Germany, withdrew from its Tokyo branch in Japan last year and chose Seoul. CEO Johan König, who opened ‘Könik Seoul’ at the MCM House in Cheongdam-dong, Seoul in April, said, “Korea has a strong position in the world art market, so we decided to open the gallery.”
“I came to Korea for the first time in 2019,” he said, “I was surprised by the high-quality corporate collections such as Samsung Museum of Art Leeum, Amorepacific Museum of Art, and Paradise Art Space.” He said about opening a third branch after London. Könik is the most influential gallery in Europe with about 40 biennale-class artists. Koenig Seoul, which collaborated with fashion brand MCM, has established a sculpture garden on the roof and actively introduces artists belonging to Koenig.
Global galleries that have already branched out in Seoul like Könick also said that Korea is coming to Korea as a new outpost as the purchasing power of MZ generation collectors in their 20s and 40s has surged this year. British White Cube, Germany’s Esther Schiffer, Spruce Margus, Austria’s Thaddeus Lopac, etc. have Koreans residing in Seoul as local directors to promote and sell their works.
“What advantage does Seoul have over Hong Kong?”
“Seoul has no tariffs on painting transactions like Hong Kong. Art transfer tax is exempt from 60 million won or less, and there is no transfer tax on sculptures and works of living artists.” “The thing that Seoul is better than Hong Kong is ‘rent’,” said Kang Ju-hee, director of Paris Galleries Perrotin, Hong Kong.
◆Promotion of Seoul annex from prestigious European art galleries to the world’s top 3 galleries
Thadeus Lopac Gallery, a prestigious European art gallery, has also opened in Hannam-dong, followed by Hauser & Worth in Switzerland and Spruce Margus Gallery in Germany, which are considered to be the world’s three largest galleries, are also in the process of opening a branch in Seoul. Thaddeus Lopac has a total of 6 branches in Paris, Salzburg, and Seoul, and more than 70 artists are affiliated with it. As the opening exhibition, a solo exhibition of Georg Baselitz was held. Hauser & Worth manages the works of famous artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Henry Moore and George Condo.
The Peres Project in Berlin, Germany, and Gladsonton, New York, and Two Farms in New York, which experienced a sell-out in Art Busan, which caused this year’s art fair craze, will also open branches in Seoul next year.
Eunhye Cho, director of the German Peres Project, which was selected as the best booth in Art Busan in May, said, “I have been participating in Art Busan since 2019, but this year’s Art Busan was an amazing result that exceeded expectations, and it was an opportunity to feel the energy of the Korean art market.” said.
Perez sold the works of 12 up-and-coming German artists, and as the sale took place before the opening, it drew attention as a ‘Jackpot Gallery’. Director Cho, who was born in 1987 in Mexico, presented the work of Manuel Solano, who was born in Mexico for the first time in Korea, and became a hot topic when it was sold out. There were a lot of people who were more interested and moved by the point, so I was able to feel the maturity of the Korean art market.” In particular, the people in their 20s and early 40s who responded without hesitation and purchased the works realized the purchasing power of the MZ generation.
The Peres Project was founded in San Francisco in 2002 by Cuban-American Javier Perez, a former lawyer. Currently based in Berlin, he is actively introducing young and emerging artists from various backgrounds. In 2006, he was ranked in the ‘Power 100’ of ‘Art Review’.
Director Eun-hye Cho said, “From the beginning, I did a lot of daring and groundbreaking exhibitions, and by discovering newcomers unknown to the world, they were listed in various biennales and museum exhibitions and on the list of nominees for major art awards, introducing the Perez Project as an international gallery. It is scheduled to be located in Gangbuk, and it is planned to be used flexibly as a viewing space, office, or exhibition space.
[서울=뉴시스] Face Gallery moved to Le Beige Building in Hannam-dong. Photo = Kim Sang-tae; Rendering courtesy of Mass [email protected]
◆World-class galleries Pace and Lehman Muffins, etc. are expanding their Seoul branches… Expanding the space and moving to Itaewon
“Sales have increased over the past five years, and we are looking at the future and increasing the size of the exhibition space” (Pace Seoul Director Young-Joo Lee)
Face Seoul, which opened its Seoul branch in Itaewon in March 2017, moved to 661㎡ (200 pyeong), four times larger than the previous exhibition space, in April. Pace, considered one of the world’s leading art galleries, is based in New York and manages the works of famous artists such as Pablo Picasso and David Hockney. As a commemorative exhibition to commemorate the move, the Face Gallery Seoul branch presented the first Asian solo exhibition of 89-year-old African American artist Sam Gilliam.
Lehman Muffin Gallery in Anguk-dong, Seoul, which entered Korea in the same year, will also expand and relocate to Itaewon next year. The reopening after 4 years is expected to target young art lovers and the MZ generation, competing with the pace that has expanded and relocated to the same neighborhood.
Lehman Muffin, which opened in New York in 1996, opened a gallery in Hong Kong in 2013 and Seoul Gallery in 2017, and has been active in advancing into the Asian region. Rachel Riemann and another co-founder, David Maupin, decided to locate the Seoul branch after traveling to and from Korea several times over the past 30 years.
Even after the relocation of Lehman Muffin Seoul expansion, it will be managed by Senior Director Emma Son. Lehman Muffin Seoul is the first exhibition in a new space featuring the work of contemporary artist Larry Pitman, widely known as one of the most important painters of his time. The LA-based artist plans to present 15 new paintings across two floors in her solo exhibition ‘Opaque, Translucent, Shining’ in Seoul next year.
[서울=뉴시스] Reporter Kim Seon-woong = Various art works are on display at the 20th Korea International Art Fair (Kiaf) held at COEX in Gangnam-gu, Seoul on the 15th. 2021.10.14. [email protected]
◆ What is the attraction of the rapid growth of Korean art in the Asian art market?
“The Korean market, centered on Seoul, is highly likely to become the center of Asian art along with Singapore and Hong Kong because of the strong purchasing power of individual collectors for the purpose of investing in art, as well as the absence of customs duties on art and the ease of securing exhibition space. (Director Eun-Hye Cho, Perez Project)
Worldwide burners agree that Korea is geographically very attractive. It is located in the center of easy exchange with the Asia-Pacific region including China and the United States, and the social infrastructure that exceeds the global standards of Korea, especially Seoul, has several major advantages for the global art market to grow.
Art galleries located across the country, including Seoul, and the Korean branches of major galleries in the world that have already entered Korea are proving that Korea can grow into a global art market. In addition, the best international airports in the world can be accessed within an hour. To utilize this, the Korea Gallery Association also collaborated with KIAF and Incheon International Airport Corporation, and saw the effect of priming the art fair.
Kim Dong-hyun, head of the exhibition planning team of the Gallery Association, said, “In addition, the atmosphere leading the Asian cultural market with the power of K-content is very advantageous for the growth of cultural contents such as popular music, movies, and dramas, as well as for art and culture-based activities such as art and design. “he explained.
As this year’s art fair was a hit, world-class galleries actively confirmed their participation next year. It is rumored that overseas galleries that sold artworks at KIAF, which set a record with sales of 65 billion won, sold artworks through images, regretting that they only brought artworks that fit into a set booth.
Hwang Dal-seong, chairman of the Korea Gallery Association, which hosted KIAF, presented a blueprint for the art market even in the midst of the corona crisis. “If the world-class art fair Friez Seoul opens next year and global collectors visit Korea, the Korean art market will grow to 2 trillion won, five times from 400 billion won.”
◎ Sympathy Media News [email protected]
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