Largest of its kind, Korea Int'l Art Fair draws art collectors to vie for red sticker
Updated: 2021-10-14 17:04:11 KST
And, now time for our weekly dose of what's hip and hot in the arts and culture scene.
Our correspondent Kim Bo-kyung joins me in the studio.
So, Bo-kyoung, it looks like the country's largest art fair is back with more art lovers than ever as I'm sure many have been longing for this opportunity for quite a while especially riding on the latest craze in Korea after K-pop - investment in arts and sculptures.
That's right. The country's biggest art fair KIAF opened on October 13th by inviting VIPs to COEX in Gangnam-gu District. The event has been highly anticipated as it is the first time in two years that KIAF is welcoming visitors.
When I visited KIAF on the VVIP day, I couldn't believe my eyes because there were so many people eager to buy art. Such attention was not just because of the growing number of art collectors in Korea, but also because KIAF is now going to be holding the fair along with one of the most renowned global art fairs the Frieze. Let me show you more.
The competition to put a red sticker on a masterpiece indicating it has been sold was more heated than ever.
The country's largest international art fair Korea International Art Fair has been welcoming visitors since October 13th.
Around one-hundred-70 galleries from home and overseas are at the fair, and reportedly more than a hundred others that applied failed to qualify.
Galleries were not the only ones vying hard for a spot.
The KIAF has introduced a VVIP preview session, and all the tickets were sold out just in two days despite costing around 2-hundred-50 dollars each.
" The art sector is enjoying great popularity as people got more interested in art after the donation of late Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee's extensive collection. Generation MZ are also now considering artwork as property. We saw the highest profit in 2019 at 26 million U.S. dollars, this year we expect double that."
Big-named international galleries such as Pace and Perrotin, along with Korea's major galleries including Gana Art and Kukje were crowded with people looking to lay their hands on a masterpiece.
The fair boasted a wide variety of works from Korea's own masters such as Park Seo-bo, Kim Tschang-yeul and Kim Whanki, as well as globally renowned artists like Jenny Holzer and Alexander Calder.
The founder of Perrotin art gallery, which was selling work by contemporary artist Takashi Murakami's work, says he chose to come Korea even though the major art fair "Frieze" is currently going on in London.
For sure we have a big numbers of clients from all around the world, there's no comparison and particularly in Korea where you have a huge boom of new collectors starting to collect recently. It's very exciting.
"The art fair is also collaborating with the Frieze art fair for a joint show in Seoul which is to run for five years starting from September next year. It is expected to draw a huge inflow of international galleries and art collectors to the city."
Domestic art galleries and experts are seeing this as an opportunity to introduce Korean artists to the global art market.
"It is a great chance for the Korean art market to globally take a leap. As a participant gallery, we are looking to expand our client pool at home and abroad."
Enjoying growing popularity, the Korean art market is hoping to start a wave of K-Art
Wow. Who would have ever imagined such a scene at an art fair? Is there a possibility that South Korea could even emerge as the new the center for the Asian art market?
After seeing how the site was filled with people, I thought that its possible for South Korea to become another art hub. Experts agree and they are even expecting the co-hosting of the KIAF with Frieze to further boost the local art scene like Miami, which has held shows with Art Basel since 2002.
That is really great to see, especially given how hard it has been due to the pandemic.
I heard there has been a similar trend in the music sector, too?
That's right, classical music lovers will be very excited to hear that more and more globally-renowned classical musicians and orchestras are scheduled to perform soon.
South Korea's two-week quarantine exemption for those who have been fully vaccinated overseas, or are visiting the country for humanitarian or business purposes, has been in place since July.
The measures have been instrumental in allowing musicians from all around the world to share their beautiful melodies with music lovers in South Korea.
Upcoming events include Austrian pianist Rudolf Buchbinder's show, scheduled to take place at Seoul Arts Center from October 19th to 20th.
He is known as the "Beethoven specialist", and will mark Beethoven's 250th anniversary by showcasing some of his most famous works.
Buchbinder will also present his own program on Anton Diabelli, an Austrian composer from the late 17-hundreds and early 18-hundreds.
Another big event is a show by the Vienna Philharmonic, one of the world's most prestigious orchestras.
South Korean health authorities are reportedly mulling whether to give the 120-member company a quarantine exemption under the condition that all staff and musicians are all vaccinated.
If granted an exemption, the orchestra will be led by Italian maestro Riccardo Muti.
Though it is great how more and more live performances are going to be staged, the pandemic has also seen the increasing popularity of Over-the-Top services such as Netflix.
Soon, another big streaming platform Disney Plus is to begin operations in South Korea, when is it launching and can we expect some Korean original series like "Squid Game"?
That's right, today happened to be the Disney Plus media day. Having around one-hundred-16 million subscribers across 61 countries in 21 languages, it is now launching in South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
South Korea is going to enjoy the service starting November 12th, with its iconic brands of Disney, PIXAR, Star Wars, Marvel Studios, National Geographic and, STAR which is the latest brand to join Disney Plus.
STAR serves as a home for series such as "Prison Break" and "Desperate Housewives" as well as hit movies like "Greatest Showman" and "Avatar".
Not only this, it recently unveiled its plans to introduce locally-driven original content.
That includes content made in the Asia Pacific region, including South Korea, Japan and Indonesia.
The new content made in South Korea includes "Rookies" Kang Daniel's debut drama and "Snowdrop" a romantic melodrama starring Jisoo from BLACKPINK and Jung Hae-in, and produced by the creators of "Sky Castle", as well as the drama "Moving" based on Kang Full's webtoon, and featuring Ryu Seung-ryong and Han Hyo-joo.
Mystery thriller "Grid" and the first official spinoff program of TV variety show "Running Man" have also been added.
I guess people will be able to enjoy loads of exciting Korean original content. For those interested in using the service, how much is it?
It is going to be less than 10 U.S. dollars for one month, and for a year, the subscription fee is less than a hundred U.S. dollars. Media outlets say this is cheaper than Netflix given that most of Koreans use the premium version of Netflix which is around 15 U.S. dollars. Also most OTT services only let four devices be logged in but Disney Plus is allowing up to ten mobile devices to access the content, so that is also a plus.
Well, thank you Bo-kyoung for sharing with us all this cultural information and what things to look forward to. I will see you next week.