The 18th Korea International Art Fair
In Seoul, Korea from 26th to 29th September, one of the most renown art fairs in Korea was held which is called KIAF, Korea International Art Fair.
This year, as the 18th of KIAF, 175 galleries from 17 countries have participated. According to the authorities, about 82,000 people visited and recorded 31 billion won in sales. It is more than 30 percent from last year. On the spot, it was hard to feel high sales volume directly, but it seemed like the number of general visitors has increased significantly. Especially, in young people. The cause may due to a factor that contemporary art became a part of hipster-culture. Young generation have a tendency to show their preference of contemporary art. They like to show what they enjoy recently and their tastes. Even though it is unsure that how much of visitors affected to the whole sales figure, it seems visitors affects sales volume for some degree.
As one of renown art fairs in Seoul, KIAF ART SEOUL 2019 offered not only contemporary art works through participating galleries, but also solo projects, highlight sections, various talk programs on controversial issues and a special exhibition. For this year, KIAF prepared the special exhibition titled “Romanticism in History-Korean Modernism Painting Exhibition” sheds light on Korean Modern artists.
The purpose of this project seemed to be aimed diversity of the fair’s composition. However, as many galleries were introducing noted modern artists as well including Lee Ufan, Yoo Youngkuk and Namjun Paik, it was hard to make a huge difference in between gallery booths and the project. However, among these galleries which stick to the Korean modern arts, some outstanding galleries presented young and fresh artists and showed experimental works. As if to prove that these galleries are stand out, red stickers were put under many of the works. Isn’t it a collateral evidence that there is no more certainty that prestigious artists of modern art lead to sale?
Since KIAF is the most representative art fair in Korea, many international galleries have participated. PACE gallery joined for the second time from last year and Lehmann Maupin also took a part in for the first time this year. Whitestone gallery which specialized in Asian market have participated as well.
As many international galleries have been participating more and more, KIAF has more possibilities to grow. Since challenging works no longer mean that they are not having marketability, hopefully to see more experimental art works. Not only being satisfied with the title, Korea’s largest and famous art fair.
Article written by Jeongeun Jo
Jeongeun Jo is from Korea now living in Japan. She is one of the member of TRiCERA who graduated from Graduate School of Fine Arts at Tokyo University of the Arts (TUA/ Geidai). She is also working as an artist herself.