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05 September 2022, 10:09

South Korea's largest-ever art market opens in Seoul

SEOUL, 5 September (BelTA -Yonhap News). - Two big international art fairs kicked off in Seoul, bringing together a combined 350 galleries from around the world.

The 21st edition of the annual Korea International Art Fair (KIAF) Seoul and the inaugural Frieze Seoul, a prestigious international contemporary art fair hosted by leading art platform Frieze, simultaneously opened at COEX in southern Seoul.

At Frieze Seoul, 110 galleries from 21 countries, including prominent galleries, like Gagosian Gallery, Perrotin Gallery and Hauser & Wirth, will take part in the first Frieze event to take place in Asia. Frieze is considered one of the world's leading art fairs and takes place in several cities around the world, like London, Los Angeles and New York.

In the Frieze Masters section, where 18 galleries are participating, visitors will feel like they are inside an art museum as works by masters of modern and contemporary art history are among the items on display.

Acquavella Galleries in New York City brought together works by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Alberto Giacometti, Keith Haring, Ellsworth Kelly, Willem de Kooning, Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian and Robert Rauschenberg.

Castelli Gallery, also in New York, presents Roy Lichtenstein's pop art pieces while Annely Juda Fine Art, a contemporary art gallery in London, will showcase David Hockney's famous paintings.

KIAF Seoul, the largest art event in the country organized by the Galleries Association of Korea, features drawings and sculptures from 164 galleries at home and abroad, including Seoul-based Kukje Gallery and Gallery Hyundai.

Works by the world's renowned artists, including Roman Ondak from Slovakia, Michael Craig-Martin and Anish Kapoor from Britain, are on display for this year's edition.

Its satellite art fair, KIAF Plus, kicked off Thursday at the Seoul Trade Exhibition and Convention (SETEC) in southern Seoul for a five-day run, with a focus on smaller and younger galleries and new media art, like non-fungible tokens. A total of 73 galleries from 11 countries are taking part in the spin-off event.

Frieze does not disclose its sales figures, but the art scene expects there will be some multimillion dollar sales during the Seoul event.

KIAF Seoul recorded a record high of 65 billion won (US$47.7 million) in sales last year and expects it to triple this year.

Park Bo-gyoon, culture minister, visited the art fairs.

"We are pleased that art lovers, and experts from home and abroad gathered in Korea with the joint operation of tickets for KIAF and Frieze," he said during a meeting with the events' organizers at the scene. "We will support excellent Korean artists and works so they can be widely known around the world," he added.

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