The Korea Herald


Economy hits hotel art fair

By Lee Woo-young

Published : Aug. 22, 2012 - 20:07

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The sluggish economy has hit the art fair market as seen in the number of foreign galleries stepping back from participating in this year’s Asia Top Gallery Hotel Art Fair Seoul, which is slated to open at the Westin Chosun from Friday to Sunday.

The number of participating foreign art galleries decreased from 20 in 2010 to nine this year due to the poor economy around the world, which has also struck Korea.

The total number of galleries participating decreased from 69 in 2010 to 52 this year. 
“Meet a Peacock’s Couple” by Kwak Su-yeon (left), “The Greeting and Farewell” by Hong Ji-yoon “Meet a Peacock’s Couple” by Kwak Su-yeon (left), “The Greeting and Farewell” by Hong Ji-yoon

“The reduced number of foreign art galleries is due to their concerns about the economic situation in Seoul,” said an organizer of the AHAF Committee.

“We secured fewer rooms than previous years considering the economic situation,” she said.

The participating foreign galleries include four Japanese galleries, two Chinese galleries, one Singaporean gallery and two galleries from New York city. There are a total of 49 Korean galleries on the list.

Launched in 2009, the AHAF received attention with unique painting displays in hotel guest rooms.

It aims to facilitate exchanges between art buyers and sellers as viewers can easily imagine what the paintings will look like when displayed at their houses.

This year’s art fair features some internationally renowned artists such as Korean media artist Lee Lee-nam, Kim Dong-yoo and Yoon Jong-seok under the concept of reinterpreting Korea’s traditions.

A special exhibition titled “The Contemporary Tradition” will also put together artists such as Jong Ji-yoon, Kwak Su-yeon, Kim Jee-hye, Sung Young-rok and Ahn Sung-seok, who incorporate Oriental techniques into contemporary visual art.

The AHAF Young Artist Group Show will be held as a side event to showcase works of emerging artists. Jang Won-young and Jo Young-jin are planning solo exhibitions.

Lectures, art guide and artists’ talks are available to VIP invitation holders.

About 3,000 artworks by over 400 artists will be displayed at 60 guest rooms on the 7th and 8th floors of the Westin Chosun from Friday to Sunday.

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