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Busan holds first art fair of the year on a grand scale

A portrait of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark by Andy Warhol, part of his “Reigning Queens” series (Yeasung Gallery)
A portrait of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark by Andy Warhol, part of his “Reigning Queens” series (Yeasung Gallery)


The 10th Busan Annual Market of Art, the largest since the event’s inception in 2012, closed Sunday having attracted a huge number of visitors and a record number of participating galleries. 

Also known as BAMA, the art fair kicked off Thursday with 176 galleries from South Korea and abroad and showcased nearly 4,000 artworks -- more than ever before in the fair’s history. 


An installation view of last year’s Busan Annual Market of Art (Busan Annual Market of Art)
An installation view of last year’s Busan Annual Market of Art (Busan Annual Market of Art)

“We are still aggregating the number of visitors but we saw a lot of visitors despite the pandemic -- more than even before the pandemic,” a public relations official from the art fair told The Korea Herald. The fair was organized by the Galleries Association of Busan.

Mizuma&Kips, Space 776 and SM Fine Art Gallery, all from New York, were among the galleries from abroad. The fair also hosted Galerie Brugier-Rigail, based in France and Seoul, and Japan-based Gallery Edel.

The four-day event featured special programs such as BAMA Art Talk, in which art experts offered lectures about ancient art, contemporary art and collecting art. Also, pop artist Nancy Lang, Lee Jun-young of boy band U-Kiss and actor Kim Hye-jin showcased works in the “K-Pop Artists Celebrity Special Exhibition.”

The art market is in full swing this year. Art fairs in Korea are enjoying popularity after many events were canceled last year due to the pandemic. Galleries Art Fair 2021, the oldest art fair in Korea, drew 48,000 visitors during its six-day run in March -- a 30 percent increase over 2019. Sales brought in more than 7.2 billion won ($6.42 million), according to the Galleries of Association Korea.

By Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com)  

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