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Hwang Dal-sung barely maintains grasp on Galleries Association of Korea by one vote

By Park Yuna

Published : Feb. 23, 2023 - 20:33

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Hwang Dal-sung, president of the Galleries Association of Korea (Galleries Association of Korea) Hwang Dal-sung, president of the Galleries Association of Korea (Galleries Association of Korea)

Hwang Dal-sung, president of Keumsan Gallery, was reelected as president of the Galleries Association of Korea on Thursday, renewing his position for another two years, defeating rival candidate Do Hyung-teh, president of Gallery Hyundai, by only one vote, according to the association.

The two-way election, conducted Thursday afternoon at the Westin Josun Seoul, turned out to be so competitive that Hwang barely maintained his position, earning 69 votes against Doh's 68. The association represents some 160 galleries in the country.

As South Korea attracts global attention with its potential as an Asian art hub, who would lead the association in the new milieu was the central question on the ballot. The position of president involves leading art fairs organized by the association, including the annual Kiaf Seoul, a 20-year-old international art fair that is due to be held concurrently with Frieze Seoul until 2026.

While some galleries called for a generational change in the leadership that could facilitate the growth of the Korean art scene in the international market, other galleries wanted the incumbent president to remain in acknowledgement of his contributions to the association, according to sources familiar with the issue.

Do is the second son of Park Myung-ja, founder of one of the country's major commercial galleries, Gallery Hyundai, founded in 1970.

The term of office is two years, allowing for one additional term.