The Korea Herald


Art Busan secures first round of investment to expand in Seoul

By Park Yuna

Published : Aug. 9, 2023 - 13:34

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An installation view of Art Busan 2023 (Art Busan) An installation view of Art Busan 2023 (Art Busan)

Art Busan has secured the first round of investment ahead of the inaugural launch of its new art fair in Seoul, Define Seoul, in November, after running the art fair in Busan for more than a decade.

Art Busan, launched in 2011, has grown into a leading art fair in South Korea, fostering the art scene in the port city with art lovers flocking there every year. The organizer’s expansion into Seoul this year aims to cement its foundation to move forward and grow as a global art market.

While the organizer declined to reveal the figure from the first round of investment, Art Busan has been able to secure the funds and partnership base to run a business at home and abroad, the organizer noted in the announcement on Wednesday.

The investors include Kim Sang-hun, former CEO of Naver; Kelvin Dongho Kim, CEO of Korea Credit Data; Simon Seojoon Kim, CEO of Hashed and Tony Lyu, venture partner at SoftBank Ventures Asia. The second round of investment is expected to follow in the future, an official from the organizer told The Korea Herald.

“This investment holds significance as it recognizes the substantial contributions Art Busan has made to the advancement of the Korean art market thus far, and its unique brand value established within the art market,” said director Jeong Seok-ho.

“We aim to grow Art Busan as a global brand and take a leading role in ensuring the nourishing and sustainable development of the Korean art market,” he added.

The inaugural Define Seoul, scheduled from Nov.1 to 5 in Seongsu-dong, will take the theme of “A Look Within Matter,” directed by designer Yang Teo. The new art fair will combine design and art, inviting a variety of design brands to the art fair.

Some 60 percent of participating brands will be associated with the design industry, according to Art Busan.