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As international galleries look for Hong Kong alternative, KIAF 2019 gets boost

Korea International Art Fair 2019 will be held Sept. 26-29 at Coex in Gangnam-gu, Seoul.

A total of 175 galleries from 17 countries, including China, France, the US and Mexico, are participating in the 18th edition of the annual fair.

“As the crisis in Hong Kong continues, there are many foreign galleries that are seeking an alternative market to introduce their works. And the art market in Korea appears to be one of their options. It is expected that there will be several representatives from major foreign galleries coming to this year’s KIAF to check out the market,” said Choi Woong-chul, chairman of the Galleries Association of Korea, during a press conference in Seoul on Wednesday. 

Visitors view an artwork at KIAF 2018 (KIAF)
Visitors view an artwork at KIAF 2018 (KIAF)

Among the major foreign galleries is Lehmann Maupin, which opened its Seoul venue in December 2017 and will be participating for the first time.

Other foreign galleries taking part this year include Massimo De Carlo, Whitestone Gallery, Over the Influence and Die Galerie. Pace Gallery will introduce James Turrel’s 2019 work “Atlantis, Medium Rectangle Glass” at the darkroom at its booth.

James Turrel’s 2019 “Atlantis, Medium Rectangle Glass” will be displayed at Pace Gallery’s booth. (KIAF)
James Turrel’s 2019 “Atlantis, Medium Rectangle Glass” will be displayed at Pace Gallery’s booth. (KIAF)


Big-name Korean galleries, including Gallery Hyundai, Kukje Gallery, Gana Art and Arario Gallery, will also be present.

In an effort to distinguish itself from other international art fairs, KIAF 2019 will hold an exhibition introducing paintings by Korean modern masters this year and another on modern abstract paintings next year.

“Romanticism in History -- Korean Modernism Painting Exhibition” will show 38 paintings produced by 26 artists from 1950 to 1979. The artists include Kim Ki-chang, Kim Whan-ki, Park Soo-keun, Byeon Gwan-sik, Lee Dai-won, Lee Man-ik, Lee Sang-beom, Lee Jung-seob, Yim Jik-soon, Chang Uc-chin, Chun Kyung-ja and Choi Young-rim.

Some of the works to be shown at this exhibition are not for sale, such as Kim Whan-ki’s “Boating.”

Art will not just be hang on walls during KIAF 2019. Artist Koh Sang-woo will give a performance that uses objects, paintings, installations and dance. Mari Kim’s performance, introduced at the LA Art Show last year, will be held during the fair.

Artists, art collectors, curators and museum associates will talk about the art industry at lecture sessions. Among the speakers are artist Liza Lou, Japanese collector Daisuke Miyatsu, artist Jeong Yeon-doo and art historian Lorand Hegyi.

A children’s art program will also be available for a fee of 15,000 won.

KIAF is Korea’s largest art fair organized by Galleries Association of Korea.

By Shim Woo-hyun(ws@heraldcorp.com)
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