The Korea Herald


Korea’s oldest art fair to kick off in March with 3,000 works

By Park Yuna

Published : Feb. 28, 2021 - 16:41

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"Brush Stroke” by Lee Bae (Johyun Gallery)
The Galleries Art Fair 2021 -- Korea’s first art fair of the year -- will kick off on Wednesday with a showcase of more than 3,000 artworks.

The oldest art fair in Korea will be held for five days at Coex in southern Seoul under strict preventative measures, according to the Galleries of Association Korea. The VIP opening is scheduled for March 3 and the general opening will take place from March 4 to 7.

Despite the pandemic situation, 500 artists from 107 galleries in Korea, which are members of the fair organizer Galleries of Association Korea, are participating in this year’s event.

"Recurrence” by Kim Tschang-yeul (Gallery Hyundai)
The Galleries Art Fair is considered an important event particularly for small galleries in Korea as they are given the same opportunities as major galleries to present their art pieces, which has become more important in the pandemic times.

The annual art fair will feature “Zoom-In” sessions, which aims to promote 10 rising artists in Korea. A total of 497 artists applied this year, more than a 30 percent rise compared to last year. Selected artists will be given opportunities to host exhibitions with different galleries and sell artworks to major collectors present.

To prevent the spread of the pandemic, the organizer has spaced out booths between different galleries and will restrict the number of visitors at the scene.

Like last year, the art fair will also be held virtually with an online viewing room that allows people to purchase artworks on Wednesday.

The online platform will also offer select talks by artists and experts on the impact of the pandemic on the global art industry and the tips on art investment, which has become a huge interest among the younger generation in Korea.

Music performances will accompany the fair this year to provide comfort to virus-weary visitors who have not had many chances to enjoy music performances, according to the Galleries of Association Korea. The SNUtuosi ensemble will perform during the weekend at the entrance to the art fair. 

A poster of the Galleries Art Fair 2021 (Galleries of Association Korea) A poster of the Galleries Art Fair 2021 (Galleries of Association Korea)
Founded in 1976, the Galleries of Association Korea is a group of more than 160 galleries in the country. It aims to popularize the art industry and foster a sound art market in Korea. Hwang Dal-seung, Director of Keumsan Gallery, was newly elected as the 20th president of the Galleries Association of Korea in February.

By Park Yuna (