Frieze Seoul took place from Friday to Monday at Coex southern Seoul while Kiaf Seoul, also at Coex, ran through Tuesday, bringing together some 350 galleries from across the world. While the two fairs did not disclose the sales record, the transactions from the two fairs will reportedly raise the size of the country’s art market to over one trillion won this year.
“We used to release sales report after the fair, but we decided not to do it starting this year because some say that such a report would raise unnecessary competition in the local art market," said an official from the Galleries Association of Korea, which operates Kiaf Seoul. "But we had a really good sales result this year,” the official said. The annual art fair raised record-breaking 65 billion won in sales last year.
"We reported last Kiaf Seoul's visitor number at 88,000 but that included multiple visits by a single person. If we count those multiple visits this time, than it will far exceed last year's visitor number," the official added.
Frieze Seoul reported the opening preview on Friday saw “swift sales and major placements with galleries reporting widespread collector enthusiasm and interest.” In the early hours of the first day, Belgium-based Xavier Hufkens reported that their solo stand of paintings by Sterling Ruby, priced between $375,000 - $475,000, had sold and Seoul-based Kukje Gallery made early sales with a dansaekhwa painting by Park Seo-bo sold in the range of $490,000 - $550,000. In the Focus Asia section, Whistle sold out its solo booth of new paintings by Hejum Ba, totaling $130,000.
“It has been a fantastic week for Frieze, both in the fair and across the city, and we could not be more thrilled with the response to the inaugural edition of Frieze Seoul," said Patrick Lee, director of Frieze Seoul.
By Park Yuna (firstname.lastname@example.org)