celebrities’ affect on Korean artwork scene

celebrities’ affect on Korean artwork scene

celebrities’ affect on Korean artwork scene

A photograph of RM on the “Kwon Jin Kyu Centennial: Angel of Atelier” exhibition held at SeMA in March that the singer posted on his Instagram account with the caption “relaxation in peace” in Korean. Kwon is thought to have died by suicide on the age of 51. (RM’s Instagram account)

Lee Hwa-rang, a 26-year-old Seoul resident, thought-about herself “utterly illiterate” when it got here to artwork. That’s, earlier than she turned a fan of rapper Kim Nam-joon, or RM from BTS, a widely known artwork collector. She then began to take what the fandom calls the “RM Tour” — visiting the museums and galleries he frequents.

“I began to go to exhibitions final 12 months. At first, I used to be curious what he would have felt seeing these artwork works,” Lee mentioned. “I assumed artwork had completely nothing to do with me, one thing extremely subtle folks take pleasure in. However RM dispelled that prejudice for me,” she mentioned, including that she now enjoys artwork.

Amongst exhibitions she has not too long ago visited are these of illustrator Lee Kyu-tae, painter Kim Ji-won, American artist Alex Katz and Korea’s pioneering sculptor Kwon Jin-kyu (1922-1973). The “Kwon Jin Kyu Centennial: Angel of Atelier” exhibition on the Seoul Museum of Artwork via Sunday included “Horse,” a 45-centimeter-tall terracotta sculpture created within the mid-Nineteen Sixties. Exhibited on mortgage from RM, the piece went viral amongst followers.

“We’ve got seen many younger folks coming to the museum not too long ago. For the Kwon Jin-kyu exhibition, it was visited by those that keep in mind the artist, but in addition younger individuals who noticed RM’s photograph taken on the museum on his social media,” mentioned the present’s curator, Han Hee-jin.

“The celeb impact is large,” she mentioned. “I’ve heard that they (younger guests) visited the exhibition following the Okay-pop star and had been impressed by the works and artist.” 

“Horse,” by sculptor Kwon Jin-kyu, is on display at the Seoul Museum of Art. The piece was exhibited on loan from RM of BTS. (SeMA)

“Horse,” by sculptor Kwon Jin-kyu, is on show on the Seoul Museum of Artwork. The piece was exhibited on mortgage from RM of BTS. (SeMA)

Superstar affect on the artwork trade is taking part in a giant function within the South Korean artwork market, which is rising at an unprecedented charge and is predicted to surpass 1 trillion received ($790 million) this 12 months. It’s not shocking to come across celebrities at main artwork gala’s reminiscent of Kiaf Seoul or Artwork Busan. Boy band BTS, actor Jun Ji-hyun, actor Yoo Ah-in, Okay-pop star Chungha, singer Lee Seung-gi and actor Lee Byung-hun have all been attendees. 

Okay-pop stars Kwon Ji-yong, higher often known as G-Dragon, and Choi Seung-hyun, or T.O.P, are famously often known as avid artwork collectors.

“Previously, celebrities got here to see artwork at galleries or artwork gala’s, however lots of them have now began to really purchase works,” mentioned a Seoul-based gallerist.

Pushed by celebrities’ tastes

The artwork market in Korea has grabbed worldwide consideration, notably for its progress potential. A business-friendly surroundings, geographical benefits and a rising youthful technology of enthusiastic collectors make Korea a horny market.

Whereas celebrities’ affect within the artwork trade has usually had a constructive impact — particularly in getting youthful folks keen on artwork — sudden deal with particular artists is just not essentially a purely constructive growth for the artwork market, some warning.

Whereas the tradition of accumulating is slowly maturing, most individuals right here nonetheless are inclined to depend on artwork sellers, gallerists or these “believed to have extra subtle tastes,” like celebrities. That manner, folks search to guarantee that they’ve “nice style” or make a “worthwhile selection,” in line with these within the artwork trade acquainted with the problem.

“Artwork sellers create many of the circumstances, advertising and marketing works or artists by mentioning celebrities who’ve bought their works,” mentioned Woo Chung-woo, director of Hakgojae, a significant gallery situated in central Seoul. “There are undoubtedly many good impacts because of Okay-pop stars and celebrities, however there are additionally uncomfortable side effects.”

After TV applications present work or sculptures displayed at celebrities’ properties, galleries are bombarded with inquiries in regards to the artists and their works, asking whether or not they can get the identical works, a number of gallerists informed The Korea Herald. They mentioned costs of works by some artists rose remarkably on the secondary market after they had been seen on TV, whereas declining to call any particular artists.

“Actually, it isn’t good for the artists. A few of them are focused by investment-driven collectors utilizing ‘speculative funds.’ Whereas their works promote at a excessive worth on the public sale market, the earnings not often go to the artists, however to the sellers,” Woo mentioned.

Gallery Shilla, a 30-year-old gallery based mostly in Daegu and Seoul, ran a undertaking referred to as “Why Do We Compromise Our Style?” on the Korea Galleries Artwork Honest 2022 in March. Lee Joon-yub, director of the Seoul department and son of the gallery’s founder Lee Kwang-ho, posted an indication on the gallery’s sales space that learn: “Celebs will not be allowed to enter, welcome artwork lovers.” He additionally handed out questionnaires to find out whether or not guests had been influenced by celebrities’ tastes.

“The affect of celebrities is highly effective within the artwork market. For galleries like us that may’t make the most of celebrities for our gross sales, every collector’s distinctive and strong style is essential, which can in the end make the artwork market ‘more healthy,’” Lee mentioned.

“Artwork is just not an industrial good, it’s all about one’s personal preferences and tastes. Celebrities’ affect might assist gross sales progress, however that doesn’t essentially imply that the standard of the market improves. A survey confirmed that many individuals wouldn’t have sufficient time to check (about artwork), in order that they readily comply with celebrities when buying works,” he added. 

Gallery Shilla’s booth at the Korea Galleries Art Fair 2022 (Gallery Shilla)

Gallery Shilla’s sales space on the Korea Galleries Artwork Honest 2022 (Gallery Shilla)

Among the many Gallery Shilla questionnaires obtained by The Korea Herald, some respondents’ feedback included: “I’m not positive about my style but”; “I would like extra information about artwork to know higher what I like. It (celebrities’ selection) is among the methods to discover my style”; and “I make a selection based mostly on what others would really like quite than what I like.”

Park Younger-taek, an artwork critic and nice arts professor at Kyonggi College, mentioned having some information in regards to the artist and their works ought to precede buying them in an effort to keep away from being swayed by their momentary reputation within the artwork market. The value of a piece ought to mirror its inventive worth and the idea that differentiates it from one other work — not simply its funding worth, he mentioned.

“I like to recommend a minimum of gleaning some details about the artist from artwork magazines, articles or artwork critics earlier than buying their works. And likewise verify whether or not the artist has had exhibitions at museums,” he mentioned.

By Park Yuna ([email protected])

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