The Korea Herald

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Galleries Art Fair 2024 to kick off in April amid art market dry spell

By Park Yuna

Published : March 15, 2024 - 16:07

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An installation view of the Galleries Art Fair 2023 in Seoul (Courtesy of Galleries Association of Korea) An installation view of the Galleries Art Fair 2023 in Seoul (Courtesy of Galleries Association of Korea)

More than 150 galleries based in South Korea will join the country’s oldest art fair in early April amid a slowdown in the art market. The 42-year-old art fair is the first major art fair of the year, providing a glimpse of the year ahead.

The Galleries Art Fair 2024 will begin April 3 with a VIP and press opening and will run through April 7 at COEX in southern Seoul. The 153 galleries taking part encompass Korea’s leading galleries such as Gallery Hyundai, the Kukje Gallery and Hakgojae, as well as junior and emerging galleries.

“We started to feel that the art market (became) quite sluggish after Kiaf Seoul last year, so we are being cautious for the upcoming Galleries Art Fair since it is the beginning of major art events,” Hwang Dal-sung, president of the Galleries Association of Korea, told The Korea Herald on Friday.

The association runs two art fairs in Seoul every year -- the Galleries Art Fair and Kiaf Seoul which includes international galleries. Kiaf Seoul coincides with Frieze Seoul in September.

The association limited the number of artists to be presented for each gallery's booth at this year's Galleries Art Fair for the first time in a bid to more closely manage the quality of the fair, Hwang added.

The art fair features some programs for Korean artists -- “Zoom-in Edition 5” will introduce 10 emerging artists who are 39 years old or younger, and three artists will be selected for awards based on votes by fairgoers and an evaluation by judges during the five-day fair. Some 570 artists applied for “Zoom-in Edition 5,” according to the Galleries Association of Korea.

Gallery Hyundai will focus on Korea’s pioneering experimental artists at the fair and will present works by Lee Kang-so and Lee Kun-yong, while Kukje Gallery will bring together works by renowned artists from home and abroad such as Jean-Michel Othoniel, Candida Hofer and Kim Hong-seok.