SEJONG, March 3 (Korea Bizwire) – Data shows that one out of two artists in Korea has another job, because it is difficult to earn a living only through their craft, while 20 percent receive financial support from the government or other public organizations.
According to a survey conducted with the participation of 5,800 artists by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, 50 percent reported that they had second jobs to to help them eke out a living.
The average income earned only through artwork was tallied to be only 12.5 million won per year.
The average annual income of architects was 48.3 million won, which was the highest. Following suit were those working in television (39.5 million won), cartoons (22 million won), movies (18.8 million won), music (13.4 million won) and theater (12.8 million won).
The annual incomes of artists engaged in dance (8.6 million won), photography (8.2 million won), art (6.14 million won) and literature (2.14 million won) were all under 10 million won.
Artists in their 30s earned an average of 12 million won annually. Income levels increased slightly for those in their 40s (13.8 million won) and 50s (16 million won), but dropped to 7.9 million won after the age of 60, when it is difficult for them to continue to pursue their craft.
The survey also revealed that 19 percent of the respondents had received financial support for the arts provided by the government, public organizations, and district offices. Musical artists (28.6 percent) and photographers (25.9 percent) turned out to have been supported the most by these funds.
Another 25.5 percent of those who answered experienced signing contracts for their work, led by cartoonists (54 percent), and those working in movies (51.5 percent) and theater (38.4 percent).
However, unfair contracts were still prevalent, and 12.2 percent answered that they had signed contracts in which their financial compensation was lower than they expected. The share of unfair contracts was the highest among cartoon artists (32.2 percent).
While 95.2 percent of the artists had health insurance, only 56.8 percent had pensions, and even fewer had occupational health and safety insurance (26 percent) and unemployment insurance (25.1 percent).
The status of artists is investigated every 3 years. Artists from 14 different fields were interviewed from August to December last year.
Officials from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism plan to use the results of the investigation as statistical data to establish policies regarding artists. They hope to make improvements so that the artists can focus on their creative activities, without suffering from working multiple jobs, non-binding contracts, and not being covered by social insurance.
By M.H.Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)