SEOUL, July 12 (Korea Bizwire) – After years of downturn, the Korean art market is prospering once again.
According to the Asian Art Market 2015 report, last year’s total bids at seven domestic art work auctioneers totaled 189.23 billion won ($165 million). Revenue was close to 2007’s 192.66 billion, which was the most prosperous year in the past decade.
Since 2007, the auction market for art works declined, to 119.1 billion won in total bids in 2008, 70.1 billion won in 2009, and 70 billion won in 2013. But starting in 2014, the market began to rebound with an increase to 91.8 billion won, before more than doubling in 2015.
Kangnam University professor Seo Jin-soo, who put together the report, pointed to the success of major domestic auctioneers in their Hong Kong auctions.
For instance, while Seoul Auction’s domestic auction revenue grew from 28 billion won in 2014 to 43 billion in 2015 (54.8 percent), its Hong Kong auction revenue increased from 14 billion won to 65 billion won (369.4 percent).
K-Auction, which started its first solo auction in Hong Kong last year, generated 29.7 billion won in revenue. Prior to 2014, K-Auction used to only take part in joint auction events alongside other Asian auctioneers.
Seoul Auction and K-Auction are the leading Korean auctioneers for art work, accounting for 57 percent and 36 percent of the domestic market share, respectively. The other five auctioneers (I Auction, A-Auction, MyArt Auction, Artday Auction and Insago Auction) each claim between 1 and 2 percent of the remainder of the market.
Among the top ten art works auctioned last year in Hong Kong by the two major auctioneers, six were by artist Kim Whanki, accounting for a total of 12.8 billion won, and two works each by Chun Kyung-ja and Park Su-geun.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)