Perrotin will open another spot in Seoul ahead of Frieze’s debut as the Western art market shouts for a foothold in South Korea

Perrotin will further expand its footprint in Seoul with an extra space, increasing the art world fever around the South Korean capital and optimism around the Asian country market ahead of September’s inaugural Frieze Seoul as well as its faithful trade fair Kiaf Seoul.

The new 2,700-square-foot space located in the exclusive Gangnam district is expected to open in September to coincide with the openings of Frieze Seoul, Kiaf Seoul and the latter’s new satellite fair Kiaf Plus. Perrotin’s space will be inaugurated by a solo show featuring new oil on linen paintings by new Los Angeles-based artist Emma Webster.

The new space is the second Seoul outpost for the global gallery chain, founded by French retailer Emmanuel Perrotin in Paris in 1990. Perrotin, who also participates in Frieze Seoul, opened its first space in the Korean capital in 2016 in Jongno- district and was early on in this new chapter of Asia’s art market, which has seen Western galleries flock to the new art center. Perrotin was also an early part of this eastern trend with the launch of a Hong Kong space in 2012, followed by a Shanghai outpost in 2018.

Perrotin's new second room in Seoul.  Lent by Perrotin.

Reproduction of Perrotin Dosan Park. Lent by KIAS (Kentaro Ishida Architects Studio), Yoki Design and Perrotin.

The optimism surrounding the strong local market in South Korea and the increasing visibility and purchasing power of Korean collectors has made the capital a major attraction for the international art world, including galleries from all over Asia. The market has been limited in the traditional art hub of Hong Kong, which is still under Covid restrictions following Beijing’s zero-Covid policy – the metropolis is facing political and economic uncertainty in the post-national security law era.

“Seoul is definitely the most vibrant and exciting market right now,” Alice Lung, a Seoul-based partner at Perrotin, told Artnet News. She added that the art market boom in South Korea also coincides with the emergence of the country’s other cultural and creative industries, such as cinema, TV series and K-pop.

The biggest changes we see over the years are the demographics of collectors and the number of people collecting art, ”she said. “Before, people were very focused on dansekhwa movement of artists, but now there is an explosion of young new artists from all facets of life in Korea and the new buyers are very positive in terms of buying these new new talents. “

Many of these new collectors come from second-generation art collector families, as well as IT professionals, celebrities and entrepreneurs, noted Lung, a veteran of Asia’s art world. They buy a variety of works of art by homemade and international artists, including blue-chip names and new talent. “Art collection is really becoming a national movement,” she said.

Perrotin’s announcement coincides with expansion plans for other western-based retailers, including Pace, which began operating in Seoul in 2017 and will now expand its art complex in the Le Beige Building in the Hannam-dong district after the gallery’s first move to the building in 2021. It expanded the art complex will feature an outdoor sculpture yard and tea house, and it will be inaugurated with solo shows by Adrian Ghenie and teamLab during Frieze Seoul Week.

Lehmann Maupin, on the other hand, opened a new 2,600-square-foot space in Hannam-dong in March with the Korean debut of Los Angeles-based artist Lari Pittman. Other Western galleries that have opened in Seoul in recent years include Thaddaeus Ropac, König, Peres Projects and Gladstone Gallery.

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