Seoul: The art world landed in Seoul this week for the inaugural edition of Frieze in Asia, as the vibrant South Korean capital looks to position itself as the region´s next art hub.
Previous Frieze fairs have been held in traditional art capitals like London, Paris and New York, but industry experts say Seoul was a natural pick for the first Asian edition of the prestigious event.
South Korea has emerged as a cultural powerhouse in recent years with the global success of the Oscar-winning film “Parasite” and the Netflix series “Squid Game”, and with K-pop superstars BTS sweeping the Billboard music charts.
“Frieze looks to cities where there is a vast appreciation of culture,” Patrick Lee, the inaugural director of Frieze Seoul, said.
Seoul boasts a rich art scene, he added, with “incredibly talented artists, world-class museums, corporate collections, non-profits, biennales and galleries, which make it an ideal location for an art fair”.
The fair also takes place at a time when the art world is turning away from Hong Kong — long considered the hub of the lucrative Asian art market — over looming financial and political uncertainties, as well as quarantine restrictions still imposed on visitors.
“Seoul is definitely the most vibrant and exciting market in Asia for now,” said Alice Lung, director of Galerie Perrotin, which opened its second Seoul gallery last month.