Frieze, the London-based international art fair, has appointed Patrick Lee as director of Frieze Seoul, which will take place alongside KIAF, Korea’s largest art fair, from September 2 to 5, 2022.
“Seoul is a natural home for Frieze with its extraordinary artists, galleries, museums, and collections,” stated Victoria Siddall, board director of Frieze, when announcing the new fair.
And she commented that Patrick Lee is “the perfect person to lead Frieze Seoul” due to his years of experience in galleries and knowledge of the Korean art scene.
Patrick Lee, with more than 15 years of experience in the gallery industry, served as co-director of One AND J. Gallery, which was founded in 2005 to focus primarily on young contemporary Korean artists.
He is currently executive director at Gallery Hyundai, one of the oldest galleries in Korea that has been introducing prominent Korean artists such as Kim Whanki (1913-1974), Lee Jung Seob (1916-1956), Lee Ufan(b.1936).
Lee will lead the fair starting this November, working closely with Minju Kweon, Frieze’s head of VIP relations in Asia.
Frieze has been seeking a new Asian market for a couple of years and announced the rapidly emerging Seoul as its destination in Asia this May.
Like Hong Kong, Korea does not impose tariffs, value-added tax, or transfer taxes on artworks, making it convenient to trade art, and Seoul has some of the world’s most advanced infrastructure.
Most of all, the Korean art market is showing a high growth rate. The local art fairs held in the first half of this year have posted all-time sales in a row, and the auction market tripled its total turnover compared to the same period of 2020.
For these reasons, a number of prominent international galleries, including Pace, Perrotin, König, and Thaddaeus Ropac, have opened branches in Seoul in recent years.
Founded in 1991, Frieze held its first art fair, Frieze London, in 2003 in Regent’s Park, London. Next year, the fair will take place in five locations around the world, including the Frieze Masters, which has been showcasing works before the 2000s since 2012 alongside Frieze London; Frieze New York also launched in 2012, and Frieze LA established in 2019.
Frieze Seoul will be a joint fair with KIAF for five years from 2022.