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Hyundai Department Store Embarks on Art Marketing with Jeff Koons' 'Gazing Ball'

Hyundai Department Store is launching a comprehensive art marketing initiative, leveraging the works of Jeff Koons. The department store announced on the 25th that “The Artful Hyundai” has been chosen as the catchphrase for their 2024 art marketing campaign. “Artful” is a portmanteau of the word ‘art’ and the adjective ‘full,’ signifying a space filled with art. This reflects the store’s commitment to transforming its department stores and outlets into spaces brimming with art, aiming to inspire customers in their daily lives.

The Hyundai Department Store expressed its intention to offer customers visiting “The Hyundai” a valuable experience where art and life coexist in everyday situations, using a blend of art and entertainment through artainment content. The department store plans to actively expand its art marketing efforts in the future.

The first exhibition of the new year is held in Daegu, a city expanding its position as a cultural and artistic hub through major art events such as Daegu Art Fair and the Daegu Photography Biennale.

The 'Gazing Ball' series, 'Centaur and Lapith Maiden∙2013,' by Jeff Koons. Photo@Hyundai Department Store

On the 1st floor square of The Hyundai in Daegu, Jeff Koons’ representative work, the ‘Gazing Ball’ series, specifically the ‘Centaur and Lapith Maiden (2013),’ is being exhibited and sold, marking the first time such a presentation has been undertaken in the retail industry. This 2.2m high plaster sculpture depicts the mythical battle between Centaur and Lapith. Introduced at the global art fair ‘Frieze Seoul 2023’ starting in 2022, the artwork received considerable attention from art enthusiasts. The sales price of the piece is approximately 5.2 billion KRW (approx. 4M USD).

Hyundai Department Store is strengthening its art marketing efforts due to the growing presence of art enthusiasts and the MZ generation who appreciate art within department stores. According to The Hyundai’s analysis, the proportion of visitors in their 20s and 30s to Alt.Won, a complex cultural space in Seoul, was 71% from January to November this year.

Competitors such as Shinsegae Department Store have long been operating professional commercial galleries. Since 2020, they have also initiated art fair and actively utilized various events combining fine art and products for promotional and marketing purposes, participating as an official partner in Frieze Seoul in 2023.

Jeff Koons' 'Sacred Heart,' installed on the rooftop Trinity Park of Shinsegae Department Store's main branch. photoⓒNew Daily.

Lotte Department Store, leveraging its extensive experience in operating galleries, is also intensifying its efforts in art marketing. Last year, the flagship store in Sogong-dong, Seoul, independently showcased a capsule collection, a collaboration between Mihara Yasuhiro and K-artists. This event, featuring reinterpretations of Yasuhiro’s sneakers by K-artists, contributed to enhancing the department store’s image and attracting customers actively.

A large-scale sculpture of Yasuhiro Mihara's character, Kutsuhimo Musubenagun, installed on the second floor of Lotte Department Store in October. Lotte Department Store held pop-up and exhibition events in collaboration with Yasuhiro Mihara, a world-renowned designer from Japan. Photo@Lotte Department Store

An industry insider stated, “Consumers visiting department stores have a keen interest in art, and we plan to develop even more diverse and dynamic art marketing strategies in the future.” They emphasized an intention to actively attract customers through more site-centered exhibitions.

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