Kim Daljin Art Research and Consulting (hereinafter the Institute) has been tracking the number of newly opened exhibition spaces in South Korea every year since 2005. These exhibition spaces include museums, galleries, cultural spaces with exhibition halls, memorial halls, and coffee shops or other corresponding places with gallery spaces.
According to the Institute, there were 130 new spaces in 2016, 139 in 2017, 147 in 2018, 201 in 2019, 170 in 2020, and 142 in 2021. In 2022, a total of 128 exhibition spaces were opened nationwide.
According to the data, the number of new exhibition spaces has gradually declined since 2020.
In 2022, 64 of the 128 newly opened exhibition spaces were in Seoul, while the remaining 64 were in other regions. In 2021, Seoul had 51 places, accounting for 35.9%, while other regions had 91 places, accounting for 64.1%. Thus, in 2022, the total number of exhibition spaces decreased, but more were opened in Seoul.
Considering only art museums and galleries, the sum of these two was identical to that of 2021. However, compared to 2021, the number of new art museums decreased while the number of new galleries increased in 2022. In 2021, 78 galleries accounted for 54.9% of the country’s 142 spaces, and 18 art museums accounted for 12.7%, for a total of 96 spaces opened. In 2022, 96 art museums and galleries were newly opened, with 84 galleries accounting for 65.5% and 12 art museums accounting for 9.4%.
The Institute also selected important new exhibition spaces for 2022. In January 2022, Ulsan Art Museum opened its doors as a museum that specializes in media art, and Art Chosun Space was established to replace Chosun Ilbo Gallery, which was closed in late 2021. In February, Gana Art opened its third branch in the Yongsan area, Gana Art Bogwang, and the Min Bokjin Museum of Art Yangju City was established to honor the pioneering Korean sculptor Min Bokjin (1927–2016).
Global Sae-A Group Chairman Kim Woong-ki opened S2A Gallery in S-Tower in Gangnam in July. Duson Gallery, which operated in Dongsung-dong, Seoul, from 1984 to 1992, reopened in the old Salvation Army Central Hall in September. The Ralph Gibson Museum of Photography opened in Busan in October with the support of the GoEun Foundation and BMW Dongsung Motors. And in December, Museum Hanmi moved to a larger separate building in Samcheong, Seoul, and the Itami Jun Museum, dedicated to an internationally renowned Korean-Japanese architect, Jun Itami (1937–2011), opened.
While many international galleries opened Seoul branches in Hannam-dong in 2021, in 2022, galleries opened their Seoul outposts in Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam.
Tang Contemporary Art, which debuted in 1997 in Bangkok and has locations in Beijing and Hong Kong, opened a Seoul location in Cheongdam in March. Gladstone Gallery, which opened in New York in 1980, opened a Seoul outpost in April. Perrotin, which has been running a Seoul branch since 2016, opened its second outpost, Perrotin Dosan Park, in Sinsa-dong, Gangnam, in August, becoming the first overseas gallery to operate two exhibition halls in Korea.
In other regions, Berlin-based Peres Projects opened its first Asia branch on the B1 floor of the Shilla Hotel in Jangchung-dong, Seoul, in April, and Lehmann Maupin, which first opened a Seoul location in 2017, moved to a larger space in Hannam-dong in March.
New art spaces that opened in 2021 include the Jeonnam Art Museum in Gwangyang, Jeonnam Province; the Podo Museum in Seogwipo, Jeju; the relocated SONGEUN in Seoul; the relocated D Museum run by the Daelim Cultural Foundation; and a number of international galleries opened in Hannam-dong, Seoul.
The information about the new exhibition spaces in South Korea was collected through the Seoul Art Guide and Daljin News, which are art magazines published by the Kim Daljin Art Research and Consulting, as well as publications, press releases, and opening invitations by the Korean Museum Association, the Korean Art Museum Association, and the Korea Private Art Museum Association.
The Kim Daljin Art Research and Consulting, which opened in December 2001, has played an important role in delivering various information about the Korean art world. In January 2002, the Institute launched an art magazine called Seoul Art Guide, and in September 2002, it opened daljin.com, an art-focused information website, to expand its activities online. Its Art Library, which opened to the public in 2007, reopened in 2010 as the Korea Art Archives. In 2008, the Institute established the Kimdaljin Art Archives and Museum to preserve art-related materials in various forms and better illustrate the development of Korean modern and contemporary art through various exhibitions.