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NYT: How Seoul Began to Take 'Center Stage' in the Art World

MMCA Seoul ©MMCA Seoul

Recently, Seoul has risen to prominence as a city gaining attention in the global art scene, and The New York Times has introduced the reasons behind Seoul’s emergence as the center of the art world.

The global art fair, Frieze, being held in Seoul, has attracted the global art world’s interest. Furthermore, major exhibitions in prominent U.S. museums, including the Guggenheim Museum’s Korean Experimental Art exhibition, LACMA’s exhibition on modern Korean art, and exhibitions in the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, validate the rapid ascent of Korean art.

Korea has achieved significant economic growth over the past 70 years after the Korean War, transforming from ruins to advanced cities. Consequently, Seoul, which was long overshadowed by Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Singapore, is now preparing to become a major player in the global art scene and a key hub for Asian art. Particularly in the art market field, Seoul is demonstrating its potential, gaining attention from the global art community.

Galleries and art experts highlight Seoul’s art market, citing its professionalism, high-level museums, collectors, curators, robust infrastructure, and financial strength, likening it to cities like Paris. The size of the second edition of Frieze Seoul was similar to that of Frieze Los Angeles, and experts estimate that Frieze Seoul’s revenue reached millions of dollars. Above all, Frieze Seoul, held alongside Kiaf SEOUL, annually attracts around 70,000 visitors, revealing a strong desire for Korean art. Simon Fox, CEO of Frieze, emphasizes Seoul’s achievements, approaching the visitor numbers of Frieze London, and positioning it as a potential art hub in Asia.

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