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Art Fair With A Twist

LOFT gets the lowdown on an unconventional art fair in town

LOFT thinks that the Mandarin Oriental will be the place to be during 25 – 27th February when the 5th Asia’s Top Gallery Hotel Art Fair takes over to create an unconventional exhibition for art lovers.

There will be over 3,000 works from 70 premium Asian galleries inhabiting the rooms of the Mandarin Oriental, providing an rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of works by the latest crop of emerging Asian artists alongside established names like Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami.

With art works displayed across windowsills, walls, bedspreads and even bathtubs, the fair aims to distance itself from the concept of an exhibition space as an “empty white cube” and provide a context for viewers to visualize the pieces in their own home, according to Co-founder and Chairman, Mr. Hwang Dal-seung. “Being able to see the pieces in the familiar setting of a hotel room allows you to see how it would look in your own living room, or above your bed,” continued Mr. Hwang, who is also Director of the Keumsan Gallery in Seoul. The organisers have also learned that many of the buyers at previous fairs were making their first art purchases, revealed the founder, which was an encouraging sign for the organisers.

One highlight of this year’s fair is the presence of Park Seo-bo – better known in Western art circles for his Ecruiture series – whose latest works will also be on show.  The 83-year-old has been an instrumental figure in the Korean art scene for over sixty years and is considered by many back in his homeland as the father of Korean modernism. Other notable Korean artists to look out for are Lee Lee-nam, Bae Jun-sung, Kim Joon, Kim Tschang-yeul, Hong Kyung-Tack and Lee Yong-duk also exhibiting at this year’s fair.

Mr. Hwang was keen to advocate the potential for investment in Korea’s burgeoning art market. “Contemporary Korean art is very much on the up and attracting strong interest from investors,” with the exposure gained from high-profile exhibitions in art-centric cities such as London attracting interest from a wider audience of enthusiasts and collectors outside of Asia. The price that most pieces sell for is comparably lower to those from established markets like Japan and China, but with investors now eyeing up the emerging Korean art market, touted for a bright future, now may be the time to consider investing in Korean art.

Ticketing information is available at www.hotelartfair.kr and www.hkticketing.com.

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