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Support Turns Promising Artists Into International Stars

Support Turns Promising Artists Into International Stars

Posted March. 14, 2005 22:22,   


One way of raising internationally acclaimed artists is to evaluate the work and create a network. Critic and author of the book, “To Be An Artist,” Park Young-taek (professor at Kyonggi University) pointed out, “Even authors with professional mentalities and spirits will be excluded from the system because they do not have connections, wealth, and relations in the educational world.” Professor Park admonishes that the quality of a piece is not determined by educational relations, previous work experience, or financial power, but by the process of work, results, viewpoints, and attitude, and that the art circles in Korea still revolve around controversy about the quality of a product or questioning the irrational structure.

Art personnel who have experience in foreign display projects or product purchasing say that young Korean artists have competent competitiveness in the international stage. They only point out the fabric of a network that these young artists lack. President of Arario Gallery Kim Chang-il, who recently became a hot topic by promising an astounding grant for young artists, said, “It should not be about discovering artists. It is necessary for those who are already artists to receive help in order to shine on the international stage” and continued, “Artists cannot approach directly, so eventually the art groups and the government should be responsible.”

Another method is to scout foreign curators to Korea. Many voice the urgent need for the formation of a network that would allow foreign curators who handled exhibition coordination to interact continuously with domestic art groups, important as sending our own artists abroad may be. Yoon Jae-gap, who focused on unearthing young talent from early on to operate “Loop,” a priority alternative space, says, “The biggest problem is that currently our art group is in need of international curators,” and added, “It is important to raise artists, but raising curators is just as important.” This means that we must actively introduce a visiting curator policy that is being pursued overseas on domestic turf, and invite renowned foreign curators to Korea frequently through this policy, exposing our artists and aiding to decide exhibition direction.

Finally, we must expand foreign markets through rearing famous artists. Art critic Choi Byung-shik (professor at Kyunghee University) says, “We must introduce a policy like Britain’s Turner Award that is given to young artists and make young celebrities even in domestic art communities,”and suggested, “If we choose an incentive-giving policy that selects a minority and give them prizes instead of a competition, they will be able to grow up to be stars on the international stage.”

Mun-Myung Huh angelhuh@donga.com