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Art Boom in Haeundae

Posted August. 13, 2007 07:08,   


Busan’s beach area Haeundae is hot with the passion for art.

Large-scale exhibition and auction centers opened one after another in Heaundae this summer, and art lovers are flocking to the area. In particular, the extraordinary location, which boasts a beautiful beach and the Dalmaji Road, which passes the beach, are generating an environment conducive to enjoying art and nature at the same time.

The Johyun Gallery, Busan’s representative gallery, moved to the Dalmaji Road in June. In July, Gana Art in Seoul opened its Busan branch at the Novotel Ambassador Hotel Busan on the Haeundae beach, while the Korea Art Gallery, a specialized gallery for exhibitions and auctions, opened its Busan center on Dalmaji Road. On August 11, Arbazaar, an innovative exhibition center and marketplace, opened in Haeundae New City. Currently, there are 17 galleries in Haeundae and other galleries are preparing for their openings on Dalmaji Road. Kim Young Seob Photo Gallery in Seoul is also holding a photo exhibition in Haeundae, reflecting increasing interest in the area among the art community.

Busan citizens are also very keen on visiting the exhibitions and buying works there. Gana Art Busan held an exhibition of the works of the popular artist Sa Suk-won and sold all of the displayed works. Inquiries are continuously coming in to purchase works being exhibited in the photo exhibition of Bae Byung-woo, which opened August 10. The exhibition of the French artist Philippe Cognee at Johyun Gallery is also drawing many visitors. Heo Ji-young, art manager at Gana Art Busan, said, “I learned how great Busan citizens’ thirst for art is through the exhibitions this summer.”

The local art community is in an upbeat mood. Choi Jang-ho, the director at Choijnagho Gallery, said, “The atmosphere began to improve early this year. Potential collectors in the city are surfacing in the summer,” adding, “To maintain this momentum, works by artists with high investment value and promising young artists should be exhibited.”

The Korea Art Gallery is scheduled to resume its auction business for the first time in two years, and is planning to focus on works by promising young artists, rather than on expensive pieces by famous artists.

Arbazaar also intends to provide an innovative art space to popularize the art boom in Busan. It is planning to provide visitors and buyers a one-stop service with its facilities, including an exhibition buyer consultation center, café and lecture centers, and art book and frame centers. It wants to present everyone opportunities to purchase art works, based on their tastes and purchasing power, by exhibiting modern and antique works in a wide range of prices together.

Meanwhile, art galleries at Haeundae are also planning to enter Seoul. Johyun Gallery is scheduled to open its Seoul branch in Cheongdam-dong, while Arbazaar is working on launching an art magazine in Seoul in coming September. The art boom in Haeundae is rapidly heading north.