South Korean abstract painter Lee Ufan’s painting was sold for over three billion won, which is the first record for a living South Korean artist. An art auction house, Seoul Auction, said on Wednesday that Lee’s “East Winds (1984)” was auctioned off for 3.1 billion won at a Tuesday auction. It broke the previous record of one of his series paintings, “From Point (1975),” which was auctioned for 2.2 billion won in June this year.
Most of his paintings previously have sold for somewhere between two billion won and three billion won. “From Point (1977)” was sold for 2.1 billion won at an auction market in Hong Kong in 2012, followed by “From Lines (1976)” sold for 2.3 billion won at Sotheby’s auction in 2014. The newly auctioned painting was indeed sold for about two billion won at an auction market in Hong Kong in October 2019. Its price went up by one billion won in less than two years.
“East Winds” featuring free and dynamic rhythm is considered a masterpiece among his “Winds” series. The painting has been well-known to the public as BTS’s leader RM visited Lee’s exhibition at the Busan Museum of Art in 2019 and showed special affection for the “Winds” series. Lee also broke the previous record held by Kim Whanki last year for a total amount of winning bids per artist at 14.97 billion won.