May 18, 2021 | artnet.com
△ The exterior of the COEX Center in Seoul, where Frieze will take place this September.
Frieze, the international art fair company that runs some of the industry’s most important sales events, will open a new fair in Seoul in 2022.
The company made the announcement today, May 18, confirming reports that were first published in Art News last November.
The fair’s first outing in Asia, Frieze Seoul will open in September 2022 at the city’s main events venue, COEX, and will be organized in partnership with South Korea’s chief art trade group, the Galleries Association of Korea.
“Seoul is a natural home for Frieze with its extraordinary artists, galleries, museums, and collections,” Frieze board director Victoria Siddall said in a statement, promising an “unmissable” week.
The primary focus of the first edition will be contemporary art, but the event will also include a Frieze Masters section, where dealers can present works made between antiquity and the year 2000.
The show will run alongside South Korea’s biggest art fair, Kiaf Art Seoul, which has taken place in the Gangnam district for the past 20 years. To complement the event, Frieze Seoul will bring around 100 international dealers, including many from Asia, to the Korean capital for the show, which will be open from September 2 through 5.
Frieze Seoul adds another feather to the art fair giant’s cap; it already has exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, and London, where it was founded.
As the art market seeks a hub in Asia outside of Hong Kong, South Korea—with its attractive tax and customs exemptions on art—has become an increasingly attractive location.
In recent months, a number of Western dealers have turned to Seoul, including Thaddaeus Ropac, who will open an outpost in the city’s Hannam-dong district in October, and Pace, which will expand its existing footprint in the city later this month. Perrotin, Lehmann Maupin, and König also have galleries in the city.
“In a period of high public interest in the Korean art market, the collaboration between South Korea’s largest art fair and Frieze will confirm Seoul as a hub of the global art market, and South Korea a major destination for the art market in Asia,” Dal-Seung Hwang, chairman of the Galleries Association of Korea, said in a statement.