Art retailers overtake e-commerce scum

Kim Tschang-yeul’s “Recurrence” (2016) sold for 55 million won ($ 47,000) on Shinsegae International’s online mall on Monday. [SHINSEGAE INTERNATIONAL]

Art and department stores, the strangely successful fusion of top and bottom, is taken to a new level.

Online malls are looking to move the web to the masses.

Shinseagae International said Tuesday that Kim Tschang-yeul’s “Recurrence” (2016) sold for 55 million won ($ 47,000) an hour after it was released on SIVillage, the company’s website, on Monday.

Kim is well known for painting water drops, and in “Recurrence” the water drops are placed against a light pencil grid and hanja [Chinese characters].

It was released as part of a promotional event that runs until October 30.

A total of 118 works are available for sale during the event. These include “Untitled” (2009) by Lee Ufan, which is listed at 45 million won, and “In Between” by Maria Chang, which sold for 10 million won.

“Interest in art has recently reached its peak,” Shinseage International said in a statement, citing record sales at the 2021 Kiaf Seoul Art Fair held earlier this month and the popularity of ticket sales. for the exhibition of works of art bequeathed by the late president of the Samsung group. Lee Kun-hee. Tickets for the exhibition, which opened in July, are still sold out.

“Young consumers are increasingly interested in art because they see it as a form of investment,” said Lim Ji-hye, spokesperson for Shinsegae International.

Reselling, buying fractional ownership of artwork, or renting artwork from galleries are all different types of investing in art.

Lotte department store began selling artwork at six of its branches in June. Branches include Jamsil in South Seoul and Dongtan in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi.

The Lotte department store previously operated a gallery in the stores, and the art was primarily for display, although pieces could be purchased by special request.

The company started selling artwork on its website in August.

A total of 80 pieces – 60 offline and 20 online – have been sold so far.

“Besides the reason for the investment, people seem to be interested in purchasing artwork to decorate their homes, as they spend more time at home since the onset of Covid-19,” said Lim Ji-eun, spokesperson for Lotte Shopping.

“The consumption of YOLO has pushed young people to buy art”, he added with reference to You Only Live Once.

The Shinseage department store, which opened an art space at its Gangnam branch in south Seoul last August, is exhibiting around 120 works of art that are also for sale. More than 500 works were sold in September.

A curator is there to explain the art to clients.

“Traditional retailers can differentiate themselves from free market platforms by selling works of art, as people tend to trust large retailers when it comes to buying expensive products like works of art.” a spokesperson for the Hyundai department store said.

Open market platforms refer to e-commerce sites that sell products from individual sellers.

The Hyundai department store started selling artwork at its online mall from this month.

BY JIN MIN-JI [[email protected]]


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