K Auction Hosts First Sale of 2024 With Modern and Contemporary Masterpieces

Jonathan Feel
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The first Korean art auctions of the new year will be held amid an overall downturn in the Korean art market.

K Auction will hold a sale in January at its headquarters in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, on the 24th, presenting works by modern and contemporary Korean masters. A total of 93 works together worth about USD 6.65 million will be exhibited.

Kim Tschang-yeul's Genesis. Image courtesy of K Auction.
Kim Tschang-yeul’s Genesis. Image courtesy of K Auction.

One interesting work in this auction is artist Kim Tschang-yeul‘s Genesis (1979). It is a large-scale work measuring 1.6 meters by 1.95 meters with an estimated price of $460,000 to $760,000. The most expensive Kim Tschang-yeul work appeared at auction shortly after his death in January 2021, when Water Drop (1977) sold for about $780,000. Including overseas auctions, CSH 1 (1978) notably sold with Christie’s Hong Kong in May of the same year for HKD 9.85 million (USD 1.05 million).

Genesis, which will be auctioned in January, depicts water droplets seemingly flowing down and soaking the canvas. “The water droplet marks look like tears with scars from war,” K Auction said. “Many water droplets form thin or thick shapes and capture the universe in them.”

Park Seo-bo's Écriture No. 080612. Image courtesy of K Auction.
Park Seo-bo’s Écriture No. 080612. Image courtesy of K Auction.

Park Seo-bo, who passed away last year, is represented in the catalog with six drawings. An early Écriture work (1980), which features repetitive pencil drawing, is estimated at $37,000 to $61,000, and the brightly-colored Écriture No. 080612 (2008) is estimated at $440,000 to $610,000. Lee Ufan’s Correspondence ($510,000 to $570,000) and Chang UcChin’s Tree, Birds, Mother and Son ($150,000 to $270,000) are also up for auction.

The overseas category will feature Ayako Rokkaku’s Untitled ($300,000 to $610,000), Damien Hirst’s 1,3-Dicaprin ($76,000 to $150,000), and Alexander Calder’s Dolmens ($91,000 to $190,000), as well as editions of David Hockney, Yayoi Kusama, and Nara Yoshitomo.

Meanwhile, Seoul Auction will hold a special auction on January 23, filled with only the works of Park Saengkwang and Park Rehyun. Both artists were known for color paintings. The auction will be held via phone, in writing, and online without in-person bidding, with a total of 143 works worth about $4.63 million. From Park Saengkwang (1904 – 1985) comes the Shaman series of ink-and-wash paintings that depict shamans and Buddhist folktales with intense colors. Park Rehyun (1920 – 1976) was a female artist who has recently been spotlighted for her artistic achievements, and this auction will feature her Early Morning ($384,100 to $499,300) and Banquet ($307,300 to $422,500).

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Jonathan Feel
Jonathan Feel

Jonathan Feel is a reporter and editor for Auction Daily in Korea. He has been active in various fields such as the media, social economy, village community, and fair trade coffee industry and is writing. It is recognized that art is not far from society and the times, and that art can be a tool for the sustainability of the Earth and mankind. He hopes that good works and artists in Korea will meet with readers.

김이준수는 한국 주재 옥션데일리 필진이자 편집자이다. 언론, 사회적경제, 마을공동체, 공정무역 커피업계 등 다양한 분야에서 활동했고 글을 쓰고 있다. 예술이 사회·시대와 동떨어져 있지 않으며, 예술이 지구와 인류의 지속가능성을 위한 도구가 될 수 있음을 인식하고 있다. 한국의 좋은 작품과 아티스트를 많이 소개하고 싶다.

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