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Interview with South Korean Esther Gallery

We talked with the director of Esther Gallery Becci Kim about the gallery, qualities of the Korean art and the gallery’s plans in Turkey.

Hello Mrs. Kim, first of all, welcome to our country. Can you tell us a little about Esther Gallery? What is your gallery’s vision?

Esther Gallery is situated in Korea, specifically in Yangpyeong, a city known for its eco-friendly conditions and location. Founded with the belief that humanity should be at the center of art, Esther Gallery aims to promote Korean art globally.

Esther Gallery is organizing exhibitions in Korea and also participating art fairs internationally. Can you tell us your plans in Turkey in 2024?

Esther Gallery’s vision is to globally promote Korean art through participation in large-scale domestic and international art fairs, exhibitions, and collaborations with overseas galleries. With a focus on market trends, management, and strategies, we have garnered positive reviews and responses from affiliated artists. This year, our plans include participating in the ArtAnkara and ArtContact Istanbul Fairs in Turkey.

As Esther Gallery, you will be participating at ArtAnkara and ArtContact Istanbul Fairs in Turkey this year. Could you tell us about the participating artists for ArtAnkara this year?

Participating artists for ArtAnkara International Contemporary Art Fair:  KYUNGME KIM expresses the longing for her mother’s heart through the sea; Bonnie Bang delicately captures the breath and smile of nature; YOUNGSOOK SONG brings out the grandeur of nature with bold colors and simple lines; BLUeRHEE depicts the fleeting transformation of life; YEON-SUN KIM (BECCI KIM) uses Metal painting to express the solitude of unfulfilled sadness as a butterfly; SOONNAM KIM expresses the solitude of trying to forget wandering thoughts with flawlessly expressed works; Gana Park‘s poetic sensibility is born as she endlessly admires nature, and ANQI (Melek Anqi) tells the story of Hiromita, a tile cat (wamao) based in Chinese culture, encouraging authenticity; KYUNG-SEOK JOO’s work symbolizes the beginning and vitality of modern people’s lives by decorating the shape of the consonants and vowels of Hunminjeongeum, the first Korean letter from 1443, with mother-of-pearl on the lacquer; SUNJOO KIM pursues beautiful things in everyday life, the meaning of rest in life and waiting for a journey was expressed through an empty chair.

Your gallery introduces Korean and other East Asian artists to Turkish art lovers. How is the response of Turkish people to Asian art?

Korean and East Asian art, with its spiritual values emphasizing inner peace and balance, has resonated with Turkish art lovers, providing comfort and inspiration. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, eliciting great sympathy.

SUNJOO KIM / Blooming Romance

We observe that Asian Art is becoming popular around the world. Asian art markets, including Korea, are on the rise in the global art market. What are your thoughts about this trend?

Asian art is already recognized for its stability and growth potential, featuring unique forms and techniques. I am confident that this trend will lead to diversity in the existing Korean monochrome painting wave, continuing to receive enthusiastic responses.

What are the qualities of Korean art that makes it unique?

The unique qualities of Korean art include the development of various forms and techniques, creating unique beauties that express the movement and vitality of nature through the flow and physical properties of paints in traditional Korean paper paintings.

BLUeRHEE / Life Goes On

1/3 of global art collectors are from Asian countries. Can we say that Asian countries value art and art education? How do you see Korea is similar or different than other Asian countries in relation to appreciating and investing in art?

In Asian countries, art is considered to have a great positive impact on viewers. Art collectors appreciate and understand art more deeply, often viewing it as a valuable purchase. While mature collectors may not solely view it as an investment, investment cannot be ruled out. Preferences may change due to trends, and the collecting habits of the millennial and Z generations play a crucial role. With the advantage of exempting art from customs duties and value-added tax, Korea sees many art purchases as investments. Collectors in Korea naturally value art and art education, with similarities to other Asian countries but also notable differences.


Could you tell us about the future projects of Esther Gallery?

Esther Gallery’s upcoming project is dedicated to creating a space for individuals who possess a deep passion for art, perceiving the artistic journey as a destined path, and wholeheartedly committed to exploring its unique essence. In line with the belief that art is not just a chosen path but a destiny, our initiative is to provide a sanctuary where art enthusiasts can connect and share a collective artistic experience. We aim to channel our efforts into transforming their expressive compositions into a powerful framework for change, intending to disseminate these creations throughout the world.

Thank you for the interview!

Gana Park / The colour of the sky
Bonnie Bang / Relation
KYUNGME KIM / Mother_s Sea 11-4
ANQI (Melek Anqi) / Insight
KYUNG-SEOK JOO / Haela series II – Gajeua
SOONNAM KIM / Serenade No.6-Harmony

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