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Minister's visit renews interest in contemporary art

Yu In-chon, the minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, expressed his interest in art by visiting the Korea International Art Fair for the second time during its run.

Minister Yu on Monday (Sept. 22) dropped by the COEX building in Samseong-dong, Seoul where the event was taking place. The art fair, one of the largest in the country, ran from Sept. 19 to 23.

He was returning from a reporting session at the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), presided over by President Lee Myung-bak. He was guided by Kim Yoon-soo, director of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, and Lee Hyun-sook, head of the Galleries Association of Korea, among others. 

This was not the first time Minister Yu had visited the fair, as he had been present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 18. “At that time, I didn’t have time to properly admire the artworks. I visited again to encourage more people to purchase art,” Minister Yu explained.

The Korean art market is currently down due to the extension of taxation to works of art and an overall slowdown in the market.

“I’m attracted by something dramatic, like the works of Edvard Munch (1863-1944) and other impressionist artists,” Minister Yu said.

“Minister Yu’s visit is a great promotion to our art fair,” Galleries Association head Lee said, expressing gratitude for the unexpected visit.

The Korea International Art Fair was established in 2002 to show off public interest in contemporary art and promote Korean art overseas. About 6,000 works by 1,500 artists have been showcased this year.

By Kim Hee-sung Staff Writer

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