The New York-based dealer Tina Kim has been selling works to Korea since the early 1990s, both to private collections and museums. “At the start, Korean clientele were more interested in blue-chip, internationally known artists, such as Calder, Warhol, and Basquiat,” Kim told Artnet News. “I was only working with a handful of buyers.”
But over the past two decades, Korean buyers have started to move outside of their comfort zone, traveling frequently to Hong Kong and Shanghai, while more have been purchasing art to diversify their financial portfolios, noted Kim, who is the daughter of Lee Hyun-Sook, the founder and chair of Korea’s powerhouse Kukje Gallery.
“Today, I find that Korean buyers have gained confidence and pride in collecting Korean artists. They are also much more interested in younger contemporary artists, both locally and internationally,” Kim said. “Now there is a much wider scope of Korean people collecting art.”