Rare Kim Whan-ki piece put up for auction

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Rare Kim Whan-ki piece put up for auction


Kim Whan-ki’s “3-II-72 #220” in this image provided by Seoul Auction. [YONHAP]

A rare painting by South Korea’s most valuable artist Kim Whan-ki, judged by auction prices, has been put up for sale at a upcoming auction in Hong Kong, an auction house said Friday.

Seoul Auction said the painting titled “3-II-72 #220” created by the abstract master Kim (1913-1974) in 1972 will look for a new owner at the 25th Hong Kong auction set to take place in the Grand Hyatt on May 27.

The 202- by 254-centimeter (6.6- by 8.3-foot) painting is covered mostly with red dots - an uncommon color for the artist known for his signature blue dots - except for the top middle part of the canvas where blue dots form an upside-down triangle.

In its first appearance at an auction, the painting has set high expectations in the country’s art industry that it will break the previous auction record set by the same artist.

In April last year, the late artist’s “Tranquility 5-IV-73 #310” with his signature style of blue dots and a white-edged square fetched 6.55 billion won ($5.74 million) at K Auction, a record high for any Korean art piece ever sold at auction.

A native of the small fishing town of Shinan, South Jeolla, Kim was a pioneer of abstract art. In early 1960, he moved to New York and stayed there until his death in 1974.

The country’s five most expensive art pieces all belong to Kim.

The auction will offer 64 lots, valued at a conservative estimate of 21 billion won.

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