Visit hotel, see art, buy art — all at the Asia Hotel Art Fair in Busan
This year’s Asia Hotel Art Fair (AHAF) will take place in Busan at the luxury hotel Park Hyatt Busan from June 17 to 20, featuring approximately 3,000 pieces of artwork by 300 artists displayed in hotel rooms.
As its name suggests, the art fair uses luxury hotel rooms as its gallery. During the AHAF Busan 2021, fifty rooms of the Park Hyatt Busan will be open to display artwork incorporated as part of the rooms' décor.
“When works are displayed in hotel rooms, it’s easier for visitors to envision, ‘That painting would go well with my bedroom’ or, ‘That sculpture would look great beside my bathtub,'” said Hwang Dal-seung, founder of the Keumsan Gallery in central Seoul and the head of the Galleries Association of Korea. “That appeals to potential buyers and leads to more sales.”
First held in Tokyo in 2008, the AHAF has taken place in Seoul, Hong Kong and Busan. Busan hosted the fair for the first time in 2019 and will welcome 50 domestic and foreign galleries again this year.
The ground floor of the hotel presents a more conventional “Masterpiece” exhibition, featuring works by Korean and foreign maestros including Lee Ufan, Park Seo-bo and David Hockney.
Hwang said that he hopes to build up Busan’s art market through the fair, and that he is seeing positive signs.
“Nowadays, not only the rich and famous but also ordinary people — even the younger generation — purchase art,” he said.
“Another positive change is that buyers today are interested in younger up-and-coming artists, not just already-famous ones. People often only care about which masterpiece sold for how much, but an art fair’s true purpose is to discover new talent. I’m happy that we are reclaiming our original identity as an art fair and broadening the market.”
The AHAF Busan 2021 will be held in collaboration with the 2021 Busan Design Week at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (Bexco). Shuttle buses will run between the two venues, and some works under the art fair’s name will also be on display at Bexco.
BY HALEY YANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]