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New art appraisal company enters market

A new art appraisal company has recently launched its services, filling a void created after the disbandment of a major player in the field here. 

Previously, local art appraisal services were offered mainly by a network consisting of the Korean Art Appraisal Board and the Korean Art Appraisal Association in cooperation with the Galleries Association of Korea.

The appraisal board opened in 2001 and started to offer appraisal and authentication services in cooperation with the Korean Art Appraisal Association. In 2007, the Galleries Association of Korea signed an agreement with the two appraisal bodies under which it would dispatch its art appraisal experts. 

Art experts, including Chung Joon-mo (second from right) discuss ways to improve transparency in the Korean art market and art appraisal credibility at a seminar organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in June, 2016. (Yonhap)
Art experts, including Chung Joon-mo (second from right) discuss ways to improve transparency in the Korean art market and art appraisal credibility at a seminar organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in June, 2016. (Yonhap)


But the art appraisal entity discontinued its services in March this year, making room for other players.

The Korea Art Authentication & Appraisal Research Center is one of those players, having launched its appraisal services after the former group was disbanded.

Chung Joon-mo, this new entity’s co-CEO, said at a press conference Tuesday in Seoul’s Samcheong-dong area that it would make an effort to build credibility and earn the trust of the market.

Chung is the former curator of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art who defended the authenticity of painter Chun Kyung-ja’s “Beautiful Woman.”

This new private art appraisal firm had already been offering appraisal services in different categories, including paintings, traditional art and traditional craftworks.

Chung said the firm has invited 10-20 experts from the Korean Art Appraisal Association to help the new organization to settle in.

“We made requests to the experts who used to work at the Korean Art Appraisal Association. Some agreed to join this new firm, but some have rejected the offer, largely as they were considering retirement,” Chung said. “The company will continue to recruit younger experts specialized in art appraisal.”

When asked about the connection between the previous appraisal body and the new firm, Chung insisted that they were in no way associated with each other, despite having experts and stakeholders in common. Furthermore, he added, the new company does not share the database that that the former joint entity had built over more than a decade.

Meanwhile, the Galleries Association of Korea, the organizer of the Korea International Art Fair in Seoul, said it will continue offering appraisal and authentication services, which it started in 1982, separately from the its ex-partners and the new company led by Chung.

The association of local galleries will unveil details regarding its art appraisal system at a press conference to be held Friday in Seoul.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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