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Bidding at Seoul auction house hits new high since financial crisis

All News 11:43 June 23, 2021

SEOUL, June 23 (Yonhap) -- In a sign of growing demand for artworks, a major auction house based in Seoul saw sales from a recent bidding reach a fresh high since the 2008 global financial crisis.

Seoul Auction sold artworks worth 24.3 billion won (US$21.4 million) in the latest bidding held Tuesday, with 87 percent of the artworks finding new owners during the event, it said Wednesday.

The amount is the highest since the 2008 financial crisis and is also higher than the 23 billion won in sales the auction house had estimated ahead of the event.

This photo, provided by Seoul Auction, shows Korean painter Lee Ufan's series "From Point." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Among the artworks, Korean abstract master Kim Whan-ki's 1971 work "27-XI-71 #211" fetched the most at 3.05 billion won, while Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama's 2014 work "Silver Nets (BTRUX)" sold for 2.9 billion won.

Lee Ufan, who holds the title of the surviving Korean artist whose painting has fetched the most in an auction, renewed his previous record. Two pieces of his works "From Point" -- that were placed next to one another like one piece of artwork -- fetched 2.2 billion won after the bidding started at 1.5 billion won.

The contemporary master's previous record was his 1984 artwork "East Winds" that was auctioned off at 2.07 billion won at Seoul Auction's 2019 bidding in Hong Kong.

Among antique artworks, legendary Joseon-era painter Jeong Seon's work was auctioned off at 440 million won, fetching more than threefold the starting bidding price.


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