Frieze New York 2014: 5 Asian galleries on their fair experience

Five galleries based in Asia speak to Art Radar about exhibiting at Frieze’s third edition in New York.

Frieze Art Fair held its third edition at Randall’s Island Park, New York, from 9 to 12 May 2014. This edition featured over 190 contemporary galleries from around the world, with 53 from New York. Art Radar was at the fair and spoke to five exhibiting galleries based in Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo about mixing modern and contemporary works, their featured artists and their sales.

Frieze Art Fair, New York 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Frieze Art Fair, New York 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Frieze New York is a sister art fair to Frieze London, which was started in 2003 by the founders of Frieze magazine. Although only in its third year, the art fair has become a major draw for international and local art enthusiasts in New York.

The fair is divided into three sections: the main section, Focus and Frame. The main section is for established galleries, the Focus section exhibits curated shows by galleries with less than ten years’ experience in the business, and the Frame section is dedicated to showing solo presentations by galleries with less than six years’ experience.

Art Radar spoke to representatives from five galleries from Asia about their fair experience.

HeeJeong Chang of Gallery Hyundai at Frieze New York 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

HeeJeong Chang of Gallery Hyundai at Frieze New York 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

HeeJeong Chang, Manager of Gallery Hyundai, exhibition team, Seoul, Korea

Is this your first time participating at the fair? Could you talk about your experience here?

It’s our third time participating at this fair.

Installation view of Seung-taek Lee’s works. Gallery Hyundai at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Installation view of Seung-taek Lee’s works. Gallery Hyundai at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

 

Could you talk about the works that you have sold so far? How many works? What are the price ranges of the works that were sold? And what nationality were the collectors?

The sales record is not too bad, it’s quite good. The collectors have been European and American.

Do you have short term and long term plans for exhibiting at this fair? Does your gallery have a collector base in New York and the United States?

We hope to participate regularly in this fair. And we will continue to represent Korean contemporary artists. We don’t have many New York collectors.

What other fairs do you participate in?

Art Stage Singapore, Frieze London Masters (we will be participating in October), Art Taipei.

Were there any special considerations in selecting the artists and works to be exhibited at this fair?

We brought Korean modern and contemporary artists. Our concept is modern and contemporary Korean artists, the next generation. So we brought only Korean artists to the fair.

Installation view of Seung-taek Lee, Hairy canvases at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Installation view of Seung-taek Lee, Hairy canvases at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Which artists are you featuring at this fair?

Seung-taek Lee, the pioneer of Korean avant-garde. The pottery, all the string works and the hairy canvas works are by him. His main subject is non-materialism. We’ve represented him in the first, second and the third edition of Frieze. We also brought Korean modern artists Lee UfanSang-Hwa Chung and Suh Seok.

The contemporary artists we represent are Jeon Joonho, Moon Kyungwon and Kim Beom – the video work.

Installation view of Beom Kim, Gallery Hyundai at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Installation view of Beom Kim, Gallery Hyundai at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Which artist/s have drawn the most attention at your booth this year?

Lee Ufan drew the most attention this year. He has a presence in New York, he had a show at the Guggenheim and is very popular in New York.

Alice Yuan, gallery manager at Boers-Li Gallery, Frieze New York 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Alice Yuan, gallery manager at Boers-Li Gallery, Frieze New York 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Alice Yuan, Gallery Manager of Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing, China

Is this your first time participating at the fair? Could you talk about your experience at the fair?

It’s our third time participating in the fair. We really like the fair, we used to participate in the Armory fair before, but in comparison we like this atmosphere. It’s polished and more suitable for our works, especially this year since we are now trying to profile not only the young contemporary artists that we have but also more historical Chinese contemporary art, so I think this kind of setting is much more suitable to these kinds of works.

How do you find this year’s fair in comparison to its previous editions?

This year is maybe not as exciting as last year, I think. The overall audience participation – it was really busy for the preview on Thursday but since then there hasn’t been a great rush of more serious collectors. On the second day it was a little empty, of course also due to the weather, but the weekend has been good, and it’s picked up a lot. In general, the people are always professional and the staff is always helpful. We’ve participated in other fairs, and at Frieze, all the walls are built and everything is ready, while at some fairs that we’ve participated in, the walls are not even ready and there’s still construction to do while we had to start installing.

Installation shot of Boers-Li Gallery at Frieze New York 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Installation shot of Boers-Li Gallery at Frieze New York 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Could you talk about the works that you have sold so far? How many works? What are the price ranges of the works that were sold? And what nationality were the collectors?

We have sold a few of Xue Feng’s works – he is a mid-generation Chinese artist from Hangzhou, China. Aesthetically speaking, the works are very attractive and full of energy and colour, and very nice to look at. Formally he is very painterly and he tries to develop his own painting forms and styles.

His prices are quite okay for a Chinese artist, too; sometimes western collectors find Chinese art to be overpriced, but his price ranges are quite modest for an artist of his level. His works are priced at USD8,000 to USD30,000. The works we’ve sold have been in the USD10,000-20,000 range. Because these artists have a lot of historical grounding, we have to price them accordingly so we don’t undervalue their works. So we are trying to introduce them to museums and institutions and such.

At Frieze New York, it’s been mostly local collectors based in New York.

Do you have short-term and long-term plans for exhibiting at this fair? Does your gallery have a collector base in New York and the United States?

We are here more to profile the gallery rather than just to sell to private collectors. America is filled with different institutions, and connected to American curators that come around, so we are hoping to bridge some connections and at least to exhibit in museums.

We have collectors from everywhere. Of course, we have Chinese collectors, but also American and a lot of European collectors. The director of our gallery is Dutch, and he used to be the director of a non-profit space in Berlin for a decade and so he has brought in a lot of European collectors. And we go to Art Basel so we have a lot of European collectors. I would say mainly it is European and Chinese collectors.

What other fairs do you participate in?

This year, we are not doing many fairs. Internationally, we are doing this one, and later Art Basel Hong Kong. We’ve been participating in Art Basel for a number of years now. We’ve also participated in Art 13 London, ABC Art Berlin Contemporary, Art Taipei, Art Stage Singapore for a few years, Art Beijing, and Shanghai Contemporary.

Were there any special considerations in selecting the artists and works to be exhibited at this fair?

This year, most of our booth is historical. We only brought three younger artists to this fair. In March, we had a group show with these historical artists, “The Unofficials, art before 1985“. We tried to show the points in time when these artists developed a conscious stream of experimentalism, and they tried to derive different styles from the then traditional landscapes.

Installation shot of Boers-Li Gallery at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Installation shot of Boers-Li Gallery at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Which artists are you featuring at this fair?

From the historical side, there are Zhang Wei, Ma Kelu, Tang Pinggang, Feng Guodong, Li Shuang, Li Shan, and Huang Rui. The artists Zhang Wei and Ma Kelu have lived in New York and were based in New York for over 20 years, and now they are back in Beijing.

The younger artists are Xue Feng, Chen Yujun, and Yang Xinguang.

Which artist/s have drawn the most attention at your booth this year?

Xu Feng, Tang Pinggang, Ma Kelu and Li Shuang.

Installation shot of Kukje Gallery at Frieze New York 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Installation shot of Kukje Gallery at Frieze New York 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Eliza Ravelle-Chapuis, Director at Tina Kim Gallery (Kukje Gallery), Seoul, Korea and New York, USA

Is this your first time participating at the fair? Could you talk about your experience at the fair?

No, we’ve exhibited since the first Frieze New York. It’s a good fair with great energy.

How do you find this year’s fair in comparison to the previous editions?

Each year it is better and better.

Installation view of Michael Joo, Dissemblage, 2014. Low iron glass pit fired ceramic. 121.9 x 101.6 x 33 cm. Kukje gallery at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Installation view of Michael Joo, ‘Dissemblage’, 2014, low iron glass pit fired ceramic, 121.9 x 101.6 x 33 cm. Kukje gallery at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Could you talk about the works that you have sold so far? How many works? What are the price ranges of the works that were sold? And what nationality were the collectors?

We’ve done very well with our Korean artists, Haegue Yang, Gimhongsok, Kyungah Ham, Ha Chong-Hyung, and Chung Sang-Hwa. The collectors were Korean, American, and European.

Do you have short-term and long-term plans for exhibiting at this fair? Does your gallery have a collector base in New York and the United States?

We have long-term plans for this fair. In general, collectors are in New York and United States.

What other fairs do you participate in?

We participate in the Armory Show, Frieze London, Frieze Masters, TEFAF, FIAC, Art Abu Dhabi, Art Basel, Art Basel Hong Kong and Art Basel Miami.

Were there any special considerations in selecting the artists and works to be exhibited at this fair?

We are focusing mostly on our Korean artists.

Installation view of Gimhongsok, Untitled (15 Breaths) 2013. Bronze with gold plating, 280 x 33 x 33 cm. Kukje Gallery at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Installation view of Gimhongsok, ‘Untitled (15 Breaths)’, 2013, bronze with gold plating, 280 x 33 x 33 cm. Kukje Gallery at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Which artists are you featuring at this fair?

Kimsooja, Michael Joo, Haegue Yang, Yeesookyong, Chung Sang-Hwa and Ha Chong-Hyun.

Which artist/s have drawn the most attention in your booth this year?

Chung Sang-Hwa and Ha Chong-Hyun.

Theresa Liang, director of Long March Space at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Theresa Liang, director of Long March Space at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Theresa Liang, Director of Long March Space, Beijing, China

Is this your first time participating at the fair? Could you talk about your experience at the fair?

It’s our third time participating at Frieze New York. Frieze has always been an enjoyable fair, and of course we like New York. The idea of having a tent on Randall’s Island is very novel, everyone who is here seems to be very happy. And the experience has always been good.

How do you find this year’s fair in comparison to the previous editions?

I haven’t experienced any difference.

Installation view of Wang-Jianwei, "the event matured accomplished in sight of all non-existent human outcomes" No.2, 2013. Mixed media, wood spray, paint. Long March Space at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Installation view of Wang-Jianwei, ‘The event matured accomplished in sight of all non-existent human outcomes No.2’, 2013, mixed media, wood spray, paint. Long March Space at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Could you talk about the works that you have sold so far? How many works? What are the price ranges of the works that were sold? And what nationality were the collectors?

I think we’ve sold pieces by all of the artists we’ve brought here, Zhan Wang, Yang Shaobin, Wang Jianwei on the right. Wang Jianwei will be having a solo exhibition in the Fall (31 October 2014 to 16 February 2015) at the Guggenheim in New York as part of the Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative, which is one of the reasons why we brought his works to the fair, to introduce him to the New York audience and collectors.

Yang Shaobin is a foremost Chinese contemporary painter, and his work that we brought is one of his latest works that he painted earlier this year.

Installation view of Zhan Wang, Artificial Rock No. 150, sculpture, 2010. Long March Space at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Installation view of Zhan Wang, ‘Artificial Rock No. 150’, 2010, sculpture. Long March Space at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Zhan Wang is universally popular, and especially in New York he has a huge collector base so every time we bring his works, they are very popular. This year we brought a series of his works: one is Artificial Rock, one is flying stone (the latest interpretation of his Artificial Rock series), and the Urban Landscape series, which has also proven popular over the years.

So the sales have been great. Every artist we brought has been sold to important collectors so it’s been great. Primarily, the collectors have been locally based. Most of the clients that we’ve dealt with, 70 to 80 percent are New York based. For the international collecting crowd, they go to the New York galleries, and they are here for the local scene. But local collectors know the New York galleries, and visit non-local galleries at the fair.

What other fairs do you participate in?

We do all the Art Basel fairs. Art Basel, Art Basel Hong Kong, Art Basel Miami.

Installation view of Wang Jianwei, It is...No. 2, 2013. Mixed media, wood, rubber. Long March Space at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Installation view of Wang Jianwei, ‘It is…No. 2’, 2013, mixed media, wood, rubber. Long March Space at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Were there any special considerations in selecting the artists and works to be exhibited at this fair?

Obviously, since Frieze New York is still very young, I think we are learning our ropes in terms of understanding the kind of clients that come to this fair. That plays an important role in how we select works for the fair. We want them to be familiar but not too familiar, if that makes any sense. For example, the New York clientele is very familiar with Zhan Wang and Yang Shaobin since they are established artists, and with Wang Jianwei with the Guggenheim exhibition this fall.

Which artists are you featuring at this fair?

Zhan Wang, Yang Shaobin and Wang Jianwei.

Yutaka Kikutake of Taka Ishii Gallery at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Yutaka Kikutake of Taka Ishii Gallery at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Yutaka Kikutake, Gallery Director of Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Is this your first time participating at the fair? How do you find this year’s fair in comparison to the previous editions?

This is the second time we’re participating at the fair. It’s much better with many more collectors.

Could you talk about the works that you have sold so far? How many works? What are the price ranges of the works that were sold? And what nationality were the collectors?

We’ve sold six works, ranging from USD1,700 to USD30,000. The collectors were from the United States, England and Mexico.

Do you have short-term and long-term plans for exhibiting at this fair? Does your gallery have a collector base in New York and the United States?

We have long-term plans for this fair.

What other fairs do you participate in?

We participate in Art Basel, Art Basel Hong Kong, Frieze London, Paris Photo, and others.

Were there any special considerations in selecting the artists and works to be exhibited at this fair?

We wanted to mix modern and contemporary works.

Installation view of Taka Ishii Gallery at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Installation view of Taka Ishii Gallery at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Which artists are you featuring at this fair?

Koji Enokura, Yosuke Takeda, Yuki Kimura, Ei Arakawa and Kunie Sugiura.

Yosuke Takeda, Photography 30 x 20 cm. 2014. Taka Ishii gallery at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Yosuke Takeda, Photography 30 x 20 cm. 2014. Taka Ishii gallery at Frieze New York, 2014. Photo by Christine Lee for Art Radar.

Which artist/s have drawn the most attention at your booth this year?

 Yosuke Takeda drew the most attention in our booth.

 Christine Lee

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Comments

Frieze New York 2014: 5 Asian galleries on their fair experience — 1 Comment

  1. Very disturbing trends in what is being considered art here. These works of ‘ art ‘ belong in windows at department stores such as Macy’s. Pathetic, at best.

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