In the latest international investment in South Korea’s art world, Thaddeus Ropac will inaugurate a new centre in Seoul.
Thaddeus Ropac is an Australian gallerist who first opened his gallery in 1981. Today, the galleries operate from London, Paris and Salzburg in Austria. The latest addition to this would be the upcoming gallery in the Hannam-dong district in Seoul. But this is not Ropac’s first introduction to South Korea. The gallery has held many exhibitions in South Korea over the years, including a show of Lee Bul in 2007. In the same year, Ropac worked with the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s Korean branch to hold a Georg Baselitz exhibition. Ropac has also worked with many other South Korean museums to hold exhibitions for artists like Antony Gormley and Marcel Duchamp.
In a public statement, Thaddeus Ropac said:
“It’s with tremendous excitement that we are establishing the gallery in Seoul and a privilege to participate in and contribute to a city that has such strong and long-established foundations for artistic interchange.”
South Korea has met with newfound attention from the international art world in recent years. König Galerie of Berlin and Various Small Fires of Los Angeles have also been operating in South Korea. Pace Gallery, which first opened in South Korea in 2017, recently announced to expand its operations in the country. Philips too opened a branch in 2018. Reports suggest that Frieze could also hold an art fair in Seoul soon.
The operations of the new museum will be initially overseen by Kyu Jin Hwang, who also serves as the Asia Director of Ropac. The gallery will be formally inaugurated in October this year. South Korea was one of the few countries that managed to continue operating art centres last year despite the global pandemic. However, by December, it had to shut down when the situation worsened.