Every few months there’s another news item in the Korean press about a new domestic record price paid at auction for a Korean painting. And each time, the artist is Park Soo-keun (Bak Su-geun, 박수근) (1914-1965).
The most recent record was set this month (22 May), at W4.52bn:
Park Soo-keun: A Wash Place (Oil on canvas, 37 x 72 cm)
The previous record was for Park Soo-keun’s “Woman at a Marketplace” (24.9 x 62.4 cm) which sold for W2.5 billion at K Auction in March:
Park’s paintings are also in demand internationally. His “Leisure Time” fetched $1.128 million at Christie’s in New York on 24 March 2003, according to the International Herald Tribune, just exceeded a year later by his “Seated Woman and Jar” which fetched $1,239,500.
With prices rising, it’s natural that the unscrupulous try to make a quick buck. Park Soo-keun was one of the artists whose work was forged by a multi-million forgery ring busted earlier this year.
- Article on Park Soo-keun at dynamic-korea
- Park Soo-keun Museum website
- Chosun on 22 May sale
- Hankyoreh on 7 March sale
- Earlier domestic records for Park Soo-keun: Trees & People (W710 million) and On the Road (W520 million). Zero points to KBS for not time-stamping the news articles on their website. Sloppy work.
- NY Korean Art Sale Exceeds All Expectations: Chosun, 2 April 2006
- Police Bust Multi-Million Won Art Forgery Ring: Chosun, 4 April 2007
- Investigation Reveals 58 Lee Joong-sup, Park Soo-keun Paintings Are Fake, Donga Ilbo, 8 October 2005
- Paintings by Lee Joong-sup, Park Soo-keun “Forgeries”: Korea Times, 7 October 2005