New record price for Korean painting

by Philip Gowman on 29 May, 2007 updated 23 November, 2017

in General arts news

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:

A Wash Place. Park Soo-keun. 37 x 72 cm, oil on canvas.

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:

Ladies in the market - Park Soo-keun

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.

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