Art Market in Doldrums as Auction Bids Plunge

The Korean art market is reeling from the economic crisis, with the highest bid prices at domestic art auctions plunging 38.2 percent last year. So Jin-su, professor at Kangnam University and manager at an art market researcher, on Monday released a report on Korea's art market in 2008, which said the sum of the highest bids at domestic art auctions was W119.1 billion (US$1=W1,314) last year, down 38.2 percent from W192.6 billion in 2007. The art market that has seen a downward trend since the end of 2007 after two years of a boom, and prices of art works, especially those sold at auction, have plunged. The report said the sum of the highest bid prices at Seoul Auction plunged to W69.6 billion last year from W96.4 billion in 2007. At K Auction, it halved from W69.6 billion to W35.8 billion. So said, "The economic crisis will continue to affect the art market this year, which responds quickly to economic downturns but slowly to economic recovery."
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