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Broaden Your Perspective: Popularization of Artworks

Various artworks that were once only for the rich are becoming one of the methods for Millennials and Generation Z to express their tastes. Since there will be diverse art exhibitions and platforms to let people enjoy the artworks in various ways in the second half of this year, the Sungkyun Times (SKT) would like to introduce the current situation of artworks and some attractive points that made people fall in love with.

Perception of Artworks

Current State of Artworks Popularization

Even though artworks in the past were only for the rich, a lot of people today can enjoy them in diverse ways. Since the image of art was too high-priced, most young people felt it was difficult to approach the field. However, as time has passed, the opportunity to enjoy art is given to everyone. In particular, the online systemized art market has played a large role in attracting younger generations. For example, one of the biggest hosts of an art fair, Art Basel, reported that the proportion of art collectors in Korea that were Millennials and Generation Z was 56% in 2021. As the data shows, artworks are not simply appreciated but have also become one of the cultural factors for investment and collection. Typically, the Art Bank in the Korean National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art is the place where open art exhibitions are held, and people can purchase or rent artworks. The place was established in February 2005 and guides people to Korean art culture, showing various works every year. The Art Bank plays the role of having art exhibitions or lending artworks to various groups by purchasing the works from public institutions using the government’s budget.

Korean National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (koreart-log.tumblr.com)

How Did Artworks Become Popular?

The way young generation consumes accounted for a big part in the popularization of artworks. They do not simply check the attractive points of the works but also get to know their tastes. The feeling of satisfaction is significantly higher after purchasing or investing in the artworks which represent people’s luxurious tastes. Recently, young people have become awakened to art-tech, which means investment in artworks. In particular, Millennials, who have a consumption culture of putting a high value on anything they like, have become more interested in art-tech. The benefit of art-tech is that purchasing potential artworks in advance can make people earn money when the value becomes high. Also, it can make people encourage rising artists and invest in their future. Moreover, unlike stocks or virtual currency, people can invest a small amount of money in works of art. This method is attractive to younger generations who have relatively less money than older generations. In particular, the celebrities who highly affect the youth show affection to artworks. The tendency to follow celebrities’ tastes also played a big role in the popularization of art. Even though the artworks were adequately popular among many people, the degree of interest toward artworks of younger generations has become remarkably higher in recent days.

Finding Valuable Artworks (thingsthatsing-fortheeasilydistracted.com)

Ways to Enjoy Artworks

Watching Various Art Exhibitions

For those who are new to art, it is better to appreciate works first rather than going straight to investing. Currently, since there are various art galleries showing art exhibitions with diverse themes, people can choose and appreciate artworks based on their preferences. Starting from August 20th, the Lotte Department Store opened the online platform, Lotte Gallery. In this platform, people can appreciate artworks and purchase the works immediately. Also, this platform offers a service of professional curators explaining the artworks while keeping the expertise. Therefore, this online platform, which might be familiar to young generations who are good at dealing with digital platforms, is expected to bring the effect of lowering the barrier to enter the world of artworks.

Andy Warhol’s Exhibition in Seoul (post.naver.com)

Following Celebrities’ Tastes

People who previously had no interest can enjoy artworks while following celebrities. A lot of younger generations are visiting art museums or exhibitions following their favorite celebrities’ tastes. Among fandoms, these actions are called “pilgrimages”, which refer to following their favorite celebrities’ tastes. For example, in August 2021, one of the BTS members, RM, visited Lee Kun-hee’s special collection at the Daegu Art Museum, and it became a sensation among the fandoms. His fans took pictures at the same zone where RM took photos wearing similar clothes to him as well. Moreover, not only just having a temporary interest in artworks by following celebrities, but also those younger generations can constantly look forward to art exhibitions themselves.

RM of BTS Visiting the Art Gallery (pinterest.co.kr)

Purchasing Works of Art

After finding an appreciation for art, people can purchase goods regarding the exhibitions such as phone cases, postcards, or stickers. Since young people do not have enough money to buy whole paintings, purchasing small-sized goods would be reasonable consumption. However, by investing with cooperatives, people can purchase artworks. For example, in one of the cooperative investment platforms, Art Together, people purchase artworks online. Since investors get profits when the proper time has come for sale, it could be more reasonable than other investment methods that are highly determined by luck. Even though people who love art can also be satisfied by appreciating art and purchasing goods, it is also a good way for younger generations to think about cooperative investment considering upcoming profits.

Art Lotte, a Premium Sales Store (mirae-biz.com)

윤지민  linda0202g.skku.edu

<저작권자 © THE SUNGKYUN TIMES, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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