The international art fair ART BUSAN 2016 will be held from 20th to 23rd of May in Exhibition Center 1 of the BEXCO with 191 galleries in its largest scale in the country. 

To meet its reputation as an international art fair, ART BUSAN 2016 presents more than 4,000 artworks from 114 representative galleries in Korea and hosts 77 foreign galleries from 18 countries. A great many galleries from Korea including Kukje Gallery, Gallery Hyundai, GanaArt, ARARIO Gallery, LEEAHN Gallery take part in this festival and this time, Wooson Gallery from Daegu will make its first appearance. Galleries with global reputation including Pearl Lam Galleries from Hong 

Kong and Tokio Koyama Gallery from Tokyo have decided to participate once more followed by their participation last year. Philippe Staib gallery from Taipei and MadeIn Gallery from Shanghai, which are new to the Korean market, will be presenting artworks at the fair as well. Moreover, the Shanghai Art Fair will present Chinese contemporary art through Shanghai Art Fair Pavilion, together with 6 galleries from Shanghai. 

ART BUSAN has been building up the S-Booth project which offers the solo exhibitions of artists under 40s for new collectors. It has been providing generous support to emerging galleries under 5 years participating in ART BUSAN for the first time by offering booths under exceptional conditions. This year, the total of 12 galleries will be presenting in this section and it is worth paying attention to some of the galleries including CHO Youngcheol of Gallery May, KWON Doyeon of Yeonoje, KWON Cheolhwa of Studio Concerete and KIM Hyeongjung of Space O’NewWall. 

Special Exhibitions and Events with Diversity and Depth 

ART BUSAN has been continuously exerting efforts in diversifying domestic art fairs which tend to rely on paintings and vitalizing them by introducing experimental work and activities through various special exhibitions. The exhibitions jointly presented by Busan Museum of Art and the Busan biennale are worth attending. 

Reinterpretation Visuelle du Chateau is the special exhibition of French artists organized to commemorate the 130th anniversary of the diplomatic relation between Korea and France which hosts paintings and sculptures by Gael Davrinche, Michel Duport, Timothee Talard, Jean-Marie Haessle. The exhibition is held in collaboration with Busan Museum of Art during the ART BUSAN show and will continue until the early July at the museum. There is also a special exhibition where people can meet the upcoming Busan Biennale in the second half on the year. The Busan Biennale Archive Exhibition plans to demonstrate the history of the Busan Biennale over the last 36 years and the preview to the 2016 Busan Biennale as well as its recent outcomes on the Cite International des Arts Residency project. 

Such strengthened cooperation with public institutions mark the goal of ART BUSAN as to form the three pillars of the Busan art world consisting of the biennale, art fairs, and Busan Museum of Art, and represent the elevated status of ART BUSAN as an international art event at the same time. 

This year, independent curator Kim Sungyeon takes charge of “Art Accent”, the exhibition sponsored by Busan Bank, which introduces artists working in the Busan and Gyeongnam regions to the public. The participating artists are presenting an installation work using temporary structures as well as the wall of the exhibition hall which exhibits artworks based on installation, screen, sound, plane and other mediums in one structure in distinctive manner. The program also hosts the outdoor sculpture exhibition and the special exhibitions of JANG Seunghyo and GANG Juri which is jointly introduced by the Celebrity magazine. 

Talk Break, the lecture program sponsored by Star Motors, Inc., the official dealer of Mercedes Benz and the title sponsor of ART BUSAN, hosts David Chau, a collector and the founder of ART021 in Shanghai, and provides a VIP collector talk session. 

Special Programs for VIP Collectors 

ART BUSAN has been differentiating itself from other art fairs based on its aggressive sales marketing strategies. This year, for the first time, it provides a sponsoring program titled “Art Supporters”, which organizes partnerships with corporations and hospitals in Busan and connect them to galleries for purchasing artworks. “Specialist Tour” is the VIP program introduced in Art Show Busan 2013, which offers customized art consulting services by professional specialists for the different needs and interests of clients. It has become the special program of ART BUSAN which satisfies both galleries and collectors through helping new collectors getting familiar with art markets and providing latest market information to old collectors. 

Followed by the previous year’s success, ART BUSAN invites a group of art collectors from Shanghai once again. The number of collectors invited from other Asian nations has doubled as well. Taking advantage of Haeundae, the fair organized a tourist program which combines a Yacht tour and high-end hotels to attract VIP clients from Seoul and abroad. It also signed partnerships with 10 famous restaurants in the area, which will offer special benefits to VIPs. 

ART BUSAN hosts a contemporary art festival which both art collectors and citizens can enjoy by offering a variety of public programs along with the fair exhibitions. It also shares information on exhibitions and performances with museums, galleries, and culture villages in Busan and supplies ‘Art Bus’ for free so visitors can appreciate various art spaces in Busan within a limited time. 

High expectations are on ART BUSAN, the largest art fair in the first half year, as how and what topics it will bring up. Starting from VIP and press preview on the 19th of May, ART BUSAN will be held in Exhibition Center 1 of the BEXCO from 20th to 23rd.