[Source: Christie"s Korea]
Rising artist Woo Kukwon, dubbed Korea’s next Jean-Michel Basquiat, has sold his artwork for 300 million won ($241,429), more than 23 times its estimate, to suggest the ascension in his international fame.
“Que Sera Sera” painting was sold for HK$1.89 million ($241,429) on May 27 at Woo`s Christie Hong Kong auction debut to a private art collector from Asia.
Woo, born in 1976, graduated from Tokyo Designer Gakuin College in 2003. He is known for incorporating familiar subjects such as children or animals into his paintings, mixing fairly tales and fantasies with cruel reality in vivid color.
Que Sera Sera, a painting that depicts a turtle, children, and a dog on a boat with the message of “whatever will be, will be,” was originally estimated to sell for around HK$80,000 to HK$120,000.
At the Seoul Auction Hong Kong in 2019, the winning bid for Woo’s “Matthew the Evangelist” was HK$55,000. Since then, the value of Woo’s artworks has surged by 34 times in Hong Kong.
In Korea, Woo has already been considered to be one of the most promising rising artists. All 64 of his artworks sold out at an auction last year with the winning bids totaling 4.8 billion won.
The record winning bid in Korea for Woo’s artwork is the “Ugly Duckling,” which was sold in September last year at a K Auction in Daegu for 230 million won.
His paintings also drew attention when one of his paintings was revealed on a reality TV show to be displayed in actress Son Ye-jin’s living room.
Woo’s artworks have also been recognized in Japan. Muneaki Masuda, the CEO of Culture Convenience Club (CCC), bought two of his art pieces at an art fair that was held in Tokyo in 2018 and 2019.
“I knew Jean-Michel Basquiat would become famous before anyone else did and I have the same feeling about Woo Kukwon,” said Masuda.
By Kim Seul-gi and Susan Lee
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