Patrick Lee to Helm Frieze Seoul

October 19th, 2021

Frieze has named Patrick Lee as the director of its inaugural Seoul edition, to launch in 2022. He will assume his new role in early November, roughly ten months ahead of the fair’s September 2 opening. About a hundred galleries are expected to exhibit in this first iteration, which is scheduled to run concurrently with the association’s annual Korean International Art Fair, with both events taking place at the COEX convention center in the city’s Gangnam district.

Lee, an art-world veteran of fifteen years’ experience, is the executive director of Seoul’s Gallery Hyundai, one of the city’s best known contemporary art galleries, and the longest running. Prior to his arrival there, he had been since 2006 a partner and director of ONE AND J. GALLERY, also in Seoul.

“I am truly honored and excited to be a part of the Frieze team and look forward to launching the Frieze platform in Asia,” said Lee. “Seoul is an amazing city with a well-known appreciation of the arts and is the perfect place to host a global art event of this caliber.”

Frieze had long been rumored to be launching a fair in Seoul, as South Korea’s presence on the global art scene has blossomed in the past decade, with large international galleries establishing outposts there and South Korean galleries reciprocally moving into Western cities. In landing Frieze, considered to be a direct competitor to the comparatively established Art Basel Hong Kong, Seoul beat out other Asian cities that have attracted the interest of the global art market, including Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. Interest remains strong in these cities, and in the Asian art market overall, as evidenced by a recent Artprice report showing China to be second only to New York as a contemporary art capital, with China surpassing the US in auction turnover.