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Lee Ufan’s painting sells for 3.1 billion won, setting auction record for living South Korean artist

SEOUL, Aug. 25 (Yonhap) – Lee Ufan’s painting “East Winds” sold for 3.1 billion won ($ 2.66 million), becoming the most expensive work of art from a living South Korean artist, an auction house announced on Wednesday.

At an auction held in Seoul on Tuesday, the 1984 masterpiece broke the previous record of 2.2 billion won, set in June by the minimalist artist’s 1975 painting “From Point,” Seoul Auction said.

This is the first time that a work by a living South Korean artist has reached more than 3 billion won at an auction.

“East Winds,” a flagship piece from Lee’s 1980s Winds series, is interpreted to express spiritual freedom and dynamic energy with brushstrokes that evoke East Asian calligraphy.

Born in 1936, the painter and sculptor is one of the best-known South Korean artists in the international art world, with his works exhibited in New York, London, Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong and other major cities of the world.

Its stature in the national art market has also skyrocketed in recent years. His works totaled 14.97 billion won in South Korea last year, replacing the late abstract artist Kim Whan-ki as the market’s top seller.

In Tuesday’s tender, Seoul Auction sold 20.3 billion won works of art, the second time its sales topped 20 billion won in a single event this year, the company said.

The highest paid job at the event was Kim Whan-ki’s 1971 job “1-VII-71 # 207”, which grossed 4 billion won.

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