FIVE Majorcan art galleries which took part in an international art fair in Korea last month, see the Asian market as a new outlet, given the growing interest in contemporary Spanish art there. The five galleries which attended the fair, Pelaires, Mayor, Aba, Guaita and Lebasi, did so with the logistic support of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation. Pep Pinya of Pelaires acted as spokesman for the galleries at a press conference to report on the success of the venture. He was accompanied by Joan Gual, the vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce, and Miguel Ahn, the honorary Ambassador of the province of Gyenggio. Pinya said that the Balearic galleries were the only ones from Spain, although a considerable number of European galleries, particularly German, were represented. Gual said that Majorcan art had been well received at the fair, adding that Spanair will shortly be introducing a service between Korea and Spain “which will help strengthen commercial and cultural ties.” The Balearic stand was visited by the Korean minister of education, Chung Dong-Chea, and the Spanish Ambassador, Enrique Panes.
Pinya said that all five galleries would attend the next edition of the fair, as they had all sold works, “something which does not happen in all the fairs.” He added that as a result of contacts established during the fair, “there will soon be exhibitions by Majorcan artists in Korea, and Korean artists here.” Gual pointed out that Majorca has always had a special relationship with Korea through Ahn Eak Tai, composer of the Korean anthem, who lived in Cala Mayor for many years and was one of the founders of the Balearic Symphony Orchestra. Miguel Ahn, his grandson, said that next year, coinciding with the centenary of his grandfather's birth, the Korean government and the Palma city council will erect a sculpture in his honour.