Features / Focus

Survey of Korean Visual Art Indices A Short Introduction on Key Statistical Materials

posted 26 Aug 2015

theArtro makes an effort to monitor the indices and statistics that record the conditions and measure the size ot the Korean art world. Besides its surveys of the domestic art market led by public institutions, at present, theArtro also compiles art yearbooks by region, as well as reports on the condition of the art world according to theme. In addition to sewing as foundational materials for the creation of cultural policies, the indices and statistics are also used in various other ways, whether in academic research regarding the art world, in the operation of art spaces, or in the planning of exhibitions. Here we introduce the key indices and statistics used widely throughout the Korean art world.

‘Survey of the Conditions of the Art Market’: The Strategic Scale of the of the Korean Art Market

The Korea Arts Management Service conducted its first survey in 2009 and has been releasing surveys annually thereafter. KAMS’ survey on the condition of the art market is the only public domain collection of data providing basic statistics that measure the scope of the Korean art market. The subject of the survey includes the distribution channels of the art market, from galleries and auctions to art fairs and public arenas (architectural art pieces, art banks, and art museums) excluding the creators and buyers. The 300 pages of the survey offer detailed information about the Korean art market, including the specific operational conditions of each area and the transactions that happen in each field. With information about the number of employees (and their employment status) and the financial conditions of art galleries and museums, the representation of various professions among participants at art fairs, the regional distribution of art fairs, the purchasing data of art banks, the estimated number of annual transactions in public arts sector, and a variety of other data, the Korea Arts Management Service survey settles the settles the accounts of the art market each year.


Number of Art Galleries (2013): 432 galleries employing 1,151 people
Total transaction sum of art pieces (2013): KRW 3,249 billion
Total Spent at Art Banks on Art Pieces (2013): KRW 1.6 billion 84 million

ow the Size of Art Market Trade Was Calculated in 2013 Above) How the Size of Art Market Trade Was Calculated in 2013, 2014 Survey of Art Market Conditions, Korea Art Management Service, Arts Council Korea

‘Survey of Arts and Culture Professions’: The Professions and Earnings of Those in Art

The Survey of Arts and Culture Professions, which investigates the conditions and activities of those who work in the arts and culture industry, is a report that is published every three years from the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute. Encompassing 10 fields, including art, architecture and literature, the report consists of surveys of 200 professionals for each of the 10 fields, generating results are referenced when establishing policies for supporting artists. From the insurance status and income of the artists to the proportion of beneficiaries for financial support of creative endeavors, the educational level and professional status, and the frequency of personal web sites, the surveys peer into the lifestyles and activities of the creators. Moreover, because the survey addresses opinions on arts and culture policies and includes questions on the level of job satisfaction found in various professions, as well as a variety of content on what those in the arts “should do for the growth of art and culture,” it also functions as an opinion poll for the art world. For a more specific report that targets the visual arts in particular, there is the “Survey and Analysis on the Condition of Visual Artists” (2006, Kim Dal-jin Art Research and Counseling, Arts Council Korea)


“Social Evaluation” category from Perceptions on Conditions for Creative Activity: 17.4% Satisfied, 46.6% Dissatisfied, 2.2% Average
Artists reporting an income of less than KRW 1 million per month (2012): 66.5%
Insurance Status for Four Major Social Insurance Programs (2012): Health insurance 97.8%, National pension 66.7%, Work injury insurance 27.9%, Employment insurance 30.5%

The monthly average income of individuals working in the arts/Average monthly income for arts- and culture-related activities Left) The monthly average income of individuals working in the arts, Survey of Arts and Culture Professions 2012, Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism
Right) Average monthly income for arts- and culture-related activities, Survey of Arts and Culture Professions 2012, Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism

‘White Paper on Arts and Culture Policies’: Korean Arts and Culture Policies

The White Paper on Arts and Culture Policies contains comprehensive data on current government culture policies. The document contains a list of government-affiliated arts and culture organizations, information on the location and facilities of overseas culture centers, and an outline of the projects associated with general arts policies as well as policies for specific fields. It also includes current arts projects run with public funds, changes in the finances of the public domain, the basis of the arts and culture policies of the current administration, and a variety of other data. It is also possible, through the document, to trace the types of arts systems operating within certain policies, and how these systems shape the landscape of the arts and culture world that we experience directly.

The number of domestic exhibitions in 2013 Above) The number of domestic exhibitions in 2013 by exhibition period (in consecutive order: solo exhibitions, group exhibitions, and domestic exhibitions of overseas artists), ARKO Yearbook 2014, Arts Council Korea

‘Report on the Conditions of Alternative Spaces’: A Thematic Approach to Arts Policies

There are numerous policy reports with various themes that approach the various fields that comprise the domestic art world from a statistical perspective. Of these, the Report on the Conditions of Alternative Spaces (2007) is a research-driven report that records the conditions of the alternative spaces that started to crop up in the late 1990s, environments that used the following decade to establish themselves as a major force in contemporary art. The report contains information regarding the activities and the operation of these alternative spaces, including data related to the operation of funds and fundraising for each locale; discussions on the definition and concept of the “alternative space” and its influence on contemporary art discourse; and an evaluation of the influence, outcomes, and limitations of said spaces. Policy reports that warrant further review include the Annual Report on Public Art (2013) and Foundational Research on the Establishment of Culture Policies for Women (2004), among others.

The number of domestic exhibitions in 2013 Left) The average distribution of expenditure for a single exhibition (unit: KRW 10,000), Report on the Conditions of Alternative Spaces, Center for Culture and Society (Incorporated), Arts Council Korea
Right) Classes of endeavors for fundraising (after designating points with the following system: 1st-3 points, 2nd-2 points, 3rd-1 point, points are added), Report on the Conditions of Alternative Spaces, Center for Culture and Society (Incorporated), Arts Council Korea

‘Yearbook’: Annual Report for the Art Scene

The ARKO Yearbook encompasses all the arts and culture activities of a single year. Upon a separate examination of the visual arts category, the yearbook was found to contain an analysis of the number of exhibitions hosted, their genres, and their character, as well as presenting critiques and discussion on the major issues in the art world over the past year. Besides the ARKO Yearbook of the Arts Council Korea, there is also the Incheon Arts Yearbook, the Gyeonggi Culture Yearbook and other annual white papers and yearbooks from regional cultural foundations, which serve as valuable sources of information on the status of the arts industries in their respective communities and regions. Outside of the materials published by public organizations, it is possible to find visual arts magazines (art in culture) that publish yearbook issues at the beginning of each year that cover the exhibitions and issues of the previous year.


Number of domestic exhibitions in 2013: 13,567
The proportion of painting exhibitions among solo exhibitions in 2013: 63.3 percent


Recently Search Word