Art in Seoul
Korean creatives Young Bum Kim’s on a mission to ensure South Korean artists get seen on the world stage
South Korea is home to a wealth of talented artists, but many struggle to find work outside of their homeland because they can’t speak English and don’t know how to market their art. That’s according to Young Bum Kim, one of the founders of illustration agency Popartist, who’s aiming to bring South Korean creatives to a wider audience.
“Korean artists are world-renowned for their quality and efficiency,” Young Bum says, “but since they lack communication skills, they have difficulties breaking into the mainstream.”
Young Bum founded Popartist after investing in an illustrator friend’s artbook. At the time he was working at a sports media company. He was inspired to attend several conventions and, after seeing the talent on show, decided to use his knowledge of media and marketing to promote Korean artists.
Popartist now boasts a roster of a dozen artists and counting. Young Bum and partner Jun Seok Yoon meet prospective artists face to face, before signing them and committing to building their name as a brand and promoting their work to international companies.
“Our agency doesn’t just wait for clients to contact us. We’re very proactive and are keen to promote our illustrators directly to foreign companies.
“At the moment we only use our very best artists to represent us, but our aim is to grow and show companies around the world what our new, promising prospects can do.”
Find out who’s on the books at Popartist by visiting
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