Art in Seoul

Korean cre­atives Young Bum Kim’s on a mis­sion to en­sure South Korean artists get seen on the world stage

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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

De­cem­ber 2014

Korean artist Named shows a fu­ture in which peo­ple travel around the world on a large mech­a­nised ves­sel.

Baekji’s de­pic­tion of the dra­matic scenery sur­round­ing Hanakas Cas­tle, from the game

of the same name. A bat­tle be­tween a girl and a dark knight with vengeance on his mind – the work of

Korean artist In­shoo. In Joan the Arc, In­shoo aims to show a softer side to the fierce hero­ine of France.

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