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HAKHEE KIM (2007)

The Creative Economy and Urban Art Clusters: Locational Characteristics of Art Galleries in Seoul.

JOURNAL OF THE KOREAN GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY 42(2): 258-279.

ABSTRACT: Culture and art are emerging as main components in the creative economy to enhance the competitiveness of urban centres in the global market by nurturing cultural or artistic industries. A range of research exists which investigates the role of artists and art museums in the process of urban regeneration in Northern American and Western European countries. Yet research into the geography of art galleries acting as an intermediary between art works and cultural consumers remain rare. Empirical research on gentrification and urban regeneration and their connection with spaces for cultural consumption in Asian cities is even less common. The aim of this paper is to show the rise and decline of art galleries in Seoul and the way that this reflects urban development process, historically specific conditions and the characteristics of artistsí communities. The background of the locational agglomeration of art galleries is examined in connection with the human ecology of artists, art business and its implication for the global market. The location of art galleries in Seoul seems to be affected by commercial art business and public policy, rather than by artists communities embedded in local areas. The location dynamics of art gallery clusters in Seoul is examined in the context of rent increases, changes of consumers' taste and fluctuating market cycles.

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