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  • Sep 08, 2023

Weekly News Roundup: September 8, 2023

(Left) CHRISTIAN SILVAIN, Les feuilles mortes, 1985, mixed-media multiples on paper, 120 × 110cm. Courtesy the artist. (Right) YE YONGQING, Memory of Birthday, 1995, ink and paper on canvas, 189 × 149.7 × 3.4cm. Courtesy M+ Museum.  

Beijing Court Finds Chinese Artist Guilty of Plagiarism

A court in Beijing has found Chinese artist Ye Yongqing guilty of plagiarizing 87 works by Belgian artist Christian Silvain over a period of 25 years. The Beijing Intellectual Property Court ordered Ye to pay USD 696,000 in damages, as well as make a public apology in the Global Times, a popular Chinese newspaper. The trial took place last November and was announced August 24; the settlement is reportedly the highest ever in relation to fine arts in China. Accusations first emerged after a gallerist in Amsterdam informed Silvain of a similar work he had seen, and the painting in question was removed with the help of the Dutch copyright organization Sabam. Despite Ye admitting that he was inspired by Silvain’s work, he later sued for defamation at a Belgian court amid a growing backlash. Over the course of his career Ye has made an estimated USD 15 million from selling his artworks.

Earth’s Eye by scandal-tainted artist LIM OK-SANG is being demolished on Sept 5, 2023. Courtesy Yonhap News Agency. 

Seoul Government Removes Artist-Activist's Sculptures from Public Park

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has removed a number of sculptures by artist-activist Lim Ok-sang—including Earth’s Eye and Navel of the World at the Site of Remembrance in Namsan Park, dedicated to victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery—following the artist’s conviction for sexual assault. A key figure in the 1980s-era minjung art movement, Lim, 73, admitted to sexual harassment and was sentenced to six months in prison. The removal of the artworks has drawn criticism from the Korean Council for Justice and Remembrance for the Issues of Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, prompting Seoul’s Mayor Oh Se-hoon to suggest that showcasing works by a convicted sex offender is disrespectful to the victims. The city has reassured the public that the park will remain in operation, with new artworks under consideration. Other public artworks by Lim, including pieces in Haneul Park and near Seoul City Hall, have already been removed. 

3D Rendering of Azabudai Hills. Courtesy DBOX for Mori Building Co., Ltd. 

Pace Announces New Gallery in Tokyo for Spring 2024

Pace Gallery has announced its latest expansion, set to open in spring 2024, which will occupy three floors in the upcoming Azabudai Hills development in Minato City, Tokyo. The new 510-square-meter gallery will be the organization’s ninth location, its third in Asia after Hong Kong and Seoul. The interior design will be headed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, who designed Tokyo’s Musashino Art University Museum & Library and the House of Music Hungary in Budapest. The gallery will feature three floors of exhibition space and a private terrace for outdoor sculptures. Pace's CEO, Marc Glimcher, expressed his excitement about future collaborations with Japanese artists, saying: “We believe it is time for Japan to take its place again as one of the most prominent collecting communities in the world, and I hope that Pace can play an important role in that growth.” 

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