Lance Lee

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In my childhood, I moved between Seoul and the provinces more than 10 times before graduating from elementary school. I was led by my father's hand, not knowing what was going on. What was unusual was that although none of my family members were involved in art-related work, there was a collection of Western art books with Japanese explanations on our bookshelf. Every time we moved, it was treated like a family treasure and was always the first thing to be transported. The hardcover catalog consisted of about 40 volumes, and it was big, heavy, and very stylish, like an encyclopedia. Since we moved long distances more than once a year, I had to spend my childhood being more accustomed to preparing for farewells than making friends. During that time, those art books became my friends, brothers, and comfort.

Later, I entered the Department of Art History at Seoul National University and studied archaeology, aesthetics, and art history. Western art was familiar and welcoming, and Korean art, which I newly encountered, gave me cultural pride. I had a dream of continuing my studies and leaving academic achievements in Korean aesthetics, but due to my family's circumstances at the time, that dream had to be temporarily postponed. I started a business early on to earn money and fulfill my dream again, but it didn't go as planned, and I went bankrupt and became a credit delinquent. After that, I became a traveler wandering the world like an ascetic for 10 years, visiting deep rural areas in Europe, Africa, Central and South America, Asia, and so on.

People I met abroad often wanted to know my nationality more than my name. They would ask me, "Chinese? Japanese?" or even if I said, "No, Korean!" they would ask again, "North Korea? Or South Korea?" My pride was hurt and I sometimes felt intimidated. But even then, I prepared small gifts such as postcards or bookmarks containing the 'beauty of Korea' to express goodwill. Even if they showed little interest in the gifts they received. It wasn't so much a sense of self-esteem that I wanted to keep, but rather an identity that I couldn't hide. Surprisingly, the situation took a dramatic turn. From a certain year, when I said I was from Korea, people started pretending to know, and the small gifts I gave started to receive respect and exclamations. That experience of great change was exhilarating and proud for me.

Then I got a job at a global company in Europe, and after three years, I became the head of Asia, spending another 11 years abroad, traveling between Europe and Asia. During my 21 years abroad, I experienced the brand power of countries and cultures in that way. After becoming the head of Asia for a European company, my Korean gifts could rise from small cultural products to crafts, and accordingly, the satisfaction of those who received the gifts increased. However, when asked how to obtain such products or works of art abroad, I often had difficulty answering.

K-moment was founded from such a personal background of mine. K-moment's mission is to introduce K-art to the world. Preserving Korean art and culture for thousands of years is by no means the effort of a few, but the achievement and merit of all K-artists. We want to be a stepping stone for K-art to go abroad. We respect the efforts of each and every artist and try to better understand the works created as a result. And we only want to think about how to make the world recognize their value.

K-moment goes beyond simply exhibiting and selling artworks; we aim to support the creative activities of Korean artists and operate various programs so that they can shine even more on the global stage. We want to create a platform where artists, audiences, and cultures from around the world can communicate and interact. To this end, we are planning regular exhibitions, workshops, and linked events with the government and related organizations. Our first project, titled "K-Art Beyond Borders," is to hold overseas exhibitions and pop-up stores that shed light on both traditional and contemporary Korean art. This exhibition will be an important opportunity to inform the world of the diversity and depth of Korean art. Through this, we will make many Korean artists gain attention overseas and create results that will make their works recognized in the global market. In addition, we will focus on further enhancing the status of Korean art and promoting exchanges between various cultures by cooperating with art institutions and organizations around the world. Our ultimate goal is for K-Art to establish itself as an important pillar in the global art market. To this end, K-moment will constantly attempt new challenges and innovations to inform the world of the beauty and value of Korean art. We will do our best to ensure that everyone can fall in love with the charm of Korean art and experience the emotions and inspirations it provides.

We invite you to join us on the journey with K-moment. Only when all those who love art come together can its value shine even more. We hope that K-moment will be there in the process of creating a bright future for K-art together.

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