S. Korean artist Kim took 7 years to perfect a secret mixture of 24K gold powder, natural oil and a glue of his own innovation to create this gold art
by KEVIN WONG / Pics Source: Aureo Gallery
PURCHASING gold bars, bullion coins or even gold jewellery as an investment have been among the popular methods in preserving wealth and expecting a better return.
However, investing in pure 24K gold in the form of gold art seems to be generating a buzz these days.
Art has been increasingly recognised as a new asset class in the financial market, while the trend of moving money into fine art has become popular among sophisticated investors, especially after the 2008 global financial crisis.
The inception of the 24K gold art by South Korean artist Kim Il-tae, who took seven years to perfect a secret mixture of 24K gold powder, natural oil and a glue of his own innovation.
Today, he is the one and only artist in the world who paints gold pigment paintings that do not fall apart, nor change colour, with his artworks costing between US$42,000 and US$700,000 (RM2.9 million) per piece.
A Malaysian art house, Aureo Gallery, has gained exclusive rights to represent Kim’s avant-garde gold artwork within the South-East Asian market.
Aureo Gallery co-founder and MD Michael Teh said the decision to bring in Kim’s 24K gold art into the country is to offer Malaysians the opportunity to appreciate and collect gold artworks.
“Gold art has the potential to become a highly desirable asset and investment in the international market. As we are based in Kuala Lumpur, we want to share this art first hand to Malaysian art collectors and potential investors,” he told The Malaysian Reserve recently.
Teh said Malaysians would resonate with Kim’s works of art as they mainly revolve around oriental philosophy which carries the message of love and joy.
“As such, I believe Malaysians will be easily connected to it. At the same time, gold art can be seen as a good heirloom pass-down because it is known to last for many years without cracking or changing in colour.
“Hence, the reason it could become a good investment in the long run. Such a concept is applicable to our Asian culture where we have a long-standing concept of passing down inheritance,” he added.
Coming from an equity investment background, Teh shared his views on why gold art is worth the investment for potential investors.
“Art investment is typically being considered as a diversification in an individual’s portfolio.
“If you look at the amount of paper money being pumped into the financial system through quantitative easing in the last decade, there are implications for both wealth and value preservation.
“In fact, tangible assets like fine art and gold are now being valued as a hedge against the flood of cash in our financial system,” he said.
Teh said gold art is considered as a global asset with international market prospects as it is priced in US dollars. “There is a potential for Kim’s gold art to be appealing to Malaysians where they have the opportunity to diversify their portfolios into international artworks, in addition to holding traditional assets like equities, properties and bonds.
“I also believe that there are still plenty of upsides for gold art to appreciate as we continue to promote them globally,” Teh said, adding that he is optimistic the return on investment would be high.
In 2013, one of Kim’s 24K gold art was valued at US$30,000. However, the price fetched up to US$50,000 two years later and today, it is worth US$70,000.
“It is hard to lose money by investing in Kim’s 24K gold art because he is currently the one and only gold art artist. In fact, he does not use a ‘factory model’ approach, unlike how Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst used to mass produce their art works.
“This is what makes every single piece of Kim’s work and craftsmanship very special,” he said, adding that it is impossible to place a final price tag on gold art, or any art in particular.
In promoting the gold art to the local market, Teh said Kim’s artworks are open for viewing on an appointment basis at Aureo Gallery’s corporate office in Publika, Solaris Dutamas, in Kuala Lumpur.
“In addition, we will participate in the upcoming Art Expo Malaysia 2018 as we are supporting the Yayasan Tuanku Syed Putra Perlis to raise funds to build an autism centre in Perlis,” he added.