[…] “Cofounded in 2012 by Esther Kim Varet and her husband, Joseph Varet, Various Small Fires set out from the beginning to do things differently. Most notably, while much of the Western art market fixated on Hong Kong and Shanghai in its pivot to East Asia, VSF (as it’s commonly known) instead embraced Kim Varet’s first-generation Korean-American heritage and opened a permanent space in Seoul in April 2019. That decision now looks even savvier than it did at the time, since Korea’s expert response to the global health crisis allowed the country and its arts-rich capital to begin responsibly reopening weeks before any other nation in the world.
With VSF’s location in Hollywood’s increasingly muscular gallery district still shuttered along with all other non-essential businesses, its Seoul space has now become the nucleus of an innovative three-part strategy that has leveraged physical space, digital engagement, and coalition-building. And this strategy’s early success is worth every dealers’ attention.” […]