People & Culture

April 2010

ISSN: 2005-2162

APRIL 2010


18 BC — AD 660). Currently under restoration. feature a series of remains from the days of the ancient Baekje Kingdom (c. Wanggung-ri and Ipjeom-ri. were included on UNESCO’s Tentative List of World Heritage sites in January 2010. located on a flatland in Korea’s southwest. the Stone pagoda of the Mireuksa Temple Site (pictured on this page). The Iksan Historic Areas.PRELUDE Korea’s Beauty The Iksan Historic Areas. and echoes an ancient town where a highly advanced culture once flourished. ⓒ Topic Photo . including Mireuksa Temple Site. is Korea’s national treasure No. 11.

Letters to the editor should include the writer’s full name and address. Seoul plays host to the second UNESCO World Conference on Arts Education. Korea’s young artists grow more daring and inventive. You can see some of the best on the streets of Hongdae and Daehangno. so when better to take in the maritime scenery. the conference will disuss arts education.korea. Cheongwadae Press Corps followed him on his trips around the country. 6 NO. Korea caused quite an upset at the recent Vancouver Winter Olympics by taking fifth place in the medals table. a field with a crucial role to play in promoting intercultural exchange and understanding. Letters may be edited for clarity and/or space restrictions. The publisher is not liable for errors or omissions.TRAVEL 26 Spring is in the air in Yeosu. the future looks even more PRINTING Samsung Moonwha Printing Co. Thrillingly. Looking for a place to take a relaxing bath. All rights reserved. highly original works stretching back 15 years. With delegates from around the world. GLOBAL KOREA 40 Renewable energy is booming. CONTENTS APRIL 2010 please e-mail . A downloadable PDF file of KOREA and a map and glossary with common Korean words appearing in our text are available by clicking on the thumbnail of KOREA on the homepage of www. With each passing year. 발간등록번호 : 11-1110073-000016-06 www. With a string of challenging. Ltd E-MAIL webmaster@korea. PUBLISHER Seo Kang-soo. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission from KOREA and the Korean Culture and Information Service. 4 MY KOREA 32 COVER STORY 04 PEN & BRUSH 16 PRESIDENTIAL ACTIVITIES 20 For much of President Lee Myung-bak’s first two years in office.. If you want to receive a free copy of KOREA or wish to cancel a subscription. and the brightest lights of clean energy will be on show at this month’s Daegu Green Energy Expo event. The articles published in KOREA do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. Kim Young-ha is one of Korea’s most popular novelists with his extraordinary ideas. Korean Culture and Information Service EDITING HEM KOREA Co. indulge in snacks or take a nap? Korea’s jjimjilbang is the ultimate setting for a soothing night in. natural splendor and rousing military history of this southern coastal city? INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE 36 NOW IN KOREA 44 Next month.

KOREA meets some of the country’s most talented sports stars. Here. In addition. around a year ago. took second place in the World Baseball Classic. Already renowned for its remarkable economic growth in the aftermath of the Korean War (1950-53). the small peninsula nation will be competing in its seventh consecutive World Cup and. 2010 Winter Olympic champion in ladies singles figure skating . Korea is no longer an underdog. by Jeong Se-yeong ⓒ Yonhapnews Agency Kim Yu-na. Korea has increasingly proven itself as a sporting power. At the most recent Vancouver Winter Olympics. In South Africa this year. whose success has swept through the nation on a wave of adulation.COVER STORY In the world of sports. Korea took gold medals in speed skating and figure skating to achieve an impressive fifth-place overall finish. Korean athletes consistently score big wins in both men’s and women’s golf. too.

8 billion) worth of promotional benefits for Korea. VICTORY IN VANCOUVER Though Korea had tasted gold at previous Winter Olympic events. As Korea’s athletes repeatedly prevailed against sporting powerhouses from Europe and North America. the international media hailed a remarkable achievement by a country that had traditionally been a winter sports minnow. Korea claimed six gold. As much as these results triggered pride in a jubilant home nation. Their prayers were answered. reacts to the crowd (above left). Gold medalist Lee Seung-hoon is lifted onto the shoulders of his fellow athletes at an awards ceremony (below). prior to the 2006 Turin Games they all came via short track. Koreans all over the country were willing their team to bring back medals in other events this time around. the economic ripple effect of the Olympics is approximately 6.5 trillion won (US$57 billion).000m speed skating event. Kim Yu-na. Right at the beginning of the Vancouver Games.ⓒ Yonhapnews Agency Gold medalist Mo Tae-bum competes at the Vancouver Winter Olympics (opposite). gold medalist in ladies’ singles figure skating. Team Korea poses with their medals (above right).” Desperate to shed their reputation as a winter sports one-trick pony. As well as being a delight for his fans. At this year’s Vancouver Winter Olympics. the success will be felt in more lasting ways. Lee’s victory was also a considerable KOREA APRIL 2010 07 . six silver and two bronze medals to accomplish its best ever finish. which earned the country the rather unflattering epithet of “The Short Track Republic. 22-year-old Lee Seung-hoon won silver in the men’s 5. while the Samsung Economic Research Institute (SERI) predicts that the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics will generate about 20. According to the Korea Sports Promotion Foundation.2 trillion won (US$17.

In the 500m women’s and men’s speed skating events.” said Park Sung-in. began his career in the Bundesliga. After failing to make the short track team last year. which she described as “extraordinary. after all-time favorite Sven Kramer was disqualified for a lane shared the podium with Lee Seung-hoon celebrated the arrival of a new champion by hoisting Lee on their shoulders. who plays for Manchester United. Lee’s parents. Korea’s greatest triumph came with the girl the Korean press were to dub “Queen Yu-na.S. made tremendous sacrifices for the success of their daughter. Korea continued its winning streak in its traditional stronghold. Mo. Footballer Park Chu-young plays for AS Monaco (above right). choosing to ride his motorbike rather than study or even train sports. pirouettes and ornate hand gestures. On top of being gold medal winners. ambition with an entry in her diary that read. had been the archetypal bad boy in his teenage years. “But as well as being a great measure of pride. Lee’s brother had been forced to forgo his own dreams of skating glory so that Lee herself could continue with her training. Lee marked it on her calendar with the simple words “Life-Changing Moment. I’ll buy you everything from a washing machine and a gas stove to a fridge. On February 24. a picture of happiness at the ceremony. Aged 12. The silver and bronze medalists who Speed skater Lee Sang-hwa carries the Korean flag at the Vancouver Winter Olympics (opposite). the top league in German soccer. the U. With so little money in her family. she wrote her parents a letter saying. in an event he had competed in just twice before at the international level. Lee Seung-hoon. But Lee had more surprises up his sleeve. Hillary Clinton.56. Lee Sang-hwa and Mo Tae-bum won respective golds. Secretary of State. “I’m sure I could sense a hint of envy when overseas journalists asked me how such a small country could have done so well. All three are recognized at the top level of skating despite coming from very modest backgrounds. as her big day approached. Korea’s overall performance stunned the sports world. Scoring 98 goals in 308 appearⓒ Yonhapnews Agency violation.000m or longer. The story largely began in 1978. As hoped.000m speed skating event. Cha Bum-kun was the first footballer to advance overseas (above left). Mo Tae-bum and Lee Sang-hwa share deeper bonds. Lee demonstrated her burning THE PARK JI-SUNG EFFECT But as much as Korea’s recent success may have appeared to have come out of nowhere. “If I become a successful skater. said she stayed up well into the night to watch Kim’s performance. Lee’s medal was the first won by any Asian in speed skating events of 5. marking the first time in the history of the sport that skaters from the same country were victorious in both events. Korea’s excellent performance in Vancouver has greatly boosted our chances of hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.surprise: in a sport traditionally dominated by the European racers.” 08 KOREA APRIL 2010 KOREA APRIL 2010 09 . too. it is in many ways a culmination of ever-increasing sports prowess stretching back several decades. the hardships she had overcome made her a symbol of hope for many back in Korea. when Cha Bum-kun. Lee Seung-hoon was so short of money that he had to borrow skates to practice speed skating. “I want to be famous. and Lee never forgot the debt of gratitude she owed them. All hail from Korea National Sport University and are close friends.” Indeed.” Later on. LIFE CHANGING MOMENTS As for Lee Sang-hwa. is the captain of the South Korean national team (below).” And. the Korean team’s captain. Kim Yu-na blew away her closest rival with a record-breaking score of 228. Lee stunned the skating world by winning gold in the 10. short track.” Nevertheless. Park Ji-sung.” In two near-perfect rounds of jumps. the first Korean athlete to make it big overseas. I want to make the national team. I want to be in the news.

who are only 29 and 32. Park followed then national team manager Guus Hiddink to the Netherlands. As of 2009. ished the 2009 season with a .” “In a way. he had 120 wins (95 losses) and a 4. With news of his victories streaming in from the United States.” these golfing proteges are now growing to dominate the LPGA. beneficiaries of the “Park Ji-sung Effect. she was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. A star of the national team that stormed all the way to the semi-finals during the 2002 KoreaJapan World Cup. Sung is playing for Manchester United is more influential in opening up Korean sports to the rest of the world than the 2002 World Cup was. exhilarating run of success. As of 2009. On the men’s side. where the pair worked together at PSV Eindhoven. young wave of Korean sports stars exude a confidence and fearlessness often absent in their trailblazing predecessors.300 batting average. Dubbed the G-generation (due to their being born in the “global era”). Women’s Open. Choo Shin-soo (27. Since turning pro in 1996. Today. Though several Korean football players since Cha have plied their trade overseas. Yang Yong-eun wrote himself into the record books in 2009 when chasing down Tiger Woods to become the first Asian to win the PGA Championship.35 ERA.” On the other side of the Atlantic. for AS Monaco in France. several Korean baseball players have since followed The South Korean national football team pose before the test game against CÔte d’lvoire (above left). has . THE SE-RI KIDS In the world of gold. Lee Chung-yong and Ki Sung-yong — who play. now a pitcher with the New York Yankees.played a major role in boosting the image of Korean sports since joining the Los Angeles Dodgers back in 1994.S. such as. Park into the Majors. in large part. as well as victories in majors. Korean women have won 88 tournaments on the LPGA. none came close to repeating his success until Park Ji-sung. Park was an integral part of a team that reached the semi-finals of the 2004-2005 UEFA Champions League. respectively. Bolton Wanderers in England and Celtic in Scotland — are making their mark in some of Europe’s top leagues. who has won 30 events in total (below). The new. Thriving in his new environment. at the very young age of 29. Manchester United. she has won 30 events. the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-1998. the most encouraging part of Korea’s growing sport’s prowess is that the generation of athletes inspired by the likes of Park Ji-sung and Pak Se-ri. these youngsters point to a bright future — a future where Korea becomes acknowledged. Pak Se-ri has had similar success on the fairways. Pitcher Park Chan-ho is the first Korean player in major leagues (below). Pak Se-ri is one of the most famous and successful Korean golfer who actively plays in both of Korea and the US. 20 steals). respectively. Cha was later named “Asia’s Player of the Century” by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS). Cleveland Indians) who is now a member of the 20-20 club (20 homers. Her outstanding performances over the years has inspired a new generation of Korean golfers. and 55 in 121 games for the Korean national team (still a record). not for its sporting upsets. and who finances with Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer 04 Leverkusen. including the Korean LPGA Tour. Affectionately dubbed “Se-ri Kids. In fact.” said a Korean sports agent working in Europe. Park Chan-ho. the first Asian baseball player to accomplish this feat in the Majors. In November 2007. players such as Park Chu-young. Since then. He needs only four more wins to become the Asian pitcher with the most wins in history. “the fact that Park Jiⓒ Yonhapnews Agency Yang Yong-eun is the first Asian golfer who won PGA championshop (above). and one of the biggest teams in the world. Chu Shin-soo finished the 2009 season with a record batting average (above right). but for a consistent. And they are. Park helped provide the Korean public with hope and courage amid one of its darkest hours in the modern era. It was this run that brought Park to the attention of his next club. the McDonald’s LPGA Championship and the U.

Given his punishing schedule since returning from Vancouver — a seemingly endless procession of TV shows. he says he now feels a little guilty for deflecting the limelight from some of his younger teammates who had actually won medals. Lee says he isn’t ready to quit just yet. Given his success in other competitions. as our interview commences. “I wish I was four years younger and had one more shot. I don’t know when it will happen exactly. Lee had scored a second place finish in the 500m and a third in the 1. he was unable to break at the Vancouver Olympics this year. But it wasn’t to be. “Even though this was my fifth Olympics. is a legend in Korean speed skating.000m events. I’ve never been able to enjoy the experience. despite a string of great achievements in world championships. though. Lee said simply. such was the attention he received.” he says. I think I was overwhelmed by the notion that this was my last chance. KOREA salutes Lee Kyou-hyuk.” Lee says. A streak that. Vancouver was definitely not the end of his Olympic journey. it was uplifting to receive such tremendous support. when it came to the races. Over the past decade and a half.COVER STORY “I’m dying for a sleep. I couldn’t perform at the same level I’d been practicing at. Lee. Yet. I guess that approach got in ⓒ Yonhapnews Agency THE UPS AND DOWNS OF A FIVETIME SKATING HERO Lee Kyou-hyuk.” says Lee Kyou-hyuk. Before the Olympics. So why couldn’t he reproduce this form at the Olympics? “I anticipated the pressure of the Olympics in advance and never stopped preparing for it. but I’m confident my last Olympics will be as a coach. so nervous was Lee before the 500m race. Though team Korea excelled in Vancouver. I’d like to skate a little longer. I don’t think I know how to enjoy them. I believed that I had to compete in the Olympics with total intensity. sports fans throughout Korea were aching for him to win a medal that his dedication surely warranted.” Asked about the future.” “Although I was disappointed that I failed to win a medal. “It’s sad to compete for something that is unattainable. the way of my ability to perform. Perhaps I can compete in my own mind. But I know I’ll be too old for the Olympics four years from now. “It felt good to have my entire career as an athlete recognized.” There will 12 KOREA APRIL 2010 KOREA APRIL 2010 13 . “To be honest. receptions and interviews — it is a testament to his dedication and good nature that he has managed to show at all. who were clearly enjoying their time at the Games. failed to break his medal duck. not because of my desire to win a medal. At his fifth consecutive Olympics — a series that began in 1994 at Lillehammer — Lee came 15th in the 500m and ninth in the 1. 32.000m events during the International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup season. but because I want to end my career as a professional skater on my own terms. “But in Vancouver I think I lacked the tenacity to overcome the huge amount of stress I was facing and to fully concentrate on the task at hand. he says he would have preferred just to run away.” “Whatever I do. “I would like to be with my fellow athletes at the next Olympic Games. Lee envied his younger teammates. Lee never managed to land an Olympic medal. he competed in five consecutive Winter Olympics. At a press conference in Vancouver. one of Korea’s greatest ever speed skaters.” he says. sadly.” says Lee. making his name synonymous with the sport. by Jin Jung-eon be no more Olympics. Expectations grew further when he won the World Sprint Championships in Japan in January.” As a result. “I never felt I was actually outskated in the races by the younger athletes.” Indeed.” Lee says. But his passion and refusal to give up have inspired and moved sports fans throughout the country. “I always thought that you couldn’t win a medal if you stopped and relaxed.” During the Olympics.” For Lee Kyou-hyuk. Today. “However.

to baseball. and focus on creating an atmosphere where kids can enjoy learning soccer skills free from other pressures. a slew of local boys ply their trade at some of the world’s most famous clubs. but she couldn’t have enjoyed it more. Hong oversees the tuition of some 450 students at his academies. Lee Sang-hwa and Mo Tae-bum. these future sports stars — thanks to Korea’s avalanche of sporting success — are more inspired than ever before. promising youngsters are chosen. Korea University Arena / Grade 2 student at Donam Elementary School “I WANT TO FLY ON ICE!” When asked why she likes figure skating.” While facilities and opportunities have improved tremendously. “but I want to try hard and do triple axels and skate beautifully like Kim Yu-na. we have 55 kids who are all training hard to become the next Park Jisung. Inspired by Korea’s success at the soccer World Cup. learned his skills at Lila Elementary School.000m speed skating. we meet some of the youngsters who dream of becoming the next Kim Yu-na or Park Ji-sung. who teaches at Kim’s occasional practice rink at Korea University in Seoul. non-elitist approach. Yet for all the new waves of interest now. However. who at the Vancouver Olympics became the first Asian to win the men’s 10. groomed. 14 KOREA APRIL 2010 KOREA APRIL 2010 15 . She has already made tremendous progress. it would definitely be like flying. potential young Korean athletes are displaying their skills like never before. “Today. who chalked up world record scores while enroute to figure skating gold this year. the Olympics and assorted world championships. who won respective golds in the 500m women’s and men’s speed skating events. Manchester United. “We have a special advanced class for kids who want to become professionals. which is renowned for its skating classes. with the recent success of Kim Yu-na. With dazzling performances in pro sports around the world. these kids boast a passion and dedication that would put most adults to shame. “We now teach around 20 kids. Today.” she says. And those who take their soccer more seriously are very welcome here too. Hong’s schools pride themselves on their of success is the work. Korean players have enjoyed a much higher profile in world soccer in recent years. Seoul. as her skating teacher would attest. soccer and golf. captain of Korea’s national team during the 2002 World Cup. She may scarcely have been able to skate upright that day. which is more than double the number we had before the Olympics. After just eight weeks of training. which runs trial skating classes for all its students. are graduates of Eunseok Elementary School. Eun-seo is like a tiny bird learning to fly on skates — in a sky made of ice. and turned into tomorrow’s champions. too. filling them with equal hopes of making it big one day. Harboring dreams ever since of becoming a figure skater.” Eun-seo stepped into ice skates for the first time at the age of six. his own sons. Jeon Hyo-jeong. “The axels are the toughest. assiduously developed from early childhood.” International success has bred enormous interest in MINI INTERVIEW Interview with Ju Eun-seo. including. says they have been getting three times as many calls asking about skating classes since the Vancouver Olympics.” she says. who manages one of the academies. pitches and rinks in an attempt to emulate their heroes and eventually claim sporting glory for their country. an achievement that usually takes most students upward of six months. the other in Suwon in Gyeonggido Province. the final arbiter ⓒ Hong Myung-bo Soccor Academy REACHING FOR THE STARS: KOREA’S NEW WAVE OF SPORTS HOPEFULS From skating. Lee Seunghoon. Hong Myung-bo. archery and swimming. the recent success of Kim Yu-na has made little Eun-seo even more determined than ever. Here. Korea’s international sports stars are bright beacons for the country’s children. “If I could skate across the sky. runs two soccer schools: one in Seochogu.COVER STORY As of late. during a winter visit to an arena at a hotel in downtown Seoul. an army of children has swarmed to parks. and whatever their game. “The ice feels just like the sky. 8-year-old Eunseo doesn’t hesitate.” Not yet 9-years-old. and Ki Sung-yong at Scotland’s Celtic. skating’s popularity has gone into overdrive. sweat and occasional tears of the aspiring athletes themselves. Ki Sung-yong or Hong Myung-bo. Korea’s recent success was the result of already having a sizeable pool of talent. Korea has spawned a generation of dreamers. Though still very young. with an undoubted touch of family pride. including Park Ji-sung at English titans. From this nurtured beginning. And whatever their level. by Seo Dong-cheol | photographs by Kim Hong-jin soccer. but there are also a lot of middle school students who come on their own. Beginning with Korea’s sterling run at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.” says Park Seung-hyeon. “Some of them are accompanied by their parents.” Jeon says. Eun-seo passed the basic level of figure skating.

is now on pre-sale on Amazon. and heralded the birth of a new age in Korean literature. Since his first publication in 1995. In a series of novels including I Have the Right to Destroy Myself (1996). His singular. utterly compelling style of storytelling captured the attention of a generation of readers. In a detached. Your Republic is Calling You. Page (1997) and What Happened to the Man Stuck in the Elevator (1999).com. the English version of his novel The Empire of Light. Kim’s work is truly wielding the power of good storytelling. From a gloomy portrait of suicide to Korean immigrants sold to Mexican farms to a North Korean spy sent South on a mission. Germany and Japan. DEVOTION In 1995.PEN & BRUSH A NOVEL by Choi Hye-jeong | photographs by Park Jeong-roh Kim Young-ha is a master storyteller. 16 KOREA APRIL 2010 Kim Young-ha . postmodern age. Kim has spun tales concerning a vast range of subject matter with unfailing gusto and conviction. Now in 2010. objective tone to voice the sensitivities of urban youth. Kim chose a dry. with translations being released in the United States. Kim has won Korea’s top literary awards and become perhaps the country’s best-known contemporary novelist. Kim Young-ha burst onto the Korean literary scene seemingly from out of nowhere. Kim is firmly established as one of the country’s finest literary talents. among many other countries. France. Scheduled for release on September 28. Having won a string of Korean literary awards — including the Dongin Literary Award and the Hyeondae Literary Award — Kim’s books are now making the journey overseas.

I was born in an age that suited my style. ‘a state where I get orders from no one. He openly defied Korean literary circles and the overwhelming tendency.” he says. “I’m actually rather lucky. however. people wondered whether literature would survive the digital age. Kim surprised everyone by opting for business over literature. undeniable masterpiece. to write psychological novels that placed a huge emphasis on style. published in 1996. right? Whether it’s text messages. One of his short stories. having a compendium of his books released just 15 years after his debut is an enormous honor. For Kim. few would bet against Kim producing that masterpiece before long.” Like the author himself. “The set is something like an interim report.” “I used to tell stories to my friends during school bus rides. Kim’s novels were individual and recalcitrant. of which many have now been published overseas. always looking for the next great story. As Kim himself is the first to acknowledge. a public statement indicating that I will write what I want and work in a completely independent way. without having to obey other people’s orders. something in the stature of Anna Karenina or Madam Bovary. ‘in what state are you most happy?’ So I answered. the book was highly controversial at the time of its release.” and “the finest genre of literature.question asked. But for the moment. completed while he was working on other novels. people will still like to read stories with meaningful and beautiful prose. Here in Korea. It is also a resolution that by dictating my own path so far as an author. PHOTO SHOP MURDER > Language English > Publisher Jimoondang Publishing Company (Seoul. and the sometimes suicidal impulses of modern man. has enjoyed particular success in Europe. “I loved having my friends listening to me. To some degree. Italy) > Published 2008 18 KOREA APRIL 2010 KOREA APRIL 2010 19 . That’s the true power of the novel. The book was a source of inspiration for the film The Scarlet Letter that went on to become a hit in Korea. Even if they do. and one for which his enthusiasm remains entirely undiminished. He is quoted as calling the novel “the greatest creative outlet mankind has ever achieved. Your hope. it’s like sending a message in a bottle from a desert island. “I like writing even more now. If it’s good. Spain and Italy. “In a way. and the response was immense. Kim’s publisher has recently released the “Kim Young-ha Collection Set. Poland) > Published 2009 Kim’s uniquely pithy and clever prose is perhaps best illuminated in his short stories. such was his love of stories that he would introduce himself as “a person who likes words and telling stories. I could do what I want. Korea) > Published 2003 An exquisitely written novel that explores human psychology.” he says. But I didn’t mind those remarks so much.” a collection of four of his most popular works.” While declaring he became a novelist just to remain a free spirit. I believed then. and then someone will read it. novels are a source of great joy. “It was an interesting format in which you had to answer all the questions in the simplest terms.” he says. Taking its cues from beautiful but dark paintings such as The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David and Judith 1 by Gustav Klimt. a lot of people like what I write. Kim in fact takes enormous pride in the field of writing. when the time came to go to university. I am only getting better.” For one so full of passion. It seemed if I became one.” I HAVE THE RIGHT TO DESTROY MYSELF > Language English > Publisher Harcourt Books (America) > Published 2007 Kim Young-ha’s first novel. he is bullish about its prospects even in the age of high technology. with a somewhat philosophical assessment of his success. however. Kim is always writing. as I believe now. Digital means infinite reproduction. Photo Shop Murder chronicles a complicated relationship of passion that arises during the course of a murder investigation.” As such. “A while ago I did something called the Proust questionnaire. His most recent collection of short stories. people will read it and tell others. and one with a rather important meaning. As Kim himself says. I can take stock of where I am and move on to new things. Yet Kim’s motives for becoming a novelist were much more simple. If it didn’t go well. I was denounced as a ‘monster’ by some of my more zealous peers.” “Of course the time may come when electronic books become more popular than paper books. where I do what I want. the failure would be entirely my own. at the time.” says Kim. is that the letter will reach somewhere some day.” Despite his prodigious ability. I Have the Right to Destroy Myself is a meditation on the isolation and emptiness that resides in us all. “Writing novels is a pleasure for me. This is why literature is at heart an infinite medium. with translations being released in Sweden. What Happened to the Man Stuck in the Elevator. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MAN STUCK IN THE ELEVATOR (CHE COSA CI FA UN MORTO NELL’ASCENSORE) > Language Italian > Publisher ObarraO Edizioni (Milan. I guess I was born with this talent.” MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE With his boundless appetite for the written word. “Because I chose not to major in creative writing or traditional literary training. “But literature is in fact a very digital-friendly medium. is to create my own.” With his unique ability to control narratives and complicated slices of life with simple.’ That is why I became a novelist. “For a while. With a “suicide guide” — who helps desperate people kill themselves — as its main character. beautifully constructed prose. e-books or paper books. all written things can be reproduced infinitely. One KIM YOUNG-HA’S SHORT STORIES (WAMPIR I INNE OPOWIADANIA) > Language Polish > Publisher Wydawnictwo Kwiaty Orientu (Kielce. will be released this summer. and as a result.” THE INFINITE STORY Kim says that as a child. of course. you’re writing it purely for your own pleasure. The thing I still really want to do. Kim is actually cool in person. that literary work is independent and has a life of its own. however. their eyes glinting with curiosity. That’s the life task that still awaits me.

photojournalists covering the Blue House. by Nam Gung-uk BEYOND THE President Lee Myung-bak sports sunglasses during his trip to the Davos Forum in Switzerland. take us through those two breathless years.PRESIDENTIAL ACTIVITIES BLUE HOUSE On February 25. ⓒ Cheongwadae Press Corps . or Cheong Wa Dae. With an exhibition of previously unreleased photos of Lee. President Lee Myung-bak celebrated his second anniversary in office.

President Lee usually arrives at his office around 7:30am. The President gauged the size. persuaded him that coming in any earlier would be unfair to his already overworked staff. President Lee plays with children during celebrations for Children’s Day. Often holding meetings with his officials there. flying 316.000 won to the shopkeeper. the President stocked up on figs. the President makes sure to buy from vendors whenever he visits. the president and the first lady now have two grandsons and four granddaughters.828 kilometers — about eight circumnavigations of the globe — in the process. ⓒ Cheongwadae Press Corps 40. And. KOREA APRIL 2010 One part of the presidential residence that has been particularly affected by this early bird president is the Blue House (Cheong Wa Dae) cafeteria. President Lee Myung-bak has led a busy life. as government officials say. Even this was a compromise. the President is renowned for his early morning appetite. the government announced plans to lower the age at which children start school to 5-years-old from 6-yearsold. on June 25. according to their traditions (above). PRESIDENT AND GRANDFATHER When President Lee visited Namdaemun market in September 2009. at the Blue House in Seoul (top). he has visited 28 nations and held 93 summit meetings. the President has attended 1. The President spends time with his granddaughter during a holiday (above). he later gave it to his granddaughter Seung-yeon — the second daughter of his second daughter — during the Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day). he dotes on his grandchildren and regularly showers them with gifts.” Over the past two years. he smiled and said simply. According to recent data from the Presidential Office of State Affairs Planning. With one son and three married daughters. after his wife. Kim Yoon-ok. which reminds him of his youth (top). rumor has it. eager not to be seen as just a point-scoring opportunist. May 5. President Lee has frequented traditional markets and other places where he could meet average Koreans. President. Not one to waste time. Sometimes. On one of these excursions. I can’t accept that. “No. First lady Kim Yoon-ok greets a Maori. 2009. On occasion.7). When given his change. and decided it was just what he’d been looking for. the time the first couple spends with their grandchildren makes a direct impact on government policy. Overseas. “I can never just walk past these things. President Lee enjoys an old-fashioned ice cream. to be marinated in soy sauce. he went to a back alley market in Imun-dong. according to a recent interview. Unless otherwise detained by urgent tasks. How much is a bag?” “800 won (US$0. green chili peppers and honey-spiral court cake. he stopped by a shop selling hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) and set his eye on a dress for a small girl. still uses training wheels. Paying “Good Morning.394 events in Korea alone since his inauguration. entered a mom-and-pop store and picked up a bag of rice poppers. It’s 7:30am.18) for the hanbok. he eats twice the serving of fish as allotted to everyone else. Mr. In November 2009. and concluding that today’s kids were far more mature than when the President himself had been young. the honey cake designated a delectable snack for his study.000 won (US$35. Seoul. he spends time every weekend with his grandchildren. Every so often. President Lee picked up two bags and handed 2. too — though she only learned to ride after he became president and.Since stressing “pragmatic centrism” and “people-friendly policies” as the guiding ideas of his administration.” While touring around an old market once. covering a distance equivalent to 100 diagonal crossings of South Korea. “I made them on the streets and sold them when I was young. 22 KOREA APRIL 2010 23 . New Zealand aborigine. The green chili peppers were delivered to the Blue House cafeteria.” said the President.” came the reply. Lee reached this decision. The figs were served a few days later as refreshments during a meeting with the Advisors on Foreign Affairs and National Security. the first lady will join them. Like any grandfather. 2009. and says that riding bicycles with them is one of his greatest joys.

In this unscripted encounter. dency. Like single race. On the day Kim Yu-na gave her gold-winning performance in figure skating. The president strikes a skating pose during a luncheon with the national Winter Olympics team after their return to Seoul (above). This love of sports has stayed with him into the national presiⓒ Yonhapnews Agency virtues of Korea’s athletic heroes. Since the athletes had been out the country for so long. but also from a disarmingly bluff and personable demeanor. the UAE president jokingly upbraided his assistants for not preparing some camel dishes for his Korean counterpart. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. ⓒ Cheongwadae Press Corps the rest of his countrymen. Ultimately. by mentioning that he was a big fan of camel meat. “because I didn’t want any rumors to emerge about the Blue House being cheap. In wooing the UAE government.” President Lee fishes during his summer vacation (top). During an official visit to Australia early in Lee’s administration.3 billion) deal to build and operate nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates. the President had considered serving spicy instant ramyeon noodles at the official luncheon. Blue House officials say.” When hosting a Blue House luncheon for the medal-winning athletes. Throughout the games. in the past he still found the time to be president of the Korea Swimming Federation for 12 years during his time in the corporate world. President Lee invested a great deal of personal and political capital into the nuclear deal. President Lee went to a sauna last May with Kazak President Nursultan Nazarbayev wearing nothing but a towel — taking the notion of close ties to a new level. He said he wished he could have given the country’s speed skaters a little push to take them past the other racers. an offer the Korean premier gratefully accepted.THE PRESIDENT MEANS BUSINESS During the first two years of Lee Myung-bak administration. no fewer than six times to persuade him to choose Korea’s offer. he said he simply couldn’t bear to watch. The president takes a video of a rail trip after the Davos Forum in Switzerland (above). have stood out. he charmed his host. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd invited President Lee for an impromptu beer. “Skaters from other countries are wonderful. he did a lot in the Middle East. the President spent much of his time extolling the President Lee has an informal chat with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd during the 2009 G-20 summit in the US (top). A GOOD SPORT Though a famously hard worker. he gushed.” he later joked. President Lee drew on his own experience from the 1970s when. during which time he has seen Team Korea compete in two Olympic Games and a World Baseball Classic (WBC). President Lee’s diplomatic success stems largely from his extensive international experience. President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. President Lee recalled some of the most nervejangling moments. the two men sat and chatted for three hours about topics including Korea’s economic rise and how it overcame its severe financial crisis in the late 1990s. as CEO of Hyundai Engineering and Construction. But it was the recent Vancouver Winter Olympics that left the strongest mark. Visiting the UAE in December last year to sign the deal. shoot and strike as Team Korea excelled in all three competitions. though. Korea won the bid to host the G-20 summit this November. The Prime Minister later supported Korea’s bid to host the G-20 summit. On his watch. Elsewhere. calling the crown prince of Abu Dhabi. President Lee was hanging on every 24 KOREA APRIL 2010 KOREA APRIL 2010 25 . his diplomatic achievements in particular. and signed a 47 trillion won (US$41. Delighted to hear of President Lee’s taste for local cuisine. but Kim isn’t just skating out there — she may as well be performing ballet. he decided against it. and even after they’d finished. “I kept ramyeon off the menu. When Kim Yu-na was in mid-leap. and shut his eyes.

There are several charming towns along the shore of Namhae. by Seo Dong-cheol A landscape of Dolsan Bridge and New Yeosu Port . a city gearing up to host the Expo 2012. but I chose to visit Yeosu. and the gorgeous scenery of Dadohae Haesang National Park greets you at every turn. City of the Expo ⓒ Kim Tae-su / Yeosu City City of the Ocean Head south from Seoul and push on toward the ocean. and you will eventually reach Namhae. the heroic tales of Admiral Yi Sun-sin remain part of the fabric of local life. Here.TRAVEL YEOSU. a jagged piece of coast surrounded by countless islands.

which can be seen in spring season (right). is an area largely defined by two beautiful national parks: Hallyeo Marine National Park in Gyeongsangnam-do Province and Dadohae Haesang National Park in Jeollanam-do Province. KOREA APRIL 2010 29 . an excellent vantage point is the observation deck at the lighthouse on the hills of Odongdo. small and large. Dolsan Bridge. Just 10 minutes from downtown Yeosu. From the center of Yeosu. To get a superb view of the wildlife. dark green leaves and scarlet flowers. It is certainly something special to include while visiting. Most famous. Immense windows offer a nearly 360-degree view of Dadohae Haesang National Park.SEDUCED BY THE OCEAN On reaching Odongdo proper. ⓒ Yeosu City lapping ocean on either side almost convincing you that you 28 KOREA APRIL 2010 Jinnamgwan. With their gleaming. Namhae. reminds of Admiral Yi Sun-sin’s memories (above). New Yeosu Port and the exhibition hall for the upcoming Expo 2012 can all be seen from here as well. and the rest of the island’s natural beauty.000sqm. Korea’s southern coast. head over to the Dolsan Bridge and cross into Dolsan Park. ocean pine trees and silver magnolias that thrive despite the strong ocean winds. with the could be walking on the water. and the vast sea embroidered with numerous islands. though. From here. while Dolsan Island.” the seawall is an experience in itself. Though spanning just 127. Once back on the mainland. Sunset is an especially recommended time to visit as the port is lit with bright lights. 1 attraction. which also includes Yeosu’s assorted islands within its borders. Odongdo is connected to the mainland by a seawall. Odongdo island is indisputably Yeosu’s No. Odongdo boasts impressive floral diversity. and as you wander along the island’s trails you’ll encounter swathes of dense bamboo. Camellia flower is one of the symbol of Odongdo island. are the camellia trees. the city of Yeosu begins from the easternmost point of Dadohae Haesang National Park. camellias are the symbol of this small island and a source of pride for the locals. Falling within Jeollanam-do. you’re greeted by a fountain whose jets of water dance in time to the strains of classical music. making it easily accessible on foot. where many of Odongdo’s 194 different plant and tree species reside. head uphill toward the inland and you’ll approach some thick woods. Named one of the “100 most beautiful roads in Korea. Among them. a wooden building. follow the salty scent to the nearby ocean and you will soon see the horizon emerging from afar.

kr <INFO> Jinnamgwan 472 Gunja-dong. Yeosu-si. located at the southeastern tip of Dolsan Island.Hyangiram. but the small temple endures in its dignified serenity.Namhae Expressway Suncheon IC . KOREAN HERO. Celebrating life from Jinnamjae in 1967. Jinnamgwan is a vast wooden structure spanning 55sqm with 68 massive circular pillars and large.000 won (US$0. there are 11 trains to Yeosu daily from 6:50am to 10:50pm (5 hours 30 minutes) YEOSU CITY TOUR A day-long city bus tour taking in Yeosu’s major tourist sites runs daily from Yeosu station. as his ties with Yeosu run deep.Jinnamgwan . Though serving as a lodging for guests in more recent centuries. helped ultimately turn the war in Korea’s favor and secured one of the most astonishing victories in the history of naval conflict.Honam Expressway .000 won (US$2. More than 60 Japanese ships were defeated here. Yeosu-si.Yeosu (5 hours) > By Bus/Train 19 Buses bound for Yeosu from the Express Bus Terminal run daily from 6am to 11:20pm. Departing from Yongsan station. Dolsan-eup.500 won (US$1. Jeollanam-do Province Tel +82-(0)61-690-2222 Hyangiram 70 Yullim-ri. Located between downtown Yeosu and TRAVEL TIPS BEFORE THE 2012 YEOSU EXPO While the Expo itself is still two years off. Climb just a little bit further over the rocks behind Daeungjeon and finally you will come to Gwaneumjeon. giving a real taste of how hard conditions must have been at the time.yeosu. the scene is one of enchanting peace and beauty. ⓒ Korea Tourism Organization minutes and the horizon will once again emerge. climb the steep mountain road for 20 squeeze along the narrow road that wiggles its way through the rocks. you can find out about the major themes of Expo 2012 Yeosu.Suncheon IC . another fabulous setting from which to admire the sunrise.” is a wonderful place from which to watch the sunrise. Jeollanam-do Province Fee Adult 2. is another place where Yi’s outstanding bravery and military acumen were evidenced. Youth 1.National Highway 17 . Inside the replica is a diorama of nons firing and a medical area.3). as well as learn about the history and significance of the International Exposition. natural rock cornerstones. though. 2012.Yeosu Fish Market . including the Ocean Exhibition Hall and Ocean Tower. > Course Yeosu Station (10:30am) . Youth 1. Yeosu-si.Expo 2010 Yeosu Information Center . the Expo’s main venues. Here. Yeosu-si.Hyangiram . Jeollanam-do Province Tel +82-(0)61-662-7268 Marine Science Center (Jusulmok) 1271-3 Pyeongsa-ri. visitors can still get a taste of the forthcoming extravaganza from the event’s information center at the entrance to Odongdo. it is often crowded with people. Hyangiram. Jeollanam-do Province Tel +82-(0)61-690-8290 Yeosu Fish Market 680 Gyo-dong. students 1.go. Sealed from above with plating many believe to have been made from metal. Yeosu-si. Jinnamgwan occupies the land where Admiral Yi’s regional headquarters — a building called Jinhaeru — once stood. you may well feel that you have nothing more to wish for.Odongdo . disabled.000 won (US$1.9) Tel +82-(0)61-644-4742 Expo 2012 Yeosu Information Center 335-1 Sujeong-dong. They run from 7:30am to 6pm. and if you can get through all of them it is said one wish will be granted. http://eng. the golden Daeungjeon pavilion and bell tower were recently destroyed in a fire. and the flight takes 55 minutes. As you HOW TO GET TO YEOSU > By Air There are nine flights a day from Seoul’s Gimpo Airport to Yeosu. YI SUN-SIN If you have ever been to Seoul and walked around Gwanghwamun Plaza. in repelling the invading naval forces of Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1592.go.000 won (US$1. which means “hermitage facing the sun. KOREA APRIL 2010 ⓒ The Organizing Committee for Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea though today. 31 .8).8). Tragically.Marine Science Center . the festival commemorates the exploits of Admiral Yi Sun-sin while also appreciating oceanic culture and the surrounding natural beauty.8). is another source of magnificent scenery in Dadohae Haesang National Park. have detailed displays at their building sites.9) > Inquiries +82-(0)61-666-1201 / 1202/ 1203. Odongdo.6). Admiral Yi Sun-sin.Jinju JC . Hyangiram is famous for its peaceful atmosphere and breathtaking ocean view (above). an area of ocean by the beach. Jusulmok.DaejeonTongyeong Expressway . And though they are still under construction.Yeosu / Jungbu Expressway . From the parking lot. There are seven caves and seven rocky passes around Hyangiram. the turtle ships were practically impregnable.9) Tel +82-(0)61-644-4136 Website http://eng. Traces of Yi can be found all along the southern coast. as well of scenes of can- 30 KOREA APRIL 2010 The city celebrates Yeosu Turtle Ship Festival in May every year (top). which will run for three months from May 12.National Highway 17 .” whose fully covered deck and array of cannons made them a formidable vessel. you could not have missed the large statue of a warrior holding a sword over passersby. 2010 YEOSU TURTLE SHIP FESTIVAL The 2010 Yeosu Turtle Ship Festival will be held from May 5. This is Korea’s greatest military hero.yeosu.000 won (US$0. servicemen. Jeollanam-do Province Fee Adult 2. > By Car Gyeongbu Expressway . Another must-see is the replica of one of Yi’s famous “turtle ships. the view continues to unfurl until you reach Daeungjeon’s front yard.000 won (US$0. Dolsan-eup.Yeosu Station (6:10pm) > Fee Adults 3. A scenery of 2012 Yeosu Expo’s building (right). This is perhaps Korea’s oldest festival of patriotism and this year the addition of the Yeosu World Fireworks Contest will make it a more enjoyable spectacle. senior citizens 2. Tongjeyeong Street Ceremony is one of the main attraction of Yeosu Turtle Ship Festival (above). contrary to its name. ⓒ Yeosu City the naval warriors rowing their ship.8 this year at Yeosu New Port and various places in town. But while admiring the divine sunset from the crest of the ridge.000 won (US$1. Children 1.Cheonan-Nonsan Expressway .

A JO U INTO Y E N S R There are many saunas. but it’s probably around 40C. Copses of bamboo grow around the bath. For several minutes. Soap. an upscale facility hidden in a dark glass skyrise. Some saunas sell amenities such as disposable razors. Often the herbal bath — jasmine is common — will be a reasonable temperature. my friends and I are the only ones in the locker room. we do start conversing. we are as naked as the day we were born. The little number on our bracelets is the key to our lockers. weary and sore from the exertion. he’d never come to a Korean sauna or jjimjilbang before. “In Russia. We’ve come to my friend’s favorite one. our thoughts drifting away with the plumes of steam. The appropriate Korean word for this sensation is siwonhaeyo (refreshing). fun Korean business dinners that demand both drinking and noraebang (Korean karaoke). Some spas will have others as well. you can luxuriate under a torrent of perfectly heated water. The man at the counter gives us three plastic bands with numbers on them. There are two other baths here: an even hotter bath with an herb infusion. As we are stashing our clothes. Soon. and the sauna my friends and I’ve come to in Apgujeong-dong is quiet and peaceful. I’m fine staying in the warmth. Well. we decide to check out the rest of the facility. After the shower. we head to the shower room. In fact. Here. My friends had just come from the basketball court. in the upper 30s. After awhile. they are quiet. these stay on until you turn them off. Eventually though. The bath is a perfect end to their rigorous day. “It’s good for circulation. our skin wrinkly as a pug’s. the floor we are AM TE 32 KOREA APRIL 2010 KOREA APRIL 2010 33 . the sauna feels like a sacred place. and a cold bath. Adjacent to the shower room is a partially enclosed patio. after sitting in the hot bath. Surprisingly. but it is certainly cold. We pass through a curtain and down a small hallway to reach the changing room. and jjimjilbang scattered throughout the city. Another man is showering along one of the walls. something to soak away the gritty workday and soothe bones weary from Seoul’s fast-paced life. A few saunas have individual baths in addition to the ubiquitous large basins. Nearly everywhere else. spas. Unlike the ones indoors. more salarymen fresh from hoesik: the mandatory. muffling the nightscape sounds of the city. One of the main attractions of this sauna is the outdoor bath. though the germophobe will want to bring his own. I opt for the merely scalding bath. “Dives in naked?” “Yes!” This sauna has no snowbanks. which can fit 10 to 30 people. though he had been to public baths and spas abroad. Those are wonderful distractions for the average weekend. it is enclosed in wood. a sharp contrast to the frenetic dance clubs and bars on nearby Rodeo Drive or down the street in Garosugil’s chic wine bars and sake houses. Others are now arriving in the shower room. One of my companions is a Japanese executive who visits Seoul regularly.MY KOREA It’s late Friday night. there is no temperature reading as there are at many saunas. Only one of us has the fortitude to get in. Typically. We quickly climb into the bath and resume our luxuriating and conversation.” he tells us. almost Saturday. they turn off every minute. a handful of weary salarymen are boiling in the hottest of the three baths. everyone gets out and dives into the snow. The room to shower and bathe is sparsely populated. Like us. A sharp wind. but sometimes you want something a little more relaxing. strikes us as we make our way to this bath. thank you very much. Mine is 110. kisses from Siberia. my comrades and I sit and soak in silence. I somehow manage to lock mine a couple of times before getting the trick down. one showers first before slipping into the large stone baths found in nearly all saunas in Korea. Luxuriate is the operative word here. but it does have an icy-cold bath. shampoo and even conditioner are provided. a temple where the repentant come to scour away their sins and be reborn in the searing waters.” he insists. perhaps icy is a little strong. The icy wind now feels invigorating as we sit half submerged in the water. One of the things that makes this particular sauna better than most is the showers themselves: Unlike at the majority of baths.

We scamper out of the oven and towel away the sweat. “Whenever I go to the sauna. The tomato juice and lassi are made from scratch. Just out of the shower room are all the basics needed to make ourselves presentable: hair dryers. The menu is fairly a community of writers that holds regular critique sessions. It’s another dry sauna room. not as hot as the oven but still quite warm. It is stupefyingly hot inside. and simple green tea for my other friend. Basic Korean food — bibimbap. recreation center and cheap hotel wrapped together. the room — a hot. a room off the main area is set aside for sleeping. the provided pillows are small firm rectangles. At this jjimjilbang. doenjang-jjigae — are. PC rooms and a host of other amenities. More men have come in and are sleeping on the mat by the large TV. Salt rooms vary from sauna to sauna. It is the patron’s responsibility for gathering his own and then scouring his body with the white pillars. People leave their belongings upstairs in their lockers. and thus more expensive than most. In some. jjimjilbang are popular for many workers and travelers. the charcoal room.on is the sauna proper. seolleongtang. Should a business dinner run quite late. it is often better to crash at the nearest spa than to try catching a taxi to the suburbs or driving drunk. often a t-shirt or robe/shirt and shorts — in coed jjimjilbang. Dressed in the earthy beige of the sauna’s threads. Whole families can also be found at night in many jjimjilbang. community center. of course. Other places often use pillows — and I use this word generously — made from beaded bamboo strands or even wooden blocks. however. This is supposed to help exfoliate the skin. We stay long enough to get the general idea and then retire to the coffee bar. He can be reached at crfsanders@gmail. I realize as we’re dressing. we need the Korean word: siwonhaeyo! After a while. It felt good to sweat in there. below us is the jjimjilbang. There are more people here than there were in the baths. Others are sitting at the bar of the tiny coffee shop or in the little restaurant next to it. First though. with a variety of juices. Even the outdoor bath’s enclosure is completely hidden from the outside. expelling untold levels of toxins. We aren’t hungry but we do take a look at the little restaurant’s offerings.” and supports worthwhile charities. that’s normal the first time. but despite the frostcaked coils lining the walls. The last of the sand slipps away in the hourglass. 10 minutes maybe — time seems like such an alien concept in this palace of relaxation — we do begin to feel the room’s deep chill working its way into our flesh. If this were a coed jjimjilbang. A large hourglass sits on the mats in the middle of the room. Some jjimjilbang have barbers available during the day. coffees.” Just to the left of the oven is a walk-in freezer that would not be out of place in any number of restaurants. we decide to make our way back upstairs. draw out excess water and toxins. though. but it’s still reverentially quiet. by Chris Sanders | illustrations by Jo Seung-yeon | photograph by Kim Nam-heon PROFILE Chris Sanders is an American expatriate who has lived in Seoul for several years.” my friend explains to our Japanese companion as we’re getting into the car. especially the large and famous ones in the far reaches of the peninsula. sits for a moment. in English. and works as a university instructor and freelance writer. and other beverages. and the like. Coed jjimjilbang usually have nail technicians. We adjourn to the next room. teas. More of his writing can be read on Seoulstyle. Our Japanese friend orders tomato juice. he co-founded the Seoul Writers Workshop. is the oven. We’ve been in the sauna and jjimjilbang for quite a while now. Thus. with the heavy scent of aromatic wood and charcoal permeating the air. it doesn’t feel cold exactly. A few older men are playing janggi (the Korean equivalent of chess). a lassi for me. gels and mousses. From the outside of the jjimjilbang’s building. you’d never know it was there. Another quick shower and a few minutes in the bath to wash away the dry. quietly. and then leaves. sauna-induced sweat finish us up. We are conversing. In 2007. 34 KOREA APRIL 2010 KOREA APRIL 2010 35 . The only thing we missed in our visit. play rooms for kids. the central space would be shared by both men and women. Such facilities always offer uniforms. It is entirely possible for a family to spend a whole day in a jjimjilbang and never get bored. Our drinks finished and our energy wavering. dry sauna — is liberally coated in coarse salt. so the sauna charges our electronic bracelets. “What’s next?” “The ice room. publishes the yearly anthology “Every Second Sunday. the men’s and women’s uniforms are different colors. The oven. we put on the uniforms provided. For those that need a darker and quieter space. Our Japanese friend has never experienced this. it’s a little hard to breathe. is the salt room. I sleep like a baby afterwards. The air is still and crisp. it is still considerably cheaper than a hotel. is a large room constructed like a traditional stone and thatch building. A jjimjilbang is something like a spa. I take a look back. We flip it over and settle in. a couple of guys are laying on the floor in front of a large television with the volume on low. there is a large bowl of salt outside the room. we head downstairs. While our jjimjilbang is more luxurious. “The air’s heavy. as some say. And a TV. the walls convex and ending in a conical point at the top.” he tells us when we ask what he thinks of it. another man comes. A couple of younger men sit watching the news. I wonder how many other wonders the city hides within its glass and concrete facades. and improve your skin’s health overall. Professional masseuses are often on staff as well. In this one.” we assure him. “Yeah. Again. as we call it. Our first We have to climb in through a hobbit-sized door. the specialties of the house.

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ALL ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE ARTS Arts and culture are connecting threads that weave into a global fabric. the UNESCO World Conference on Arts Education will gather professionals and activists to weave a stronger fabric. religious or linguistic differences. and combining culture and art with education allows that power to be passed down through generations. culture can be the ultimate peacemaker. In overcoming racial. which the UNESCO World Conference on Arts Education is about to hold in this convention center. KOREA APRIL 2010 THE UNESCO WORLD CONFERENCE ON ARTS EDUCATION 37 . In Seoul from May 25 to 28. by Oh Kyong-yon | photograph by Kim Nam-heon A panorama of COEX.

Françoise Rivière. Sports and Tourism is working with the Ministry of Education to provide various support programs for students looking to pursue the arts.” Moreover. At the main conference session. arts education exhibition and performances. and to enhance the quality and quantity of arts education through expanded partnerships. DEVELOPING ARTS EDUCATION So why is Korea hosting this year’s event? By running the global conference. The conference’s declaration. After introducing a law in 2005 supporting arts education. both in and out of school. those values are as important as they’ve ever been. Sports and Tourism. Korea’s Ministry of Culture. At the same time. Korean students take traditional music lessons during a culture class at Korea Arts & Culture Education Service (opposite top). It looks to encourage the kind of innovative development only achieved through the progress of the arts. EVENT AT A GLANCE > Title The Second UNESCO World Conference on Arts Education > Venue COEX. plenary session. At the Seoul meeting. The conference will include a plenary session. she mentions that.000 arts education officials from Korea and around the world to take part. as well as teachers. RAISING THE STANDARDS A main goal of this year’s UNESCO World Conference on Arts Education is to encourage the importance of cultural diversity. will cooperate with each other to strengthen arts education. It is such endeavors that the Korean government is ⓒ Korea Arts & Culture Education Service ence in implementing arts education programs. KOREA APRIL 2010 39 . Organizing Committee for the 2nd World Conference on Arts Education held a pre-meeting in Seoul. workshops. assistant director-general for culture at UNESCO. on-site tours of arts education sites in Korea. tour programs 38 KOREA APRIL 2010 The 1st UNESCO World Conference on Arts Education was held in Lisbon.The UNESCO World Conference on Arts Education was launched to raise awareness of the value of arts education and to strengthen the values it espouses. an NGO forum and tours of arts education facilities. the Korean government aims to raise awareness of the importance and effects of arts education in Korea. Seoul. Accompanying the events will be a series of performances and numerous art exhibitions. however. and discussions were mostly about the importance and value of arts education. while continuing with st those talks. workshops. and will come up with new strategies and research methodology to benefit us all. as well as emphasize the socio-cultural impact of arts education. UNESCO expects up to 2. says. the declaration will lay out goals and a doctrine for the promotion of international arts education. At the inaugural event. the UNESCO World Conference on Arts Education aims to provide a global forum on culture and arts education and to further the cause of international cooperation. special session. Korea > Dates May 25 to 28. the UNESCO Road Map for Arts Education dominated the agenda. announcement of Development Goals (tentatively named). And by acting as looking to draw on as it builds a network of government agenⓒ Organizing Committee for the 2nd World Conference on Arts Education / Ministry of Culture. artists.” will be presented during the closing ceremony on May 28 and hopes to become a lasting legacy. 2010 > Participants Approximately 2. tentatively named “Development Goals.000 experts from Korea and around the globe > Key Events Opening ceremony. an international advisory committee meeting. December 2009 (opposite above). Ahead of the Seoul event this year. Portugal (above). be accompanied by balanced arts education in schools and in society as a whole. A youth forum will also look at dreams inspired by the arts and the life-changing experiences that have arisen from the creative outlets. delegates will assess the progress they have made in implementing the Road Map and look at ways to ensure it remains on track. related agencies and NGOs. Taking its cues from the UNESCO Road Map for Arts Education formulated in Lisbon. “They should. As we head further into the 21 century. Republic of Korea cies and education civic groups throughout Asia. by building on the accomplishments of the Lisbon conference. Korea aims to establish a cooperative network in Asia through which it can share knowledge and experithe flagbearer of arts education for the duration of this global conference. experts from around the world will discuss the contribution and the role of the arts in the UN’s International Year of Cultural Reconciliation in 2009. Korea hopes to further nurture its image as a regional center of culture. we expect that government agencies and regional authorities. “Through Seoul’s hosting of this conference. Portugal.” Held for the first time four years ago in Lisbon.

000 visitors. while the arrival of Taiwanese firms such as Wonten Technology and Sunrise Global is generating a lot of interest too. Two of the biggest new stars in renewable energy. by Kwon Kyeong-hui KOREA APRIL 2010 ⓒ Daegu Exhibition Convention Center (EXCO) An exterior view of the Daegu Exhibition Convention Center (EXCO). plans to build a global green growth research center and host the 18th post-Kyoto climate change conference in 2012 were unveiled by President Lee. which will host the Daegu Green Energy Expo. corporate giants such as Samsung SDI. At EXCO Daegu. which has developed the most energy efficient solar battery technology. head of SJ Inno Tech. EXCO aims to make the Green Energy Expo the biggest such event in Asia. From Japan. Korea’s low-carbon. the world’s leading renewable energy firms will descend on Daegu for what will be the largest Green Energy Expo so far. is the renewable energy industry. ranked Daegu 24th this year among 300 renewable energy fairs for the second straight year. subterranean heat and bioenergy. and solar battery manufacturer SunPower. surpassing the expected attendance of 30. The lineup this year will include the traditional European renewable energy powerhouses. Joung Hyoung-chan. Denmark.500 from overseas. is already looking ahead. will also be taking part. but one of the largest in Asia. Napson and Tyco Electronics will be in attendance. On the home front. one of the world’s top chemical firms. hydrogen fuel energy.000. including 1.GLOBAL KOREA WHERE RENEWABLE ENERGY FIRMS CROSS PATHS At last year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. This year. Photon International. visitors will be able to see the future of “Green Korea” for themselves. With 200 companies from overseas.000 booths. while the United States. for the 7th Daegu Green Energy Expo from April 7 to 9. “Displaying core energy-related technologies at an internationally recognized exhibition is in line with the Korean government’s ‘green growth’ policy. Daegu will be a truly global stage for the latest green products and technologies. wind power. China’s Suntech Power and LDK Solar. But EXCO. the Green Energy Expo has grown by 40-50% each year since 2006. consolidating its place in the top tier of international renewable energy expos. a magazine specializing in renewable energy. THE FUTURE’S GREEN Now in its seventh year. Representing the United States will be DuPont. one of Korea’s top international events. Japan and Korea will have beefed-up presences as well. Last April’s exhibition drew more than 32. Organizers expect up to 40.” said an official of the Knowledge Economy Ministry. On the Expo’s sidelines. Symphony Energy and D-Solar Tech. there will be 30% more Korean participants compared to last year. LG Electronics and Hyundai Heavy Industries will be joined by smaller firms such as Shinsung Holdings. Foreign participants of the Daegu Green Energy Expo chat during the event in 2009 (right). In early April. the host. All in all. making it not just the biggest renewable energy exhibition in Korea. almost double from a year ago. at the center of it all. Plans are underway to expand the exhibition center in 2011 and host the World Energy Council (the world’s most prestigious energy event). green growth strategies have since gained worldwide attention and. is seen (above). which made the world’s first 40 KOREA APRIL 2010 41 . will host seminars on solar energy. 350 companies from 25 nations will set up 1. a three-day International Green Energy Conference.500 visitors.

“Just as IT took the late 1990s by storm. or IRENA. These nations are ratcheting up their investments because they believe the low-carbon economic revolution centered on renewable energy will make or break their future. or about 3%. WHERE WE ARE NOW Already shaping up to be one of the world’s biggest growth industries. Hearteningly. two non-profit organizations. To revitalize its member countries’ economies.” In order to increase private R&D investment.’ with the renewable energy industry at its core. or 370 billion yuan. Germany allotted 1. countries are pushing hard to establish leadership and set the global standards. above). Yonhapnews Agency (right) screen printer and SPI-related solar energy equipment. renewable energy will do the same in the years to come. A month earlier. Requiring the ratification of 25 nations to take effect. or 1. there has been a great deal invested in environmentally friendly growth. “Experts believe that after Alvin Toffler’s ‘third wave. a target the body is hoping to achieve by the end of this year.7 trillion yen (US$163 billion) in the stimulus package. According to a paper on global science technology policies for 2009 and 2010. This breaks down into $18 billion for R&D and $3. More importantly. Of 14. of its $787 billion stimulus budget to R&D and science and technology. 1. of its 50 billion euro stimulus budget into R&D. Japan expanded its environment and energy sectors by 16%. The US and Japan are among 143 nations that have signed the agency’s statute and 12 have ratified it.” Germany.9 billion). Late last year. As the leader in renewable energy supply and a founding country of IRENA. or 2. Japan introduced its own measures to fend off the economic crisis last April.7%. went into R&D for new growth engines and a science “New Deal. adds.4 billion euros (US$1. while the European Union spent 58. or 2.5 billion. over 2009 and 2010. whereby it would provide $150 billion over 10 years to develop clean energy.5%.5% of the combined GDP. with the help of Denmark. the US had announced its own Green New Deal policy. Of the 28.9 trillion won (US$25. Another 900 million euros went into helping small and medium businesses. Germany is very well placed to succeed in the international markets.34 trillion yen. and setting a mandatory target of 25% of all energy being renewable by 2025. published by the Ministry of Education in Korea. IRENA will promote technology transfers and recommend funding to maximize the use of energy. And for its 2009 science and technology budget. Germany accounted for 47% of the global solar energy industry and 27% of the wind turbine market. securing further finances for investments in renewable energy. raising their combined budget to US$164 billion from US$140.3%. of which 9. “I listened to advice from the industry and concluded that the Daegu event will be the most appropriate place to evaluate our equipment that we have worked so hard to develop. The Korean government finalized nine key projects for a Green New Deal. China 34. or 9. Under the Obama administration. It is working on extending tax breaks. including the four-river restoration project and a green traffic network. many G-20 nations spent an average of 15% of their stimulus budget on green growth. ⓒ Daegu Exhibition Convention Center (EXCO).2%.5 billion for facilities and capital equipment.7%.The Daegu Green Energy Expo ranks high among the international renewable energy expos (top. and 500 million euros were alloted to helping develop auto technologies for hybrid cars and other related fields. drafted a list of technical areas and fields where energy.7 billion won. homes and industry. Daegwallyeong has one of the most wellknown wind-power producing facilities in Korea (opposite). In their stimulus package unveiled in February last year. In July 2009. the government also increased tax deductions on investments in new growth engines and original technology to the highest level among OECD member nations. with 6% devoted to the development of clean technology. was slated for science and technology.3% and the US 11. In China. Korea ranked the highest by dedicating 80% of its budget. In everything from policy and technology to business projects and exports. ENERGY COMPETITION HEATS UP Amid increasingly fierce competition surrounding sustainable resources. BT(Biology Technology). American Council On Renewable Energy and Electric Power Research Institute. went into R&D of IT(Information Technology). Spain and other European nations.8%. In 2007. the fourth wave will be the ‘green revolution.’ the information revolution. it pledged to double the R&D funding for federal clean energy from $6 billion to $12 billion. NT(Nano Technology) and energy. 863.” The upcoming Expo in Daegu will certainly be the place to go green. human resources and nature can best be harnessed to meet the international standards. founded the International Renewable Energy Agency. as well as green cars. the stimulus package ran to 4 trillion yuan (US$586 billion). renewable resources are at the heart of energy policies of governments worldwide. this competition is also pushing many players toward greater cooperation. the US has made green energy a centerpiece of its push to revive the economy. 42 KOREA APRIL 2010 KOREA APRIL 2010 43 .4 billion) in Korea’s revised supplemen- tary budget.8 billion. the EU spent 200 billion euros (US$270 billion). which includes green cars and clean energy.” said an official at the Samsung Economic Research Institute. the US allocated $21.

NOW IN KOREA Away from the typical scenes of galleries. a wood engraver. KOREA APRIL 2010 STREET KOREA APRIL 2010 SEOUL’S 44 45 . museums and performance halls. the younger generations of Korea are taking their creativity in another direction: to the streets. works busily at the Hongdae Free Market on a bright Saturday afternoon. by Ines Min | photographs by Park Jeong-roh VIBRANT INNOVATIVE Asirang. With outdoor settings as their backdrop. new sense of freedom and realism. these artists are making an active effort to expand the country’s cultural scenes and infuse it with a fresh.

who are interested in seeing her work. as artisans set up their tables arranged in weaving lines inside the park. it’s better to directly meet and talk with people rather than just sell things online. “For us. handcarved and handpainted. where local bands grace the level stage. It’s 12:34 on a Saturday afternoon. “And when we talk to people. a quirky partnership between a a kinetic-sculpture artist and a painter. because we’re communication-oriented. a wood engraver who personalizes designs onto accessories. It’s because I enjoy doing it.’ I don’t bring out my works with a plan for people to feel a specific emotion or even like it. eerily macabre dolls. Sewing lessons by a fellow artist were available during this year’s opening event. But whatever the circumstance. one-half of the team. others manage to bask in the experience. a plethora of carefullydesigned jewelry and leather-bound journals. the Free Market offers a variety of activities. KOREA APRIL 2010 46 KOREA APRIL 2010 47 . sits busily as a crowd surrounds her station. Past the artists is a small gazebo. consumers and spectators mingle to discover and explore the cornucopia around them. showing off their portrait to friends. proffering their services for free or a small donation of 10 won. both musician and audience appreciate the melodic harmonies in the afternoon sun. back from its cold weather hiatus for barely a month. workshops and exhibitions put together with the help of everyone involved. I do it because I figure. and another young man who will capture a person’s likeness in 10 seconds. and the streets surrounding Hongik University still echo from the escapades of Friday night. they’ll tell us what they like. ‘It’s better to share these concepts than keep them all to myself. A mini-exhibit is seen inside the market (top right). The 8-year-old open-air bazaar has become one of the best sources of handmade wares.. There is an artist who will a draw portrait only if the subject can dare to keep a straight face during the entire process. “There’s a certain charm to markets. what they don’t like. Kim Chul-min and Yoon Hyo-sang perform to a crowd at their usual spot in Marronnier Park. what they think is pretty. “I think street markets are vital because.” says Yang Jeong-wook. A small group of caricaturists line a brick-laid bench. as they’re the kind of place where people can casually meet. She draws heads from nearby artists. which open to reveal scrolls of tiny writing. and the people who come out are the ones who are there because they believe it is important work. drawings of women with waves of falling hair. In front. darkest installments. and what’s not. “Rather than making a piece of art by first calculating what people’s reactions might be. They use a variety of outlets to disseminate their artwork. when it comes down to it. This setting is a descriptive and moving environment. The market soon flutters with activity and a stroll of the premises fills the eyes with hand-dyed stockings. are among the many waves of the artists (above). such as street stalls and online A caricaturist draws a portrait of a girl in 10 seconds (top left). they’re diverse.. Soloists and groups entertain the audiences with acoustic guitars or more electronic sounds and. Rings. Instead of selling merchandise. so it’s helpful to us in terms of approach and development. she has transformed her space into a small exhibition for visitors to contemplate. where creators.” Asirang says. This is Hongdae’s Free Market. A lively scene of stirs beyond the slide and swing set. and participants were able to take home their finished embroidery. Nearing the playground — a popular hangout near the school’s main entrance — a crowd begins to emerge from the bleariness of the weekend morning. Asirang.” Across the way is YangBanKim.” That same principle is why artist In Jee-hea sits coolly next to one of her latest. An open dollhouse painted in matte black showcases mini hand-sewn.. With the drawing “complete. while some performers seem nervous.” the model will stand up from the hot seat to fits of laughter..retail.” FROM SPECTATOR TO PARTICIPANT Beyond simply conversations with the artists. a glass case guards a hollowed-out book filled with painted matchboxes.

Kim can be seen giving encore performances to the masses while donning his signature pair of whiteframed glasses and strumming his bandaged guitar. Auditions are held twice a year in April and September. Seoul Street Artist Posters for musicals and cultural performances can be seen outside a subway exist in Daehangno. a comedic and musical pair that have been delighting crowds on weekend afternoons for the past two decades. Walk straight and the stream will be to your left. and urges the support of a more modest perspective. Walk straight and the park will be on the artist (Korean only) Getting there Subway Line No. Festivals Hi Seoul Festival (May 2-10). in a program sponsored by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the foundation. and the performance sector has helped pave the way for years. www. Exit 5. Exit 5. KOREA APRIL 2010 48 . however. Walk in the direction of the university and make a right at the front entrance gate.or. 4 to Hyehwa. The event welcomes a range of performances. > Daehangno Marronnier Park Time Most street performances are unscheduled during the daytime and early evenings. “when you can play in the beautiful.freemar ket. Their greatest charm is in their improvisational skills. “When I first started coming out here years ago. information and history can be found at the Cheonggyecheon Museum. limited English) Getting there Subway Line No. make people laugh again. The Hi Seoul Festival also takes place here from May 2 to 10. there were a lot of demonstrations going on. Kim has seen the culture of street art morph throughout his years at Marronnier Park. existing surroundings?” MORE FESTIVAL INFORMATION: ⓒ Cheonggyecheon Museum Cheonggyecheon Stream is best known for its aesthetic transformation. “Why spend so much money on a large structure.STREET CHARACTERS The independent art culture is an evergrowing prominent feature in Seoul. The park will be on the right. Daehangno is famous for its intimate theaters and. both Kim and Yoon actively seek to tear down the fourth wall and engage viewers with relevant political issues and relatable daily topics.” Kim says. More exhibits. and ability to pick people from the vast crowds to integrate into their act. > Hongdae Free Market Time March to November. One of the easier acts to catch are local legends Kim Chulmin and Yoon Hyo-sang. “I wanted to lighten the (Korean. and are hosted by the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture. 2 to Hongik University. comedies and plays. referring to the political protests rampant during the 1980s.naver. but it also serves as a popular venue for a growing number of performers. The Seoul Street Artist program offers artists a chance to audition and be selected to perform along the stream throughout the year. with many heading toward the direction of elaborate outdoor sets and stages.” The desire remained and now. More than a mere performance. > Cheonggyecheon Stream Time See online schedule Contact http://cafe.” Kim queries. located near the Dumul Bridge at the stream’s center. 5 to Gwanghwamun. but Kim Chul-min and Yoon Hyo-sang can be seen on most weekend afternoons. Saturdays from 1pm to 6pm (music from 2pm to 5pm) Contact +82-(0)2-325-8553. He feels this is the opposite of what street art is about. Exit 2. the boldest artists can be found right on the walkways of Marronnier Park. though there are several venues in which to see musicals. years later. Contact +82-(0)2-731-0585 Getting there Subway Line No.

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