36 People

Korean Guitar Prodigy Rises as a Star on the Web
‘Arirang’ Played by N.K. Pianist in Washington
Diva for Homeland on New Album
44 Travel
A Classic Walk around Samcheong- dong
A Trip Back to Olden Times — Suncheon City
52 Food
Jeju’s Traditional Liquor — Omegisul
54 Events
Seoul Design Olympiad
Charity Market Turns into Multicultural Festival
The Busan Biennale
62 Books
Hunminjeongeum Translated into Four Languages
Chinese Ceramics at the National Museum of Korea
66 ForeignViewpoint
My Impression of Korea
— Paraguayan Ambassador Ceferino Valdez
6 60 12
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6 Cover
Korea’s Autumn Festivals
12 Diplomacy
President Lee’s Summit Diplomacy in ASEM
14 Global Korea
‘Made in Korea’ Shines in Belgium
The 50th Anniversary of Korea- Thailand Relations
Heart Surgeries for Six Iraqi Children
20 National
Presidential Archives Set to Introduce Korea to the World
24 Science
World’s Largest Solar Power Plant
Korea’s First Rocket Unveiled
26 Culture
Joseon Painters Bring Crowds to Gansong Museum
Animal Paintings Symbolize Folk Belief
34 Cultural Figure
Violinist Sarah Chang
November 2008 VOL. 4 NO. 11
Opening a communicative space between Korea and the world
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 5 4 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
Cover photo
Hahoe Mask Dance
Photo by Back Sung- tae
48 34
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 7 6 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
COVER
Unique Festivals
Add to Korea’s Autumn Flavor
W
it h it s crisp air and cryst al
blue sky, autumn is the season
most widely loved by locals
and foreigners. The countryside is par-
ticularly beautiful, colored in a multi-
tude of rustic hues. Mountains and hills
are ablaze with autumn foliage.
Rich traditional and unique festi-
vals across the nation beckon tourists
with mild temperatures. The folk festi-
vals rooted in ancient agrarian cus-
toms give flavor to Korea’s autumn.
Fortress Circumambulation
in Gochang
One of the famous autumn festivals is
t he Fort ress Circuma mbula t ion in
Gochang, Jeollabuk- do. The fortress,
called Moyangseong, was built during
the early Joseon Dynasty. It is sur-
rounded by Bandeungsan and has
three gates, two floodgates and a cov-
ering tower.
Fort ress Circumambulat ion has
been handed down and preserved as a
unique folk cust om. Oral t radit ion
st at es t hat if you walk around t he
fort ress once wit h a st one on your
head, all diseases will be cured. If you
walk around three times, you will go
to paradise.
The annual event is generally held
in early October for five days.
The Fortress Circumambulation in Gochang A farmers’ traditional band heralds the opening of the Moyangseong Festival in Gochang
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 9 8 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
COVER
Prehistoric Culture and
Goguryeo Festivals in Seoul
Seoul offers tourists valuable informa-
tion on ancient life in Korea through
two folk festivals.
On e of t he t wo fest ivals is t he
Prehistoric Culture Festival, organized
by Gangdong- gu Office in east ern
Seoul, which is annually held around
Oct. 10. The festival is performed in
a n d a r ou n d t h e Amsa - don g
Prehistoric Housing Site.
During the event, participants can
experience the life of old. Other activ-
ities include learning old dances and
mu si ca l i n st r u men t s a n d ma ki n g
earthenware.
Around t he same t ime, anot her
even t ca l l ed t h e Ach a Mou n t a i n
Gogu r yeo Fest iva l is h eld on t h e
mountain’s historic site. Along with
Baekje and Silla, Goguryeo (37 B.C.-
A. D. 668) wa s on e of t h e Th r ee
Kingdoms of Korea.
Ahead of the festival, major streets
in Neung- dong area of Gwangjin- gu,
Rendezvous Square of Acha Mountain
Park and Gwangjin Square are deco-
rated with banner flags to create the
atmosphere for the festival. The festi-
val begins with a street parade of about
500 people, who wear Goguryeo cloth-
i n g a n d or n a men t s. Moder n - da y
Goguryeo horsemen will also take part.
Various cultural events are offered
during the three- day festival, such as
the Goguryeo Martial Arts Performance,
which shows the dynamic skills of
Goguryeo horsemen.
Children experience Korea’s primitive life at the Prehistoric Culture Festival in Seoul
1 A festival organizer holds
a ritual to open the Acha
Mountain Goguryeo
Festival in eastern Seoul
2 “Gyeongseodo Sorigeuk,”
a traditional musical,
being performed as part
of a cultural event for the
Goguryeo Festival in
Seoul
3 Actors in Goguryeo
Martial Arts Performance
Information on Autumn
Festivals
Gochang Moyangseongje
http://gochang.go.kr/festival
Prehistoric Culture Festival
http://sunsa.ro.to
Acha Mountain Goguryeo Festival
http://www.gwangjin.go.kr/english
Andong Mask Dance Festival
http://www.maskdance.com
Pampas Grass Festival
http://worldcuppark.seoul.go.kr/eng
http://www.jangheung.go.kr/english
Prehistoric Culture Festival
Acha Mountain
Goguryeo Festival
1
2
3
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 11 10 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
COVER
Andong Mask Dance Festival
This is a must- see festival for locals
and foreign tourists. It is held every
year for about 10 days, between the
end of September and the beginning
of October. The world- renowned festi-
val was first held in 1997, drawing
more than 800,000 visitors every year.
The festival includes domestic and in-
ternational mask dance performances,
as well as modern performances and
mime. Mask dances were a way for or-
dinary people to express their views
on society.
1 The Bukcheong Saja- nori, a
lion mask dance
2 The Hahoe Byeolsin Exorcism
Mask Dance
3 Foreign tourists experience a
mask- making event at the
Andong Hahoe Folk Village
The pampas grass field at Sky Park near Seoul World Cup Stadium
Pampas Grass
If you want to see Korea’s natural au-
tumn beauty, visit Cheongwansan, a
mountain in Jangheung, Jeollanam-
do, which offers a magnificent view of
pampas grass. The scenic beauty of
the pampas glass field on top of the
mountain represents the romantic fall
season. Pampas grass can easily be
seen gr owi n g i n Kor ea n su bu r bs
throughout the autumn season. Other
f a mou s pa mpa s gr a ss f i el ds a r e
Mindungsan in Gangwon- do and Sky
Park, located near Seoul World Cup
St a di u m. J eon gseon - gu n i n
Gangwon- do holds a pampas grass
f est i va l ever y yea r f r om l a t e
September to November. s
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On the sidelines of the ASEM conference,
President Lee held separate talks with leaders
from France, Poland, Denmark, Vietnam and
Japan.
President Lee and Japanese Prime Minister
Taro Aso agreed to cooperate more closely in
combating the global financial crisis and ac-
celerating the denuclearization of North Korea.
The two leaders also agreed to resume bi-
lateral shuttle summit diplomacy, long sus-
pended following the outbreak of bilateral ter-
ritorial and historical conflicts earlier this year.
Korea and Vietnam agreed to further widen
“comprehensive partnership relations” by in-
tensively promoting closer cooperation in the
fields of economy, investment, education and
tourism, Korean officials said.
The agreement was reached at a summit
bet ween President Lee and Viet namese
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk asked
for greater Korean participation in its massive
infrastructure expansion projects, including
the construction of atomic power plants, Lee’s
spokesman said.
Lee’ s summi t wi t h French Presi dent
Nicolas Sarkozy on Oct. 25 produced an
agreement to cooperate on concluding ongo-
ing free trade agreement negotiations be-
tween Korea and the European Union by the
end of this year.
Lee and Sarkozy also agreed to cooperate
closely to produce substantive agreements to
fight the global financial crisis at the Group of
20 summi t sl at ed f or mi d- November i n
Washington D.C.
Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the
European Commission, was also on hand at
the Lee-Sarkozy meeting to call for a swift
conclusion of Korea-EU FTA negotiations. s
K
orean President Lee Myung- bak
called for overhauling the roles
and functions of the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World
Bank in order for the world to over-
come the current financial turmoil and
prevent the recurrence of a similar cri-
sis in the future.
In a keynote speech at the opening
session of the Asia- Europe Meeting
(ASEM) summit in Beijing on Oct. 24,
Lee a sser t ed t ha t emer gin g Asia n
economies should be allowed to reflect
their positions in the restructuring of
the international financial organiza-
tions.
“The existing international finan-
cial system did not function properly
because it failed to keep pace with
globalization, revolutions in informa-
tion and technology, as well as the
rapidly changing international eco-
nomic environment in general,” said
Lee. “In light of this, we hope to see
di scu ssi on s t a ke pl a ce t h a t wi l l
strengthen the role and function of the
IMF and the World Bank, whereby we
will have an improved mechanism
equipped with an early warning and
surveillance system, effectively warn-
ing us of possible dangers.”
Th e bi en n i a l ASEM su mmi t
opened in Beijing on Oct. 24, with the
global financial crisis the key focus of
attention among participating leaders
of 43 member nations and heads of
t he European Commission and t he
ASEAN Secretariat. ASEM nations ac-
count for roughly 60 percent of the
world’s gross domestic product.
Earlier, leaders of Korea, China,
Japan and 10 member states of the
Associ a t i on of Sou t h ea st Asi a n
Nations (ASEAN) met over breakfast
in Beijing and agreed t o creat e an
US$80 billion joint fund by next June
to fight regional financial crises.
The so- called ASEAN Plus Three
countries also agreed to push for the
establishment of a regional economic
surveillance organizat ion t o ensure
greater financial stability in the region.
Before concluding the speech, Lee
expressed high expectations for the
Group of 20 summit slated for mid-
November in Washington D.C., say-
ing that the upcoming summit meet-
ing is expected to generate “substan-
tive and productive” results through
closer consultations between emerg-
ing and advanced economies. Lee is
scheduled to attend the Group of 20
summit. s
President Lee Seeks Global Efforts to
Overcome Financial Crisis
A Series of
Bilateral Summits
Korean President Lee Myung- bak (center, front row) and other leaders from Asian and European countries pose for a group photo during the opening ceremony of
the seventh ASEM summit in Beijing on Oct. 24
Speaking at the World Leaders Forum in Seoul
on Oct. 30, Korean President Lee Myung-bak
called for Korea’s leading role in reshaping the
international economic order. The one-day fo-
rum, hosted by the South Korean government
in commemoration of its 60th founding an-
niversary, brought together scores of influen-
tial world leaders and prominent academics,
including 15 former heads of state.
“At the financial crisis summit scheduled in
Washington on Nov. 15, I will commit myself
to promoting international cooperation on
measures to reinvigorate the world economy,
including the reorganization of the internation-
al financial system,” Lee said.
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir
bin Mohamad said “Korea emerged only after
the (1950-53) war and therefore its experi-
ence is quite new. I am quite sure Koreans re-
member the difficulties they had faced in de-
veloping their country.” “I think South Korea
can still play this role to provide the region
with a model. I am quite sure even China
must have learned something from Korea' s
development.”
Franci s Fukuyama of Johns Hopki ns
University said while many have talked about
Korea' s economic miracle, there has been a
political miracle as well. “Korea has gone from
a dictatorship to a functioning democracy in a
single generation,” he said.
Former U.S. Defense Secretary William S.
Cohen called on South Korea to continue
such efforts to weather the financial crisis and
bring lasting peace to the peninsula. s
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 13 12 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
DIPLOMACY
Lee Calls for
Korea’s Leading Role
in Global Economic
Order Change
President Lee Myung- bak shakes
hands with French President Nicolas
Sarkozy (center) and European
Commission President Jose Manuel
Barroso in Beijing on Oct. 25
President Lee attends (center) attends the World Leaders Forum in Seoul on Oct. 30
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treasures and eight treasures.
“Made in Korea” concentrates on
Korean culture, from traditional foods,
art and books to plays and perfor-
mances.
“Gugak,” or Korean t radit ion al
music, filled the air on the opening
day, and the event’s finale will show-
case B- boy performances.
Twenty-five Korean films from fa-
mous directors such as Kim Ki-duk and
Lee Chang-dong screen during the event.
The Korean and Belgium govern-
ments each supported 2.1 billion and 3.2
billion won, respectively, for this event.
“There has never been an event
t his big t o int roduce Korea t o t he
world,” said Yu In- chon, the minister
of culture, sports and tourism, during
the opening ceremony. “This festival
will show the world Korea’s power,
wh i ch ca me t o be a ft er dr a ma t i c
growth during the past 60 years.”
The event is hosted by the Ministry
of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the
National Museum of Korea and the
Belgium BOZAR.
“The Smile of Buddha” will run
through Jan. 18, and “Made in Korea”
will continue until Feb. 28. s
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 15 14 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
GLOBAL KOREA
A
mega- size event t o int roduce
Korean culture to the world of-
ficially opened at BOZAR, the
Cen t er for Fin e Ar t s, in Br ussels,
Belgium, on Oct. 9.
More t han 1,200 people visit ed
BOZAR on opening day, proving the
rising popularity of Korean culture.
The festival is composed of two
major expositions —“The Smile of
Buddha” and “Made in Korea.”
“Th e Smi l e of Bu ddh a ” i s t h e
biggest Buddhism exposition in the
world. It has 209 pieces of Korean
Buddhism art, including four national
BY PARK MIN-YOUNG
STAFF WRITER
The National Orchestra of Korea performs Gugak at the opening ceremony
Visitors take a look at a golden crown of the Silla Dynasty
Visitors walk past a Korean Buddha
statue installed at BOZAR
Korean Culture Minister Yu In- chon (third from right) and Belgium officials look at the Bangasayusang,
a Contemplative Bodhiattva statue
‘Made in Korea’
Shines in Belgium
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NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 17
T
he Ministry of National Defense
an d t he Organ izat ion for t he
Pr oh i bi t i on of Ch emi ca l
Weapons of the Chemical Weapons
Convent ion held t he “Int ernat ional
Assist ance and Prot ect ion Course”
from Sept. 22 to 26.
The course offered information on
defense, materials, science and technol-
ogy —which could be used in case of
terrorist strikes or chemical accidents.
Korea is the first Asian country to
host this program. It normally takes
place in European countries, but the
OPCW made a request to host it in
Seoul in 2005, alluding to Korea’s ex-
cellent chemical defense skills. It has
been held in Seoul for the past four
years.
This year, 32 officials from 23
cou n t r i es pa r t i ci pa t ed, i n cl u di n g
Russia, China, Iran and Australia.
The program focused on education
for individual and collective protec-
tion systems in case of chemical acci-
den t s or t er r or i st st r i kes. It a l so
touched on detecting the presence of
narcotics and their use.
Many institutes in Korea —includ-
ing the National Army Chem, Bio, and
Radiological Defense Command, Seoul
City, National Police Agency, National
Emergency Management Agency, and
National 119 Rescue Service —partic-
ipated in the course.
“I believe this CWC education will
increase exchanges in the chemical
defense field bet ween member na-
tions,” said an official of the Ministry
of National Defense. “The Ministry of
National Defense will do its best to be
prepared for any possible t errorist
strikes in the future.” s
(Photos courtesy of Defense Ministry)
M
any Korean cult ural event s are being held in
Bangkok, Thailand, to celebrate the 50th anniver-
sary of friendship between the two countries.
A commemorative ceremony took place on Oct. 1 in
Bangkok in the presence of hundreds of diplomatic and
cultural officials from both countries. Thailand’s Korean
residents also took part.
“Interchanges between the two countries, which were
insignificant 50 years ago, have now rapidly increased,”
said President Lee Myung- bak during his congratulatory
address, which Kim Jang- sil, the vice minister of Ministry
of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, read by proxy.
“Both countries should make a new leap into the future
based on these accomplishments.”
During the ceremony, “Clown,” a Korean traditional per-
cussion quartet, and the National Dance Company of Korea
gave a celebratory performance called “Korea Fantasy.”
Various event s followed aft erwards. The Nat ional
Museum of Contemporary Art ran the exhibition “Daily life in
Korea” at the Queen’s Gallery in Bangkok from Oct. 2 to 21.
The Korean Residents Association of Thailand and the
Korea Thailand Communicat ion Cent er host ed “Korea
Festival 2008” in Siam Paragon, a shopping center in
Bangkok, from Oct. 10 to 12.
A “Hanbok” (Korean traditional costume) fashion show
and “Gugak” (Korean t radit ional music) performances
were put on for the audience.
Korean movie star Kim Rae- won made a visit for the
“Meet a Korean celebrity” event on Oct. 11. He was the am-
bassador of the festival.
More fun is to be held. The national taekwondo demon-
stration team will perform on Nov. 12, and the Andre Kim
fashion show is planned for Dec. 13.
“Nanta,” a famous non- verbal performance, will be
staged Dec. 12 to 21.
Korea and Thailand established a bilateral relationship
on Oct. 1, 1958, based on improved ties during the 1950- 53
Korean War. s
(Photos courtesy of KOIS)
Celebration for
50th Anniversary of
Korea-Thailand Relations
BY PARK MIN-YOUNG
STAFF WRITER
2008 International Assistance and
Protection Course
BY PARK MIN-YOUNG
STAFF WRITER
Officials from 32 countries participate in training and education for the prohibition of chemical weapons
GLOBAL KOREA GLOBAL KOREA
Gugak performance at the Korea Festival 2008 in Siam Paragon
Xing, a Korean group of singers, throw a performance
Ice, a Thai idol star, performs on stage
Officials pose at the Korea Festival 2008 in Siam Paragon Officials pose at the Korea Festival 2008 in Siam Paragon
The program
focused on
education for
individual and
collective
protection
systems in case of
chemical
accidents or
terrorist strikes.
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 19
“Compared to the day they first ar-
rived, they are incredibly healthy and
their complexion looks good,” said Dr.
Kim. “They will be able to live healthy
lives with their normal hearts now.”
Now full of energy, the six —from
the youngest, Hawkar Mujafar, who is
one and a half, to the oldest, Sana
Farup, who is 12 —cannot stop gig-
gling even for a second.
“Thank you very much,” Sana said
with a shy smile. “A million thank
yous would not be enough, as Korea
has saved my life. I feel more like a
Korean than Iraqi now, since they gave
me a Korean heart.” Sana cannot wait
to go to school and be with her friends.
For the younger ones, the moms
couldn ’t wait t o sen d t hem off t o
kindergarten.
“I never let him go outside at all be-
fore. But now, he can attend kinder-
garten when we go back,” said Abdulla
Najat’s mother, stroking her son’s head.
“We want t o t hank t he Korean
government and the Zaytun unit for
giving us this wonderful opportunity,”
she added.
This is not the first time the Korean
military and hospitals have worked side
by side t o save Iraqi lives. Sejong
General Hospital, the Zaytun unit and
other charity foundations co-sponsored
surgeries in 2007 for Iraq war amputees
and patients with heart disease.
The kids toured Seoul on Oct. 14. It
was a meaningful day for them, as
they were outdoors without worrying
about getting sick.
Getting ready for the big day out,
12- year- old Sarwar Kadir expresses
his excitement by running around the
hospital. He was always optimistic,
even on the day of his arrival, wearing
a suit and shiny shoes to commemo-
rate his visit to Korea.
Now that he is healthy, he is a ball
of energy.
“Feel like you can run really fast?”
someone asks him.
“Of course!” Sarwar answers proud-
ly with a mischievous smirk on his face
—just like any other 12-year-old. s
(Photos by The Korea Herald)
18 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
GLOBAL KOREA
S
ix Iraqi children ret urn ed t o
their country on Oct. 15 after
having their heart- related dis-
eases cured in Korea.
They arrived in Korea on Sept. 23
t hrough t he invit at ion of a charit y
foundation made up of Korea Exchange
Bank and Sejong General Hospital. The
foundation funded the surgeries after
Korean peacekeeping t roops of t he
Zaytun unit in Iraq diagnosed them
with congenital forms of heart disease.
The six suffered from heart dis-
eases which can be cured when treat-
ed early but can be deadly if not. They
needed prompt treatment but could
not afford it.
They were all in serious condition
by the time they arrived in Korea. Risk
was high for 6- year- old Ranea Selah,
who suffered from a congenital mal-
formation of the heart.
“Even doing a close examination
was dangerous for her, not to mention
undergoing surgery,” said Dr. Kim Su-
jin of Sejong General Hospital.
In wh a t wa s l i kel y a mi r a cl e,
Ranea survived four complex surg-
eries and is rapidly recovering. So are
the rest of the kids.
‘Thank You, Korea’
Heart Surgeries
for Six Iraqi
Children a Flying
Success
BY PARK MIN-YOUNG
STAFF WRITER
Six Iraqi children who received heart surgeries and their family make the sign of a heart above their heads
Feeling better, children play cards with their mothers
Sarwar Kadir poses with his doctor
T
he Presidential Archives opened
in t he Na r a (Na t ion a l St a t e)
Archive Cent er in Seongnam,
Gyeonggi- do, in December 2007.
The nine- floor —including t wo
basement floors —national archive,
equipped with ultra- modern protec-
tion systems, is capable of storing 4
million volumes. It consists of a state
archive and a presidential one.
As a part of the state archive which
holds important documents and records
of the nation, the Presidential Archive
was established this April to specially
manage and preserve t he valuable
recordings related to the presidents.
It holds more than 8 million pieces
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 21
of data of the former and present pres-
i den t s — f r om t h ose of t h e f i r st
President Syngman Rhee to the pre-
sent President Lee Myung- bak’s presi-
dential transition team.
“Korea is the first country to man-
age the ex- presidents’ archives all to-
get her,” says Hong Won- ki, a st aff
member of t he policy coordinat ion
team of the Presidential Archives.
Historical documents, such as the
14th President Kim Young-sam’s urgent
announcement regarding the real-name
a ccou n t in g syst em a n d t h e 15t h
Presiden t Kim Dae- jun g’s J un e 15
Sout h- Nort h Joint Declarat ion, are
found there.
Some documents are classified and
will not be open to the public for 15 to
30 years.
“This stops many documents from
being abolished due to sensitive mat-
ters,” explained Hong. “We will pre-
serve them well and after a certain pe-
riod of time the public will be able to
see them. This is a better way to up-
hold the people’s right to know.”
The archives are well preserved.
Sterilization before stocking the docu-
ments is obligatory, and they also go
through a deoxidization process con-
sidering their condition of acidity.
A restoration team fixes damaged
documents of high value. It is such
20 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
NATIONAL
Presidential Archives
Set to Introduce Korea
to the World
BY PARK MIN-YOUNG
STAFF WRITER
Brief records of each president in the presidential exposition hall
(From top)
Visitors look around the state exposition hall
Visitors look around the presidential exposition hall
Nara Archive Center in Seongnam, Gyeonggi- do
“Korea is the first
country to manage
the ex- presidents’
archives all
together,” says
Hong Won- ki,
a staff member of
the policy
coordination team
of the Presidential
Archives.
time- consuming work that even the
well- trained professionals there can
only amend one item per day.
“Korea has one of the top skills in
this field,” says Ko Yeon- suk, a cura-
tor in the Records Restoration Room.
The Archive is armed with protec-
tion systems to prevent theft or corro-
sion. The walls and roof are double
layered to maintain the right tempera-
ture and humidity, and the walls of
the repository are made with copper-
plate on the inside to intercept elec-
tromagnetic waves.
In case of a fire, inergen sprays out
in the repository instead of water to
protect the documents. A radio- fre-
quency ident ificat ion syst em keeps
track of all the documents.
There are two exposition rooms on
t he first floor, t he st at e exposit ion
h a l l , wh i ch br i ef l y ex h i bi t s t h e
archival hist ory of Korea, and t he
presidential exposition hall.
The presidential exposition hall has
six sections. The section called “Presi-
dents with the People” shows photos
and video clips of the presidents being
with the people. “The Chronological
Presidential History” introduces brief
records of each president.
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 23 22 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
NATIONAL
A restoration team fixes damaged documents
“Presidents’ National Administration
Records” exhibits documents and video
clips of important presidential affairs.
“Presents from World Leaders” displays
various souvenirs the presidents re-
ceived from overseas.
Some corners are for children. At
the “Be a President” section, the pres-
ident’s office is prepared for children
t o t a ke ph ot os i n . “Ch i l dr en , t h e
Leaders of the Future” informs chil-
dr en a bou t t h e a dmi n i st r a t i on s’
processes through flash animation.
Now that a great amount of presi-
dential records are fashioned online,
the National Archives of Korea con-
structed the Presidential Web Records
Service last July. It will start service
next year.
The National Archives of Korea is
on its first steps to introduce Korean
archival culture to the world. It held
the International Archives Exhibition
& Conference 2008 from Oct. 30 to
Nov. 1 at COEX in southern Seoul. It
i s p l a n n i n g o n h o s t i n g t h e
International Archives Culture Expo
2010 in Korea.
For mor e in for ma t ion , visit
www.pa.go.kr s
(Photos by The Korea Herald)
A researcher deoxidizes documents before storing them A staff member edits a video
(From top) A staff member looks through documents in the repository
Visitors look at the gifts presidents received from world leaders
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 25
T
he st at e- run Korea Aerospace
Research Inst it ut e (KARI) has
unveiled the mock- up of a rock-
et designed t o send a domest ically
produced research satellite into orbit
next year from the country’s spaceport
in Goheung, Jeollanam- do.
A successful launch from Naro
Space Center would make Korea the
ninth country in the world to launch
it s own sat ellit e on home soil. The
Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-
1) rocket will be launched some time
during the second quarter of next year.
The KSLV-1 is a carrier rocket de-
signed for transporting satellites. Naro
Space Center also unveiled a 30-meter-
long launch pad, which is not stationary.
The space center represents Korea’s
first step to become a major player in
the exploration of space. The center
consists of facilities for satellite con-
trol, testing and assembly, press cen-
ter, launch facility, electric power sta-
tion, space experience hall and land-
ing field. s
24 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
SCIENCE
T
he world’s largest solar power
plant in Sinan- gun, Jeollanam-
do, will start operating in mid-
November. Don gyan g En gin eerin g
and Const ruct ion Corp. will hold a
dedication ceremony for the power
pl a n t wi t h i n a t t en da n ce Pr i me
Minist er Han Seong- soo and ot her
dignitaries on Nov. 15.
The plant generates a capacity of
35,000MW annually on a site that is
670,000 square meters, a size equiva-
lent to 93 soccer stadiums.
It can generate enough electricity
to power more than 10,000 homes.
The company invested a total of 200
billion won for the construction of the
plant.
The size of the plant is the largest
of it s kin d in Korea, an d it is t he
world’s largest in t erms of a solar
power pl a n t u si n g t h e “1- Ax i s
Tracking System,” which makes solar
modules automatically move toward
the direction of the sun. s
World’s Largest Solar Power Plant
to Go into Operation in Sinan-gun
Korea’s First Rocket Unveiled
at Naro Space Center
The solar power generation modules installed in Sinan- gun
An aerial view of the
world’s largest solar
power plant in Sinan- gun
Engineers assemble the ground test vehicle, a mock- up of the KSLV- 1 rocket, at KARI’s assembly complex in Goheung, Jeollanam- do
The launch system installed at the Naro Space
Center in Goheung
K
A
R
I
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 27
“I feel that this year, because Shin Yun- bok is al-
ready a prominent artist, I think that it had an influ-
ence on the number of visitors who came,” he said.
This seems to be the year of Shin: He is the subject
of the currently- airing SBS drama “The Painter of
Wind,” a movie about him is slated to hit the big
screen in November and his art was the center of at-
tention at Gansong.
“Our bestselling art poster is Hyewon’s ‘Miindo,’”
said the representative, referring to Shin by his pseu-
donym, as well as to one of his masterpieces, “Miindo
(Portrait of a Beautiful Woman).”
According to him, the museum did not plan their
exhibition around Shin Yun- bok or draw inspiration
from the novel- turned- drama “The Painter of Wind.”
In fact, both Shin and Kim’s work made up fraction of
an exhibition brimming with painting and writing
that span the Joseon Dynasty.
Titled, “The 70th Anniversary of Bohwagak,” the ex-
hibit celebrated the rich history of Gansong, formerly
called Bohwagak meaning “a house with treasures of
Joseon,” by taking stock of the research that has been
conducted over the years and using it to select key
works from the Joseon Dynasty.
Though the exhibition as a whole astounded with
its impressive collection of calligraphic works and el-
egant paintings, one could not help but be drawn to
both Shin and Kim’s art.
Shin’s “Miindo (Portrait of a Beautiful Woman),”
in particular, captivated. This portrait of a woman —
26 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
CULTURE
Joseon Painters
Bring Crowds to Gansong Museum
BY JEAN OH
KOREA HERALD STAFF WIRTER
E
a r l y i n t o t h e secon d da y of Ga n son g Ar t
Museum’s long- awaited fall exhibition, visitors
continue to crowd the first and second floors of
the building.
Eager to catch a glimpse of the works of some of
the Joseon Dynasty’s finest artists, viewers wait pa-
tiently in line, peering into the wavering glass cases.
J ust four mon t hs a go on t he secon d da y of
Gansong’s spring exhibition —which showcased a series
of works by famed painter Jang Seung-up and his con-
temporaries —the museum was comparatively empty.
No long lines, no need to crane one’s neck to get a
look at the paintings, Gansong was a temple of peace
and beauty. This time, however, is an entirely differ-
ent story.
Choi Wan- su, representative of the museum at-
tributed the overwhelming turnout to the popularity
of late Joseon Dynasty artist Shin Yun- bok, whose art
was on display.
Jeongi’s “Maehwaseook” (A library in the apricot woods)
Gansong Art Museum
Kim Hong- do’s “Masangcheongaeng” (Listening to an oriole from atop a horse)
Hansung University Subway Station,
Line 4
Seongbuk Elementary School
4
The Gansong Art Museum
How to Get There
The Gansong Art Museum is located in Seongbuk-dong,
northern Seoul. To get to the museum take the subway to
Hansung University Subway Station, Line 4. The museum is a
five-minute taxi ride away.
presumably a gisaeng (Korean geisha) —artfully cap-
tured the nuances of the female heart.
Expressing a cert ain poignancy, t he paint ing
lacked the usual sly coquetry that one attributes to
gisaeng. The subject’s gaze channel a flitting sadness,
contained within the butterfly arch of her delicate
brows. Her willowy hands also clasp the decorative
beads on her vest in a pensive manner.
Fellow genre painter Kim’s work, which hung next
to Shin’s, provided a stark contrast.
Titled “Listening to a Chinese Oriole from Atop a
Horse,” Kim’s work left the upper half of the canvas
empty, subscribing to the traditional use of “void” in
pre-modern Korean painting.
His strokes seemed hurried and blurred, soft and
without boundaries, as he captured a young scholar
on a late spring day. Kim’s work evoked the season’s
heady charms through his subjects.
Unable to withstand the sweet seduction of this
season of love, the young scholar mounted a horse and
went in search of inspiration, finding it in a singing
oriole atop a willow tree.
Through these two works, one could understand
why both Kim Hong- do, known as Danwon, and Shin
Yun- bok a.k.a. Hyewon, were called two of the “Three
Wons” of the Joseon Dynasty.
Famed for its dedication to the preservation of na-
tional-treasure level artifacts, documents and paintings,
Gansong opens its doors to the public twice a year.
Its exclusive exhibitions run for less than a month,
affording visitors a glimpse of the foundation’s treasures.
Established in 1938 by Jeon Hyeong- pil, Gansong
dedicated itself to preventing the removal of Korean
cultural properties by the Japanese during the colonial
period. As a result, the museum is now home to more
than 20 national treasures. s
(Photos courtesy of the Gansong Art Museum)
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 29
CULTURE
B
ased on the bestselling novel of the
same name, SBS-TV’s new drama
“The Painter of the Wind” reinter-
prets and rewrites the lives of leaves of
leading Joseon Dynasty painters Kim
Hong-do and Shin Yu-bok.
While the series retains the usual el-
ements of intrigue and murder, politics
and warfare take a back seat. Romance
a n d t he essen ce of t he la t e J oseon
Dynasty, an era of reform and cultural
renaissance, come to the forefront, im-
buing the period piece with a strong
sense of humanity and intimacy.
More importantly, the series takes an
approach reminiscent of lush period
pieces like E. J- yong’s “Untold Scandal”
(2003), by focusing on issues of sexual-
ity and gender.
Posing the classically Shakespearian
question: “What if the famed painter Shin
Yun-bok had been a girl pretending to be
a boy?” the drama —like the original nov-
el —toys with themes of homosexuality
and forbidden love while highlighting the
inequalities of a male-dominated society.
Actress Moon Geun- young took up
the challenge of playing girl- turned- boy
Shin Yun- bok. And she does a surpris-
ingly good job of portraying a confident
and rebellious girl struggling to make it
in a world ruled by men.
“I tried to copy my older male co-
stars,” said Moon, 21, at the press con-
ference.
The precocious act ress did more
than just mimic her male colleagues.
She managed to convey the mischie-
vous and anguished nature of her char-
acter, at times playing a sweet and in-
nocent tomboy, at others, a cocky and
seductive painter.
Though there is no evidence that the
real Shin was a woman, his talent at
capturing the beauty of women and cre-
ating exquisite intimate paintings re-
mains undisputed.
While fellow gen r e pa in t er Kim
Hong- do a.k.a. Danwon (1745- 1806)
enjoyed a relatively prominent career as
an artist, painter Shin —who was ex-
pelled from the royal painting institute,
Dohwaseo —lived a more obscure life.
“The Painter of Wind” takes histori-
cal liberties with the lives of Kim Hong-
do and Shin Yun- bok, depicting a full-
blown romance between Kim, played by
Pa r k Sh i n - ya n g, a n d Moon Geu n -
young’s character, against the backdrop
of 18th century Korea. s
28 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
New Drama
on Joseon’s
Legendary
Painters
Actors Park Shin- yang
(left) and Moon
Geun- young play the
roles of Kim Hong- do
and Shin Yun- bok,
respectively, in the
drama “The Painter of
the Wind”
Actress Moon Geun- young
S
B
S
S
B
S
Shin Yun- bok’s “Juyucheonggang” (Enjoying boating on a clear river)
Shin Yun- bok’s “Miindo” (Portrait of a beautiful woman)
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 31 30 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
CULTURE
P
aintings that decorated Korean
homes were not valued solely
for their artistic beauty. They
represented popular wishes to fend off
evil spirits and invoke blessings from
heaven. Across genres these pictures
often featured animals. The following
are some of the animals most often
depicted in ancient Korean folk paint-
ings and what they symbolized in the
spiritual life of Koreans.
The tiger (horang- i) was widely
bel i eved t o be a compa ssi on a t e
guardian that protected humans and
even repaid their kindness. Therefore,
the tiger was usually depicted as a
gentle and docile creature rather than
a ferocious beast. Still, the underlying
belief was that it was a fearless and
valiant animal t hat would prevent
misfort un es such as fire, flood or
st orm, and chase away evil spells.
Tiger skins or ornaments made of tiger
claws were considered to have such
myst erious powers. Tiger paint ings
were put on the gate or other places
around the house on New Year’s Day
wit h hopes t hey would usher in a
blissful year.
The dragon (yong) was an imagi-
nary animal that supposedly lived in
the water before ascending to heaven.
It was worshiped as an enigmatic and
Animal Paintings
Symbolize Folk Beliefs
BY SUH GONG-IM
PRESIDENT OF THE KOREAN FOLK PAINTING ASSOCIATION
The tiger (horang- i)
The dragon (yong)
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 33
envisaged as vehicles for immortals
and one of the ten longevity symbols.
In Chinese the two letters symboliz-
in g t he deer a n d public officia ls’
salaries are both pronounced as lu
(nok in Korean) t hough t hey have
d i f f er en t s h a p es . Hen ce, b a i l u
(baengnok in Korean), literally “one
hundred deer,” came to mean “suc-
cess and happiness.”
The turtle (geobuk), with its round
domed upper shell and flat under
shell, symbolized the ancient Korean
notion of a round domed sky and a
flat Earth. Thus it was regarded as a
sacred creat ure connect ing heaven
and man and an emblem of longevi-
ty, felicity, stability and strength. A
stone stele erected on a stone turtle
back embodied hopes that it would
last forever.
An i ma gi n a r y u n i cor n n a med
girin stood for compassion and mercy.
Hence its emergence was seen as a
sign for the emergence of a sage king.
Ancient Koreans called a young man
with prominent ability and dignity a
girin- a, meaning a child prodigy.
A legendary fire- eating creature,
haetae, was believed to be a guardian
of justice that would strike anything
improper or unjust with its mighty
horn. Due to its fire- eating nature,
haetae symbolized water and paint-
ings of this creature were often put on
kit chen wa lls. In Chin a a simila r
i ma gi n a r y a n i ma l wa s kn own a s
xiezhi, or haechi in Korean. s
(Photos by Suh Gong-im)
(Source: Cultural Heritage
Administration, Korean Heritage)
32 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
CULTURE
dignified creature comparable to em-
perors and kings. Like the rulers the
dragon was held accountable for pro-
tecting people and the country as well
as controlling water. Hence the king’s
face was called “yong- an,” the throne
was “yong- sang,” the king’s virtuous
mind “yong- deok,” the king’s status
“yon g- wi , ” a n d h i s of f i ci a l ga r b
“yong- po.” In folk mythology the blue
dragon symbolized exorcist powers,
the yellow or white dragon represent-
ed the royal authority, and the fish
dragon was believed to possess rain-
making powers.
The rooster (dak) heralds dawn and
scatters darkness, so it often appeared
in paintings posted on middle gates.
The roost er was seen t o have five
virtues. With its crest symbolizing a
high post in civil service and sharp
claws standing for military prowess, the
rooster was considered valiant enough
to never retreat from battle, compas-
sionate enough to crow when it finds
feed to share it with others, and credible
enough to depend on for keeping time.
Hence it was regarded as a virtuous
fowl: the rooster, more precisely the su-
tak, would ensure a smooth climb up
the bureaucratic ladder; the hen, or am-
tak, promised fertility.
The phoenix(bonghwang) was a
highly auspicious legendary creature
often compared to kings (bong) and
qu een s (h wa n g). On e of t h e fou r
guardian spirits representing the four
cardinal directions, the phoenix was
believed to live only atop paulownia
trees, eating bamboo seeds and, once
stretching its wings, it could fly 90,000
li. Phoenix designs, symbolic of digni-
ty and auspiciousness, were used for
royal emblems, costumes and furni-
ture. The Korean presidential emblem
has a phoenix design.
The dog (gae) has lon g been a
smart and faithful friend of man. From
ancient times it was highly prized for
its geniality and loyalty to humans and
considered useful for hunt ing and
guiding as well as guarding homes.
Also, the dog was believed to be capa-
ble of protecting humans from evil
spirits, disease, ghosts and wicked ap-
paritions, as well as warning and pre-
venting disasters. As white tigers and
white horses were regarded as sacred
creatures, white dogs were considered
indispensable for suppressing inauspi-
cious energies lurking around a home.
Yellow dogs were often raised at farm
houses as guardians of fertility and
rich crops. The smart and handsome
species native to Jin Island, Jindogae
stands for courage and loyalty, and the
Korean native poodle, called sapsalgae,
is believed to chase off evil spirits.
With its elegant horns stretched
toward the sky, the deer (saseum) was
regarded as a sacred creature capable
of discerning the holy intentions of
heaven. Consequently, it was believed
to prevent disease and invoke happi-
ness and wealth. The deer were also
The dog (gae) A legendary fire- eating creature, haetae
more portable.” Then she auditioned
for the Juilliard School in New York at
6 and was admitted into the studio of
the late Dorothy DeLay, violin teacher
to some of the world’s great violinists,
including Chang’s father.
At 8 she audit ioned wit h Zubin
Mehta and Riccardo Muti, who were
working, respectively, with the New
Yor k Ph i l h a r mon i c a n d t h e
Philadelphia Orchestra, and both gave
her immediate engagements.
She was possibly the youngest vio-
linist ever to record —at the age of 9.
Her first album, entitled “Debut,” quick-
ly reached Billboard’s best-sellers.
She has collaborat ed wit h most
major orchestras, including the New
York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia
Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the
Bost on Symph on y, t h e Ber l i n
Ph i l h a r mon i c a n d t h e Vi en n a
Philharmonic.
In 2006 Newsweek ma ga zi n e
named her one of the eight top achiev-
ing females in the United States. In the
article accompanying the announce-
ment, she wrote about the early start of
her social career, saying: “I think hav-
ing a career at such an early age kept
me focused. We schedule at least two
to three years in advance in the classi-
cal industry. I felt so grounded and so
grateful to already know what it was
that I wanted to do with my life.”
She is one of the most sought- af-
ter musicians in the world, perform-
ing 100 to 150 concerts per year. It is
a well- known st ory t hat she asked
for a three- month break at 17, and
t ook it when she was 20 aft er her
agency rearranged her schedule for
three years.
“For me, the stage is my home. I
love the adrenaline rush you get from
having a live audience in front of
you,” she said in the Newsweek article.
In 2002 sh e per f or med i n
Pyon gyan g wit h Sout h an d Nort h
Korean orchestras. It was an unforget-
t a bl e ex per i en ce for t h e Kor ea n -
American musician.
“I’m so fortunate to be a musician,
and at that moment (in Pyongyang), I
genuinely felt that music is the one and
only universal language,” she said. s
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 35 34 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
CULTURAL FIGURE - 2
F
rom time to time geniuses ap-
pear in t he world of classical
music —and then are easily for-
got t en . Bu t 29- yea r - ol d vi ol i n i st
Sarah Chang, who debuted as a child
prodigy at the age of 9, is considered
one of the most consistent violinists
active in the international scene. The
late violinist Yehudin Menuhin once
called her “the most wonderful, the
most perfect, the most ideal violinist I
have ever heard.”
In 1980, Sarah Chang, also known
as Chang Young- ju in Korea, was
born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
to Korean parents who had moved
to the United States for study one
year earlier. Both graduated from
t h e Mu s i c Co l l eg e o f Seo u l
National University, Chang Min-
soo, her father, is a violinist and
her mother Chang Myoung- jun
is a composer.
Her mother put Chang on
t he piano when she was 3.
But at 4 she asked for the vi-
olin beca use she wa n t ed
“somet h i n g sma l l er a n d
‘For Me, the Stage
is My Home’
Violinist Sarah Chang
BY LEE JI-YOON
STAFF WRITER
Violinist Sarah Chang C
re
d
ia
C
re
d
ia
Sarah Chang reacts after her performance in collaboration with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 19
Her first album
“Debut” (top)
and others
A
Korean guitar prodigy has become a star on the Web
because of video clips he posted on the U.S. video-
sharin g websit e YouTube (ht t p: / / yout ube.com/
user/jwcfree).
Jung Sung- ha, 12, began learning the guitar just three
years ago and is already a household name among Koreans
after he appeared on a TV program playing masterpieces of
popular musicians such as the Beetles, Eric Clapton and
Sting with great dexterity.
Especially Jung’s finger- style guitar makes his perfor-
mances more unique. He plays the guitar by plucking the
strings directly with his fingertips, fingernails, or picks at-
tached to his fingers. Not many guitarists in the world like
the technique because players have to use each of the right
hand fingers independently in order to play the multiple
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 37
parts of a musical arrangement that would normally be
played by several band members.
Impressed by Jung’s brilliant performance, despite his
young age, not only ordinary listeners but also finger- style
guitarists around the world send seemingly endless streams
of praise for the boy. With nearly 2.5 million views, his per-
formance of U2’s “With or Without You” is the most popu-
lar among some 100 video clips he posted since 2006.
Recently the number of visitors has considerably in-
creased aft er Yoko Ono, whose lat e husband is John
Lennon, left a positive comment on one of Jung’s videos.
“I just witnessed your performance of ‘All You Need is
Love’! Thank you for a beaut iful performance. John
Lennon would have been happy that you performed his
song so well,” she wrote, posting the video clip on her
YouTube blog where she posts performance clips of her late
husband and other famous musicians.
Jung Woo- chang, father of the child genius, was also
surprised at her comment. “Even though my son doesn’t
know much about the Beetles and Yoko Ono, I feel great
that his performance receives attention from a celebrity like
her,” he said.
“Many guitarists are sending e- mails saying they want
to teach my son and to be a music partner. I hope my son
improves his guitar skills by communicating with various
musicians,” he added.
Last August Jung met Michel Haumont, a well- known
French finger- style performer, in Paris and played with
anot her guit arist Trace Bundy, who held a concert in
Korea on Oct. 4. s
36 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
PEOPLE
Guitar prodigy Jung Sung- ha
M
iddle school student Cho Sung- jin, 14-
yea r - ol d, won fi r st pr i ze a t t h e 6t h
Moscow International Frederick Chopin
Competition for Young Pianists, one of the most
prestigious music contests for children.
Another Korean contestant, Rhu Eun- sil, 16,
finished fifth.
A total of 36 finalists from nine countries, in-
cluding five Koreans, competed for awards during
the two- day competition held in Moscow on Oct.
18 and 19.
Along with first prize of $5,000, Cho swept
other awards for best concerto, best polonaise,
youngest player and the jury prize.
“Cho is highly deserving of the first prize for
his exceptional sense of tone and pianism,” said
Nikolai Petrov, president of the Russian Academy
of Arts and head of the jury.
Cho started the piano at the age of 6 and has
been educated at Seoul Arts Center’s music acade-
my for child prodigies. He currently studies at
Yewon, a prestigious arts school in Seoul.
“I’m very happy to win the first prize,” he said,
“I would like to be a pianist who can move peo-
ple’s hearts through (music).”
As the winner of the competition, he is sched-
uled to have a recital in Moscow in November. s
Korean Wins
Moscow Chopin Competition
Pianist Cho Sung- jin holds the awards he won at the Moscow
International Frederick Chopin Competition for Young Pianists in
Moscow on Oct. 19
Y
o
n
h
a
p
J
u
n
g
S
u
n
g
-h
a
Korean
Guitar Prodigy
Rises as a Star
on the Web
BY LEE JI-YOON
STAFF WRITER
Yoko Ono poses for a photo shoot
Y
o
n
h
a
p
T
raveling can be exciting, but it
also has a way of making the
traveler feel lonely.
World- renowned soprano Jo Su-
mi is no exception. Jo says she has felt
solitary throughout her career, due to
traveling and spending a lot of time
alone studying and practicing.
With 25- years of world- traveling
experience, Jo has released a new al-
bum in October titled “Missing You,”
centered around this theme.
The crossover album contains 16
representative love songs from various
countries, including the all- time- fa-
vorite Korean nursery song “Ummaya
Nunaya (Mother, Sister).”
“I ch ose t o i n cl u de ‘Umma ya
Nunaya’ in the album along with nu-
merous foreign songs, to say that the
place that I want to come back to, af-
t er all t he long journeys, is Korea,
where I can see my mother,” said Jo
from Italy in a phone interview with
The Korea Herald.
The soprano is noted for her excel-
lence in classical repertoires, including
operas. In May, Jo received a Puccini
Award granted to figures who have
contributed significantly to the pro-
motion of the great Italian composer.
Sh e h a s been st ea di l y r el ea si n g
crossover albums as well.
While most people expect her to be
conservative just because she is a clas-
sical musician, Jo said she is actually
very open- minded regarding different
cultures, religions, and points of views
because she went to study in Italy at a
young age.
“As an artist I desire to make mu-
sic of different colors once in a while,
which is like t aking a vacat ion for
me,” Jo said. “As long as the audience
can feel relaxed listening to my mu-
sic, I’m happy.”
All the songs on the album were
recorded in their original languages,
meaning Jo sang in 11 different lan-
guages. Although Jo is known for her
talent in learning and speaking for-
eign languages, she said it was a big
challenge and was quite stressful.
“It required a lot of courage for me
to sing in languages I have never been
acquaint ed wit h, like Swedish and
Hebrew,” said Jo.
Yet Jo stuck to it because she felt it
was a good opportunity for her to get
to know different countries, their cul-
tures and historical backgrounds.
Marking 22 years as a classical
music performer, Jo thinks it is fate
that has brought her thus far.
“I think it’s fate. As I get older, I feel
like I’m destined to do this,” said Jo.
Even though confidence on stage
only arises from sufficient rehearsing,
the soprano said she thinks it is in her
nature to become excited on stage.
“Although I’m usually not a very
outgoing person, I really love the spot-
light t hat I get on st age. It almost
makes me feel like a queen,” she said.
Jo said she plans to release more
crossover albums in the near future
while continuing her tour.
“I just want to present some healthy
and joyful music that can appeal not
only to the domestic audience, but also
to foreign audiences,” Jo said.
Jo starts her Asian tour within few
months. She is set to return home for a
concert in December. s
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 39 38 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
PEOPLE
O
n Oct. 6, “Arirang,” the beloved
Korean folk song, was played
in the Benjamin Franklin Room
a t t h e U. S. St a t e Depa r t men t i n
Washington. The audience was over-
whelmed not only by the sad melody
of the song, but also by the pianist
Kim Chul- woong, a North Korean who
defected and now lives in Seoul.
The 34- year- old pianist has be-
come the first North Korean defector
to have a recital at the center of U.S.
diplomacy.
“‘Arirang’ is a song that any South
and North Korean person can recog-
nize immediately,” he explained why
he chose the song to arrange for the
concert.
“I hope my efforts can be helpful
for people to pay more attention to
human rights issues in North Korea,”
said Kim who was on concert t our
across the United States.
Another striking moment occurred
when the pianist played “A Song of
Joy,” a popular North Korean song,
which expresses the delights of inde-
pendence after the Japanese colonial
rule. The Korean media compared the
momen t t o wh en t h e New Yor k
Philharmonic played t he American
n at ion al an t hem in Pyon gyan g in
February.
On the day Kim gave a rendition of
all four music pieces, the audience ap-
plauded him after every performance.
He was educated at the Pyongyang
Music and Dance Institute and gradu-
ated from the Tchaikovsky National
Musical Academy of Russia. From
1999, he played for the Pyongyang
National Orchestra.
He crossed t he border t o go t o
China in 2001 and arrived in Seoul in
2003. s
‘Arirang’ Played by N.K. Pianist
at U.S. State Department
BY LEE JI-YOON
STAFF WRITER
Diva for Homeland on
New Album
BY KOH YOUNG-AAH
KOREA HERALD STAFF WRITER
North Korean pianist Kim Chul- woong performs at the U.S. State Department in Washington D.C.
Jo’s latest album “Missing You”
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Award-winning director Kim Ki-duk has built
up an international reputation with his films
that starkly differ from other mainstream
movies in Korea and elsewhere. He stands
out largely because of his provocative styles
and thought-provoking themes.
For better or worse, Kim did not pull any
punches in making his 15th feature, “Dream
(BiMong),” which was released here on Oct. 9.
The movie has attracted media attention by
signing up high-profile actors — Lee Na-young
from Korea and Joe Odagiri from Japan — but
viewers should be aware of the cinematic puz-
zles director Kim routinely inserts in his films, if
they want to grasp what is really going on in
this mixture of reality and fantasy.
Odagiri plays Jin, an artist who sees himself
in a dream causing a car crash. What he dis-
covers, however, is that his dream is not a
mere creation of his brain — all the details he
witnessed while sleeping turn out to be true.
Or that’s what viewers are supposed to as-
sume, given the quirky plot turns provided by
director Kim, who never shies away from pur-
poseful ambiguity and ambivalence.
Jin encounters a woman named Ran (Lee
Na-young), a character who has plenty of
grievances, especially concerning her shat-
t ered relat ionship wit h her ex- boyfriend.
Strange as it may be, what Jin believes he has
done in his dream is what Ran has done in re-
ality. Although the car accident happens in
Jin’s dream, the same incident plays out in
Ran’s life, with police seeing her as the prime
suspect.
The key proposition of the movie is that the
two main characters are connected through
dreams in a way that blurs reality and fantasy.
A butterfly emerges as the core image sym-
bolizing the significance of dreams. In fact,
this metaphor comes from a well-known an-
cient Chinese thinker, and its implication is
rather straightforward: A person may dream
about his life and discover that it’ s just a
dream when he wakes up, but how can he be
sure about the possibility that what appears
as reality is also another dream?
Kim’s presentation of the dream’s implica-
tions, however, is far from straightforward. The
subplots are utterly confusing. Jin used to
have a girlfriend, but the relationship is now
over. But he finds himself dreaming about his
former girlfriend and he vaguely senses that he
still loves her. While Jin is struggling in his
dreams, Ran is visiting her former boyfriend,
not in her dream but while sleeping, because
she is a sleepwalker. She hates the man
deeply and when she realizes what she has
done, she gets mad at Jin, the man whose
dream goes in lockstep with her nightly visits.
To resolve the situation, Jin and Ran at-
tempt to do the almost impossible: stay awake
all the time. The assumption is that if Jin does
not sleep, Ran does not have to walk around in
her sleep. Jin can also sleep without his much-
dreaded dream that generates real events
when Ran is awake.
Their struggle to stay awake is, as some of
director Kim’s fans might correctly predict,
depicted in a gruesome manner. Self-inflicted
torture abounds, which will make the audi-
ence squirm.
One hint regarding Kim’s message is the
peculiar existence of Jin. Japanese actor
Odagiri plays the role in Japanese, while all
t he ot her charact ers speak i n Korean.
Strangely enough, Jin communicates perfect-
ly with other Koreans, even though he contin-
ues to speak in Japanese. His otherworldly
identity that transcends the language barrier
is certainly unrealistic, but Kim leaves more
questions than answers about his new cine-
matic dreamland that is so desolate. s
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 41 40 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
PEOPLE
Kim Ki-duk’s
‘Dream’ is
Provocative,
Deep
BY YANG SUNG-JIN
KOREA HERALD STAFF WRITER
L
im Lee-jo, head of the Seoul Metropolitan Dance Theatre,
captivated the eyes and minds of Japanese audiences with
performances presented at Japan’s oldest shrine in Kyoto.
During the two-day event held on Oct. 2 and 3, Lim staged tra-
ditional Korean dances including the famous “Seungmu,” which
is performed by Buddhist monks, and “Salpuri,” a solo dance
derived from the shamanistic tradition of spiritual cleansing.
Assumed to be built in the Yayoi period (4 B.C.- A.D. 3), the
Kamomioya Shrine, better known as the Shimogamo Shrine,
has more than 50 treasured buildings on its grounds and was
designated a world’s cultural heritage by UNESCO. It was the
second time for the respected Japanese shrine to open its space
to an overseas artist.
The Japanese traditional performance “No,” which consists
of masked performers’ dances and songs, opened each day’s
performance.
Lim appeared on the stage and danced to music played with
Korean traditional instruments such as a fiddle and janggu, an
hourglass- shaped drum. His subtle and refined movements im-
pressed the Japanese audience of over 1,000 who gathered at
the garden.
Lim, 58, who celebrated 50 years of his traditional dancing
life last year, is considered one of the most renowned tradi-
tional dancers in Korea. Now leading the Seoul Dance Theatre,
he has choreographed a variety of dance works and contributed
to the success of performing arts in Korea. s
(Photos by Kim Hak-ri)
Director Kim Ki- duk
The poster for the film “Dream”
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Korean Dance
Performed at
Japan’s Oldest Shrine
BY LEE JI-YOON
STAFF WRITER
Lim performs a traditional
Korean dance at the Shimogamo
Shrine in Kyoto, Japan
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 43 42 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
THE BEAUTY OF KOREA- 16
Screens as backdrop f or t he seat s of t he mast ers of t hei r rooms t radi t i onal l y si gni f i ed t he
nat ure of t hei r aut hori t y or i mpl i ed t hei r t ast es. A screen of t he sun, moon and f i ve peaks
was a symbol i c i mage of t he uni verse whi ch al ways backed t he t hrone of t he Joseon ki ng.
The component s of t he pai nt i ng are nat ural , l ong- l i vi ng t hi ngs, used as met aphors of t he
royal benevol ence i n t he poem “ Ti anbao” and Shi j i ng (Book of Odes). The decorat i ve
depi ct i on of t he subj ect s i n bri ght col ors and t he panorami c symmet ry sui t abl y present t he
di vi ni t y of t he regi me as t he perpet ual nexus bet ween t he eart hl y and heavenl y real ms.
Phot o court esy of Nat i onal Pal ace Museum of Korea
Time: Joseon Dynast y
M at erial and Size: Color on silk | W.55.3cm, H.150.5cm per panel
Six- Fold Screen of
the Sun, Moon and Five Peaks
S
amcheong- dong is a sweet and
old area in central Seoul. A nice
afternoon walk there can make
the rest of your day cozy.
It is best to start the promenade
from Pungmoon Girls’ High School. It
is near the No. 1 exit of Anguk sub-
way station.
Stroll along the stone walls, and
by t h e t i me you r ea ch J eon gdok
Public Library, petit shops, art gal-
leries, delicate cafes and restaurants
will start to peek out.
Th e bl ocks f r om t h er e t o
Samcheong Park have become hot
spots within the last few years for their
exquisite ambience. Each of the shops
and cafes has an inimitable look, from
Korean- t radit ional forms wit h t iled
roofs and wooden doors to very mod-
ern and artistic ones. The food and
garments are also known to be unique.
Take a look at some art pieces on the
way. The area recently became the new
art belt in Seoul for its famous art gal-
leries. This fall is a good time to visit
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 45 44 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
TRAVEL
A Classic Walk around
Samcheong-dong
BY PARK MIN-YOUNG
STAFF WRITER
1, 2 A Korean traditional style cafe
in Samcheong- dong
3 Visitors pose in an alley of
Korean- style homes
1
2
3
them, as they are holding the annual
contemporary art festival “Platform
2008 Seoul,” from Oct. 25 to Nov. 23.
The best charm of Samcheong-
dong is that traditional Korean- style
homes are hidden in every alley.
Sa mch eon g- don g i s pa r t of
Bukchon, or north village, for being
on the northern side of Jongno- gu. It
is filled with traditional- style homes,
which have been preserved for more
t han 600 years. During t he Joseon
Dynasty, the place was famous as the
dwelling site of the royal family and
aristocrats.
Today, 49 percent of the homes
there keep traditional style. If you want
to get a glimpse of what Seoul was like
during the Joseon Dynasty, be sure to
explore every nook and cranny.
If your legs get sore from all the
walking, t ake a rest at Samcheong
Park before you head back. The grove
among the high buildings of Seoul
will give you a pleasant time.
The walk will take about an hour
or two. For more information, visit
http://www.visitseoul.net s
(Photos by Moon Young-doo)
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 47 46 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
TRAVEL
4 A flower shop
5 Visitors take pictures in front of
a unique restaurant
6 Visitors head for a toy gallery
A traditional- style home
A cafe with peculiar windows on the second floor A cafe with peculiar windows on the second floor
4
5
6
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 49
W
hen the stress of today can be
too much, an escape to the
olden times for a day could
work as the perfect cure.
Suncheon city presents a guided
city tour this fall, starting with the
Suncheon drama set. More than 1,000
people visit the set every weekend to
see the set location of “East of Eden,”
a hit TV series on MBC.
The set, built in an old army camp
in Jorei- dong, is a very delicate recre-
ation of Seoul in the 1950s to 1980s. It
has hillside slums, markets and coal
towns.
Many other TV series and films —
“Love an d Ambit ion ,” “On ce in A
Summer,” “Mapado 2” and “Sunny” —
were also shot there.
For the next stop on the tour, one
ca n ch oose ei t h er Seon a msa or
Songwangsa. Situated near Jogyesan,
both are Buddhist temples more than
1,200 years old.
During this time of the year, when
the hiking trail that connects the two
is covered with autumn leaves, the
natural beauty is beyond description.
The temples hold many treasures.
The tour later takes you to Nagan
Fortress, which is located in the western
side of the city. It consists of three towns
with markets, straw-roofed homes and
castles, which were built in the 1300s.
The historical area preserves the
48 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
TRAVEL
A Trip Back to Olden Times
Suncheon City
BY PARK MIN-YOUNG
STAFF WRITER
Seung- sun bridge in Seonamsa, Suncheon, Jeollanam- do
A drama set in Suncheon
where many TV series and
films including “East of Eden”
were shot
Seonamsa
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 51 50 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
TRAVEL
original southern living style of Korea,
from kitchen appliances and house-
hold goods to the stone walls. More
than 100 families still live there, con-
tinuing the tradition.
Suncheon Bay, a mudflat around
the southeastern coast of the city, is
the last stop of the tour. Well known as
the habitat of hooded cranes, it was se-
lect ed as havin g ‘t he best n at ural
scen er y’ by t h e Kor ea Tou r i sm
Organization in 2006. It was registered
as a Ramsar Site on January 2006.
Th e t ou r begi n s a t Su n ch eon
Station every day at 9:50 a.m. For
mor e i n f or ma t i on , vi si t h t t p: / /
www.suncheon.go.kr/ home/ t our/ in-
dex.jsp s
(Photos by Moon Young-doo)
Jogy Jogyesan
ama Set n Suncheon
It takes five hours
from Seoul to
Suncheon city via
train or bus. By plane,
depart at Yeosu and
take an airport
limousine bus to
Suncheon.
How to Get There
A folk village at Nagan Fortress A wooden road in Suncheon Bay
A folk village at Nagan Fortress Suncheon Bay’s sunset
poured into a pot with malt and water
for fermentation.
After a week, the first milky color
of the liquor turns dark yellow. The
shallow layer on the upper part be-
comes clean liquor called “cheongju,”
which was used for special occasions
like ancest ral rit es, and t he muddy
part on the bottom becomes omegisul
after being strained through a sieve.
People on the far island used to
drink omegisul after a hard day’s work
in the fields. As Jeju has become a pop-
ular tourist spot, the traditional liquor
can now be enjoyed across the nation.
Cu r r en t l y t h e pr odu ct i on of
omegisul is mostly done by machines,
and Kim Eul- jung, 84, is considered
t he on ly mast er of t he t radit ion al
liquor living on the island. Visitors
can taste and buy bottles of omegisul
made by the master.
After designating omegisul as the
third intangible cultural property of
Jeju in 1990, the local government is
st epping up effort s t o preserve t he
culin ary legacy t hrough t our pro-
grams and tasting promotions.
For more information on omegisul
and other folk custom of Jeju, visit the
multilingual website of Jeju Folk Village
Museum at www.jejufolk.com. s
(Photos courtesy of
Jeju Folk Village Museum)
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 53 52 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
FOOD
T
he traditional liquor makgeolli is
a n a l coh ol r efr esh men t t h a t
Koreans have long enjoyed. The
popular combination of makgeolli and
pajeon, Korean pancakes made with
vegetable and wheat flour dough, is
beloved by visitors as well as Koreans.
Rice is widely known as the main
ingredient of makgeolli, but in t he
southernmost island of Jeju- do it is
made with millet and called “omegisul.”
Because of the island’s volcanic
activity in ancient times, the soil is not
fit for rice farming and farmers have
grown alternative crops such as millet
and barley. Especially widely con-
sumed were steamed millet cake called
“omegiddeok,” which is also used for
making omegisul.
Ordinary millet liquor is brewed
from millet with malt, but the tradi-
tional way of making omegisul con-
tains a unique process. Omegiddeok is
boiled and crushed, and the mash is
Jeju’s Traditional Liquor
Omegisul
BY LEE JI-YOON
STAFF WRITER
Omegisul master Kim Eul- jung (right) shows how to
make omegisul with her daughter
To make omegisul, omegiddeok
(1), traditional millet cake, is
boiled (2) and crushed (3), and
the mash is poured into a pot
with malt (4) and water for
fermentation (5)
1
2
3
4
5
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 55
Running the gamut from D.I.Y. ac-
tivities to concerts to exhibitions, the
Olympiad catered to both families and
design aficionados.
On the flipside, design aficionados
got the opportunity to participate in a
series of design conferences and exhi-
bitions featuring top architects Zaha
Hadid, Daniel Libeskind and industrial
designer Ross Lovegrove. Design and
archit ect ure expert s Yao Ying Jia,
Ri ch a r d Bu ch a n a n a n d Ka zu o
Su gi ya ma a l so del i ver ed sessi on
speeches.
A trio of exhibits titled “Design is
AIR,” “Seoul Design Now” and “Vision
of Design Seoul” showcased the works
of top notch designers and eco- friend-
ly creations, while also delving into
the past, present and future of Seoul’s
architecture.
Exhibitions presented by Milan,
Tur in , Ha n over , New Yor k, Pa r is,
Prague, Hong Kong and leading de-
sign companies and organizat ions
mix ed t hin gs up, while t he “2008
World Design Market_Seoul” exhibit
turned the spotlight on the works of
upcoming Korean and foreign de-
signers.
A special exhibition focusing on
the creations of Zaha Hadid —the first
female to win the Pritzker Prize —and
Zaha Hadid Architects partner Patrik
Schumacher brought the creme de la
creme of the design world to Seoul.
More than 2 million people partic-
ipated in the Olympiad, which took
place in the Jamsil Sports Complex
and the Hangang Riverside Park.
For mor e i n f or ma t i on , vi si t
sdo.seoul.go.kr. s
54 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
EVENTS
T
he city of Seoul celebrated au-
t umn wit h a ba n g t his yea r .
Having nabbed the coveted hon-
or of World Design Capit al 2010,
Seoul highlighted its role as a hub of
design in a grand way.
The gala event, titled Seoul Design
Olympiad 2008, kicked off on Oct. 10
with a special concert featuring K-pop
stars BigBang, Dynamic Duo, Solbi and
Kim Gun-mo, and ended on Oct. 30.
Fireworks, design auctions, a 4-
ton rice cake, fashion shows and b-
boys carried on the extensive festivi-
ties throughout October.
Seoul Design Olympiad
The entrance of Jamsil Sports Complex is decorated with recycled art works
President Lee
Myung- bak
(right) looks
around the
exhibit with
Seoul Mayor
Oh Se- hoon
(far left)
Visitors look at the creations of Zaha Hadid
The “Design is AIR” exhibition
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NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 57
be used for people who are less fortu-
nate,” President Mary Clarke said.
Grassroot s Uganda, an int erna-
tional aid group that helps Ugandan
women sufferin g from AIDS, dis-
played over 600 hand- made products
such as colorful accessories and hand-
bags. They are planning to use the
money for education in the region.
Another aid group, Little Travelers,
sold doll- shaped hair pins that were
made by South African women the
group supports.
Ot her gr oups in cluded Kor ea n
Mountain Preservation League, a group
of expats who love Korean mountains;
COPION, an in t ern at ion al NGO of
young volunteers; and the Seoul Global
Center, which helps foreign residents
better adapt to Seoul life.
Especially crowded with visitors
was a special booth selling donations
fr om a mba ssa dor s such a s et hn ic
items, wines, books and clothes.
Marking t he fourt h anniversary
this year, the WeAJa Charity Market is
the biggest of its kind in Korea and
has been a meaningful event.
For more informat ion, visit t he
En gl i sh websi t e a t h t t p: / / wea j a .
joins.com/eng.asp s
56 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
EVENTS
Charity Market Turns into
Multicultural Festival
T
h e a n n u a l WeAJ a Ch a r i t y
Market ended on Oct. 12 with
more than 400,000 people join-
ing the event held across the nation.
The active participation of expat com-
munities turned the charity market in-
to a multicultural festival.
The Seoul International Women’s
Association, consisting of wives of
foreign ambassadors t o Korea and
busin essman , sold En glish books,
DVDs and ot her goods donat ed by
members.
“I’m very happy the earnings will
Members of the Seoul
International Women’s
Association sell English books
Over 400,000 people across the nation participated in the WeAJA Charity Market on Oct. 12 Seoul Global Center
Grassroots Uganda
Little Travelers
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NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 59
A
large-scale food expo on Korean
agricultural and fisheries prod-
ucts along with traditional dish-
es was held on Oct. 13 for a week.
The Korea Food Expo 2008 was the
first food exhibition to be organized by
t he Minist ry for Food, Agricult ure,
Forestry and Fisheries, aimed to pro-
mote Korea’s “safe and good quality”
products, organizers said.
The event took place at the Agro-
Trade Exhibition Center and Citizen’s
Forest in Ya n gja e- don g, sout hern
Seoul.
The exposition showcased products
of agriculture, stock farm, fisheries and
dairy, as well as food art pieces featur-
ing various Korean ingredients.
One of the two exhibition halls at
t he AT Cen t er presen t ed chan gin g
trends in Korean dishes. In it, trends
from the last 40 years of Korea’s popu-
lar dishes were showcased year by year.
A food magic show and a “pojang-
macha,” (outdoor snack stall) where one
can get food as well as drawings as a
service, were offered for entertainment.
By introducing the super pumpkin
weighing 80 kilograms, the expo also
aimed to demonstrate the future ad-
vancement of agricultural technology.
The second exhibition hall con-
centrated on promoting the taste, fla-
vor and color of Korean dishes.
Inside, there was a two- meter- high
waterfall made out of sugar, as well as
food art items using Korea’s tradition-
al cookies, cakes and breads featuring
the four seasons of the country.
Detailed descriptions of the effica-
cy of ginseng and sun- dried salt, as
well as the goods that come from fer-
mented foods, like bean pastes and
kimchi were also showcased.
Event s at Cit izen’s Forest were
arranged for public participation and
hands- on experience.
Along with a display of 30 agricul-
tural products of the highest quality,
participants can experience feeding
calves, milking cows and making ice
cream.
Other programs included consulta-
tions on what food to eat during preg-
nancy, a brunch concert , and face
painting using food items. s
58 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
EVENTS
A
er i a l i s t s f r o m a r o u n d t h e
world gathered in Seoul from
Oct. 2 to 4 to participate in
t h e Ha n ga n g Hi gh - wi r e Wor l d
Cha mpion ship, a n a n n ua l even t
sponsored by the Seoul Metropolitan
Government.
Twenty-seven performers from 14
countries —including four women —
competed to cross the one-kilometer-
long wire across the Han River in the
shortest time. The course is considered
the longest of its kind in the world.
Participants were walking a ten-
sioned wire, maintaining balance,
trying not to plunge into the murky
wa t er ben ea t h . Th e a u di en ce
watched with breathless interest.
There were well- known names
i n t h e compet i t i on : Sh a t a er
Wujiabudula, the youngest competi-
tor from China who won last year’s
competition; China’s Adili Wuxiuer
who has t hree Guinness records;
a n d J a d e Ki n d a r - Ma r t i n f r o m
Sweden who also has a Guinness
r eco r d f o r cr o s s i n g t h e Ri v er
Thames in London.
Korean tightrope walker Kwon
Won- t ae, who led t he organizing
committee, also competed with oth-
er con t est an t s. Kwon , 41, was a
member of Namsadang, a tradition-
al entertainment troupe established
during the Joseon Dynasty.
The first prize of 20 million won
($ 16, 000) wen t t o Ya kef u j i a n g
Maimitili from China and the special
prize for women participants was
awarded to Yeisy Yolima Oabares
Oquendo from Colombia.
“Korean t radit ion al t ight rope
walking has been modernized into
t h i s ex ci t i n g spor t s even t . Set
around the beautiful scenery of the
Han River, this event is expected to
become a new attraction for Seoul,”
said a city official.
For mor e i n f or ma t i on , vi si t
www.x- highwire.org. s
Expo Showcases Korean Ingredients World Tightrope
Walkers Compete on
Hangang
Korean tightrope walker Kwon Won- tae crosses the one- kilometer- long wire across the Han River
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A
rt is everywhere in the southeastern city of Busan as
the Busan Biennale is underway throughout the
port city.
The Busan Biennale kicked off with a large- scale exhi-
bition of contemporary art on Sept. 6, only a day after the
opening of its more internationally renowned rival, the
Gwangju Biennale.
However, unlike the Gwangju Biennale, which has no
particular theme, the Busan Biennale revolves around the
theme of “Expenditure,” which is based on the concept of
French philosopher Georges Bataille.
He argued t hat t he process of squandering could
translate into something positive.
In simple words, the theme “expenditure” implies that
every artwork is a result of emitting and expending energy.
A total of 77 artists from 27 countries are showing
sculptures and installation works at Gwangalli Beach and
the nearby street galleries.
Twenty- three artists are displaying their works in the
Gwangalli Beach area, four at Geumryunsan Subway
Station, and 50 at Minlakdong Me World.
The Me World exhibition will show a multitude of dis-
tinguished video works to stimulate audiences’ imagina-
tions.
At Gwangalli Beach, contemporary and eco- friendly
works of art made out of environmentally friendly mate-
rials invite visitors or anyone passing by to indulge and
interact, as many works displayed this year will only be
made complete through the participation of spectators.
This is free of charge.
Among the works on the beach and the nearby sub-
way and cultural centers near Gwangalli are Thai artist
Nipan Oranniwesna’s “City of Ghosts” and Korean artists
Oum Jeong- soon’s “Walking in Mandala” and Yang Ju-
hae’s art on the sand. Nightly performances will be held
on the beach throughout the duration of the biennale.
Making the most of its outdoor space, APEC Naru Park
in Busan showcases sculpture- centered art pieces placed
along the lakeside and forest trails in a perfect blend of art
and nature, aimed at spreading the concept of public art.
With the theme “Avant- Garden,” it shows 20 sculp-
tures by artists from 13 countries.
One of the interesting works in the park are “Ancestor”
by American sculptor Robert Morris.
Visit www.busanbiennale.org (Korean, English) or call
(051) 888- 6601 to 9. s
(Photos courtesy of the Busan Biennale)
EVENTS
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 61 60 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
Biennale Transforms Busan into
a Giant Gallery
BY HAN ARAN
KOREA.NET STAFF WRITER
Yang Ju- hae’s art on sand
(From top) Hong Hyun- sook’s “The Magic Words of the Wind”
German artist Irene Hoppenberg’s “Transition”
Kim Kye- hyeon’s “Bouquet”
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 63
spective of linguistic study. Attached to the
original text is a modern Korean translation in
Hangeul.
The book also includes the “Haeryebon”
version (explanation and examples of correct
sounds to teach people), that details how
each Hangeul character is supposed to be
pronounced.
Professor Kim Joo-won and Lee Sang-eok
of Seoul National University were put in
charge of wri t i ng t he expl anat i on f or
Hunmingjeongeum. The Hangeul translation
of the original was done by honorary profes-
sor Shi n Sang of Chonnam Nat i onal
University.
“ Aside from English we have also pub-
l i shed i t i n Chi nese, Mongol i an and
Vietnamese versions as these countries show
a big interest in Korean culture and demands
are higher than in other areas,” one official
from the institute explained. “In the long run
we plan to publish books in French, German,
Russian, Spanish and other languages to
promote the book that marked the birth of
Korea’s very own writing system.”
The English version will be distributed to
Korean cultural centers worldwide and of-
fered to overseas scholars in related fields. It
is also currently on display at local book-
stores. s
62 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
BOOKS
Hunminjeongeum
Translated into
Four Languages
Author: The National Institute of Korean Language
Publisher: Thinking Tree
Pages: 160
The National Institute of Korean Language
has launched the Korean document “ Hun-
minjeongeum” in four languages: English,
Chinese, Mongolian and Vietnamese.
Huminjeongeum, meaning “correct sounds
to instruct the people,” is Korea’s first instruc-
tion book on Hangeul, Korean unique writing
system, published in 1446 by King Sejong the
Great (1397-1450) who also created the char-
acters. Korea celebrated its 562nd anniver-
sary of the creation of Hangeul on Oct. 9.
As the original copy of the book is written
in classical Chinese characters with Hangeul
additions, it has been even harder for foreign-
ers to approach. The latest editions include
extra explanation that details the characteris-
tics of the book and its value from the per-
(From left)
Korean- English,
Vietnamese and
Mongolian versions
of Hunminjeongeum
The portrait of King Sejong the Great
Jiphyeonjeon, meaning the
hall of worthies in Korean, is
where Joseon scholars
created and studied Hangeul
(top) and the ceremony to
declare the creation of
Hangeul
Publisher: Korean Culture and
Information Service
Pages: 255
Not for Sale
Celebrat ing t he 60t h anniversary of t he
Republic of Korea, the Ministry of Culture,
Sports and Tourism has launched a collection
of articles on various aspects of Korea that
were cont ri but ed by 21 i nt ernat i onal l y
renowned authors.
French journalist Guy Sorman, who is a
member of “ global advisors” for the Lee
Myung-bak administration, ponders the na-
tional identity of Korea from a broad perspec-
tive. Mikhail Gorbachev, who is the last head
of state of the USSR and won the Nobel
Peace Prize in 1990, emphasizes the role of
Korea in East Asia.
Also attached are panoramic photographs
that will be helpful for overseas readers to
look at the nation’s historic moments during
the last 60 years.
For more information on the book, contact
with the Korean Culture and Information
Servi ce or vi si t i t s websi t e at ht t p:/ /
kois.go.kr/kois_main_en.asp. s
NOVEMBER 2008 KOREA 65 64 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
BOOKS
Chinese Ceramics
at the National
Museum of Korea
Publisher: National Museum of Korea
Page: 474
Price: 100,000 won
The National Museum of Korea has launched
a book introducing its collection of Chinese
ceramics. This book will be helpful to look at
the relationship between Korea and China in
a cultural perspective.
Kim Hong-nam, director of the museum,
wrote in the preface, “There is no doubt that
these Chinese ceramic objects are invaluable
materials for study of Korean-Chinese rela-
tions as well as Korean ceramic history.” This
book also reveals 254 masterpieces which
have been partly exposed to public view.
The book introduces almost 20,000 ce-
ramic wares from Goryeo and Joseon peri-
ods, which had been found in ancient tombs
around Gaeseong, the old capital of Goryeo,
and major Buddhist t emples around t he
country, and salvaged from under the sea.
The book presents Chinese ceramics clas-
sified according to where they were originally
baked including some famous Chinese impe-
rial kilns. English and Chinese explanations
and articles are available along with pho-
tographs of each ceramic piece. s
Cizhou Kiln’s “Vase with sgraffito
in iron black on white slip” Longquan Kiln’s “Celadon Vase”
Intro Korea is a comprehensive digital catalog on Korea compiled
by the Korean Culture and Information Service. This catalogs ap-
proximately 310 public and private publications on every aspect of
Korea within nine main categories and 21 sub-categories. The
DVD’s online version is also available on the Korean Government’s
official English website at www.korea.net. s
Intro Korea
An Electronic Catalog of Information on Korea
Korea:
Impossible to
Possible
66 KOREA NOVEMBER 2008
FOREIGN VIEWPOINT
I arrived in Korea the first time in June 1995
wit h some members of t he President ial
Delegation of Paraguay for an official visit.
After that, I had various opportunities to visit
Korea before I was appointed ambassador in
this country. I also participated in the bilateral
meeting between Korea and Paraguay in
2005. In all of my visits, I was always im-
pressed by the fact that Korea grew so fast in
many aspects of its development, and that it
has become one of the leading countries in
the global economy. I am very proud of the
cordial relationship between my country and
Korea. Moreover, I am truly glad that we enjoy
a strong relationship in diplomatic, economi-
cal, commercial and cultural fields.
A group of Korean immigrants arrived in
Paraguay in 1965. In order to reach their new
dwelling place, they needed to leave their
home country from Busan harbor. For two
months, they crossed the Pacific Ocean and
into the Atlantic Ocean. Today, these people
have contributed substantially to the develop-
ment and well-being of our society. They are
highly regarded in the fields of industry, poli-
tics, art, culture, religion and a variety of pro-
fessions. For example, one of the leading
journalists in Paraguay is Yolanda Park, who
was born in Korea but grew up in Paraguay.
She is one of the most famous celebrities in
Paraguay. Also, t here are many Korean
churches helping our society. All speak the
native language of Paraguay — Guarani.
Later on, a new wave of Koreans arrived in
Paraguay. They included volunteers of organi-
zations such as KOICA, IYF, IT and WTO.
They are helping my people learn about
health, technology, commerce, sports, etc. As
one of the volunteers of KOICA said, “For two
years, there have been over 90 volunteers in
many locales of Paraguay to share and serve
the Paraguayan people and their society.
These volunteers have helped schools, public
health centers and public institutions.” This
year, we have t he f i rst group of t he
Taekwondo Peace Corps. volunteers.
In Paraguay, we have Korean markets,
restaurants, karaoke rooms and even jjimjil-
bang. With all this, I truly believe that this rela-
tionship between the two countries will con-
tinue as a permanent one. However, it is not
always easy to adapt in a new country. One of
the difficult things is language. But with the
help of my daughter, Adriana, it is getting
much better. Adriana enrolled in the Korean
School and is currently part of the Korean
modeling academy. My wife, who is a veteri-
nary doctor and chairwoman of the Mymba
Kaaguy Wild Life Rescue Center in Paraguay,
visited a wildlife protection center near the
Demilitarized Zone. There, injured birds were
treated and nurtured in Cheorwon, Gangwon-
do, and an exchange program with veterinary
professors of Korea and Paraguayan veteri-
narian staff was started. There are also pro-
grams with NGOs dedicated to wildlife and
environment protection.
Paraguay is always described as a green,
flat country. Thus, I am always amazed by the
beautiful landscape of Korea’s mountains. I
have been here only 10 months, and I have of-
t en enj oyed t he nat ural envi ronment of
Samcheok, including t he clean and pic-
turesque mountains, beaches, valleys and
natural caves. Also, I visited many beautiful
cities of Korea’s countryside. I take pleasure in
Korean food, such as hobak juk (pumpkin por-
ridge), bulgogi (Korean-style barbecued beef),
samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup), etc.
I am truly fond of Korea’s seasons — the
beautiful flowers of spring, the wonderful col-
ors of summer, the extraordinary mixed colors
of fall and the white snow of winter. Many
know that it doesn’t snow in Paraguay. In the
cultural area, I enjoy all of Korea’s traditional
activities. The last festival I attended was the
Aikido Festival in Cheongju with 15 members
of the Paraguayan government. We truly en-
joyed the Korean hospitality.
I must express why I am so impressed with
Koreans. When I was in Taean, I participated
in the clean-up effort to help save the beach
with my friends and colleagues. I was amazed
by the spirit of cooperation and voluntarism of
the Korean people — all working together,
men and women, young and old, children and
families. They all had one mission: to save the
environment.
Many students from Paraguay are now
studying in Korea. I hope that this exchange
will continue and increase with the assistance
and support of the KOICA programs, as well
as programs from Korean universities such as
Kyunghee Uni versi t y, Ewha Uni versi t y,
Konkuk University and Kangnam University.
These universities have set up sisterhood re-
lations with Paraguayan universities.
One of t he wi sest Korean t radi t i onal
proverbs is “sangbu-sangjo” (the spirit of mu-
tual help). I am sure that our relationship and
cooperation can grow together with this sprit.
Thank you. s
My Impression of Korea
BY CEFERINO VALDEZ
PARAGUAYAN AMBASSADOR TO KOREA

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