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Going for Camellias in
Skiing in Korea
an Unforgettable Experience
sign, Indu De str ic i bl
ig es lD a
dly Design -Frien co n, E
Korea is Focusing More on Design
february 2012 Vol.9 no.2
Part 1 beautiful, comfortable! Design for people’s lives PublIc DeSIGN
Korea is focusing more on design
12 Pen & brush awe, primitivism & Desert, Lee Jung-jin’s World of photography
16 People Korea’s first floral artist, Im Wha-gong
20 Great Korean Laying the foundations of Joseon, the Great King Sejong
22 Seoul Seoul’s romantic hotspot, n Seoul tower
24 travel When spring calls on maryang port Seocheon blooms with camellias
Part 2 Industrial design becomes a trend INDuStrIal DeSIGN Part 3 abandoned goods become an art work eco-frIeNDly DeSIGN
28 feStIval Skiing in Korea, an unforgettable experience
32 Now in Korea trying out the jobs of the future, Kidzania
34 entertainment an exciting opening of K-pop charts & channels
36 Sports Revival of taekwondo at the 2012 London olympics
38 Special Issue president Lee myungbak’s new year’s address to the nation
40 Global Korea the icebreaker exploring the antarctic, araon
42 Summit Diplomacy Korea-China Summit talks
45 flavor a bowl of Good Fortune, ogokbap and namul
46 My Korea What’s in store for an intercultural marriage?
49 learn the Korean alphabet
publisher Seo Kang-soo, Korean Culture and Information Service editing the booK Company e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org printing Jeonkwang printing&Information all rights reserved. no part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission from KOrea and the Korean Culture and Information Service. the articles published in KOrea do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. the publisher is not liable for errors or omissions. If you want to receive a free copy of KOrea or wish to cancel a subscription, please e-mail us. 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.korea.net.
Korea is focusing more on design
Korean design is emerging fast in the world design market. Previously Korea concentrated more on technology than design because it placed priority on economic growth. However, the country turned its attention to design that enhances quality of life by the turn of the 21st century. Streets, neighborhoods, market and parks are changing to become more beautiful and comfortable. Korean cellphones and automobiles are recognized around the world thanks to their chic design and technical prowess. In the meantime, eco-design – the hot issue in the design world is gaining momentum in various fields, contributing to saving the Earth. Let’s take a look at the current state of Korean design by delving into public design, industrial design and eco-design.
the Seoul metropolitan Government installs art pieces around Seoul to integrate art into the everyday lives of citizens and reinvent Seoul as a globally recognized city of design. main photo: <mountains - door to the Sky> by park Chung-hem
Beautiful, comfortable! Design for people’s lives
the art piece, titled <enjoying the arts+Water>, is installed at anguk Subway Station to vitalize the specialized street with public design
Many places in Korea are becoming comfortable and beautiful thanks to public design. For economic and cultural competitiveness; various projects big and small are being carried out in the name of public design. Here’s an introduction of Korea’s public design.
by Lee Jeong-eun, Kim Min-seon photographs by Gang Min-gu, Lee Min-hee help to coverage KCDF, SDF, Maeul-Misul PROJECT, Culture Station Seoul 284, and DESIGN SEOUL reference book URBAN DESIGN PUBLIC DESIGN (written by Yun Jee-young)
<bowl embracing the Sky> at haneul park: the park was created to represent Seoul’s identity
eoul is getting chic. It is as attractive, neat and as fancy as New York City or as clean as Singapore.” Tony Porter, an American engaged in international trade in Singapore who comes to Korea two to three times a year, said Seoul has become a lot more beautiful than it used to be. As Porter mentioned, Seoul is changing. Every corner of Korea is changing, to be exact. Hodgepodge store signs and roadside trees are now arranged was orderly fashion to make streets look pleasant and nice. Outdated country villages are getting revitalized and revamped with designs that give them identity. This is called public design, which makes our living spaces more convenient and prettier. Public design is something that raises the quality of life, creates the brand of a city, and makes a city more competitive, rather than generating profits for corporations. Professor Park Young-soon (department of Human Environment & design at Yonsei University) said, “To sharpen the competitive edge in the economy and culture, various local governments including Seoul City carry out many projects, big and small, in the name of public design. I hope spaces for culture and communication that enrich people’s lives will be created through public design,” he added. The following are some examples of
public design that have made many parts of Seoul and Korea pleasant, beautiful, and convenient. StreetS More exciting and neater Bus stops on the streets are changing dramatically. Seoul City has transformed the bus stops at Namsan Library, Huam, Bosung Girls’ Middle and High School and Grand Hyatt Hotel into public art works. The bus stop at Bosung Girls’ Middle and High School is shaped like an old TV, drawing the students’ interest. The bus stop at Huam showcases the native frogs that have almost gone extinct but have been recently discovered in the region. One of the public design items that transforms streets are streetlights. About 90 streetlamps in downtown daegu were built with eyeglasses on them in an effort to revive the eyeglass industry; one of the leading industries of this region. At night, illuminating glass frames make the streets more glamorous. The Gyeonggi Provincial Government has built 27 kilometer-long bike roads alongside the Namhan River by recycling abandoned railroads and railway bridges from Namyangju to Yangpyeong. The bridges utilize the original trusses and have natural wood decks;
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1 the bus stop at bosung Girls’ middle and high School is shaped like an old tV. 2 Wall paintings at Dongpirang Village in tongyoung. 3 <Garden with Green poles> at Sunyudo park. 4 the old Seoul train station transformed into a multicultural space <Culture Station Seoul 284>
Lawmaker Kim Jung talks about national design
As the first designer-turned lawmaker in Korea, Kim Jung has been committed to devising policies for the national image and public design. Here is the image of Korea that she envisions.
making them seem more natural. Throughout the bridges are four locations where transparent tempered glass was installed to provide a wonderful experience to tourists allowing them to see the river streams under the bridges. VillageS once abandoned, becaMe a gallery Residents in Mangwoo dong, Seoul say that they feel as if they are watching a movie outside because they have the lines of the movie ‘Forest Gump’ in their wall paintings (fresco). One resident Kwon Youngsoon, says “The walls used to be very dirty and messy because of the graffiti, but thanks to the paintings, students no longer draw graffiti on the wall.” The fresco has also turned the once shabby country village into a famous tourist attraction. dongpirang Village in Tongyoung, in South Kyeongsam Province, looking down on Kangu Port is literally embroidered with colorful art work in every alley of the village. Pictures of whales that characterize this seaside village make tourist photos nicer. On a sandy beach, sculptures of elephants stand in line with the cosmos. A once poor village has now become a famous tourist attraction. As it has been proven that the fresco can be used not only to preserve the environment but also as a tourism resource, instead of creating just a fresco, a village-wide art project is underway to turn an entire village into a gallery. The culture village “Alleh (come together)” was created in docksancheon and daepyeonglee in Jeju. Particularly, in daepyeonglee there is a sculpture of a girl leaning
against a red lighthouse with Byeongpung (a screen) rock as a background and tiles on the protective walls in the dock are eyecatching. “The 8th road of Alleh” which is known to be the most beautiful road in Jeju, harbor seawalls made of colorful tiles to the dock, a lamp tower, a statue of a Jeju female diver, and Nandre (wide field) all became “a place for culture.” ParkS & culture SPace recycling Hub Sunyudo, a well-known public design park in Korea, is the first ecofriendly park that recycled the island’s purification plants. Concrete structures and rusty pipes have become worn out, showing the passing of time. As a prime example of recycling, it accommodates an eco-friendly playground; made from recycled wastewater treatment facilities, water purification plants turned from a coagulation basin, and gardens with green poles after removing the concrete roof from the water treatment facility. Culture Station Seoul 284 is a prime example of a once abandoned historical place that has been restored. The old Seoul train station, which is a national historical spot 284, was restored to it’s original condition in 1925. The central hall on the first floor is a multi-purpose place accommodating theaters, galleries, event halls and a café, while the grill on the second floor has become a hall for performances, exhibitions, seminars or conferences.
I found the bus stop quIte InterestIng
Kim Bu-young (Yongsan-gu)
I take the bus here every day. the stop was changed into an old tV, and I think the idea is quite fresh and interesting. When the construction started, well, I thought they were doing something useless, but now I think I can take shelter here when it’s rainy or snowy and can also take a rest. and, in this area, there are many foreigners living here, and I feel proud because they will think Seoul is a beautiful city.
She obtained her phD in art history at Sorbonne University in paris. She initiated art policy Study as one of the 18th lawmakers elected from proportional representation by the Future hope alliance and hosted several policy seminars and exhibitions. She contributed to revising the enforcement ordinance in terms of national artwork and public sculpture management.
Q WHat iS Public deSign? A Public design is a broad concept. Everything happening outside of our houses in the public area is public design. It includes maintaining recycling bins, changing structurally complex roads to be more pedestrian-friendly and making our villages and cities more beautiful and comfortable. Public design means any activity that creates the most efficient and economical welfare system for the general public including efforts simply made to improve our environment. Q WHat do you tHink iS a deSign tHat can rePreSent korea? A I would say it is Hanok (Korean traditional house). Although nails weren’t used to build the house, it is strucuturally well-balanced. Beautiful curves of cheoma (the edge of a Hanok’s curvy roof) and giwa (tiled roof) and the colorful and elegant dancheong (traditional multicolored paintwork on wooden buildings) represent Korea and are beautiful. The question here is how to harmonize the Korean-style house with modern architecture. If constructing a Korean-style house in a traditional fashion is inaapropriate, it is required to develop a new design for the house that fits modern society. Ostentatiously standing a Korean–style pavilion in the middle of modern buildings only undermines the beauty of the house. If a new design for Hanok is developed that goes well with the surrounding modern architecture, it would contribute to enhancing the national image remarkably.
Q WHat iS tHe Point tHat We SHould conSider tHe MoSt in PurSuing Public deSign? A As public design is directly related to the nation’s quality of life; public consensus and participation is important. Public design itself is a new channel for communication between the public and the government. The expertise of individuals involving public design must be enhanced. That is, not the public officials, but designers who are experts of design must participate directly. developing public design must be laid out innovatively by combining the public needs and ideas of design. Q WHat iS tHe February national identity Fair about? A In June, 2011, <National Identity Fair-How is Korea being visualized?> was held. With goverment identities of about 30 ministries exhibited, the event was designed to point out the nation’s symbolic items that had been haphazardly managed. The fair was a good opportunity to be reminded of the significance and symbolism of the government identity. The theme of the second fair to be held in February is passport design and national crests. during this fair, you can witness changes to Korea’s passport design as well as the winners of the Passport design Fair initiated but aborted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in 2007. I hope the fair will contribute to promoting jobs to improve Korea’s passport design. A passport is also a good example of public design that can introduce Korea to the world.
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Industrial design becomes a trend
Korea’s industrial design has mainly focused on its technological aspect. Design can improve its value further. Let me introduce the ‘Made in Korea’ design that is recognized worldwide by improving its design based on top-notch technology.
by Kim Min-seon help to Coverage Samsung Electronics and Kia Motors
ndustrial design is a fact of life. It has to accommodate user convenience, technological prowess and philosophy to be recognized for its value. Korea has improved its competiveness with highly sophisticated products through rapid industrialization. In the late 1990’s, it joined the global competition with a ‘designfocused’ strategy based on world-renowned technologies. As a result, in recent years, its products are touted in the global market. It is said that Korea’s electronic products such as cell phones, TV’s, and refrigerators are leading the global market. In addition, Korea has shown a fabulous performance in the world’s top 3 design awards, ‘iF’, ‘Reddot’ and ‘IdEA’, improving its standing as a design powerhouse. “In almost all industrial design areas, Korea has gained world respect. It seems that it is within the top 5 in the world in all design sectors. Particularly its automobiles, electronics and housing products are close to the world’s best”, said Steve Allard, a designer and a professor at Myongji University, praising Korea’s current standing in the industrial design industry.
from Apple. Then, Samsung Electronics released its version of the smart phone, with the Galaxy S series, dividing the smart phone market in two. The Galaxy S series are embedded with the company’s technical capability developed ever 20 years. Since the design revolution declaration by the company chairman Lee Gun-hee in 1996, the electronics giant has been following ‘design first’ strategies that puts design at the first and last phases of product planning. In doing so, they have been flexibly meeting the needs of consumers without losing their own design identity. Recently, the design trend of the smart phone is that they have simple appearances but put more emphasis on user experiences. Therefore, ‘experiences are provided for users’ becomes the core of the cell phone’s design. This is the background behind the release of Galaxy Note, a smart phone equipped with a touch screen and a digital pen. What is astonishing is that the Galaxy Note, from its developmental stage, focused on improving resource efficiency and refraining from using hazardous chemicals. autoMobile taking on ManuFacturer’S uniQue colorS It is not an exaggeration to say that Korea’s automobile industry has grown in the same pattern as the economy as a whole. With the industrialization that started in the early 1970’s, since the manufacturing of the country’s first indigenous model Pony;
1 Galaxy S manufacturing are about to see a 40 million mark in January this year. Samsung Galaxy S phones with 20 percent of world market share knock out Apple iPhones and take first place. 2 Latest design in smartphones centers on simple design and user experience. 3 Sportage R of KIa motors, winners of the iF Design award 2010, are recognized for excellence in design. 4 Soul is a prime example of Kia motors’ design-led transformation. the stylish and fun urban cross-over vehicle is the first Korean car to win 'Honorable Mention' from the world renowned 'red dot' awards 2009.
cell PHoneS adding deSign to tecHnology Cell phones, a must in modern life, have grown in terms of technology and design; so much, as to make people say that things that were possible only in imagination can now all come true with cell phones. As cell phones have evolved into smart phones, we demand more from them. Of course, it all started with the iPhone
Korea’s automobile industry has grown remarkably. At the turn of the 21st century, the industry has ushered in its second renaissance. In terms of quality, performance and price, homegrown models are highly competitive and favored by consumers around the world, which leads to the sharp rise in their sales. In particular, Kia Motors is touted both for technology and design whenever it releases a new product such as Soul and K5. Behind its recent success lies the company’s change in direction focusing more on design in order to differentiate the company from its rivals. As its key competitive strategy, the company chose to concentrate on design in 2006. As a result, ‘simplification of straight lines’ became the company’s design philosophy and key to its design aesthetics. Its strategy to create ‘simple but beautiful lines’, joining the global design trend, has drawn positive responses from consumers. In addition, to strengthen its footing in the global market, the company has built a global designer network and hired Peter Schreyer, a world-renowned automobile designer who became famous after designing Audi and Volkswagen as Chief design Officer. As the company’s new design icon, Soul, a CUV, differentiated in its appearance by taking on a box-shaped frame unlike other cars comprised mostly of curvy lines. A Korean proverb goes “If a rice cake looks good, it is delicious as well.” Now, people even say “good-looking products function well”, demonstrating that Korea has become a trendsetter in industrial design.
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Abandoned goods become an art work
Eco-friendliness is one of the hottest topics and issues in design around the world. Korea is not an exception. Eco Design such as Junk Art is created with discarded components, has constantly been evolving as a countermeasure to resolve environmental pollution.
by Kim Min-seon photographs by Lee Min-hee help to coverage EcoParty Mearry, Korea Environment Corporation
unk Art refers to an art work made of trash such as used goods and waste. In cities that generate tons of waste, as environment preservation has emerged as one of the important social issues, people are more interested in junk art than ever before. Junk Art revives goods that were thrown away and returns them back into society. It is regarded as an economical and popular art form. In junk art, used tires, gas containers, used steel and old bicycles, pharmaceuticals and old electronics are good materials for the works. As Junk Art becomes more popular, KECO (Korea Environment Corporation) holds a junk art fair every year to encourage resource recycling. The winning works of the competition in 2011, which was the events sixth year, were made of various used goods. The winner of the competition ‘Tears of Raptor’ was made using the parts of a used car. The creator Kang Lae Gu owns a car repair shop. International Flower Fair of Goyang which is held every April and May displayed sculptures made with the flowers of the previous year as Junk Art, was praised for its creativity. Artist Jung Kyeong-su, dedicated to Junk Art for 20 years turned from a pure artist into a Junk Art designer because whenever he passed by neighboring car repair shops, he thought he wanted to give new life to the scrapped steel. While holding a welder in his hand instead of a brush, he wanted to create art work with junk, not creating art work as junk. Giving old items new life and changing them into something different is the concept behind not only junk art but recycling as a whole.
banner, conStruction Fence alSo recycled ‘EcoParty Mearry’, the first brand of recycled products in Korea, was started in an effort to find a way to use hard-to-recycle clothes, fabrics and leather donated to ‘Beautiful Store’. Large banners, fabrics from construction fences, leather from sofas and even car seat belts are recycled into about 30 different products such as bags, card holders, pouches and pencil cases. In 2009, they were displayed and even sold in MoMA in New York, drawing a large following from local consumers. In particular, they even praised the eco-friendly shopping bags (eco bags) made out of used banners with prints and images that are stylized with letters Hangeul. There is even a design company that uses recycled papers and bean oil for printing. ‘Slowalk’ puts into practice its concept of eco-friendliness which encourages others to use older items for a prolonged period of time rather than finding newer and prettier ones. Orgdot manufactures clothes only with recycled or ecofriendly materials such as PT bottles. It was established by six young designers in 2009, and through the word-of-mouth, it receives orders for ‘Green Uniform’ for a baseball team and T-shirts for employees from a large company. Korea’s eco design is evolving from mere product design into various forms.
the reason Why plastIc bags dIsappeared from large supermarkets 1 2
1 ‘tears of Rapter’ is the winner of the grand prize at the sixth Junk art Fair held by KeCo 2 The first prize winner, ‘Flower of Wind’ 3 a bag made of abandoned 4 ‘mr. Rilla’ a doll of a gorilla, an animal under the threat of extinction, which was made of recycled children’s clothes (left) and passport case (top) 5 Giving old items new life and changing them into something different is the concept behind not only Junk art but recycling as a whole. a tag about original materials is attached on all recycled products.
In Korea, on Oct 1, 2010, plastic bags disappeared from large supermarkets. To protect the environment, they have formed an agreement with the Ministry of Environment not to sell plastic bags. A plastic bag does not decompose for 20 years, is a major culprit for environmental pollution. Large discount stores use about 400,000 plastic bags a day and 200 million a year are used. Therefore, by reducing the use of plastic bags, it is expected that we can cut CO2 emissions and save KRW 7.5 billion (around 7.5 million dollars). Supermarkets are now selling shopping baskets and recyclable garbage bags or providing empty boxes instead. As a result, pretty, practical and environment-friendly eco bags have been released into the market. Among them, bags made of fabrics recycled from PT bottles and eco bags recycled from used leather or banners are especially popular. It is not easy to find a similar campaign in other countries. The UK, one of the more advanced countries in terms of eco-friendliness, put the idea on the table to reduce the use of plastic bags last September pointing to them as a major cause for environmental pollution, yet the government is said to have passed the burden only to the shopping centers.
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pen & brush
Wind 04-54, (145x75cm) photograph on mulberry paper, 2004
Unnamed Road 11-01, (145x75cm) photograph on mulberry paper, 2011
Awe, Primitivism & Desert
LEE Jung Jin’s World of Photography
An established photographer of American deserts for over two decades, Lee Jing-jin now finds herself a pilgrim all over the wilderness of Israel, shoulder-to-shoulder with the world’s twelve greatest masters of photography. by Baak no-a
ho is a master and what does the word masterpiece mean? How deep was the level of feeling and insight that the artist was operating? How compellingly coherent, as Tolstoy put, was the artist s sincerity toward his as her work? Masterpieces (and masters alike) must mean something that signaled a benchmark of excellence that most viewers and experts agree on. One of these criteria for excellence would be that the masterpiece proves itself. It should make such an impression that the work immediately becomes a part of the viewer’s experience just by looking at the vestment of its appearance. As James Joyce declares, the energy leaps to us. Lee Jung-jin is a master of photography. In fact, she is a special kind in every sense: the dimension of her work, the unique texture of print, and the spirit of ceaseless quest. With the capacity to direct highly concentrated attention at the subliminal subjects, Lee has discovered what others have not seen and proved herself to artistically manipulate so as to make signs and create unique light-waves in
the common air between us. Lee’s name comes with a handful of records: the only Korean photographer whose work was collected by Metropolitan Museum of Arts, an artist represented by the prestigious PaceMcGill Gallery, and the protégé taking apprenticeship of Robert Frank, the seminal father of contemporary photography. All these were achieved in her early 30’s and the records have not been broken for the next 25 years until now. The rest of the story goes, spanning over two decades, a long list of exhibitions, publications, collections and awards; 34 solo exhibitions including three exhibitions at PaceMcGill (NY & LA), Kukje Gallery, Keumho Gallery (Seoul), Aperture Gallery (NY) and more; over 60 group exhibitions at Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY), Fotofest Houston (TX), Gana Arts (Seoul) and more; 10 major publications by renown photography publishers Aperture (NY), Yeolhwa-dang (Seoul) and more; 22 selected collections at Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American
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stroke create such a unique, painterly effect that the ethereal quality of windswept panoramas never allows an identical second copy, thus leaving each print as a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, another reason why one needs to go to her exhibition and experience the prints in person. deSert, tHe Fringe oF tHe nuMinouS To understand Lee’s world of photography, it is important to note that she found the desert an initial source of her art-making. The desert is a territory beyond the reach of ordinary rules; a wide expanse of land reaching the horizon, the land of wind and endless waves, the blazing sun, the narratives of decay, entropy and encroachment of nature let her lose herself instantly and contemplate quietly about life, away from the noise and distraction of other people. Lee, then a young graduate from NYU working and learning in New York traveled across the continent. Then she met with South West deserts by chance and faced the elemental vastness of American desert, at once powerful and serene, totally imbued with feelings of awe. With Space and Time, two of the most important elements of the environment only forgotten by humans, desert brought a sense of restful, melancholy to the tortured heart and contrasted with the intended narrative of the architect against man-made civilization, giving lights to the original meaning of life. It is always necessary for one to go back to a first convention (as Freud succinctly described repression as the essence of individual), to be away from everyday repression, and to seek the ultimate answers for a mystery of life. The desert is neither standstill nor static. It is important to remember that natural sites are never unchanging and always in flux; the wind changes the profile of the desert, and unknown species of vegetation and animals learn to adapt, grow and vanish. These changes are so shortlived to hardly be called changes. It is the endless transformation, always in motion, yet the marks in the desert by nature are too brief and perishable for our eyes to detect. Lee Jung-jin photographed the brief and telling factuality of perishable marks in the desert and of herself in it. These were not simple images of land or horizon, nor the manmade war traces or destroyed property or wasted
resources left behind in question, but the prehuman, pre-moral, prehistoric images of primitivity and forever experience of the Numinous. As Vicky Goldberg put, these are the photographs that will never appear in tourist brochures, reasonably undefinable in mere words, traces of past life, emptiness and natural forces, into landscapes that verge on the subliminal (Shorthand Notes from the Spirit, a preface on <Jungjin Lee-Wind>, Aperture 2011) Although there have been different projects other than landscapes, such as Thing, Pagodas and Buddha, Lee’s sovereignty in seeking primitivity was always inalienable, indivisible and clearly apparent throughout all her works. tWelVe MaSterS odySSey, tHe iSrael Project The year 2011 saw a important turning point for Lee Jung-jin’s career as she was invited as one of twelve great masters for <SEAM>, the photographic project founded by Frederic Brenner grown out of his 25-year project of diaspora, now to give lights to contemporary Israel with world’s sharpest eyes. The names on the list are literally jaw-dropping; Josef Koudelka, Jeff Wall, Stephen Shore, Lee Jungjin (Korea), Martin Kollar (Slovakia), Wendy Ewal (US), Gilles Peress (France), Nick Waplington (UK), Thomas Struth, Rosalind Solomon (US), Fazal Sheikh (US), Frederic Brenner (France). For this odyssey, Lee Jung-jin made four separate trips during 2010~11, staying for a total of four months in Israel. The land, mostly ruins of limestone, coming through a thousand years of rivalry between Jews and Palestinians, was a great enigma and seemed like a collective psychological dumping ground between these two people. It was like being at a party that doesn’t love you at first. The air was somewhat, in her expression, distressing. Nevertheless Lee managed to travel all areas of Israel and Palestine, and her four-month journey results in the spatial poetry where the wild things show in the experience of emotional catharsis (in Greek, it means to purge or to cleanse). The places once inhabited or scurried away leaving behind people, were now totally naked to her strange eyes ready to be captured. After all, as C.S. Lewis put, all life will turn out in the end to have been a transitory and senseless contortion upon the idiotic face of
1 Lee Jung-jin is taking pictures at negev Desert in Israel. Desert is the never-ending topic of her works. 2 Israel project Group portrait, Gan hashlosha national park, Israel 2011 martin Kollar, Wendy ewald, Gilles peress, nick Waplingtom, thomas Struth, Rosalind. Solomon, Jeff Wall, Lee Jung-jin, Josef Koudelka, Fazal Sheikh, Frederic brenner (left > right)
Art, Fotofest Houston, LA County Museum of Art and more. In 2011 she was selected as one of the twelve greatest masters to join the SEAM project in Israel, an unprecedented project in history with such legendary photographers as Josef Koudelka (Czechoslovakia), Jeff Wall (Canada), Stephen Shore (US) and Thomas Struth (US) participating. In 2011, she was unknowingly awarded the Anonymous Was a Woman Awards with a gift of USd 25,000, the grace given by highest recommendation from prominent curators yet only anonymously (Lee does not know yet who recommended her). Firmly believing in the work-in-progress, possibly influenced by her mentor Robert Frank who was well known for living humbly as a recluse, Lee devotes most of her time to art-making. The challenging and labor-intensive task of photo processing is Hanji processing, the iconic method of her choice; to achieve meticulous, textural picturesque quality, Lee brushes liquid emulsion onto the surface of handmade Korean mulberry paper, which texture of the paper and the gestural marks of the brush-
infinite matter. Making friends with other master photographers was a joyous and inspiring experience. All are so different in their styles and approaches that Lee felt as if she was dancing while others were writing or running. The odyssey was fruitful and the project now awaits major exhibitions and publications around the world in the coming years. The Romans used the word gravitas when talking about works of substance. If there is one word that can describe Lee Jung-jin’s works, it would be gravitational. Lee’s works are full of substance from beginning to end, in fact stenchy heavy sometimes that the viewers might feel hard breathing. Her personal artistic journey has presented unusual path, directed by formidable force as if guided by the hands of fate. What to come is unwritten yet, but one thing quite positive is, the best photographs that lasted the past 30 years would stand alongside the best of those of earlier generations.
american Desert I-05, (60x90cm), Photograph on Mulberry Paper, 1990
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Telling a story with flowers, Korea’s first floral artist
im Wha gong
by Kim Min-seon / photographs by Lee Min-hee
The first flower artist, Im Wha-gong, has been teaching Korean style flower arrangement to spouses of foreign ambassadors for 53 years. It is not an exaggeration that she has conducted person-to-person diplomacy through flower arrangement. Flower friend is more beautiful than flowers.
very Friday, members of the Seoul Garden Club gather at Mrs. Im’s place to learn Korean-style flower arranging. The club is a social gathering of wives of foreign ambassadors in Seoul and their teacher Im Wha-gong (90), the first Korean floral artist, has been teaching countless wives of foreign envoys for the last 53 years. The first class this year was attended by five students; Marita Seidt, wife of the German Ambassador, Ritva Wuoristo, wife of the Finnish Ambassador, Wang Kai, wife of the Austrian Ambassador, Sissel Pindsle, wife of the Norwegian Ambassador, and datin Siti Aishah Abdullah, wife of the Bruneian Ambassador. Im dressed in graceful purple-colored Hanbok, the Korean traditional garment, arranged wild scarlet lilies, yellow tulips, red roses and gypsophila in a white porcelain pot. She put tulips and red roses at the center, wild scarlet lilies around and added delicacy with white gypsophila. While she was arranging the flowers, her students paid attention to her work or took pictures. Upon completing her flower work, they exclaimed with admiration. Then, it was the students turn. While they arranged flowers as they saw, Im gave advice to each of her students. Marita Seidt, absorbed in flower arranging, is the club’s president and has
attended the class for the last 3 years. “I admire her unique flower arrangement”, she said. “While attending the class and making my own piece, I keep close relations with the other spouses of foreign ambassadors to Korea. That’s why I can’t wait to attend the class. From Mrs. Im, I learn not only flower arrangement but generous attitude of Koreans. She is my mentor”. a teacHer oF FloWer arrangeMent, a good Friend and a Mentor oF liFe Im Hwa-gong did not become a floral artist at random. When she was young, the garden in her house boasted with abundance of various plants and flowers as her grandfather loved them. He used to get new seeds and plant them. He loved and took care of flowers so much he named her Wha-gong meaning ‘flower’ in Korean. As a young girl with a deteriorating heart, she did not have many options to choose from after high school. She didn’t find a job or go to university because it would go against the doctor’s instruction to rest. Instead, she was introduced to flower arrangement. She was married at 20 but lost her husband during the Korean War. At that time her first son was only 3 years old and she was pregnant with her second child. After
16 korea 2012 february
the Korean War was over, she restarted flower arrangement to forget her sadness and the pain of losing her beloved husband. After she held her first small floral art exhibition in 1958, she became known as a ‘flower arranging expert’. In the same year she began teaching a regular class on flower arranging through the auspices of the publisher of a women’s monthly magazine, Nyeo Woen. Around that time, her first class for the Garden Club started when Mrs. Evans, the spouse of the British Ambassador, invited her to the ambassador’s official residence. Over the past five decades, she has taught countless students, among them Patricia Hill, the wife of Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian, remains in her memories. Before leaving Korea, she sent a hand written letter expressing her gratitude to her. It said, “the best memory I cherish is learning flower arrangement from you. It opened my eyes in a new way.”
The wife of the British Ambassador who went back to England ten years ago sends a card every year. As Im became famous, many wives of Korean politicians asked her to teach them. She taught the late First Lady Yuk Young-soo of the late President Park Jung-hee for 13 years from 1962 up until her death in 1974. Over that period Im had gone to a flower market early in the morning and decorated Cheong Wa dae with her pieces three times a week over the period. “The first lady was warmhearted and not arrogant. She was so kind that when she got flowers that could not be found in Korea, she called me and allowed me to do flower arrangement and take a picture. She knew that I took and preserved pictures of my work”, she said. She had been in charge of all flower arrangements for ceremonies and banquets that the first lady hosted for the representatives of foreign countries. Im wanted a better flower vase that could display the
1 In class, she demonstrates flower arrangement first and students practice second. She gives advice to each student. 2 Her flower arrangement renders beauty of space. She puts the emphasis on harmony with the surroundings. 3 For the last 53 years, she teaches flower arrangement to the Seoul Garden Club, a social gathering of wives of foreign ambassadors in Seoul. She was awarded the Sungrye medal for Diplomatic Services merit from the Korean government.
beauty of Korean floral art. That’s the reason that she built a fire-burning kiln in Songchu, Gyeonggi Province to produce white porcelain flower vases of her own design. liFe itSelF iS Still beautiFul Her flower arrangement renders beauty of space which is a main technique of Korean paintings. Rather than arranging flowers tightly, Im leaves some space between them to put the emphasis on harmony with the surroundings. She also teaches the beauty of Korea with simple but delicate flower arrangement. She only uses flowers that could be found in their home land so that they can do flower arranging in a way that they learn from her when they go back. “Rather than techniques, attitude is all about flower arrangement. Before learning floral art, students have eyes and minds that sense beauty. That’s why I don’t explain techniques or skills. Even though I teach them, I have never thought of myself as their teacher. I just think I communicate with them through flowers and become a good friend.” She explained that she only wore Hanbok throughout her whole life because it is more convenient than dressing up in western clothes. Another reason for wearing Hanbok she said is that she can show the tradition and beauty of Korea to
the spouses of foreign ambassador as she spends time with them. It is true that Im has paved a new way in Korea’s floral art history. As the first Korean flower artist and founder of Wha Kong Hoe, Flower Arrangement Society, she has staged 79 exhibitions in the past five decades. In 1979, Shufunotomo, a Japanese publisher, published the English translated version of her book ‘Art of Flower’. Her book was so popular that it was reprinted six more times in Frankfurt. Im was recognized for her person-to-person activities being awarded a medal from the Japanese government in 2004 and the Sungrye Medal (3rd class) for diplomatic Services Merit from the Korean government in 2006. “One thing is clear that I love every flower except artificial ones because I admire flowers with life even willow branches that don't blossom. I'm also fascinated by the roots of plants as they are the trace of life. I think there is nothing that is as precious and beautiful as life itself.” Even though she has worn a pacemaker for ten years, her passion towards flower arrangement has not withered. Like those in their 20s, her passion grows. Every morning, she goes up and down her three-story building and goes to the flower market in Gangnam Expression Bus Terminal. She said that fresh and beautiful flowers still make her heart flutter.
18 korea 2012 february
Laying the foundations of Joseon
the great King, sejong
When people are asked to pick the greatest king in Korean history, most of them might think of Sejong the Great for his legacy, creating Hangeul, the Korean alphabet. Ascending the throne while the newly founded nation underwent difficult times, he laid the foundation for 500 years of the Joseon Dynasty. How did he rule the nation?
by Kim Min-seon / help to coverage King Sejong the Great Memorial Society, Meteorological Office
1 the invention of the rain gauge came 200 years ahead of the West and contributed to the development of agricultural science. 2 hunminjeongeum eonhaebon is the translation of the preface of the hunminjeongeum which recorded the principle of the invention of hangeul and information on its usage in detail.
t is Sejong the Great (1397~1450) who is acclaimed as the Joseon dynasty’s sage-king, the only Korean ruler posthumously honored with the appellation the Great, and his face appears on the denomination of South Korea’s currency, the 10,000 won bill. The fourth king of the Joseon dynasty of Korea left remarkable achievements in science, literature and policy and laid fundamental basis for the nation. That’s why it is widely said that he is the essence of prosperity of the nation. A drama recently aired on TV, ‘deep Rooted Tree’, which is based on the story of the creation of Hangeul by Sejong the Great, reiterating the magnitude of his achievements. Born in 1397, five years after the Joseon dynasty was founded by his grandfather, Lee Seong-gye, Sejong was the third son of Lee Bang-won, who became the thrid king of the Joseon dynasty, King Taejong. When he was born, the nation had been undergoing a transition period and the nation’s foundations and public sentiment were unstable. For 32 years since Sejong succeeded to the throne at the age of 22 in 1418, he accomplished outstanding achievements in science, political theory, military arts and literature, which marks Sejong as one of the most innovative kings. Highly respected for his benevolent disposition and diligence, King Sejong was also a passionate scholar whose knowledge and natural talent in all fields of study astounded even the most learned experts. He was a king with a strong drive to push ahead with what he thought was right. He was always concerned about the common people and care for the people was the center of his reign. His care for
his subjects is revealed in his statement, “A monarch governs all creations in place of the Heavens. A good governor must have the utmost regard for the wellbeing of the people”. He inVented HuMninjeongeuM to rePreSent SPoken korean WitH a uniQue alPHabetic SySteM Needless to say, the most outstanding invention that Sejong the Great had is Hangeul, the Korean alphabet. He felt sorry for the common people who did not have an appropriate script for their spoken language; he wanted to provide Koreans with a convenient and efficient written means of expression. Even though he endeavored to make an entirely new native script for the Korean language, he faced a strong backlash from the elite scholars and the established, which is vividly described in the drama ‘deep Rooted Tree’. However, that didn’t stop him from creating the Korean script. Hangeul is not only scientific but philosophical the consonants of Hangeul are patterned on vocal organs and the shapes of its letters were modeled on the human articulatory organs and the three basic components of the universe: heaven, earth, and man. His continuous efforts to create the script resulted in success. In 1443, he created Hangeul and named it Hunminjeongeum. Hunminjeongeum, which literally meant “the correct sounds for the instruction of the people”, was completed in 1443. Before he proclaimed it three years later in 1446 with Hunminjeongeum Haeryebon; which stated the principle of the invention of Hangeul and information on its usage in detail, he strived to
perfect it. It was in the 28th year of King Sejong’s reign when the unique Korean script was finally made public. With Hangeul, he ushered in a cultural golden age. He composed Yongbi eocheon ga (Songs of Flying dragons)-a eulogy rationalizing both the illegitimacy and immorality of the dynasty establishment and Worin Cheon gang Jigok (‘Songs of the Moon Shining on a Thousand Rivers’, National Treasure No. 398) a translation of the Buddhist scriptures. He also published numerous books on agriculture, geography, and other fields. Furthermore, he initiated the development of musical notations for Korean songs and music that had been orally transmitted. We can’t leave out his inventions. Sejong enlightened in science and technology; sponsored a variety of inventions or refinements of previous technologies. In the 16th year of his reign, Korea’s first sundial, Yangbu Ilgu (National Treasure No.845) was made. There are written tables of shadow lengths between sunrise and sunset. When sunlight hits the sundial, it accounts for variations in the sunrise and sunset from the orbit of the sun. In his 23rd year, a rain gauge was invented. The invention of the rain gauge came 200 years ahead of the West contributing to the development of agricultural science. Sejong the Great ascended to the throne at the age of 22 and passed away on May 18, 1450, at the age of just 53. In the 32 years of his reign, Sejong the Great laid the foundation for the dynasty that was to rule for more than 500 years. It is quite natural that he is still respected and exalted as the greatest king in Korean history.
20 korea 2012 february
A romantic hotspot in Seoul
n seoul toWer
A visit to the romantic N Seoul Tower is a must for all lovers regardless of nationality.
by Chung Da-young / photographs by Kang Min-gu
f you are visiting Seoul, it is hard to miss Namsan and its symbolic N Seoul Tower. Situated in the center of downtown Seoul, Namsan (or Namsan Mountain) is a Seoul landmark filled with 600 years of historical sites and modern attractions. According to a recent survey conducted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Namsan has been voted as the ‘most attractive hotspot in Seoul among 1,849 foreigners’ and the special reason for that is for the ‘kissing a lover by the Locks of Love at N Seoul Tower while overlooking the cityscape.’ This captures the tower’s popular elements very well. a lock For your loVe These days the most popular attraction is the Locks of Love that hold a thousand different messages of love. Along the fences of the second floor observatory deck, hundreds of thousands of locks hang on all sides overflowing the wire fence. Couples, young and old, hang locks on the fences with pen written messages of love. The locks hanging on the fences with keys thrown away are meant to ensure the lover’s vows to never separate. Hanging locks on the fences have become quite international as many tourists do the same when they come to the tower. “I have never seen anything like it before. And the view from this deck is absolutely amazing,” says Gilles Chatelier from New Caledonia who is visiting Seoul with his girlfriend. breatHtaking city ligHtS The beautiful city view can also be enjoyed from the Observatory on top of the tower. Visitors can
take the elevator up to the observatory where they are provided with a panoramic view of Seoul’s cityscape at a full uninterrupted 360° glance. On sunny days, the view is uninterrupted for miles, with a view taking in the vast metropolis of Seoul, the impressive Han River, and the topography of the mountains that eject into the city expanse. “From up here, I can see parts of Seoul that I haven’t been to yet,” says Sam dunning an engineer from Australia. “I can just choose and decide where to go next.” The view is especially breathtaking at night, when the city lights come to life. It is one of the few places in Seoul where you can leisurely enjoy the city night lights. a VieW and a bite The Observatory isn’t the only attraction on top of the tower. A visit to N Seoul Tower can be heightened with a meal overlooking the city. There are a few choices of restaurants to choose from: n.Grill for western style cuisine, The Place, a casual Italian eatery and HanCook, a Korean family restaurant. HanCook is considered to be most visited by foreign visitors who seek a taste of Korea to accompany their visit. Private cars including taxis are not permitted to enter the mountain road up to N Seoul Tower, but public buses headed for the tower are accessible from nearby subway stations. But for first time visitors, the cable car is recommended for a beautiful scenic experience. Mike Anderson from Hawaii came up to N Seoul Tower with three other friends. “The ride up to the tower was exciting and very convenient. I’m glad we didn’t take the bus.”
a romantIc memory
hawa and Faizal from malaysia are newlyweds who are travelling Seoul for their honeymoon. “We came to n Seoul tower after seeing it on Korean dramas. Coming here in person, it’s very romantic. and there are so many attractions in one place”
hoW to get there
Bus Yellow bus No. 2 at Chungmu-ro Station or No. 3 at Itaewon Station Cable car 10 minute walking distance to Namsan cable car from Pacific Hotel at exit 3 of Myeong-dong Station (line no. 4) www.nseoultower.co.kr
22 korea 2012 february
When Spring calls on maryang Port Seocheon blooms with camellias
Surely spring is in the air in Seocheon, a coastal county nestled in a southwestern corner of South Chungcheong Province, when camellia shoots start to uncoil after the biting months of winter. Jack Frost beats his retreat in February, and giving General Winter chase we head on to Seocheon in search of early spring. by Lee Jung-eun / photographs by Moon Duk-gwan
ike round sindoors applied on the cheeks and forehead of a newly minted bride, camellias, with their red petals adorning yellow pistils, are flowers of purity and simplicity. They bloom from as early as November and carry on through February and March to the end of April. Camellias are winterflowering, but they could just as well be springflowering for blooming in February and March, the traditional month of spring. The season of renewal is upon Seocheon as early as late February as camellia shoots start to bud in this cozy little town huddled on the western coast of South Chungcheong Province. A stroll to the top of a wooden staircase laid at the far end of a road next to the Seocheon Thermal Power Plant ringwall not far from Maryang Port rewards one with a view to a grove of camellia trees thought to have formed some 500 years ago. designated as a natural monument, the grove of about 85 trees are not at all tall and sit widely apart like the ribs of a fan. 500 years is a long time. Could it have been the harsh winter winds blowing in from the West Sea year after year that have taken their toll? Maryang Port is just as well-known for its sunset as it is for the camellias. The panoramic coastline that comes into view from the center of the grove opens up to the small picturesque Orak Island in the distance and the fish trawlers out at sea. And the red
sun behind them slowly sinks into the Yellow Sea turning the skies into a bright golden hue. The site is more beautiful than Monet's Impression, Sunrise. raMie yarnS catcH tHe Wind WHere FiSH netS HaVe not Seocheon, known for its beautiful Riasis Coastline, has its share of tourist attractions. A favorite among Seocheon's foreign visitors is the Mount Han Ramie Yarn Workshop. Ramie yarn from Mount Han is recognized as the undisputed champion of ramie yarn for its superior quality and fineness. The Mount Han Ramie Yarn Workshop is where the local residents gather in small groups to weave ramie yarn in addition to exhibiting its related history from both past and present. The entire process of ramie yarn weaving is on display. “Clothes made from ramie cloth always look new even after repeated washing, and they help you keep cool and breezy in the summertime. There's no need for air-conditioning when you're in ramie.” Mrs. Jo Jin-soon, a grandmother of two who makes yarn at the Workshop, said many foreign visitors find the ramie weaving to be fascinating and that they go about making many purchases. “Foreign visitors seem to know that ramie clothes are good,” she said with a big smile. An average roll used for clothes making costs anywhere between 600,000800,000 won. One roll can produce up to two men’s
24 korea 2012 february
shirts and three women’s shirts, but the cost cannot be said to be unreasonably high since it takes no less than two whole months to weave the yarn into cloth from start to finish. Across from the Mount Han Ramie Yarn Museum is the Intangible Cultural Asset Complex. Behind the complex is a distillery for sogokju, a rice wine that is said to have been enjoyed by the Royal Family of the Kingdom of Baekjae. As a rice wine that is known to have been traditionally prepared by distillers wearing all white so as to mourn the demise of the Kingdom of Baekjae, sogokju is distilled with steamed glutinous rice for 100 days. Sogokju is also widely called the ‘heavy bottom wine’ for even the modest tastings done by wives leaves them daunted and on their behinds. Because it is made near Mount Han, it is called Mount Han Sogokju . caMelliaS in tHe air bring out eVen tHe little octoPuSeS A little ways from Mount Han Ramie Yarn Workshop opens up to the Sinsung Road Field of Reeds. As the site for the blockbuster hit film ‘JSA’ (Joint Security Area), the Sinsung Road Field of Reeds is 200 meters wide and stretches for 1 km, for a total area of 100,000 pyong or approximately 33,000 square meters. It is one of only four such fields in South Korea. Laid in between the reeds that stand taller than the average person is a boardwalk and wooden decks at various intervals that hang famous lines of poetry. It soothes the heart when the wind blows and the reeds whistle and sway. Seafood is plentiful in Seocheon for it lies near an established estuary. Every season of the year produces its own colorful milieu of offerings from the sea, but nothing tops the menu in the spring like the little octopus. For obvious reasons, the little octopus is smaller than big and medium-sized octopuses, but what it is known for more than its size is for its power-giving properties. The little ones are famous for being an aphrodesiac. They are especially succulent in the spring, and are more chewy and savory than other times of the year. Restaurants along Maryang and Hongwon Ports all have the little octopuses on their menus. A tour of Seocheon’s traditional outdoor market reveals all the seafood on offer from the ocean nearby, including the flatfish, the gaper, the octopus:
big, medium, and little, the thornback, horse and baby clams, and many others with strange names and funny faces. When camellia shoots start to bud at the end of the harshest winter months, spring has surely sprung in Seocheon. Slowly the camellia grove turns red and the little octopuses with full bellies begin to surface. Spring in Seocheon is a delight to the eyes and the palate.
1 traditional outdoor market with a variety of fresh seafood from the western sea 2 hansan Ramie Fabric hall is a place to see all the processes of weaving ramie yarn. 3 Ramie yarn from hansan is recognized as the undisputed champion of ramie yarn for its superior quality and fineness. 4 an old woman selling dried fish at the traditional Seocheon outdoor market. 5 Dongbekjung is well-known for its breathtaking sunset.
5 travel datalogue hoW to get there
Car Take the West Sea Expressway. Swing right upon exiting on Chunjangdae Interchange. After traveling a distance of about fiveminutes, arrive at Gummoonsow Intersection. Take another right and head straight for ten minutes until Dongbekjung. It’s about 15km from Chunjangdae Interchange to Dongbekjung, and about 1km from Dongbekjung to Maryang Port. From Seoul, this should take about 2 1/2 hours. Train Trains are another option. The station to get off on would either be the Janghangsun Seocheon Station or the Chunjangdae Station. From either station to Maryang Road is about 30 minutes by bus. This combination of transportation should consume about 3 1/2 hours from Seoul to Seocheon.
Seoul Chunjangdae IC Maryang Port Seocheon
A tour of the traditional Seocheon outdoor market reveals all the seafood on offer from the ocean.
What to eat
The little octopuses, roughly called jukkumi in Korean, is popularly prepared as either shabu shabu or in fried rice. They go well with sogokju. There are many restaurants in either Maryang or Hongwon Ports, but two of the more frequented are Seosan Restaurant (tel: 041-951-7677) and Dolphin Seafood Restaurant (tel: 041-952-2388). If the little ones aren’t your thing, there are many other restaurants to choose from.
26 korea 2012 february
Skiing in Korea, an unforgettable experience
memorable sKiing moments
A growing number of foreign tourists can be found at ski resorts in Korea. In the past, most foreign ski enthusiasts were largely from nearby Asian countries. But more recently after Pyeongchang was named the host city for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, the number of visitors from Russia and Europe has seen a jump. by Lee You-mi, Chung Da-young / photographs by Lee Min-hee
atherine Luck from Hong Kong arrived at the Bokwang Phoenix Park in Gangwon Province after staying one day in Seoul. She came to Korea on a six-nights seven-days tour with an itinerary that includes Seoul, Gangwon Province, and Jeju Island. “I’m captivated by the winter scenery. Learning to ski is hard, but fun enough not to feel cold,” she said. She added that this was the first time for her to be in the snow and learn how to ski and that she’s planning to come back again next winter for a longer stay on the slopes. An ever-growing number of foreign tourists like Ms. Luck are coming to ski resorts in Korea. After the Korean Wave hit Southeast Asia, ski resorts have been seeing an increasing number of tourists from Southeast Asia where snow does not fall. Winning the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics has resulted in attracted more visitors from Russia, Europe, and North America. Jung Kyeong-moo, the overseas marketing manager for Youngpyong Ski Resort and he says that snow conditions affect downhill velocity and that slopes with only natural snow reduce glide, and hence speed. Even though the hills are shorter, the ski slopes in Korea induce much better glide
than those in Russia, Canada, and Northern Europe where there is more natural snow. Furthermore, advanced technology generating artificial snow and mixing it with natural snow and top of the line facilities, including state-of-the-art gondolas have contributed to the popularity of Korean resorts popular among skiers and snowboarders especially from Greater Asia. Comfortable and pleasant hotels and condominiums equipped with all amenities and recreational facilities, including a water park, are comparable to ski venues elsewhere. Foreign visitors point out that one of the merits of Korean resorts is that the slopes are very conveniently located to where they are staying. Breduk Yulia from Russia said, “Everything is great, high-quality slopes, a variety of ski runs, and attentive services. I'm really satisfied.” ‘Fun Ski & SnoW FeStiVal’ Magnetizing Foreign touriStS Gangwon Province and the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) have developed tour packages specifically tailored to foreign tourists, including popular K-Pop concerts that complement the skiing. From december 2-4 last year, a three-day
28 korea 2012 february
Korea's three major sKi resorts hosting the 2018 olymPic Winter games
asia's Mecca for Winter Sports yongpyong resort
Since it first opened in 1975, Yongpyong Resort has been come to be known as “Korea’s Ski Mecca” and has contributed to the development of winter sports in the country, including sking making them popular among the general public. The resort has successfully hosted three world competitions so far – the World Cup Ski Competition in 1998 and 2000, and the Winter Asian Games in 1999 – and has built a reputation among skiers and foreign tourists for its world class facilities. The Rainbow· Red· Silver · Gold slopes were authorized by the International Ski Federation (ISF). The resort offers many winter sports, such as alpine skiing and snowboarding. Yongpyong Resort added dragon Park in 2002, the nation’s first terrain park, attracting snowboarders from around the world who are into extreme winter sports. Yongpyong Resort hosts the Fun Ski & Snow Festival every year in partnership with the KTO. It also offers ski lessons from www.yongpyong.co.kr professional instructors.
i teach snowboarding to visitors from overseas
Nicholas Tobin (New Zealand) I give ski and snowboad lessons to visitors mainly from Hong Kong, Russia, and Singapore. I’ve been here one month. I’ll be giving lessons till March. I work with 8 other foreign instructors form Argentina, Canada, German, Italy, New Zealand, and Russia. I think teaching is rewarding and I can see they’re having fun while skiing.
Main venue of the 2018 Winter olympics alpensia resort
Alpensia Resort will be the main venue of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games and it is transforming itself into a new Mecca for winter sports. It will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2018 Olympic Games and be the venue for six events, including the ski jump and cross country skiing. Besides boasting state-of-the-art sports facilities, the resort also features a wide range of facilities for vacationers, such as a convention center, concert hall, water park, golf course, and accommodation. The resort also has wide and gentle ski slopes that are perfect for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. The ski jumping tower is one of the best in the world. The tower simultaneously serves as an observatory offering visitors a breathtaking view of Alpensia and the nearby mountains. Its Water Park Ocean 700 is the largest indoor water sports complex in Korea, featuring a wave pool, kid’s pool, and bathing pool as well as the Camel Back www.alpensia.com Slide and Tornado which are outdoors.
i'll come here again next year with my friends
arifin koh (Indonesia) I came here with four of my friends. This is my third visit to Korea, but it’s my first ski trip. We are having a really good time. We prefer Korea to Japan because Korea is closer than Japan and prices are more affordable here. The one other reason we chose to come to Korea is the spicy Korean food, which we in Indonesia like a lot. We’re coming back next year to ski.
extravaganza called “Hallyu Week Concert” was held at daegwallyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun drew 5,000 tourists from China, Hong Kong, and Japan. The overseas visitors stayed an extra night after the concert and went skiing at Yongpyong Ski Resort. “Including K-Pop concerts in tour packages for winter sports, like skiing has proven to be popular for foreign tourists,” said a Gangwon official, “The provincial government offers various winter tour packages for regular tourists as well as for school field trips from China and Southeast Asia.” ‘Customized marketing’ has been actively practiced. The KTO jointly held the annual winter sports travel package “Fun Ski & Snow Festival” along with the Gangwon Provincial Government, Yongpyong Resort Ski & Snowboard, and High1 Ski Resort. The festivals ran from december 15, 2010 to March 6, 2011, during which a ski travel package was made available to skiers from Chinese speaking countries, Southeast Asia, and Russia. For international visitors, a variety of events and promotions were offered during the weekdays when
30 korea 2012 february
the resorts were less frequented by domestic skiers. Itineraries of four days and three nights included skiing and snowboarding lessons with professional instructors, hands-on experience programs, traditional dance performances, and non-verbal shows. There were special promotions throughout the festival, including discounts for young children, contests and awards, giveaways, and Hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) dressing events.
Phoenix Park becomes popular with free-style snowboard bokwang Phoenix Park
Bokwang Phoenix Park, locaed in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province, was selected as the official venue for six Winter Olympic events. It has several courses for every level of skier. One of the main features of the resort is the Panorama Course that runs for 2.4 km at a width of 85 meter. It boasts a wide-range of slopes that are unparalleled. It is also the only slope in Korea where even beginners can ski from the top. All of the courses meet international standards, and have been officially certified by the International Ski Federation. For foreign visitors, BoKwang Phoenix Park offers ski lessons in English and Japanese. It also runs a shuttle bus from Seoul (4 stops at Jamsil, Nowon, Isu, and Hongik University Stations). Aside from the ski slopes, leisure water park, the Blue Canyon with sparkling water, blue sky and exotic valleys are sure to help visitors make unforgettable memories. www.phoenixpark.co.kr
it's my third ski trip to Korea
Ip yuk Ping (Hong kong) I came here with my husband and it’s our third time coming to Korea to ski. We came again after the first experience we had. This time only my husband is skiing because I'm pregnant. I want to go skiing with my child later. We like Korea because of the very fine facilities and the affordability compared with Japan.
noW In korea
Trying out the jobs of the future
dream factory, Kidzania
Children could take an early peek at what they might be doing by trying out the jobs of the future now. Kidzania is a brand name as well as a theme park where youngsters can get hands-on experience in the jobs of the future. by Kim Min-seon / photographs by Lee Min-hee
exclusive activities in Kidzania Seoul; the Rice Cake House and the Home Shopping Company. Children can make rice cakes for themselves in the Rice Cake House while the Home Shopping Company offers them the opportunity to host and model. The Rice Cake House has been very popular with children since it allows them to experience Korean traditions like pounding grain with mortars and pestles, decorating them, and packing. Taking into account the modern high-tech world Korean children live in, there are also a variety of labs, including those for dairy, mobile phone design, automobile design, water and vitamins. cHildren learn teaM Work and groW a SenSe oF econoMy The portrayal of reality has been a big contributing factor to Kidzania’s success. Rather than simply mimicking adult jobs that children may dream of, children can have hands-on experience with real broadcasting equipment and pizza grills, just to name two. Parents have appreciated the benefits of role-play. Yoo Jae-kyeong, mother of a nine year-old boy, has visited Kidzania more than ten times. “Children learn about professions at Kidzania and have a dream,” she said and added, “I’m really happy with the programs here because children get up to 30 minutes to achieve a sense of accomplishment and gain confidence by playing out each profession.” The job-experience facilities are exclusive to children and parents are not allowed inside. Parents can only look in from the outside through large
hin Saimdang, a Korean artist, calligraphist, noted poet, and the mother of the Korean Confucian scholar Yulgok, is often held up as a wise mother. According to the historical record, she had never taken her children on an excursion for their education, but if she lived in contemporary Seoul, she would surely have taken her children to Kidzania. Kidzania is a theme park that provides a child-sized replica of a real city with buildings, shops, and theaters, as well as vehicles and pedestrians moving along its streets. In this city, children play out various jobs while also having fun
through a variety programs that combine education and entertainment. Since the opening of the first branch in Mexico City ten years ago, Kidzania has continued to expand and currently has eight parks operating in cities around the world. Since Kidzania Seoul opened in February 2010, it has logged over 750,000 visitors for an average of 2,400 people a day, a clear indication of its popularity. In January and February when school is out for the winter holidays, it is filled with curiously excited children. Although it is part of an international company, there are two
windows. Children go about independently making decisions and figuring out their own way of dealing with a given situation. The job-experience programs also help children realize the importance of team work while carrying out certain missions with others and develop a mature sense of citizenship while waiting their turns. They learn the value of work and how the economy functions by earning, spending, saving or donating Kidzos, the Kidzania currency. As mock job programs designed for children continue to draw attention, many similar programs have developed. The Youth Economic Education Foundation provides elementary school students from grades 4 to 6 with opportunities for on-site future job experience. Another is ‘dreamself’ that targets kindergarteners. dreamself introduces twelve careers, such as chef, diplomat, robot researcher, and police officer. It also offers activities designed to raise children s curiosity about various occupations such as writing lyrics and scoring them with musical instruments. An exhibition called ‘Having Fun in the City of Cookies’ offers children a glimpse into making cookies.
tIps for kIdzanIa
Hours of operation Weekdays Weekends/Holidays Admission fees Toddlers (under 3) Children (3-16) Adult (over 16) Weekdays Free KRW 32,000 KRW 16,000 Weekends Free KRW 35,000 KRW18,000 Ist shift 10:00 ~ 15:00 09:30 ~ 14:30
1 the rice cake house where children can make the traditional Korean food is very popular. 2 the pilot program is popular among boys. 3 Kidzania is a unique theme park where children can get hands-on experience in a variety of professions. 4 they can either deposit or withdraw Kidzos.
2nd shift 15:30 ~ 20:30 15:30 ~ 20:30
All-day ticket 10:00 ~ 20:30 09:30 ~ 20:30 All-day pass Free KRW 57,600/ 63,000 KRW 28,800/ 32,400
You can book in advance at its website (www.Kidzania.co.kr).
32 korea 2012 february
An exciting opening of K-Pop charts & channels
K-PoP’s official debut
K-Pop, has finally made its grand debut as a global genre. First was the servicing of Billboard K-Pop Chart and next came the opening of YouTube’s K-Pop Channel. As K-Pop is recognized as a global genre, Hallyu is preparing for the next level of being the world’s entertainment. by Chung Da-young
The Wonder Girls was the first Korean group to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.
011 was an exciting year for K-Pop fans and the Korean music industry. In August, Billboard opened a new chart for K-Pop music, Billboard K-Pop Chart. Following the J-pop Chart, this is the second release of a country based music chart from Asia. And only a few months later, Google serviced webcast provider YouTube launched its K-Pop Channel online. The news created a buzz for fans and industry experts alike as it was the first time for YouTube to create an exclusive channel for a certain country. The main reason for the decision was based on the fact that there are over 5 million K-Pop related webcasts on YouTube, but only 600,000 of these are found through the search word ‘K-Pop’. A separate K-Pop channel was in demand to facilitate the search for Korean music for K-Pop fans worldwide.
k-PoP FeVer K-Pop has been making headlines on online music service providers for some time now. In August 2011, the music video for Super Junior’s new single ‘Mr. Simple’ ranked no. 3 on YouTube’s global chart. The music video came third on the ‘Most Viewed Webcasts’ after Lady Gaga and Kanye West, proving the international popularity of the Korean dance group. Back in 2009, the Wonder Girls took the world by storm by being the first Korean group to ever chart on the Billboard Hot 100 with their American debut single ‘Nobody’ which later ranked no.1 on the ‘Year End Charts Hot Singles Sales’ section, topping American artists like Beyonce and Black Eyed Peas.The release of the Billboard K-Pop Chart was a testimonial to its recognition as a global genre. “We were already receiving requests for K-Pop charts from music fans of different nationalities and ethnicities few years ago. Billboard looked into the fast-spreading popularity of Hallyu and the success
of Hallyu concerts in various countries” states Biilboard Korea. More k-PoP SerViceS Before Billboard started servicing the chart, there was a lack of an official Korean music ranking medium for foreign fans. Now, through the Billboard chart, they can view the most up to date ranking of Korean music based on online source analysis. The Billboard K-Pop Chart uses a sound scanning system to data mine the charts of 13 online music services that are available in Korea. The collected data is then processed to provide automated rankings. With the launch of K-Pop chart, Billboard Magazine and online Billboard Korea (www.billboard.co.kr) have begun to publish music-related news and other services. It is Billboard’s next project to customize the news to each local language abroad and service it with the K-Pop chart. Hopefully this new service will not only satisfy the craving for K-Pop fans, but will also help more Korean artists to go abroad.
Hallyu to tHe next leVel The Billboard K-Pop Chart and YouTube’s K-Pop channel are not only good news for international fans but are also welcoming news to the Korean music industry in the hopes that the new services will bring Hallyu and K-Pop to the next level. The current Hallyu is led by Korean music and artists. Music videos of dance groups like Big Bang, 2PM and Girl’s Generation are a big hit around the world. And behind this new wave of Hallyu is YouTube, utilized not only by ardent fans but also by Korean entertainment companies to promote their artists. Last year, YG Entertainment launched a showcase for the first solo album of G-dragon and TOP (Big Bang members) through YouTube. The one hour streaming of eleven songs attracted 390,000 users worldwide. It is with hope that the new K-Pop services provided by the Billboard chart and YouTube’s channel will be an opportunity to promote K-Pop in places around the world that it has not reached yet, and be a starting point to introduce other Hallyu content.
1 billboard K-pop Chart 2 youtube’s K-pop Channel.
34 korea 2012 february
Revival of taekwondo at the 2012 London Olympics
a ek won d o m a d e it s first appearance at the Summer Olympic Games as a demonstration sport at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul when Korea was the host country. It later became a full medal sport at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, and has been a sport in the Olympics since then. But after taking part in the Olympics three times, taekwondo is on the verge of being eliminated from the official Olympic Games. The old glory of taekwondo is on the brink of becoming a past.
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As the 2012 London Olympics approaches, the taekwondo national team is faced with two challenges; to win gold medals inside the competitive court, and retain the glory of taekwondo in the Olympic Games. by Chung Da-young / photographs by Ha Ji-young
Another solution is the deployment of new electronic sensors. Electronic sensors are attached to the body armor and socks to detect the strength of a hit and award points accordingly. The other factor for the rumors of being eliminated is the general mood of unpopularity of taekwondo in the Olympics. There is a growing concern that taekwondo has lost its dynamic appeal and the games are not fun to watch. It has been a task for the WTF to come up with a solution to attract the interest of the spectators and bring media attention to the taekwondo matches. At the London Games, the size of the court will be reduced to 8 X 8 meters, enabling the players to play a close contact attack and proceed the games with more speed. Also 360-kick and other advanced attack moves will be awarded up to 4 points, making the sport more exciting to watch. training For gold Hopes are becoming high that the new rules and systems will help taekwondo to gain a firm stance in the Olympic Games, but a more imminent task lies within the Korean taekwondo national team aiming for the gold at the upcoming Olympics. The Korean national team is currently ranked no. 1 in the Olympics medal table: 9 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze. As the birthplace of taekwondo, Korea has always done exceedingly well in international tournaments. However, over the years the performance of foreign teams has reached an exceptional high. At the 2011 Gyeongju World Taekwondo Championships, Iran won the men’s overall title, leaving Korea in second
place. It was the first time that Korea failed to retain the men’s overall title at the championships. The Korean taekwondo national team is training to its fullest to make sure that that doesn’t happen at the London Olympics. The team is currently training in Jinju, of Gyonegsangnam-do Province. Coach Kim Sae-hyuk of the national team is conducting strategic training exercises to bring the team into top condition. Every morning the players run up and down the 365 steps 10 times each at the nearby park for drill exercises. This exercise is designed to increase strength, flexibility and speed. “The exercises were really hard at first. But after a few days, I felt my muscles strengthening and I could feel my feet lighter as I run up the steps”, said Park Hye-mi, a strong candidate competing for the gold in the women’s over 67kg heavyweight class. The new game regulations, such as the smaller 8 X 8 meter court, calls for new strategies for the players. “Because the size of the court will be smaller for the Olympics, I have to train for close contact sparring. Some of the foreign players like Pascal Gentil from France that I have to compete with are much taller than me. But I will overcome this through speed and accuracy”, said Cha dongmin, the 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medalist. “As the Korean national team, the players feel the heavy weight of expectations for the Olympic gold. We will do our best to achieve the goal, and through this I hope taekwondo will regain the old glory of the past”, hopes Coach Kim.
1 Winter training is in full swing 2 Cha Dong-min holds his gold medal at the 2008 beijing olympics
taekWondo trouble Several reasons can be found for this crisis. The first is the lack of fairness in judging during the match. The judges’ decisions have been criticized as vague and confusing. Taekwondo matches are judged by one referee and four judges with the help of two cameras. Points and penalties are given when two or more judges recognize them. But the fast movements and position of the attack sometimes cause ambiguous judgment. In order to reinforce this weakness, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) will place a total of five cameras around the court: four on each corner and another in the ceiling. This will eliminate the blind spots made from using only two cameras and thus make judging fairer and more transparent.
buIldIng strength and speed
Coach Kim Sae-hyuk (Korean taekwondo national team)
“Right now, the training is focused on increasing the physical strength of the players. In order to compete with the well-built foreign players, our players must grow the same strength and speed.”
President Lee myung-bak’s new Year’s Address to the nation
In his New Year’s address to the nation, President Lee Myung-bak outlined directions of general policies for the ordinary people, such as creating more jobs and stabilizing consumer prices. Lee also presented the blue print for Korea taking initiatives in bringing peace to Northeast Asia based on inter-Korean cooperation.
by Lee Sun-min / help to coverage Chungwadae, Minstry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
he president first highlighted the country’s economic achievements over the past year. “Korea became the ninth country in the world to join the exclusive USd 1 trillion club. Korea’s trade surplus reached USd 33.3 billion, which was above expectations. In 2011 nothing was able to put a stop to our forward march, not the foot-andmouth disease, not the heaviest downpours in over a century, and not the fiscal crisis in Europe.” He emphasized that Korea’s economic achievement last year would not have been possible had it not been for all the people coming together for a common cause, and for that the president thanked the general public as well as the country’s business leaders.
President Lee then likened the economic uncertainties lying ahead with those of the ocean’s ebb and flow. “The tides heading towards us this year will be much bigger. The world economy is slipping into a protracted period of low growth, and not just a temporary recession.” He renewed the government's commitment to stabilizing consumer prices so people can go about their lives without worring about inflation. uSHering in a neW era oF HoPe and ProSPerity On international matters the president said, “2012 promises to be a transformational year in global
politics. Most major countries, including the United States, will elect new leaders this year.” during the nationally televised address, President Lee said he expected a ‘sea change’ in South-North relations following the death of Kim Jong-il and reaffirmed that peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula will be a top priority this year in the wake of growing uncertainties stemming from the passing of the North Korean leader last december. The president signaled the possibility of interKorean cooperation, emphasizing that ‘the window of opportunity is always open’ and urging the North to stop its nuclear activities for the resumption of the multilateral aid-for-denuclearization talks. “Our goal should now be to bring peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. The window of opportunity always remains open. If North Korea is sincere, we can open a new era on the Korean Peninsula”, Lee said. “As soon as the North stops its nuclear activities, it will be possible for the Six-Party Talks to resume. Based on the Six-Party Talks, we can meet North Korea’s security concerns and help its economy.” President Lee said that he will continue to increase cooperation with other nations. He said Korea will work with key leaders in the European Union and ASEAN on peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia, including the North Korean issue, while keeping close relations and cooperation with the members of the Six-Party Talks. President Lee also highlighted Korea’s role in making the world safer and more table. “The Nuclear Security Summit Seoul 2012, slated for March, will serve as a catalyst for Korea to expand its role into international security issues. It will set a milestone in making the world freer from the threat of nuclear terrorism.” “The Republic of Korea will take the lead in ushering a new era of hope and prosperity in the world by meeting the many challenges that the international community as a whole faces”, he said. StrengtHening Society’S WelFare and Social SaFety net In terms of the domestic economy, President Lee stressed the importance of “stabilizing the lives of
low-income families.” He said the government will curb consumer price increases within the low 3 percent range. He said that growth matters, but added that the focus will at the same time be on stabilizing consumer prices. “As part of our efforts to lessen the burden on the shoulders of low-income families, the government will increase the supply of residential rental units, thereby stabilizing the real estate market for longterm lease units. For college students who study away from home a total of 10,000 rental units will be provided around their campuses before the start of the new semester this year”, Lee said. President Lee also said the government will strengthen the social safety net. He reiterated the comprehensive measures aimed at tackling issues in regards to non-regular workers, first announced last year. He also presented a number of policies to respond to the low birth rate and an aging demographic. On the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement, he said, “the KORUS FTA constitutes an enormous opportunity for domestic SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). An increased number of decent jobs will be created. An FTA assistance framework will be established jointly between the government and the private sector, helping SMEs make the best of the free trade deal.” He also presented plans to carry out such projects as the promotion of new growth engine industries and the development of overseas resources. The president also said the government will foster research in the field of science and technology, including IT, conducive to creating new industries and more jobs. The government will help the green growth industry take firm root both at home and abroad, laying a solid foundation for future progress.
38 korea 2012 february
The icebreaker exploring the Antarctic
Korean icebreaker ship, the RV ARAON, is making remarkable exploits, gaining reputation by rescuing domestic and foreign vessels as well as contributing greatly to Korea’s Antarctic research. Let’s take a look at the excellent activities of the ARAON that are making her mark worldwide.
by Lee Sun-min / help to coverage Korean Polar Research Institute (KOPRI)
n Jan. 11, around 11:15 am, the RV ARAON received an emergency call while at berth. It was from a South Korean fishing boat, the Jungwoo 2, which had caught on fire on the Ross Sea off Antarctica. The ice breaker rushed to the scene to clear the accident and transport injured crew members to McMurdo Station in Antarctica for medical treatment. This was not her first time she made a brilliant performance. Last year, on dec. 15, the vessel saved an ice-stricken Russian fishing boat, the Sparta, gaining worldwide fame. Andrei Polomar, general director of the Vladivostok ship s company Antei, expressed his gratitude to the ARAON, stating the crew of the Korean ice breaker successfully repaired the Sparta by welding a hole resulting from a collision with floating ice, which allowed the fishing boat to get through 100-nautical miles.
liFting korea to becoMe a PoWerHouSe oF oceanic reSearcH Rescue work is one of several activities that the ARAON has to do. Her main job has been researching for Korea’s Antarctic station since she was built in 2009. The decision to construct a Korean ice breaker for Antarctic research was not easily concede due to the tremendous amount of time and capital required. A number of challenges ensued during independent Antarctic exploration because of the excessive amount of ice that made access very difficult. And during the construction of the King Sejong Research Station, borrowing Russian or Chinese vessels for freight transportation cost more than USd 70,000 per use. As the importance of Antarctica increased, the government decided to make an ice-breaking
vessel in 2005 and had invested KRW 170 billion (USd 93 million) over four years in shipbuilding. Now the construction of Korea’s second Antarctic research base, the Jangbogo Research Station, with the help of the ARAON it can be finished without a hitch. Korea s research on the Antarctic began with the King Sejong Station, and studies of the Antarctic Ocean; especially on its submarine geology and marine organisms, will become more active once Jangbogo Station is established. Korea is not the only country that recognizes the significance of Antarctic exploration. However, very few countries have an icebreaking vessel. The biggest benefit of having an ice breaker is being able to travel to necessary places without any hindrance. According to the PR team leader of KOPRI, Chun Seungryul, Korea’s international status in Antarctic research has gained prestige as more and more countries are asking for help. The facilities of the ARAON are as high-tech as those icebreaking vessels of other countries. Since the ARAON was recently built, it contains advanced features such as cutting-edge research equipment which differentiates itself from other icebreaking vessels whose main task is freight transportation. “We are planning to focus on constructing the Jangbogo Research Station over the course of two years”, said Chun. “After its construction, we will put most of our efforts in collaborative research with other countries.” When Korea’s second Antarctic research station is completed in March 2014 as planned, Korea will become the ninth country in the world after America, the UK and China that has more than one permanent research station in Antarctica.
the name of the icebreaker aRaon is derived from Korean words ‘ara’ for Sea and ‘on’ for all and represents a project to cruise around the world. the aRaon is featuring cutting-edge research equipments is not just an icebreaker but a comprehensive research lab.
40 korea 2012 february
1 president Lee myung-bak, on his second state visit to China, held held a summit talk with president hu Jintao on January 9 at the Great Hall of the people in beijing. 2 the president is talking with Chinese premier Wen Jiabao on tuesday at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in beijing, China.
resident Lee Myung-bak made a state visit to the People’s Republic of China from January 9 to 11, at the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao. After a summit meeting with President Hu, President Lee met with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Wu Bangguo, the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. The presidential visit was the President’s second state visit to China and was arranged to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and China. Observers said that this state visit was very meaningful as the two leaders reaffirmed that the two sides will make the utmost effort to ease lingering diplomatic tensions between the two countries. A senior official at Chung Wa dae said, “President Lee’s counterpart gave sincere answers after listening to the issues between the two sides that the President broached throughout the meeting.” “They seemed to have prepared extensively for
the summit meeting, and were well aware of the domestic outcry regarding the recent dispute over the violent clash regarding illegal fishing in the Yellow Sea, which resulted in the death of a Korean coast guard”, he added. China also responded positively to Lee’s state visit. At a regular briefing, on January 11, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Weimin commented that “the two leaders are satisfied with the outcomes of his visit,” and that “the visit has strengthened the China-Korea strategic partnership.” The two sides had affirmed the need to expand cooperation in all fields, in order to deepen bilateral relation and stressed that upholding peace and stability on the Peninsula serves the common interests of all concerned parties. Korean business leaders also left Seoul for Beijing to boost economic ties between the two countries. Accompanying President Lee on the state visit were Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mongkoo, Kumho Asiana Group CEO Park Sam-gu, STX Chairman Kang duk-soo, SK Vice Chairman Park Young-ho, doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Vice Chairman Jung Ji-taik and Lotte Mart CEO Roh Byung-yong. StrengtHening Strategic PartnerSHiP The summit talk which received international media coverage, was held in a friendly atmosphere.
Korea-china summit talKs
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Lee Myung-bak paid a state visit to China from January 9 to 11 in light of the 20th anniversary. The state visit marked a milestone for enhanced cooperation and exchanges between the two countries. by Lee Sun-min / help to coverage Minstry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Chungwadae
42 korea 2012 february
Lee’s New Year’s address. As for the issue of North Korea’s denuclearization, the two leaders agreed that all parties involved in the six-party talks should do more to reconvene the talks. President Lee expressed his hope that the six party talks will resume in the near future, as soon as the outlined prerequisite are met. With regard to the Korea-China Free Trade Agreement, the Chinese goverment expressed its willingness to commence negotiations promptly Korea responded with its plan to follow the domestic process for further expansion of economic cooperation.
1 president Lee delivers the opening speech at a business forum attended by business representatives from the Chinese business circle at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in beijing, China 2 president Lee took a commemorative photograph with Riranching, the Chinese former deputy prime minister for economic affairs, January 10 in beijing.
A Bowl of Good Fortune Ogokbap and Namul
January 15 on the lunar calendar is a very important holiday celebrated in Korea. Special dishes are prepared for this day, such as ogokbap and namul. Just like the traditional days, these dishes that represent good fortune are still enjoyed by many Koreans.
by Chung Da-young / photographs by Moon Duk-gwan / food & styling by Kim Young-bin assistant Noh Shin-young
Koreans celebrate two major holidays on the first month of the New Year. The first is the Lunar New Year and the second is Jeongwol daeboreum. Jeongwol daeboreum means the First Great Full Moon and it is celebrated on the 15th day of the first month of the Lunar New Year. This year Jeongwol daeboreum falls on February 6. This day celebrates traditions and customs performed to ward off misfortunes and wish for a prosperous and bountiful year. One of the foods traditionally eaten on Jeongwol daeboreum is ogokbap or five grain rice. It is a dish of rice cooked together with millet, Indian millet, beans and red beans. Ogokbap was traditionally eaten five times a day and people would often share ogokbap with their neighbors in the belief that sharing the food with at least three households with different family names would bring fortune throughout the year. Ogokbap is a well balanced dish. The various grains enhance the nutrient level of the single rice dish, and the different beans and millet are full of vitamins and fibers. Another traditional Jeongwol daeboreum meal is namul, an assortment of seasoned vegetables. Namul is made of dried wild vegetables and herbs preserved from the previous spring and summer harvest. Eating namul with ogokbap was another wisdom of the ancients to cook a nutritious meal. Seasonal fresh vegetables were scarce during the cold winter months. But by eating the preserved namul which still contained the original vitamins and minerals, people were able to maintain their health and regain their strength for the new years’ farming. Today in the modern world, many Koreans still celebrate Jeongwol daeboreum by eating ogokbap and namul with families and friends. A bowl of ogokbap is always thought to bring good fortune and prosperity for the new year.
celebratIng 20 years of frIendshIp 2
Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1992, Korea and China have witnessed a rapid development of relations in various fields such as politics, economies, and culture. During the two decades since the signing of the treaty, China has quickly emerged as one of Korea’s largest trade partners. As of 2010, China is Korea’s biggest trading partner and also the largest recipient of overseas investment destination of Korea. The total number of 5.95 million people visited each country. Students from South Korea form the largest foreign student group in China with around 680,000 while the number of Chinese students in Korea reaches 640,000. The number of Koreans living as long-term residents in China stands at 650,000. The total number of Chinese long-term residents in Korea is around 610,000 including ethnic Koreans of 410,000. Since the Korean Wave swept China, Korean television dramas, K-Pop, and food have enjoyed a huge surge in popularity. With a growing number of Chinese interested in learning the Korean language, over 80 universities in China have established Korean Studies departments and over 170,000 students are studying the Korean language. A series of events commemorating the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties The cultural exchanges between two countries is expected to be in full swing this year as it marks the 20th anniversary of Korea-China diplomatic ties. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade agreed to collaborate with its counterpart to hold a series of cultural performances and hold forums in the economy, environment and science and technology sectors. The private sector is also set to participate in the cultural exchanges. A variety of cultural performances are scheduled to be put on this year; creative opera, ‘Bombom’ (by Grand Opera), ‘Musical Wonhyo’ (Buddhism Broadcasting System), ‘Musical Shooting Star’ (Baeballaet Production), ‘Musical Turando (Seoul Metropolitan Musical Theater). In addition, joint exhibitions such as ‘Understanding and Succession of Northeastern Woodcuts’ and ‘Calligraphic Works by Korean and Chinese Masters’ will promote stronger bilateral relations. At the contest for a slogan befitting the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Korean-China diplomatic ties, the slogan “Beautiful Friendship, Happiness of Accompany’ was awarded the grand prize. The slogan aspires to Korea-China relations that will go beyond political ideology and future-oriented partnership.
President Lee and President Hu agreed that a remarkable progress was made in the Korea-China relationship since advancing cooperation four year earlier. They agreed to remain committed to further dialogue and advance the bilateral cooperation in a mutually beneficial way on the basis of the existing framework and conduct a series of joint studies and research since 2008, involving the government agencies, experts, and academia of the two nations. The two leaders agreed to expand civic exchanges further in this year as a large number of Chinese visitors are expected to visit Korea this year. The year 2012 was designated as Visit Korea year to celebrate Yeosu Expo when Hu visited Korea in 2008. Lee and Hu agreed that the two countries will closely cooperate to overcome the ongoing global economic difficulties and to bring peace in Northeast Asia. MoVing one SteP FurtHer For tHe Six Party talkS and korea-cHina Fta The two leaders also exchanged views on regional and international affairs, cooperationg to realize their common objectives of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. during the talks, Hu commended the Korean government for its composed response to the potential instability of the situation in North Korea, as seen in President
44 korea 2012 february
What’s in Store for an intercultural marriage?
All marriages have their ups and downs, but when it’s an intercultural marriage, couples with cultural differences have more to consider. Taryn and Angela, two Canadians who are married to Korean men, tell their story of love, compromise, understanding and tolerance.
by Taryn Baek and Angela Lim / illustrations by Moon Su-min
e had never imagined that we would be living in a foreign country far from home, or be married to Korean men. That is until we met our husbands. As we have anticipated, being two western womens, it is not easy being married to Korean men. We are now learning that not everyone can be brave enough to start a new life in an intercultural marriage. Although we have separate stories we have had many common realizations. HoW We Met our HuSbandS I, Taryn, never expected to meet anyone special while living in Korea. The plan was to teach in Korea for a year to help pay off my hefty student loans. Before I left I assured my parents I wouldn’t fall in love with a local. Since my only experience with Asians was the Japanese exchange student who locked himself in the library, I answered with an assured conviction, “No problem!” All that flew out the window when I met my husband. I saw him walking down the street toward me, and at 66’ he is hard to miss. He was the most handsome guy I had ever seen. I knew I was going to marry him the day we met. We got married after about a year and a half to the day. Life with my husband has been amazing; he is one of the best men I have ever met. Although I am a newlywed, we have still had our share of challenges. As prepared as I thought I was for an intercultural marriage in a foreign country, I still couldn’t grasp what I was getting into. I, Angela, originally met my husband in Canada while he was studying English there, and I was
46 korea 2012 february
making plans to move and teach in Korea. Until that day I had never thought about dating or marrying a man of a different culture. By the time we both were in Korea we were living in different cities. We saw each other every once in a while, and had started to talk about dating. He was at the point where he needed to focus on a job to stabilize his future before he was ready to carry on a relationship, so we lost touch. This was the first eye-opener to realizing we are of a different culture. At the time I was disappointed, thinking his job situation shouldn’t prevent us from having a relationship. It took me a while to really respect his need to be secure before diving in. After two years of living in Korea, I moved to Seoul. With the aid of mutual friends we met each other once again. And, well, the rest is history. He had secured his career; we started dating and were married a year later. We decided that as a new married couple we would remain in Seoul, and eventually down the road move to Canada. We did consider how life might be for us as mixed races, but I don’t think we really knew what we were in store for. We moved into an apartment three stories below my in-laws, which was very unfamiliar ground for me. Near the end of our first year of marriage we got pregnant, and two months ago we delivered our wonderful mixed baby boy. cultural underStanding Many people have asked us, if we knew what marrying into a different culture would be like would we still have done it? It is hard to answer. We wish we had been more aware and prepared, but we also have been given an unexpected and unique life here in Korea that we wouldn’t change for a moment. So as you can see, as we’re experiencing different situations, the root of each issue we face seems to be similar. Some might ask what these issues might be. These include but are not limited to inlaws, holidays, communication, culture, language or gender roles. We realize that many relationships, intercultural or not, experience differences (Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus). However, marrying into such a strong culture has presented
learn the korean alPHabet
Hangugeo & Hangeul
see how this might also present some issues in the marital relationships. The parental involvement continues well after the vows are said. In our experience growing up in Canada, once we left our parents house, our parents did not check up on our every move. Here in Korea, our parents are very concerned about our wellbeing, which can be perceived as overbearing or intrusive. This seems to intensify once a baby is in the mix. On the plus side however, they are always there when you need them. Living three stories down, there is a feeling of less privacy, but there is always a built in babysitter. Men in Korea have a unique responsibility to take care of their family, including their parents. In some cases this may mean living with them, or taking care of them financially. Both cases it took a while to except because it is not the norm coming from a western culture. it’S all about coMProMiSe Overall, marrying interculturally calls for much more comprom ise. For i nsta nce, we don’t understand why the Lunar New Year holiday is such a big deal. Whereas, they don’t understand the importance we put on birthday celebrations and Christmas. Once we were married, we became our own culture. This means celebrating with each other whether we understand it or not. Compromise is also needed in day to day activities. Being in a country of a different language, we have come to depend on our husbands for menial tasks. Things that would have been easy in Canada have become a chore. We’ve learned we need to be more patient; giving up a sense of independence and freedom. In turn, they need to be more patient in helping us with things they normally wouldn’t have to do, had their wife been Korean. Making phone calls, going to the doctor or ordering pizza have become ‘couple’ events. We’ve been put into situations that neither of us expected. But, with a little compromise, we have been able to make it work. And hey, we get double the holidays.
Hangugeo (the Korean language), the official language of Korea, refers to the language used by those who live in Korean. Korean is used by approximately 77 million people, making it the 13th most commonly spoken language in the world. In addition, the Korean language is ranked tenth most frequently used language on the Internet. Hangeul, the written alphabet of the Korean language, was created in 1443 by Sejong the Great based on phonetic symbols so that anyone could easily learn and use it.
vowel ㅏ ㅓ ㅗ ㅜ ㅡ ㅣ ㅐ ㅔ ㅚ ㅟ ㅑ ㅕ ㅛ ㅠ ㅒ ㅖ ㅘ ㅙ ㅝ ㅞ ㅢ Romanization a eo o u eu i ae e oe wi ya yeo yo yu yae ye wa wae wo we ui Approximate Pronunciation father sun horse pool good f eel apple pen west we yard young York you yank yes Wanda wagon wonder west (like eu+i in one syllable) consonant Romanization ㄱ ㄲ ㅋ ㄷ ㄸ ㅌ ㅂ ㅃ ㅍ ㅈ ㅉ ㅊ ㅅ ㅆ ㅎ ㄴ ㅁ ㅇ ㄹ g kk k d tt t b pp p j jj ch s ss h n m ng r l Approximate Pronunciation gift sky king do star top boat speak party jacket waltz child smile Sea hand name moon song very lake
Consonants and Vowels of Korean Language
The Korean language has 21 vowels and 19 consonants. Those Korean letters are written from top to bottom and from left to right.
taryn baek (right), angela lIm (left)
taryn baek is currently the manager of the english Language Studies Department at Seoul International School. She enjoys listening to K-pop on her free time and travelling with her husband. angela Lim arrived in Korea 4 years ago. She now lives in Seoul with her husband and their new baby boy.
more distinct cultural variances. Our biggest and most obvious hurtle has been communication. Both of our husbands have a strong working knowledge of English. However, we have found the speech and language can be more cultural than literal. For example the words “I’ll try” indicate a significant effort will be made to or has been made to complete the said task. For example, every wife has had the “why didn’t you call me?” situation. A typical answer from our husbands would be, “I tried,” but no phone call was actually made. Now to us “I tried,” means he called and for whatever reason we did not get his call, but to him it means that if he had found an opportunity he would have called. Korean language is a lot more direct so there are times when our husbands will say something to us in English, and we are slightly offended. They said the correct English phrase, but it isn’t as easy for them to understand the emotion that is connected to the language. There are times we have an argument and then realize we are both fighting for the same thing, but took a while to realize it. The majority of our hurdles are present because only one of us is speaking our heart language. The extended family in Korean culture is of the utmost importance. Children tend to live with their parents until the day they are married. In western culture it is much more common for a child to leave their parents’ home at a younger age. So you can
Hangeul Syllable Structure
Three of vowels and consonants are combined to create one character. These vowels and consonants become initial sound, medial sound or final sound depending on where they are. The letters are combined into two different forms below depending on the vowels.
InItIal sound medIal sound fInal sound
Practice: Make a korean word
대한민국 (Republic of KoReA) ㄱ ㄴ ㄷ ㄹ ㅁ ㅂ ㅅ ㅇ ㅈ ㅊ ㅋ ㅌ ㅍ ㅎ ㅏ ㅑ ㅓ ㅕ ㅗ ㅛ ㅜ ㅠ ㅡ ㅣ
InItIal sound medIal sound
48 korea 2012 february
ne pas affranchir
priority / priorilaire By airmail / par avion
ibrs / ccri n° : 10024-40730
no stamp required
reply paid / réponse payée korea (seoul)
kocis 15 hyoja-ro, Jongno-gu seoul (110-040) republic of korea
a process of weaving ramie yarn
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Latest Update : February 2012 54 pages
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2012 y februar
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