|Kim Woo-sang (far right), president of the Korea Foundation, poses with dignitaries at a ceremony to mark the release of the 100th edition of Koreana magazine at the foundation’s gallery in downtown Seoul, Friday. Others in the picture are, from far left, Lee In-ho, president of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies; Professor Han Kyung-koo from Seoul National University; Kim Hwa-young, honorary professor at Korea University; Kim Moon-hwan, honorary professor at Seoul National University; Dean Jiro Aoki, copy editor of Koreana; Peter Hyun, first editor-in-chief of Koreana; Hong Soon-il, former editor-in-chief of Koreana; and Lee Kyong-hee, editor-in-chief of Koreana. (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)|
Koreana, a quarterly magazine on Korean culture, marks its 100th issue this month and celebrates 25 years of serving as a window to Korean art and culture for foreign readers.
Launched in 1987 by The Korea Foundation, affiliated with the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, it has served as an iconic Korean culture magazine for international readers.
“Koreana has established a reputation as a high-class cultural magazine that introduces various aspects of Korean culture to more than 150 countries around the world in nine languages,” said Han Choong-hee, director of cultural affairs bureau of the Foreign Ministry at the symposium held to celebrate the 100th issue on Friday. The magazine is published in English, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic, German and Indonesian.
The magazine has been lauded by many around the world for being a useful resource for academics and cultural experts and the guide to Korea for those who are not familiar with the culture.
“There is no better publication on Korean culture and the arts. The articles are extremely informative and the photographs are beautiful. Twenty years later, the feature stories still introduce me to new aspects of Korea’s rich and dynamic culture,” said Mark Minton, president of the Korea Society, who he said was introduced to the magazine in 1992.
The landmark edition, released in October, includes a series of feature stories on intangible cultural properties of the country and its contribution to the preservation of the world’s cultural heritage.
Koreana can also be viewed in an e-book format at www.koreana.or.kr and will be available for purchase at amazon.com and i-Books next month.
The Korea Foundation held a symposium on Friday to discuss achievements Koreana has made over the past years and examine ways to facilitate the internationalization of the Korean publishing industry and its content.
“As more people around the world become interested in Korea (as the country has hosted several international summits), the Korea Foundation would like to explore ways to introduce more Korean literature and publications to the world,” said the KF president Kim Woo-sang.
Experts in publishing gathered to talk about strategies that can enhance the level of Korean publications to meet the global standard, and the government’s role in such effort. Various ideas and ways in which globalization is taken place before were also shared by participants.
“Unlike songs and movies, it takes much time for books to receive attention from the world. But compared to efforts made in brining them to the global stage, there have been little outcome,” said Kang Eung-cheon, head of the Moonsacheol Publishing.
Han Seong-bong, head of the East Asia Publishing, noted directions and priorities should be made in the efforts to have more Korean books sell and be read overseas.
“We need to utilize the best content we have and make English abstracts and promote them to foreign publishing companies,” said Han. “The e-book offers us tremendous opportunity and makes us free from obstacles caused by logistics and distribution networks,” he added.
Foreign experts also participated in the seminar and shared their experiences in the Korean publication industry.
Wayne de Fremery of Tamal Vista Publication and professor at Sogang University shared his experience of running his small publishing company and stressed the government agency’s role to expand distribution networks for small agencies.
The symposium was followed by a reception in celebration of Koreana’s 100th edition.
It featured a photo exhibition of covers of the magazine from the last 25 years and an award ceremony, which offered plaques of appreciation to the former and current editors of the magazine, including the former head of the National Gukak Center Han Myung-hee, Seoul National University professor Kim Moon-hwan and Han Kyung-koo and Korea University professor Kim Hwa-young.
By Lee Woo-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)