The fourth annual Culture Communication Forum organized by the Corea Image Communication Institute wrapped up on Tuesday with a panel discussion by the 16 foreign delegates who got to experience Korean culture over three days.
The CCF participants held the discussion at the Westin Chosun hotel under the theme “Old vs. New: Presenting the Case for Traditional or Modern Culture.” The guests, ranging from a wine critic to a playwright, were invited to this year’s event in the hope of increasing the understanding and knowledge of Korea and its culture ― which in many ways is a fusion of tradition and modernity.
|Former Prime Minister Han Seung-soo (first row, fifth from left); CICI president Choi Jung-hwa (first row, sixth from left); Saenuri Party Rep. Jasmine Lee (second row, left to right); Cho Hyun-jae, first vice minister of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Kang Ho-moon; U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim; along with this year’s CICI Culture Communication Forum participants pose at the CCF Night gala dinner held at the Westin Chosun hotel in Seoul on Tuesday. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)|
“There’s no distinction between traditional and modern,” said Brazilian samba musician Jair Oliveira during the discussion weighing the pros and cons of preserving the old and moving forward with the new. “Modern is just traditional re-visited.”
The desire to see Korea move away from homogeneity and instead continue to incorporate both long-held historical values and new cultures seemed to be the overall consensus among the panelists.
“Through travel and communication, it’s like we’re living many lives,” said American wine critic James Suckling. “I think Korea is doing a great job embracing both traditional and modern culture. Korea’s a country full of contrast and histories and all work well together. That’s why I want to be a part of Korea ... The world needs to know more about it.”
“I say to Korea, strive not to follow, but strive for authenticity,” said Gabrielle Trainor, chairman of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. “Korean culture, drawing on its past, will continue to enrich its culture and eventually, the world.”
|International guests speak at the fourth annual Culture Communication Forum panel discussion, hosted by the Corea Image Communication Institute, on Tuesday at the Westin Chosun hotel in Seoul. (Chung Hee-cho/The Korea Herald)|
The overall stated goal of the forum, set out by CICI president Choi Jung-wha, was to create an event where international culture figures were able to discuss their impressions of Korea, and also take what they’d learned through their experiences in Korea back to their home countries.
“I’ve had such an amazing experience here, I well definitely go home and tell people about Korea and Korean culture,” said Lisa Mihardja, CEO of Alleira Batik in Indonesia. Mihardja said she hoped to collaborate with a local Korean hanbok designer and create a collaborative hanbok design infused with “batik,” the traditional fabric of Indonesia.
The CICI is an organization that strives to promote Korea and its culture on an international scale. The institution organizes a number of events with distinguished international guests and annually honors people, events and even landmarks that are considered to have contributed to a positive national image.
The discussion panel event was followed by a gala dinner attended by around 300 guests at the Westin Chosun hotel, officially bringing this year’s forum to a close. The dinner included a special samba music performance by Brazilian forum participant Oliveira and was attended by a large number of esteemed guests including Korea’s former Prime Minister Han Seung-soo; Cho Hyun-jae, first vice minister of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; local politician Chung Byoung-guk; and vice chairmen of Samsung Electronics Kang Ho-moon. Some 31 foreign envoys and representatives of international organizations included U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim, French Ambassador Jerome Pasquier, German Ambassador Rolf Mafael and Japanese Ambassador Koro Bessho.
By Julie Jackson (email@example.com