The National Library of Korea is holding an exhibition exclusively dedicated to webtoons ― digital comics that have emerged as one of the most prominent forms of online entertainment in Korea.
Titled “All Webtoon,” the exhibit displays webtoon-related items and also runs programs in which visitors can try creating webtoons and have live discussions with webtoon artists.
“For a long time, Korean comics have been regarded as low-brow culture and bemoaned by society at large. That webtoons are now spotlighted as a form of mainstream popular culture is such a great achievement,” said exhibition organizer Park In-ha, a professor of comics creation at Chungkang College of Cultural Industries.
The “All Webtoon” exhibit will be on display at the National Library of Korea’s Digital Library until Aug. 24. (National Library of Korea)
The main exhibit is a timeline of the decadelong history and legacy of webtoons that traces their unique qualities and cultural value.
Touchscreens in one corner give visitors a taste of the new-generation webtoons such as “3-D toons” and moving webtoons. 3-D toons are reflective of changing technologies including sound effects, background music and narration, while moving webtoons apply animation effects to the standard comic format.
Another space offers visitors a chance to sit down and appreciate full episodes of the nation’s most popular webtoons, including “Misaeng” by Yoon Tae-ho, “I Love You” by Kang Full, “With God” by Joo Ho-min and “S.C.A.T.” by Lee Choong-ho.
As part of the exhibition, the library will hold six live discussions with webtoon artists from different genres over the course of three months. The concerts will kick off with a session featuring Lee Jong-bum (“Dr. Frost”) and Lee Hyeon-min (“Hear My Voice”) on May 28.
The library will also provide free educational programs titled “Creating a Webtoon Story,” “Creating a Webtoon Character” and “Hands-On Webtoon Production” for anyone interested in webtoon-making or aspiring to be a webtoon artist.
Those wishing to attend a talk must preregister through the Digital Library website at webtoon.dibrary.net. Each session is free for the first 120 applicants.
“All Webtoon” was jointly launched by the National Library of Korea, Korea Cartoonists Association and Chungkang College of Cultural Industries.
The exhibition runs from May 27 to Aug. 24 at the National Library of Korea’s Digital Library in Seoul.
For more information and program schedules, visit the library’s main website at www.nl.go.kr.
By Sohn Ji-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)