The diplomatic community here ― including about a dozen foreign ambassadors, many diplomatic spouses and a coterie of visiting foreign artists ― crowded into the Chosun Ilbo Art Museum in downtown Seoul on Wednesday for the opening reception of the 22nd Seoul International Arts Festival.
Organized by the World Culture Artists Association, the festival exhibited works from nearly every region of the world. Many foreign diplomatic missions here arranged for artists from their countries to participate in this year’s event. The artworks will be on display at the museum until Sept. 2.
|Singers perform a duet during the opening reception of the 22nd Seoul International Arts Festival at Chosun Ilbo Art Museum in Seoul on Wednesday. (Philip Iglauer/The Korea Herald)|
The theme of this year’s festival was “Harmony,” and the WCAA’s chairwoman, Lee Bo-suk, underscored the sentiment underlying the theme in the festival program.
“(As part of) the only country in the world that currently remains a divided nation, South Korea is experiencing some of the most severe pains of division, conflict and clashes between classes due to its relatively rapid growth and development,” Lee said.
Artists from about 40 countries, including Germany, Iran, Romania, Lithuania, Morocco, Russia and Austria, participated in an opening reception of the festival on Wednesday.
Foreign diplomatic missions here have participated in the festival by facilitating artists travel to South Korea, as well as by extending moral and other support.
“It is difficult to set aside our daily preoccupations for a journey into the unknown world of other cultures,” said Romanian Ambassador to South Korea Calin Fabian. However the Seoul International Art Festival makes the journey less lonely and more exciting by showing that no matter how different, artists from the entire world still have elements linking them together in one exhibition.”