President says special envoys help fill diplomatic hiatus

International forum to ignite discussion of Korean culture

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Published : 2015-07-23 18:03
Updated : 2015-07-23 18:23

An international cultural forum in Seoul in late summer will assemble the world’s creative opinion leaders to experience, discuss and globalize Korean culture.

The Culture Communication Forum, organized by the Corea Image Communications Institute, will be held from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2, inviting 14 influential figures, including a festival director, dance director, museum director, performance producer, policy advisor, architect, curator, journalist, former broadcaster, cartoonist, musician, singer and sculptor.

The three-day event will have the participants take a sample of Korean culture, with visits to historic sites, museums and popular tourist destinations in Seoul. On the last day, they will provide opinions in a three-hour discussion to kindle cultural exchange in an age of wireless communications. 

Some 300 guests will participate in the closing reception at Westin Chosun Hotel on Sept. 2, where Korean jazz singer Nah Youn-sun will sing traditional Korean folk song “Arirang” with Japanese guitarist Jiro Yoshida. 

Korean jazz singer Nah Youn-sun (left), CICI president Choi Jung-hwa (center) and Indian festival director Sanjoy Roy speak at a press conference in Seoul ahead of the Culture Communication Forum to be held from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2. Joel Lee/The Korea Herald

“We expect to delve into the Korean culture to understand it and develop global networks for idea exchange and promotion,” Indian festival director Sanjoy Roy, one of the 12 invitees, said in a press conference in Seoul on Friday.

In trying to be Asia’s equivalent of the TED conference and the World Economic Forum, the CCF has played its fair share of invigorating worldwide discussions about Korean culture, both traditional and popular.

The first forum, dubbed “C20,” was launched on the sidelines of the 2010 G20 Seoul Summit, sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Korean Culture and Information Service.

“When the C20 was first launched, invitees did not regard Korea as their primary destination, rather a stopover country between China and Japan,” said CICI President Choi Jung-hwa. “But over the years, Korea’s cultural standing has been elevated on the world stage, aided by the Hallyu boom and economic globalization.” 

Korean jazz singer Nah Youn-sun (left), CICI president Choi Jung-hwa (center) and Indian festival director Sanjoy Roy speak at a press conference in Seoul ahead of the Culture Communication Forum to be held from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2. Joel Lee / The Korea Herald

“In the 26 years I have been involved in the arts, I have come to realize that arts create both tangible and intangible wealth,” Roy stressed. “Arts contribute to the city economy and human society, by providing an insight into the history, culture and tradition of another people.”

Platforms such as the CCF, he argued, would allow people to come together and forge policy solutions and friendship networks.

Roy will participate in the Festival of India in Korea in November to offer a sense of contemporary Indian culture to the public. Indian musicians, actors, filmmakers, dancers, writers and chefs will perform in Seoul, Busan, Gwangju, Jeonju and on Nami Island.

Korean culture will be promoted in India between December 2016 and January 2017 as part of an international culture festival.

Other invitees are French cultural director Jean D’Haussonville, American musician Rob Moose, Canadian cartoonist Terry Mosher, Chinese artistic director Wang Jun, former Japanese broadcaster Tomoyo Nonaka, Russian television anchor Arina Sharapova, Indonesian sculptor Sri Astari Rasjid, Turkish architect Nevzat Sayin, German journalist Susanne Koelbl, Argentine museum director Nora Iniesta and British cultural policy advisor Alice Sherwood. Singer Nah will also participate as a representative of Korea.

By Joel Lee (joel@heraldcorp.com)