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Gugak Museum celebrates 25th anniversary with NK folk music exhibition

Visitors view the exhibits on display at “From Moran Hill to the Daedong River: Traditional Performing Arts of North Korea” at the Gugak Museum in Seocho-gu, southern Seoul. (National Gugak Center)
Visitors view the exhibits on display at “From Moran Hill to the Daedong River: Traditional Performing Arts of North Korea” at the Gugak Museum in Seocho-gu, southern Seoul. (National Gugak Center)

The National Gugak Center is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its Gugak Museum by revealing yet undisclosed archival materials on North Korean music.

On Monday the center will open the doors to a library and exhibition venue on the third floor of the Gugak Museum in Seocho-gu, southern Seoul.

Titled “Gong-gan E-um” -- meaning “connecting spaces” in Korean -- the cultural complex will display some 83,000 documents and materials concerning the Korean traditional performing arts, including a special room devoted to North Korean music. Around 5,000 pieces from the center’s North Korean music collection will be revealed to the general public for the first time.

The center is also hosting a special exhibition titled “From Moran Hill to the Daedong River: Traditional Performing Arts of North Korea” to introduce the 70-year history of North Korean folk music since the division of the Korean Peninsula.

The exhibition will showcase various archival materials related to traditional North Korean music under six categories: musicians, singing, dancing, instrumental music, musical dramas and stamps.

“(The exhibition) centers around materials displayed inside the North Korean music archive room. It will provide a glimpse into the evolution of North Korean music after the division, and we expect that it will help North and South Korean (music) rebuild homogeneity,” the center’s Song Sang-hyuk, the art and science researcher who organized the exhibition, said during a press conference Friday at the Gugak Museum.

“We hope the newly opened ‘Gong-gan E-um’ becomes a space that connects the past records with the future creation, the traditional music with the public, and North and South Korea,” Lim Jae-won, head of the National Gugak Center, said during Friday’s event.

The special exhibition runs through Dec. 6.



By Choi Ji-won (jwc@heraldcorp.com)
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