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Korea‘s largest art festival reaches out with VR programs

Participants look at the works on display at the Zaha Museum in Seoul during 2019 Korea Art Week.
Participants look at the works on display at the Zaha Museum in Seoul during 2019 Korea Art Week.

The 2020 Korea Art Week will kick off Thursday under the theme of “Your Life Is Art,” providing a variety of art programs offered by nearly 300 art institutes across the country and reaching out to the public through virtual reality programs.

The country’s largest art festival, organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, this year aims to promote local exhibitions and the art market hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The annual art festival will run through Oct.11.

The sixth Korea Art Week will look at the role of art in everyday life and at the power of art in the coronavirus pandemic era. Nearly 300 art institutes, including museums, galleries and art event organizers, have contributed to this year’s program.

The organizer also said prints will be this year’s focus. It will send out 250 print art kits to those who signed up to participate. This year’s art week will also support exhibitions as well as online and on-site events held by the Korea Print Photography Promotion Association.

The festival will take place in 30 cities throughout the country, making it possible for people in underserved areas to enjoy diverse arts experiences, according to the organizer.

A total of 27 art tour routes have been planned for the week in Seoul, Incheon, Jeonju, Gangneung and Jeju. Due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19, walking tours led by art professionals will be limited to 10 people per group. The tours are open to all, and reservations can be made on the 2020 Korea Art Week website,

Tour participants will be required to strictly follow the government’s social distancing guidelines. For those who cannot join the walking tours, the Korea Arts Management Service has created six videos about the routes.

The annual art festival will feature online programs as well, offering more than 40 art exhibitions from galleries or museums through virtual reality on its official website. The virtual reality service is provided in conjunction with immersive online art-viewing platform operator Easel. The organizer said it will also provide this service in English to promote the artworks overseas.

Five art sales events hosted by Background Artworks, Print Art Research Center, 2020 Union Art Fair, 2020 Log Art and Meehara will take place in Seoul and Cheongju in an effort to boost the art market damaged by the pandemic.

By Song Seung-hyun and Park Yuna  
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