The Korea Herald


Seoul Arts Center to put arts on film

By Korea Herald

Published : May 14, 2013 - 19:57

    • Link copied

The Seoul Arts Center will screen filmed performances at theaters, cinemas, schools and elsewhere to allow wider public access to high culture, SAC president Ko Hak-chan said Tuesday.

Modeled after the “Met On Screen” program, which films internationally-acclaimed Metropolitan Opera performances for international distribution, “SAC On Screen” aims to enhance the brand image of one of the nation’s finest arts centers.

“I believe there are people willing to see more arts performances but are deterred by pricey tickets and distance. Under the slogan of ‘Letting an elementary school boy at the remotest village enjoy SAC,’ the program will allow viewers to watch high-class arts without the barrier,” said Ko, who took the helm of the center in March. 
Ko Hak-chan, president of Seoul Arts Center, talks to reporters at the Press Center in downtown Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap News) Ko Hak-chan, president of Seoul Arts Center, talks to reporters at the Press Center in downtown Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap News)

The center will start with filming the opera “Turandot” in August and expand filming to seven other programs by the end of the year, ranging from dance to classical concerts. The performances will be recorded on Blue Ray and DVD and screened at franchise cinemas, local arts centers and schools ― anywhere the necessary facilities are available.

Ko admitted that the project was challenging.

“The Metropolitan Opera uses 17 cameras to capture every moment and aspect of the program and deliver a vivid experience to people who are not in the opera box. It is also our main concern to film the finest quality sound and visuals,” Ko said.

He said the program would be provided at a bargain price compared to the Metropolitan Opera ― “Met On Screen” is currently priced at 30,000 won at local theaters. “I hope this will virtually take SAC out from Seocho-dong in southern Seoul to people all across the country,” Ko said.

The former director of Yundang Art Hall, a comprehensive arts space in Apgujeong-dong, southern Seoul, also unveiled a series of plans to bring high culture closer to the public.

For the first time in the country, the center will receive ideas for the next project from the public through social media including Facebook and Twitter. Good ideas will be incubated through cooperation with experts and will be staged in 2014, Ko said.

The president is also set to revive gagok, a genre of Korean art song, by arranging a series of concerts with himself appearing as present.

Additionally, Ko said the center would start an “art healing program” providing psychological therapy through art and music education, mainly for youths. The center will also adopt a special discount program for audience members over 70 years old.

Ko, rumored to have been appointed despite a less impressive resume than his predecessors because of ties to President Park Geun-hye, tried to dispel the negative image.

“I have worked as an administrator at concert halls, worked for a broadcasting network, taught students and mastered other skills necessary for running the concert hall. I understand your concerns but wait and see: You will see the fruits in the near future.” 

By Bae Ji-sook (