Korean musicians and artists on Thursday selected for the government’s overseas culture project Korea Season, couldn’t be more excited to ride the high of the K-culture boom around the world.
“During this time that Korean culture is under the global limelight, this chance to perform abroad is really a great opportunity for meaningful cultural exchange,” choreographer and contemporary dancer Ahn Eun-me said in a press conference at Jongno District, central Seoul. “I am very excited to see where it will all lead to. I hope that our performances can go above and beyond expectations and instigate discussions about our different artistic expressions.”
Ahn is set to perform her contemporary dance show “Dragons” in London and Manchester, England, in September as part of Korea Season, a joint project led by the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Tourism, and the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange.
She on Thursday was joined by dance crew Mover art director and choreographer Kim Seul-jin and Kim Ki-su; playwright Bae Sam-sik; Son Yu-ri who stages KBS Symphony Orchestra; new media artist Lee Jin-joon; and artist Kim Hee-chan.
Korea Season aims to choose one culturally robust country each year and intensively promote Korean culture there. This year, Britain has been chosen in light of the 140th year of the two countries’ diplomatic relations. It is the second Korea Season project. Last year, it was Mexico.
Korea Season in Britain started in February with pianist Cho Seong-jin’s recital in London.
Among more numerous upcoming performances and exhibitions by Korean artists, pianist Son Yeol-eum, violinist Clara-Jumi Kang, the KBS Symphony Orchestra, the National Changgeuk Company of Korea and the classical group Novus Quartet are set to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival in August.
The Scottish music festival is dedicating a section to Korea, called “Focus on Korea.”
National Changgeuk Company of Korea will be staging one of its most beloved pansori (traditional Korean narrative singing) play, “The Trojan Women” (2016), written by Bae.
“I’ve always thought about the potential of pansori to be loved around the world,” Bae said, “which is why I’ve combined the genre with a Western story.”
“The Trojan Women” is inspired by Greek mythology’s “Trojan War.” K-pop producer and movie “Parasite” (2019) music producer Jung Jae-il created the original music for the play in collaboration with pansori expert Ahn Sook-sun.
KBS Symphony Orchestra will perform Dvorak and Tchaikovsky in collaboration with 17-year-old cellist Han Jae-min, the youngest winner of Romania’s George Enescu International Competition.
“We feel the sense of responsibility to promote K-classical music,” Son said. “We plan to wow the audience with the quality of our performance.”
Dance choreographer Kim Ki-su’s crew Mover already performed in nine cities in Britain earlier this year and said that his team was met with an unanticipated interest in Korean dance.
“Koreans used to look up the countries like the United States and Britain while learning dancing, but recently performing in Britain, I saw that this changed a little. People were very curious about Korean dancers and also knew a lot about us.”
Mover is a dance team founded in 2014 that does a wide variety of dance genres including street dance and modern dance.
Artist Lee Jin-joon was leaving tomorrow for Manchester to hold a solo exhibition titled “Audible Garden” at esea contemporary gallery.
His pieces incorporate artificial intelligence, visualization and data sonification, and through them, he explores how the rapid evolution of technology restructures the world and influences humans’ way of thinking.
Hayward Gallery in London will be holding a solo exhibition of artist Kim Hee-cheon’s works in November.
“This is working up to be a great opportunity for me to network with art and gallery officials from abroad, so I am very grateful,” he said.
BY LEE JIAN [email@example.com]