Korean Culture Forum: A Bridge to the Future

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As part of our 5th Anniversary celebrations, the Korean Cultural Centre UK is pleased to host a Forum on Korean Culture featuring four cultural experts. Each speaker will talk on their specialised cultural sector, the present and future of Korean culture’s presence in the UK and of course the possible future direction of the KCCUK itself.

*Guest Speakers and Abstract

The KCCUK – A look back at the first five years
Philip Gowman (Founder and Editor of London Korean Links)

Korean culture in London did not start with the opening of the Korean Cultural Centre (KCCUK) in 2008. But the establishment of a cultural venue at a high profile location with a regular government-funded budget has undoubtedly helped take the presentation of Korean culture in the UK to a new level. Full-time staff can obviously deliver projects that are beyond the reach of voluntary organisations. But going beyond the organisation of events – stressful enough in itself – the KCCUK has been able to build relationships with premier arts organisations in London such as the South Bank Centre and the Institute of Contemporary Arts which has enabled Korean cultural events to be presented at mainstream venues and thus reach a more generalist audience; and a flourishing relationship with London City Hall has enabled the Korean Village to become a central attraction of The Mayor’s Thames Festival. What is surprising though is that, contrary to some expectations, the entry of the Korean government into the promotion of Korean culture has not squeezed out private sector and individual initiatives. This talk will look back at the KCCUK’s achievements in its first five years and consider them alongside some of the complementary private sector projects during that period.

The Korean Wave in the British Context
Dr. Hyunsun Yoon (Ph.D. Cardiff University, Senior Lecturer in Advertising, School of Arts and Digital Industries, University of East London)

The flood of the Korean popular culture – films, pop music and especially TV dramas – into the rest of Asia around since the late 1990s became to be known as the Korean wave, and this has also been swiftly making its presence felt in other parts of the world such as Europe. This paper examines the ways in which the Korean wave has been, and is discussed in the mainstream media in the UK for the last decade. Considering the wide range of examples from Old Boy to Gangnam Style, this paper poses a question of whether or not the Korean wave found its way in seemingly impermeable British culture.

Korean Art: A Self Portrait
Jeremy Akerman (Artist and Curator, Co-director of Akermandaly.com)

Adopting the position of an observer I’d like to talk about my experience of art school and how I see art school in the UK working for a Korean art student. I will refer to the visits I’ve made to Korea as a tourist, curator and artist and why I find Korean people’s attitudes to Korea paradoxical and stimulating. Especially here I’d like to mention some Korean artists and an art collection that changed my mind about how I understood the country. A further point is to express the metaphor of self-portraiture within young Korean art and to suggest ways in which KCC can support and engage this vital new work.

Connecting UK & Korean Performing Arts
Sioned Hughes (Director, SRH Arts Management, specialises in international professional development of people across the arts and creative industries).

I will share the experience of a 2-year research exchange programme for Korean and UK performing arts managers that promoted and supported collaborative exchange between Korean and UK arts producers; developed performing arts professional networks between Korea and the UK and encouraged the development of artistic collaboration.

Date: Wednesday 30th Jan 2013, 5PM
Venue: Multi-purpose Hall, KCCUK
Fee: Free entry with RSVP by email info@kccuk.org.uk or phone 020 7004 2600

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