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The Korea Collection

Korean Culture 04 12 14 16 22 24 26 32 34 36 45 46 48 56 58 60 68 70 72 78 80 Korean Wave 82 90 92 94 102 104 106 112 114 Korean Crafts: OLD AND NEW Experiencing and Creating Korean Beauty A Modern Master of an Ancient Art Talking Past: The Ancient Art of Trade Pieces of the Past Historys Home A Glimpse of Koreas Past Penetrating Koreas Art History Undervalued Paintings

SportS and artS 116 124 126 128 136 138 140 146 148 150 156 158 KoreaS leading induStrieS 160 168 170 172 180 182 184 192 194 196 204 206 208 214 216 218 224 226 Koreas Young Sports Heroes The Ups and Downs of a Five-time Skating Hero Reaching for the Stars: Koreas New Wave of Sports Hopefuls Korea's Non-verbal Performance Pioneers of Korean Non-verbal Performance For Korean Shows, All the World is a Stage Baseball: Koreas Favorite Game Koreas Baseball Ambassadors in the Global Spotlight Jerry Royster: Koreas First Foreign Manager The Progression of Korean Dance An Ideal Life Dancing for Life



Korean Style

Korean Cuisine Makes Waves A Cornucopia of Taste in Local Specialties Makgeolli: A Traditional Drink that Tickles Modern Tastebuds The Present and Future of Hangeul Sejong the Great: A Leader of Language and Man of the People Indonesias Cia-Cia Language Preserved by Adoption of Korean Alphabet, Hangeul Hanok: Where Science Meets Art The Meaningful Life of a Guardian of Hanok Traditions of the Joseon Dynasty Live On The Beauty of HAN A Cove of Crafts A Costume of Culture The Korean Wave Ripples Around the World Learning From the Past 2010 Hallyus Big Bang K-Pop and the New Korean Wave Shake the World Stars and Fans Connected by SNS K-Pop Music Imagination Korean Artists: Taking Classics to New Heights Pioneering Classical Artists The Stars of KNUA

Computer Graphics: A New Star in Korean Movies Korean Artists to Lead CG Blockbusters Helping the CG Industry Gain Ground Worldwide Koreas Motor Ways on the Fast Track to Success Korean Cars: Making Inroads Overseas Eco-friendly: Cleaner and Greener Koreas Electronic Dreams Korea Sets Sail on a Sea of Apps Koreas Early Adopters Set the Tone for Electronics Giants Koreas Got Game Koreas Big Ns: Nexon, NCsoft, NHN Clash of the Gaming Titans Ascent of Korean Shipbuilding The new Transition to Premium Vessels Sailing Smooth on a Cruise The Globalization of Korean Film Korean Cineastes Expanding their Horizons An Industry Insiders Insights


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Korean crafts:

old and new


In the modern world, the element of traditional culture that has remained closest to our daily lives is crafts. As a form of traditional culture, craft proves its value not by merely being handed down through generations, but by reinventing itself as something relevant in the lives of people today. Times have changed enormously and peoples desires vary more than ever, original but by adapting while maintaining their spirit, traditional crafts remain a living, breathing link to Koreas history. by Lee Se-mi

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palace were developed. Buddhist temple bells and other religious artifacts, as well as architectural techniques learned through building temples, also laid the groundwork for traditional crafts. Crafts became important instruments of statehood, so governments established institutions that created masters. Crafts centered around the needs of nobility flourished during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), when highly artistic ceramic crafts and Najeonchilgi (lacquerwork inlaid with mother-of-pearl) came to the fore. When the Joseon Dynasty took power, pragmatism became more important. Decorative items took a back seat to white porcelain, Buncheongsagi celadon and other straightforward and practical goods. art for life Today, Korea has 50 designated traditional crafts in seven broader categories, with experts in those fields recognized as jangin or masters. However, the term jangin doesnt simply imply a high degree of skill at building things: it also suggests admiration for someone who has made it to an artistic level unreachable by others. A master is an artist who breathes life into craftworks. In Korea, artistic activities or skills that have great historical, artistic or academic value have since the 1960s been designated as intangible cultural properties. Such are divided into statedesignated important intangible cultural properties and intangible cultural properties, which are decided by municipal or provincial governments. Sometimes, they are also called human cultural assets. The seven state-designated traditional
Chos work Yunseon fan, a wheel-like shape made of bamboo on display. Cho Chung-ik, a master fan maker, demonstrates his craft (above left). One of Chos work Hwangchildanseon fan, also known as Banggubuchae , is made of bamboo and Hanji paper (left). Chos Taegeukseon fan includes the traditional Korean symbol, yin and yang (top). Chos Mugunghwaseon fan imitates Koreas national flower, Mugunghwa (above).

crafts are ceramic craft (earthenware and roof tiles); metal craft (using gold, silver and other metals to produce tools and decorate surfaces); woodcraft (the construction of buildings, furniture and instruments); stone craft; textile craft (weaving fabric or making clothes and accessories); leather craft (using animal skins or feathers); and paper craft, which either produces paper or decorates objects with paper. Each niche craft has its masters, including sculptors who decorate the surface of metallic objects, woodwork masters who make large frames for construction, cobblers who craft traditional shoes, and masters in the art of making works of jade. People we now call masters are the first generation of intangible cultural properties in craftwork. Even throughout Koreas tumultuous modern history, they were able to keep their crafts alive. During Japans colonial rule and in the aftermath of the liberation in August 1945, Koreas traditional crafts and craftspeople faced constant upheaval. Rapid industrialization brought Western technologies and fashions, which often threatened to overwhelm traditional crafts completely. Through it all, the old masters dedicated their lives to continuing their craft and passing it down to younger generations. They faced enormous hardship, and many simply gave up or turned their hand to more commercial pursuits. And even now, decades later, just making a living remains a major challenge for many traditional craftspeople. Cho Chung-ik, a master of traditional fan making, became an intangible cultural property of Jeollabuk-do Province in 1998. He began making his fans, adorned with taegeuk (the yin-yang) patterns similar to those on the Korean flag, in the 1970s. Today, the fans are renowned for their beauty and unfailing practicality, and are a

rafts mirror the times they are created in. If you want to know more

about any given period, all you need to do is look at work produced from that era. If crafts refer to the skills from which objects are made, tradition can be thought of as the cultural body of work created from such skills. Traditional crafts develop according to each historical environment. In the prehistoric age, crafts developed out of necessity, with our ancestors using natural materials to make most of the tools they needed in their everyday lives. They used clay to make plates, knitted grass to make clothes, and cut wood to build homes. During Koreas Bronze and Iron ages, with metal readily available, people started making accessories and weapons, too. Weapons were for hunting, but they also served to symbolize the holders status. It was during this era that crafts began to assume true artistic value. Crafts blossomed during Koreas dynastic times, as nations emerged and governments assumed more power. Buddhist culture started to take root in peoples lives as well, exerting a great influence on the development of crafts. Crowns, earrings and other accessories that represented the authority of the royal

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respond to what people need and want. Today, as in any other age, crafts must be reborn to reflect the modern world. Tradition isnt static, nor is it built over a short period of time. reality refleCtS the future Preserving tradition in a creative way means giving a contemporary twist to that tradition. While inheriting ideas and a certain spirit, tradition should adopt a new style that fits the current times. Celadon during the Goryeo Dynasty, one of the most significant ceramics at the time, gave way to Buncheongsagi celadon and white porcelain in Joseon times. Tradition was inherited and developed while constant presence at major events promoting Korean culture. Cho says his fans are the roots of our people and the faces of Korea. The fans gained their first international exposure at the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi, then again at the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Olympic Games, both in Seoul. To some extent a victim of his own success, Cho today finds himself having to balance the competing interests of commercial gain and maintaining the true spirit of his artistry. Bamboo and Hanji (traditional paper) are the main materials for fan making, though silk can be used as well. About 80 to 90 bamboo ribs are used in creating a taegeuk pattern, and the peacock fan, which uses an astonishing 8,000 bamboo ribs, takes anywhere between one and six months to make. Despite his own success, Cho is worried that no one will follow him into the taegeuk fan craft after he dies. Pay can be very low and the future is always uncertain, so government support is often needed to keep crafts such as Chos alive. For Cho, making fans
Jang Ju-won, a master of jade artwork is well known his exquisite and elaborate technique of carving the stone (above). Korean knot full of layered patterns and and beautiful color by Kim Hee-jin, a master of Korean knot (below).

souvenir shop traditional craft must recover its identity as a form of living art. Fortunately, traditional crafts have struck some genuine chords with the public in recent times. In universities across the country, ever more students
Hwahyejang , or a master maker of Korean traditional shoes, Hwang Hae-bong makes shoes (top). Bamboo is split into many pieces and used as material for Hanjibal , Korean traditional curtains (above). Gayageum master Go Su-hwans instrument (below).

physical techniques, you have to instill your heart and soul into your work. Theres hardly any young people who want to learn traditional crafts. Those who do come dont last more than a couple of months. They have to be determined to learn traditional culture but since this doesnt pay well, they cant stay on for too long. Craft is art. You cant apply economic theories to that. In the past, fans were indispensable during summer. But with air conditioners and electric fans around, traditional fans are now recognized primarily for their aesthetic value. So in order to preserve the tradition of fanmaking, Cho says, creativity and change are absolutely vital.

adjustments were made to meet the demands and objectives of a new era. The balance between tradition and modernity has exercised the minds of masters for centuries. One example of this trade-off can be found in the practice of making string holes in the body of gayageum (12-string Korean zithers). The traditional technique to make gayageums holes isnt very precise and even alters the shape of the body, with strings likely to be left out of position. A computer drill is far more accurate, keep the body intact and saving time. In order to ensure precision and efficiency, the modern craftsman have to find the right blend of machine and traditional handiwork. With the recent growth in interest in all things traditional, Koreas old-time crafts are looking as vibrant as they have done for some time. Traditional craftworks are on show all over Korea, and if youre so inclined, you can sign up for lectures or experience programs. Aside from exhibitions, craftworks can be found in art shops, department stores or duty free shops in the form of small souvenirs right the way up to pricey luxuries. But even these products dont guarantee the ongoing health of craftworks. To achieve that, it needs to look beyond the stereotypical images of traditional craftworks and forge a deeper appreciation of the values behind them. In between the extreme opposites an artwork displayed in a glass case in an exhibition and a mass-produced trinket in a

are applying for programs related to traditional crafts. Craft studios in the Bukchon region of Seoul are offering various programs year-round for Koreans and foreign tourists alike. By crafting pieces there, visitors gain a genuine affinity with traditional culture. Elsewhere, masters have collaborated with contemporary artists, and architecture or industrial design majors have offered designs to intangible cultural properties from the regions. In their own ways, these are all examples of tradition modifying to meet the needs of a different time. Last October, the Seolhwa Cultural Exhibition displayed a series of items that combined traditional elements with the work of industrial designer Mah Young-beom. Cho Daeyong, a master who makes bamboo blinds, displayed a piece that

requires dedication to a notion of eternal beauty, even at the cost of tremendous personal hardship. This is an outlook that, in itself, is highly at odds with what we consider a work ethic today. To become a master requires character. Its important how you make things and in what sort of mindset, Cho says. After youre done learning

Whats important is the creativity. On the foundation of pride in our traditions, we have to keep creating new pieces, he says. Cultural art is about creating beauty. A master is an artist. The job is to delight people and to create something new. When we say that crafts reflect their times, it means that craftspeople have to

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connected optical fibers and bamboo. Kim Hwan-gyeong, a master of lacquerwork, drew modern patterns on Joseon-era wooden furniture. Song Bangwoong, a master specializing in mother of pearl, made a cosmetics chest with mother-of-pearl pasted on to metal instead of wooden plate. And Yoon Byung-hoon, a bamboo master, built a cabinet with tiny cut pieces of black bamboo. When they went on display, these utterly unique handiworks by the six masters caused a minor sensation. Crafts, which had long been
Designer Jeong Seok-yeons pencil case and measuring tape are made of wood, reminiscent of tradional Korean craftwork. (above). Jeongs furniture artwork Sabangtakja table (below left). Sabangtakja tables, designed by Kim baek-seon and made by Jo Seok-jin, produced using traditional skills in a modern style (below right).

real chance for the public to get closer to crafts. the Craft of SoftWare In Korea, biennales and festivals offer opportunities for people to get in touch with traditional crafts. The World Ceramic Biennale, held every other year in Gyeonggi-do Province, is the largest crafts event devoted to ceramics. Potters from around the world flock to the show to exchange skills and ideas. The big increase of these regional festivals in recent years means people can now experience traditional crafts virtually anywhere. In order to tap into modern consumer markets rather than just appeal to rich collectors or tourists its vital for crafts to adopt innovative approaches to sales. Many have tried to take traditional crafts overseas, but they lacked design or marketing strategies to compete in the modern global market. One big success, however, is 212Design, which has set up shop in the Soho of New York. To crack foreign markets, this design company used traditional crafts and techniques such as balwoo (bowls for Buddhist monks) and Najeonchilgi to create contemporary products. The Internet has played an important role in modern craft, and designing and dyeing have relied heavily on computer programming. Other prime examples of the old using the new are online exhibitions and online shopping malls for traditional crafts. Today, there are many signs that traditional crafts are thriving studios are doing well, masters are working with brands and designers, and university students are taking a greater interest in them. Not confined to museums or highbrow discussions, crafts are adapting and staying relevant. This is surely the best future for traditional crafts.

considered merely decorative, are increasingly reclaiming their practical roots, too. While the Seolhwa Cultural Exhibition mostly showcased hardware decorated with traditional crafts, the 2010 Craft Trend Fair, which held its fifth show in December last year, aimed to display the very latest trends in traditional and modern crafts. Under the theme Next Craftsmanship Change from Succession to Application, the exhibition presented a picture of the future of Korean craft as reflected in its essence. Visitors could take a look at craftworks and also purchase handiworks at an affordable price, while listening to masters firsthand account of their production. It was a

Gat , a Korean traditional hat design, is used as a lampshade in this modern interior.


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compass (north, south, east and west) will still be pointing in the same directions. In the one-day experience program, visitors make a necklace or bracelet using this technique. Kwak Soo-young, a jewelry designer, has been going to Haneul Mulbit once a week for six months. Ive always been interested in traditional craftwork, she says. I signed up for the class because I wanted to incorporate some traditional knotting into jewelry designing. Its been difficult to master some techniques but it is a lot of fun. Patchwork is similar to hand-made quilts in many Western countries, so the patchwork experience program is especially popular among foreigners. Hong Gwang-hee, who runs the program, says, In patchwork, depending on fabric and colors, you can make a whole range of different products, so it is never boring. It takes up to three months to make a complete patchwork, so the one-day program lets visitors make a hand mirror or a brooch. The process begins with picking three or four colors of cloth, through the design, then the sewing. All the pieces are ready to go on the same day, making the visit ideal for tourists passing through. natural dyeing One traditional Bukchon, in central Seoul, is the best place in the capital to experience traditional Korean culture. Some 20 studios here run programs in folk painting, traditional paper, kites and much else. Haneul Mulbit, which focuses on traditional knotting, dyeing and patchwork, is owned by 75-year-old Cho Soo-hyun, a 40-year veteran of knotting. Bucking the staid, highly secretive world of traditional crafts, Cho has drawn in a new generation of fans with her passion and openness. Today, her son Lucas Hong, a researcher of traditional dyeing, and her daughter Hong Gwang-hee, who studies traditional patchwork, help their mother run the studio. Traditional knotting uses round-shaped
Patchwork is used as props and decorations in life. Sewing teacher Hong Gwang-hee, right, shows a student how to sew (above left). Knot researcher Cho Soo-hyun, right, teaches a student about traditional knots (above).

ExpEriEncing and crEating KorEan BEauty

Creating traditional handicrafts, rather than just looking at them, makes you appreciate them all the more. And throughout Korea, theres the opportunity to do just that in a series of craft shops that show you how to make traditional pottery, knotting, embroidery and dyeing. This firsthand experience with traditional craftworks, no matter how brief, will open the door to a far greater understanding of the artistry, practical value and history of these remarkable pieces. by Lee Se-mi | photographs by Kim

products, displaying clothes, carpets and more. A video shows other dyestuff, such as tea leaves, and chestnut blossoms. Enjoy traditional arts: they will even color your heart and soul.

In July 2010, persimmons start falling from the trees, and unripe ones are simply discarded. When a typhoon passes through, a huge number of persimmons accumulate on the ground, with many going to waste. Then many years ago, Cheongdo native Kim Jongbaek started picking up these persimmons to use as the source of dyes. When farmers worried about wasted persimmons, Kim would teach them how to dye using unripe ones. It was such a success that Kim made a living out of it, and in 1998, he opened his own studio, Kkokduseoni. Dyeing with persimmon is a simple process. First, you need to wash a handkerchief or a piece of cloth in water and dry it in the sunlight. Then dip the fabric into the persimmon extract, and work it in gently. After 10 or 15 minutes, squeeze all the moisture out and hang it on a line to dry. The color comes to life as it dries under the sun. The tannins in persimmon leave a brown color when dried in sunlight. Different shades are achieved by first spraying water onto the dried cloth then drying for four or five days. Repeating this process three to four times is the only way to get the full range of persimmon colors. Kkokduseoni also has a gallery of
information on traditional CraftWorK experienCe 1. traditional Knotting > place Haneul Mulbit Studio (Bukchon
Cultural Center or Jeongdok Public Library depending on how many people sign up)


> address 23 Gahoe-dong, Jongno-gu,


> information +82 10 9155 6352 (Reservations required) > fees 40,000 won (US$36) for three hours > items Necklaces, bracelets 2. patChWorK > place Haneul Mulbit Studio (Bukchon
Cultural Center or Jeongdok Public Library depending on how many people sign up)

braids to create patterns, which are then used to make accessories. Knotting was long used in norigae (ornaments for women), belts, pockets and seonchu (fan ornaments) and the technique has continued to evolve to this day. Involving spinning thread, dyeing it and then tying it into knots, knotting is slow, painstaking work. Becoming an expert takes at least a couple of years, but just about anyone can make something pretty in an hour or two using ready-made thread. The easiest knotting technique is known as dongsimgyeol. Dongsim means the same heart, and signifies that whichever direction you tie the knots in, the four points of the
Traditional Korean patchwork art (top). A bronze mirror is made with using a traditional quilt technique (above).

craftwork experience program is for natural dyeing. Rather than using chemical dyes, traditional Korean dyeing uses elements from nature to create more natural-looking colors. Sources for these dyes include persimmon, indigo, walnut and bamboo. They can also be extracted from red clay and squid ink so essentially anything with a color. Cheongdo-gun in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province is home to about 30 studios offering programs in natural dyeing. The county produces about a quarter of all persimmons consumed in Korea but nowadays, much of the crop has another purpose.

> information +82 10 3751 7801 (Reservations required) > fees 30,000 won (US$27) for two hours > items Hand mirrors, brooches 3. natural perSimmon dye > place Kkokduseoni Studio
> Address 593-1 Yudeung-ri, Hwayang-eup, Cheongdo-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province > Information +82 54 371 6135 (Reservations required)

> fees 10,000 won (US$9) for two hours; includes fabrics > items Handkerchiefs

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Song began producing his own, original pieces in the 1980s. In 1985, he won awards at the Korea Annual Traditional Handicraft Art Exhibition and the Tourism and Folk Art Work Exhibition, the two largest craft shows in the country. By winning at shows focusing on traditional pieces and more contemporary ideas, Song was recognized as a master of the traditional and the modern in Najeonchilgi. In 1990, aged 50, Song became Koreas youngest ever officially designated intangible cultural property. light for a thouSand yearS Tongyeong has long been famous for Najeonchilgi, the craft of mother-of-pearl. In 1604, there were a dozen studios around Sebyeonggwan (the former administrative capital for three provinces Jeolla, Chungcheong and Gyeongsang, where Tongyeong is located) that produced a wide range of goods, including military supplies and offerings for the royal palace. Of those, Tongeyongs najeon studio and the painting house gave rise to Najeonchilgi. Located in the south, Tongyeongs warm climate made it ideal for craftsmen, while its abalone shells, the material for Najeonchilgi, were renowned for their brightness and Seventy-one years since his birth, and 52 since he began learning his craft, Song Bangwoong plies his trade in the Tongyeong Craft Learning Center in the coastal city of Tongyeong. Growing up in a city whose breathtaking landscape had provided inspiration for numerous Korean artists, Song had dreamed of becoming a writer while at school, but when he graduated, aged 19, his position as the eldest of five siblings in a poor family meant he had little choice but to follow his father into the family trade. Songs father, Song Joo-an (1901-1981), was a towering figure in the najeon world, and so the craft was ever-present as Song grew up. I started working on najeon even before I was born, he says.
Master Song Bang-woong explains his work (above). Song emulates old objects which have faded away (below).

demand. Such was its success that the supply of abalone shells dried up, and other materials, such as pearl shells and turban shells, had to be imported from Taiwan, Australia and the Philippines. In the 1980s, increasingly exorbitant prices precipitated a major decline in the Najeonchilgi market, to the point that today, the tradition barely survives. More than 30 complicated steps are necessary to produce a single piece of Najeonchilgi. First, in a process known as baekgol, the frame must be built from wood. The frame is then sanded, with any gaps filled in using special paint made of lacquer tree resin and clay. Jagae is then pasted onto the frame, before some polishing work and more lacquering. Finally, the piece is burnished to create its remarkable finish. When I produce something that I r eally love, then I never sell it, no matter how desperate I am for money. When I do sell one, then I tell the buyer, Please take care of my daughter. Its as if I am marrying off my daughter. No matter how well youve built it, it has no value unless its used properly. Songs most common pieces include jewel boxes, comb holders (for cosmetics), dalbi chests (for wigs) and soban (small dining tables). He also takes interest in works that apply modern sensibilities to traditional
Making Najeonchilgi needs intense concentration and patience (top). Najeonchilgi coaster, resembling a Christmas tree (above).

a ModErn MastEr of an anciEnt art

From delicate hands comes a brilliant spectrum of light. Najeonchilgi, or motherof-pearl craftwork, is really the face of Korean traditional craftwork. It has retained its beautiful light for more than a thousand years, and Master Song Bangwoong whose skills have been designated among the important intangible cultural properties in Korea has devoted his life to carrying on that tradition. KOREA traces the roots of his dedication.
by Lee Se-mi | photographs by Kim Nam-heon

Song spent 10 years learning the najeon craftsmans skills, battling physical and psychological pain while having scarcely a friend in the world. Once he reached a certain level, he began setting new goals for himself. He started to study art, so that he could imbue his work with greater artistry. He pored over stacks of books, and after picking out his favorite pieces from them, he would find out all he could about them and create almost perfect replicas. As he did so, Song developed an ever sharper eye for aesthetics. I was very impressed with our predecessors sense of aesthetic balance, at a time when they didnt even have rulers, he says.

smoothness. Najeon, or jagae in the ancient tongue, means processed abalone shell, while Najeonchilgi refers to lacquered najeon. A complete Najeonchilgi piece requires wood (as the base), metal (for the handle that gives it the practical purpose) and lacquer. Najeonchilgi is a work of art that combines najeon craft, woodcraft, lacquer craft and metal work, Song says. If a piece of craftwork doesnt perform its designated function, that its merely a sculpture. Najeonchilgi has more than a thousand years of history in Korea, dating back to the Goryeo Dynasty. China and Japan also developed Najeonchilgi at the same time, but whereas the Chinese version became more of sculpture and the Japanese one turned into painting, Koreas Najeonchilgi has remained true to its original form. In its long heyday, Najeonchilgi was decorated with symbols of longevity and prosperity and given as gifts to envoys and rulers from overseas. In the 1960s and 70s Najeongchilgi was a symbol of wealth in Korea, and a series of new studios popped up to cater to buoyant

najeon. This year, when making a cosmetics chest, Song used a metal base and cut the steel frame with a laser, before pasting the najeon in the time-honored way. By embracing the modern while being master of the ancient, Song is creating something new and vibrant, as well as providing hope for the future of this most venerable of crafts.


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talking Past:

the Ancient Art of trAde

Buddhist sculptures depicting both Korean and foreign influences line a gallery room at the National Museum of Korea.

Though often called the Hermit Kingdom, Koreas rich trade history enabled the exchange of cultural customs and technology. From the ancient days of the Three Kingdoms period to the most recent Joseon Dynasty, traders explored the depths of the world beyond Koreas borders.
by Lee Sun-min | photographs by Kim Nam-heon



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regions), before arriving at the Korean Peninsula in 372 AD. Although the birthplace of Buddhism is now dominated by Hinduism and Islam, in countries like Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Tibet and Korea, the religion is still prevalent today. Accordingly, the abundance of Buddhist relics here and its integration in local history make it impossible to discuss Korean ancient art without Buddhist sculptures and other related artifacts. Similarities can be found among religious artifacts from China and Southeast Asia, demonstrating a certain level of cultural exchange. Among these, the 7th century Pensive Bodhisattva (National Treasure No. 83) is considered one of the most representative examples of foreign influence on Korean designs. Similar to Auguste Rodins The Thinker, the statue is characterized by its contemplative pose, legs half-crossed and a lowered head accented by the light touch of its hand on its cheek. The making of Pensive Bodhisattva statues began in the 3 or 4 century.
rd th

revealing the statues race. At Koryuji Temple in Kyoto, Japan, there is a wooden statue so similar to the Korean gilt-bronze sculpture in design and posture that it is often mistaken as its twin in fact, many art historians believe they were made by the same artisan. There is no doubt that the Baekje Kingdom helped spread Buddhism to Japan, says Heo Hyeongwook, a curator at Gyeongju National Museum in Korea. However, as monks spread the word of Buddha, invariably, other cultural items and ideas were also transferred between traveled countries. It would have been common for monks to bring their personal belongings to other countries, where exchanges would occur. Its not just by coincidence that there are foreign and foreign-style artifacts buried in Silla-era tombs, Heo adds. The curator refers to a glass artifact

found in the Hwangnam Daechong, or the Great Tomb of Hwangnam, which is evidence of the active traffic amongst countries. The piece, which was designated National Treasure No 193, was estimated to have been ancient Roman, from a Western European or Mediterranean country. The light, bluegreen colored glass has a golden thread wrapped around its handle, which experts believe was used to strengthened the glass. They say the bottle is shaped similar to a Greek oinochoe, a type of wine pitcher with a curved structure and a handle attached perpendicularly to the body of a bottle. Its hard to tell how this glass bottle was brought to the Korean Peninsula, says Park Nam-su of the National Institute of Korean History. It could have come through China during trade, or it might have been made here in Korea by a foreigner.

This form of Buddhist sculpture was developed in the Gandhara region of India and spread to China in the 5th century along with the religions

history of trade between the peninsula and the outside world from as early as the 5th century. By land and sea, Korea was greatly affected by its surrounding countries and also served as a conduit to others. Though it is reputed as a Hermit Kingdom, the peninsula had access to a variety of trade routes, opening the country to boundless new cultures and helping shape the country as it is today. BrotherS in BuddhiSm The rise of Buddhism in Korea is the simplest way to see how widespread trade was among Asian countries. Buddhism,

he oldest artifacts found in Koreas national museums delineate the

which originated in India, first spread to Southeast Asia and then to countries bordering western China (currently Chinas Xinjiang Uyghur and Ningxia Hui Autonomous

dissemination through Central Asia. The sculpture style came to Korea in the late 6 century and was introduced to Japan

by the early 7 century.


The crown on the figures head consists of three half disks connected side by side, and its relatively simple is unique. Modeled after those worn by

The Ten-Story Stone Pagoda, housed in the National Museum of Korea, depicts influences from Tibet (above left). Chinese coins from the late Goryeo and early Joseon period were the first currency of its kind in Korea (above right). A Korean sculpture of Buddha (right) shows similarities to an Indian counterpart (far right). A view of the National Museum of Korea, which holds many of the countrys most prized artifacts (opposite).

kings and princes, the crowns in Buddhist sculptures were used exclusively for bodhisattva statues, and are not found on works from India and China. The figures eyes are half-closed and the faint smile on its lips gives the statue an aura of sublime contemplation. Upon closer inspection, the inner corners of the eyes reveal a trait known as the Mongolian fold,


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from land to Sea The Silk Road connected Asia and Europe, serving as a vital link between Eastern and Western civilizations. Though there are not many accounts of Korean merchants actually trading products on the road, the 8th century monk Hyecho wrote an account of his journeys via the Silk Road that serves as evidence of the outward reach of the Silla Kingdom. Called the Wang Ocheonchukguk Jeon (Memoir of the Pilgrimage to the Five Kingdoms of

The style of the 7th century, bronze-gilt Pensive Bodhisattva was later exported to Japan through trade (right). A family makes their first trip to the National Museum of Korea (below). A traditional Greek oinochoe (opposite left) shows similarities with National Treasure No 193 (opposite right). A large celadon dish shows influences from the Middle East in its broad design (opposite far right).

modernizing the country. To help spur the fast-paced trade industry, Goryeo introduced the first coin currency in the nation during King Seongjongs reign. It was the first time ancient Korean countries had an item that was used solely as currency, says Oh. Currency then became more widespread in the Joseon Dynasty. The trade of Goryeo could be categorized into two types, though they were not mutually exclusive. One was tributary trade with the Song Dynasty, which included precious items such as Goryeo celadon, jewelry, gold, jade and other luxury products. The other category of trade was the more diverse items exchanged between commoners. Goryeo merchants would sell paper, ink sticks and ink stones, and seek out items rare to the peninsula, such as tea, spices, musical instruments, and sometimes ivory or glass products. Tributary trade

was Byeongnando port at the western mouth of Yeseonggang River near Gaegyeong, which is now Gaeseong in North Korea. The Yeseonggang River was considered advantageous because of its deep waters, which enabled large vessels to dock. The Gaoli Tujing, a record written in 1123 by a Song Dynasty envoy to the country, states that one of the most popular items of choice for trade was Goryeo celadon. Its pale green color, similar to the color of jade, helped its popularity among outsiders. This is reflected in the stores unearthed in a sunken Chinese merchant vessel discovered near Sinan, Jeollanam-do Province, in the 1970s. Believed to have gone down in the early 14 century

its lower levels, while the upper stories are classically Korean. The intricately crafted roof, however, does not fit into any single style. Imagine your handwriting. Even if you try to copy someone elses handwriting, your own style will be mixed in with the imitation, says Heo Hyeong-wook of the Gyeongju National Museum. Thats how it is with Buddhist artifacts. trilateral trade Trade grew even more during the 18th century of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) and was the peak of trilateral trade between China, Japan and Joseon. Korea (Joseon) mostly exported wild ginseng, while Chinas Qing Dynasty (1636-1912) put silk on the market and the Japanese traded silver. An ancient document from the

after being abandoned near Korean shores, the ship was found to have been filled with Goryeo celadon wares.

India), the first Korean travelogue is a highly-valued cultural relic today. Another example of Silla presence on the Silk Road is reflected in local statues made in the image of foreigners. At Heungdeogwangneung, the Royal Tomb of King Heungdeok, statues of soldiers stand guard near the entrance, wearing hats and outfits that match the appearance of Sogdians, ancient Iranian soldiers that were known to travel the Silk Road. The imitation shows familiarity with foreign cultures, indicating a certain level of interaction. Similar, smaller statues dressed in the Sogdian style were also found in tombs around Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province in the 7th century. The Silk Road began to decline in the late 9 century, as sea routes came into

Bogo helped establish water trade routes, as he saw the need for a new hub of exchange with China and Japan. Jang was in charge of taking envoys to the new world, says Park of the National Institute of Korean History. Jang set up a garrison on Wando Island on the southern coast and also protected the commercial activities of Silla merchants and envoys to China and Japan. The new trade hub opened opportunities for more diverse trading. Before, it was only possible to trade between two countries at a time: The Tang Dynasty (618-907) traded with Silla and Silla traded with Japan. With the new sea routes, multilateral trade helped boost economic activity, says Park. demoCratiC groWth Experts debate whether or not civilians actively

engaged in inter-country trade during the Silla era, as trade was largely limited to tributes. However, civilian trading became much more vibrant with the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) and the rise of sea routes, which in turn spread the word about the country. This growth helped shape Korea in an interesting way. As more and more people across the world heard the name Goryeo, it was eventually translated into other tongues before evolving into its modern-day variation. We believe that Korea originated from Goryeo, since the pronunciation is very similar, says Oh Young-sun, a curator at the National Museum of Korea. Along with Goryeos efforts to expand through trade, Chinas Song Dynasty (960-1279), the largest trading partner of Goryeo, also took a role in was sometimes categorized as civilian, since foreign messengers and envoys would exchange their own belongings and purchase local goods to take home, says Lee Mi-ji of the National Institute of Korean History. The base of all trade during this time Other artifacts, such as the Ten-Story Stone Pagoda from Gyeongcheonsa Temple, show direct influence from countries outside of the Song Dynasty. The structure, which was also the first pagoda to be made of marble, show signs of Tibetan Buddhist influences in

time states how abundant overseas trade was, and the scholar Lee Jung-hwans Taengniji writings read that, The richest men in Joseon are all merchants who do overseas trade. Besides trading tangible products, Chinas Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) was also active in literary exchanges. Envoys of the Ming Dynasty exchanged handwritten poems with Joseon scholars, including Jeong In-ji, and Seong Sam-mun in 1450. Collection of Poems by the Ming Envoys and Joseon Academians, Treasure No 1404, shows that trade embraced new thought and opinion as well, helping open Korea to the rest of the world.

prominence. The historical icon Jang



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piEcEs of thE past

Twenty artifacts were designated representative relics of Korea in celebration of the G20 Summit in Seoul last year. The countrys craftsmanship can be found in these pieces of history.
National museums in Korea are some of the most prominent places where cultural legacies are kept alive. Among the vast variety of centuries-old cultural and historical artifacts, the National Museum of Korea highlighted 20 of the most significant masterpieces in the national collection last year, in preparation for the international visitors arriving for the G20 Summit in Seoul. The selected few, dubbed the M20, serve as the perfect guide to the museum novice, who might not know where to begin in Koreas long history. The selected masterpieces represent different periods, ideologies and forms of expression in the formative arts, but nevertheless, they are characterized by a consistent artistic sense, the museum said in a release about the artifacts, some of which are dated as far back as the 4th century Three Kingdoms period. They are imbued with the Korean spirit. A sophisticated skill in crafts can be seen in earlier pieces such as the Baekje Incense Burner, National Treasure No 287. The relic, regarded as a prime example of Koreas ancient metal crafts, was once used in royal court ceremonies during the Baekje Kingdom (18 BC-AD 660). The flower-shaped bowl supported by a stand is designed to look like a dragon attempting to devour a lotus bud. The incense burners lid depicts mountain ranges, demonstrating the makers artistic sense. A phoenix sits at the top with its wings spread wide, as five musicians surround the bird below. The artifact is on display at the National Museum of Korea and was first excavated from an ancient temple site in Neungsan-ri in Buyeo. It is estimated to have been made in the early 7th century, right after Baekje designated Buyeo as its new capital. A crown from the Silla Kingdom (57 BC-AD 935) shows the countrys time of prosperity and peace that enabled artisans to refine their craft. The Gold Crown was found in the Great Tomb of Hwangnam and is National Treasure No 191. The delicately formed relic is regarded as the most elaborate of all Silla crowns discovered. The headpiece is comprised of a circular band with five upright peaks. The headband and vertical sections are embellished with a dazzling array of finely crafted gold spangles and jade. These numerous additions were woven onto the main band with thread-like gold wires, and were designed to shimmer

elegantly with every slightest move and breeze. The exquisite crown is kept on display at the National Museum of Koreas Archaeological Gallery, along with its accompanying gold belt and ornamental crown attachment. Along with the works of Baekje and Silla, Goguryeo (37 BC-AD 668) also contributed to the cultural heritage of the nation. A statue from the year 539 is one of the oldest depictions of the Buddha in Korea, and is unique for its inscription and location of excavation. Though created in Goguryeo, National Treasure No 119 was found in Silla territory, showing that trade allowed for movement beyond political borders. The inscription of the date is rare, as many statues did not include a year of production. The statue depicts a smiling Buddha, a robe draped over him and a halo that resembles a whirlpool of fire behind him. The statue can be found at the National Museum of Korea, in the Fine Arts Gallery. During the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), artistic and creative skills were applied to diverse types of ceramic, expanding the designs beyond what were dedicated to the

royals. Ritual Ewer, National Treasure No 92, is a pitcher used by monks to keep fresh water for religious rituals. Its overall design is based on similar pitchers once used by Brahmans and later by Buddhist monks in ancient India. The ewer has inlaid silver details on top of a bronze surface, showing a scene of fishermen as they set their rods. Reed and willow branches appear to sway gently as a wet fog rises above the hills, and the rusted bronze hue creates a sense of tranquil harmony. Willow trees frequently appear on ritual ewers, depicting a myth from Buddhist scripture that says the Goddess of Mercy cures the sick with clean water and willow branches. The bottle can be seen at the National Museum of Koreas Fine Arts Gallery. Simple designs continued through to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). A piece of white porcelain with rope designs is Treasure No 1060, and represents the typical characteristics of Joseon porcelain in its solidity and curvatures. Iron-brown glaze paints a strand of rope that twines around the narrow neck of the bottle and hangs down to its bottom, coiling into a twist at

the end. Though the design is simple, it strikes an impression in its minimalist qualities. The fall of the painted rope carries both power and moderation in its movement, as it carefully divides the jadehinted white porcelain in half. The coil at the bottom also portrays a sense of lightheartedness, as if the painter wanted to release his self-control and allow the rope to drop. Characters in Hangeul, the Korean alphabet, are written in a glaze inscription on the bottom of the bottle. It is unclear what it says and why it was printed, but its history can be traced to after the invention of the Korean alphabet. This porcelain is shown at the National Museum of Korea, Ceramics Chamber in Fine Arts Gallery. The other artifacts each carry a significant moment of Korean history, whether they are in their inherent originality or the clear depiction of contemporary influences. From simple items to intricate paintings, the M20 can be appreciated not only by locals, but those looking for a peek into Korea.

From top to bottom, left to right: Comb-pattern Pottery; Stone Dagger; Duck-shaped Pottery; Mural Fragment of an Equestrian Figure; Baekje Incense Burner; Horse Rider-shaped Vessels; Gold Crown, Belt and Crown Ornament; Pensive Bodhisattva; Maitreya Bodhisattva and Amitabha Buddha; Reliquary from the East Pagoda of the Site of Gameunsa Temple; Ritual Ewer; Metal Type of the Goryeo Period; Print Made with Tripitaka Koreana; Maebyeong Vase; Ten-Story Stone Pagoda; Jar; Bottle; Paintings by Kim Hong-do; Endless Rivers and Mountains; Album of a Journey to Songdo Joseon; Complete Map of the Eastern State.



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within the traditional palace. For my father, it was an office, but for me, it was the perfect playground. Kim first began her career as an archeologist and art historian, teaching at Seoul National University and working at the schools museum. After being selected as the National Museum of Koreas director in February, Kim set into motion plans to re-create the atmosphere she had known as a child. A vibrant, comfortable space and exciting exhibit line-up has dominated her time as director, as Kim paid special attention to the facilities from the eyes of the viewers. The museum relocated to its current home in Yongsan in 2005, and Kims touch has further lent a sense of vibrancy to the venue. Natural lighting filters in through the lobby, radiantly shining sunlight into dark corners even on cloudy days. An open lobby greets the visitors, a lounge area provides respite for the elderly and an open cafe has space for public computers. The museums biggest change has been an increase in tours and educational programming, which has led to an influx of school visits.

ranked among the top then most visited museums in the world. We aim to diversify and invigorate the museum by activating international exchanges while meeting visitors needs through multifarious and polished exhibitions, Kim says. In recent news, the biggest issue for the museum has been the long-awaited return of the Uigwe, a collection of royal annals of the Joseon Dynasty. The texts, which were looted 145 years ago by French troops, were lent to the national institution on a permanent lease and returned to Korea for the first time in more than a century. Just thinking about the moment she first saw the royal protocols on their homecoming, Kim still feels a surge of excitement. The director was deeply impressed at how well-preserved the Uigwe have been, with the colors and letters of the books still vivid. It felt like the Uigwe was an old friend, not a thing or an object. When I first saw it, it felt as though I was being reunited with a long lost friend. A special exhibit celebrating the return of the ancient texts opened in July and will run through Sept 18. Kim has had the opportunity to be inspired by museums across the world, such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the

Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She hopes to push the benchmark even higher with the Korean museum and feels confident it has yet to reach its full potential. As an expert herself, the director demands only the highest quality for the viewers, as she understands the power of a well-organized exhibit. Kim knows how good curation can attract tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people, if done well and, although she is no stickler for figures, she hopes to increase the number of new visitors to the museum. Its one of the few tests that she feels will truly determine whether or not she has succeeded as a director. You know, as a professor, you cant expect to see the results of your teaching right away. It took a long time to figure out if I was a good teacher or not. But as the director of a museum, it takes shorter, much shorter time. Its a good thing that Im able to see if Im doing right, and Im doing things correctly before I start something new. As the director of the museum, however, Kim does more than simply manage the refuses to get too caught up on the funding side of things, instead maintaining her focus on the museums mission to the people. Kim hopes to continue developing the sophisticated modernism of the museum in combination with the preservation of exquisite Korean traditions. She hopes more plundered relics and scattered art pieces will find their way back to Korea, so that she may show them to the rest of the people here. And above all, she hopes visitors will discover new insights into the culture of Korea through their interactions with the exhibits and programming.

historys hoME
Kim Young-na, the director of the National Museum of Korea, finds a balance between her youthful heart and sharp insights to create an inviting space for all.

The permanent collection lures in new visitors with rotating exhibits of its stores, and a third floor gallery includes national artifacts from countries across Asia - showing how vital the neighboring countries have been in each others histories. In the adjacent building, a special exhibition gallery showcases famous international works, providing visitors with rare opportunities to see parts of the world from right within

While some people might think of the National Museum of Korea simply as a place for school field trips, Kim Young-na has always been fascinated by the institution. Kim, the newly appointed director of the museum, has been acquainted with the cultural site since her childhood. Her father,

Kim Jae-won, was the first director of the national institution, and she inherited his passion for art and history. I have memories of the Seokjojeon building at Deoksugung Palace where I spent most of my childhood observing the pond in front, she says, referring the museums original location

Korea. On display now is Princely Treasures, which features the royal collection from Londons Victoria and Albert Museum. According to the UKs Art Newspaper, the national museum here surpassed the number of visitors to the Muse dOrsay in France last year. The National Museum of Korea is
Kim Young-na, the director of the National Museum of Korea, hopes to bring in new visitors to the institution (opposite). A view of the childrens museum (top right). A cafe for museumgoers offers refreshments and snacks (above right). A traditional pavilion and bell outside of the museum (above).

inner operations of the organization. She networks with foreign organizations to further cultural exchanges and promote future exhibits, and also works to strengthen government support for her work. But, she



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a gliMpsE of KorEa's past

Painting was at its zenith in terms of both quality and quantity in the late Joseon Dynasty. By depicting landscapes, scenes from everyday life and animals in realistic detail, the times artists showed their love and pride for their nation and culture. by Park Min-young



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A work by Shin Yun-bok shows a woman with her head covered (above). Kim Hong-dos Plowing a Rice Field depicts farmers at work (right). A portion of Yi In-muns Gangsanmujindo , an 8.6m landscape (opposite top). Kims Gunseondo (Immortals) (opposite below).

ne holding a pipe and one flirtatiously glancing at a man

of fashion and lifestyles during the period. neW light on art Shins painting was on exhibition to the public during a two-week autumn show held at Kansong Art Museum. The exhibit introduced 100 portrait and genre paintings by 52 artists from the Joseon Dynasty, including Yeonsodapcheong and 15 other remarkable paintings by Shin. The National Museum of Korea and the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art also recently hosted exhibits highlighting artwork from the late Joseon Dynasty, a special period in Koreas artistic history. The National Museum of Korea focused on portraiture for their monthlong exhibit, which featured over 200 portraits from Korea, Japan and China.

A large part of the show was dedicated to portraits from the Joseon Dynasty, including well-known works such as Self-Portrait of Yun Du-seo, National Treasure No 240, an extremely detailed work of the Joseon painters own countenance. Leeums show, The Court Painters of Joseon Dynasty kicked off on Oct 13 and will run until Jan 29. It showcases 110 paintings by hwawon, or court painters of the Joseon Dynasty. The aim of the show is to shed new light on hwawon, who were regarded as less creative at the time compared to other artists who did not work in the court. Leeum museum curator Cho Ji-hyun, however, says that hwawon actually played an active role in setting new artistic trends of the time. They produced a large number of private portraits and landscape paintings by

receiving commissions from other patrons, as well as paintings of royal processions, ornamental paintings for the palace and illustrations for royal documents. All three exhibits marked a hit. Kansongs attracted about 4,000 visitors during the week and 10,000 on weekends, while Leeum attracted roughly 700 to 1,500 per day. We are glad that the three exhibitions took place in a similar period. One could make a general survey of Joseon Dynasty paintings by visiting all three shows. It is starting a sort of a Joseon Dynasty art boom, says Park Min-sun, a public relations official at Leeum museum. foCuS on realiSm The recent interest in paintings from the Joseon Dynasty is not at all surprising and

even seems a bit belated, when one considers how crucial the time was in Koreas art history. It was during the latter part of the era, a period spanning some 200 years across the 18 and 19
th th

culture. New techniques were developed and trends started in various cultural fields, including art, in order to highlight traditions and depict customs. Painting reached its peak and became based on a newborn aesthetic point of view. The most significant characteristic of late Joseon Dynasty paintings is its emphasis on realism. Artists elaborately detailed everything from peoples faces and clothes to events and landscapes. Jingyeong (realistic) landscape paintings and genre paintings, which feature scenes from everyday life, became immensely popular. In fact, many believe that the development of Jingyeong landscapes, an art style pioneered by Jeong Seon (also known as Gyeomjae), was the start of a new era. Traveling around Seoul, Mount Geumgangsan and todays

following her, two gisaeng enjoy a day out on their horses. Gisaeng were Korean female entertainers in the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), and the men surveying them appear to be yangban

centuries, that art flourished on the Korean Peninsula. Taking a big step toward modernity, society was undergoing major changes at the time the class system started to waver and new ideologies, like the Realist School of Confucianism, emerged. Notably, artists and scholars finally started to shake off the Chinese influence led by Zhu Xis NeoConfucianism, which had long dominated the early Joseon Dynasty. In its place, the nation established its own Neo-Confucianism, led by scholar Yi I. The birth of a native ideology heightened Koreans self-esteem and led to a newfound love for traditional

(aristocrats), based on their dress. Nevertheless, they look thrilled to have the girls in their company. A pink azalea tucked behind one girls ear hints that it is a warm spring day. This is a scene depicted in Shin Yunboks painting Yeonsodapcheong (Outing of the Youth), which is included in the 30-leaf album Hyewon Pungsokdo, National Treasure No 135. Vivid colors and minutely-described details like the long pipes or the white layer of cloth the gisaeng covered their breasts with under their short jeogori (jacket) present a realistic view

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Gyeongsang-do provinces, Jeong strove to develop a new technique of painting. By modifying the times widely used Chinese Southern School style, he created a style of painting that was fit to portray Koreas landscapes. Jeong also invented a unique way of painting that involved holding two brushes in one hand. The artist consumed so many tools during the process that the heap of used brushes he threw out is known to have been larger than a tomb. Support from Kings Yeongjo and Jeongjo, who were generous patrons of the arts, played a big role in the development of painting as well. A high demand for aesthetic paintings existed in court at the time, and the mostwanted variety was realistic landscapes. Paintings from the late Joseon Dynasty showed a great difference from those in its neighboring countries it started to differentiate itself from the strong, bold aspects of continental Chinese art and also from the brilliant colors of Japanese art. Rather, it was independent and unique enough to have even influenced other cultures. The eras paintings are known to have played a considerable role in the development of the Japanese Southern School style. groWth of genre paintingS During the early years of the Joseon Dynasty, art depicting daily life and people wearing casual attire were considered relatively vulgar. But in the latter half of the period, this idea was abandoned. Genre paintings, or art that illustrates the everyday life of the artists time, became greatly popular in the late Joseon Dynasty. The paintings are not only highly valuable as art, but are also important historical records that

can inform the following generations about the times lifestyle. Some of the best painters of the time were Yun Du-seo, Kim Hong-do, Shin Yun-bok, Kim Deuk-sin and Jo Yeongseok. Yun was an important figure in terms of genre painting, as he was one of the first artists who ever attempted the style. He lived and worked in the early 18th century, and six of his original paintings are intact, including Women Picking Edible Plants and Carving Woodenware. As well as depicting labor at the time, the painting featuring women gathering plants at the foot of a mountain also informs viewers what kind of hanbok (traditional clothes) people wore when working. The womens jeogori is significantly longer compared to those depicted in late 18th century paintings. Kim Hong-do (also known as Danwon) is another painter who perfected genre painting in the late 18th century. He was a highly versatile artist, but is best known for his genre pieces, such as Pungsokdocheop (Korean Genre Paintings), Treasure No 527. The work is an album he made in his 30s and contains 25 paintings of various events he witnessed in the country. It features people working, playing sports, eating, drinking, dancing and more. Every figure has its own story. Like Yun, Kim also left the background bare, allowing his main subjects to stand out. In the painting Lunch, for example, a dog stares at a group of people enjoying their midday snack, hoping for a share. Threshing Rice shows the unsatisfied frowns of young men striking sheaves of rice to the ground in contrast with the laid back posture of an old man, possibly the landowner, in the background. While Kim Hong-do focused on painting rural life, Shin Yun-bok (whose penname was Hyewon) depicted scenes of urban life. Shin was the first artist to boldly depict the gisaeng lifestyle and the relationship between men and women. The best known works are included in Hyewon Pungsokdo. In the album, Shin vividly portrays the fashion and flirtatious attitudes of gisaeng, as well as the gallant and ridiculous actions of men trying to win their favor. Analyzing Shins paintings, one could even assume that although women were restricted by the patriarchy, they still led rather active and autonomous lives.
Left to right, from above: Playing Cats is a work of folk art by Jang Seung-eop; Self-portrait of Yun Du-seo integrates new art styles; a portrait of scholar Hwang Hyeon by Chae Yong-sin.

famouS folK paintingS Among the different kinds of folk paintings, the ones that are best known from the late peering into portraitS Following the Goryeo style of the early Joseon Dynasty and the Chinese styles in the middle of the era, Joseons own style was established in the latter part of the period. One consistent aspect of portraiture, however, was that the artist who was given permission to paint the king was considered the best in the land. For this task, even painters from outside the court were considered for the job. Unfortunately, there are no original extant copies of any of the kings portraits. This is because artists regularly burned each original after copying it, because it was forbidden to pass down a kings portrait once it had faded. The names of the artists who copied the portraits were kept secret. The peculiarity of late Joseon Dynasty portraits is, once again,

realism. Artists did not try to beautify the subjects at all, but instead put in extra efforts not to leave out a single hair of a beard or any sun spots. They believed that, by doing so, the painting could truly mirror the subjects inner side. It was not only the king and high officials that commissioned portraits in the late Joseon Dynasty. General yangban and even commoners started to request portraits. And because artists could paint according to their own rules for this class of people, the artistry of portrait painting quickly developed. Various forms were introduced in the period such as self portraits, best represented by Yun Du-seos famed piece. Jeong Seons Miindo, a full-length portrait of a gisaeng, can also be regarded as a type of portrait.

Joseon Dynasty are those featuring animals, birds, flowers and bugs. It was a genre most artists enjoyed painting in order to earn some extra money; even court painters created this style of minhwa in their pastime, usually on commission from other patrons. Several artists started to specialize in the area, or more specifically in painting certain animals. Byeon Sang-byeok, for example, focused on cats and was often called the cat artist, and Kim Du-ryang was especially good with dogs. Believing that each subject featured in folk paintings represented something positive, elites of the society at the time exchanged folk paintings as New Years gifts. For example, dogs symbolized happiness, tigers meant courage and magpies represented good news.

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jumped soon after The Painter of Wind a drama about Joseon Dynasty artist Shin Yunbok became a hit in 2008, and has been steadily increasing since. Choi believes that it is because Koreans self-esteem is getting stronger. We are more educated than before, we experienced rapid economic growth and most of us completely forgot about what it was like during the Japanese colonial era. It is time we take pride in ourselves, he says. The museum was established in 1938 by Jeon Hyeong-pil (1906-1962), who was better known by his penname Kansong. He became a wealthy man at the age of 24, having inherited a great fortune, and was devoted to buying the nations relics and artworks that were leaking out to Japan. Price was never an obstacle for him; if he thought an item was of high quality, he purchased it. One example is when he bought 20 pieces of Goryeo Cheongja (celadon porcelainware) from a British collector in Japan by selling 10,000 patches of field in Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do Province the equivalent of 400 houses in Seoul at the time. It was worth it, though, because seven of the Cheongja were eventually designated as official treasures. The museums collection includes the only extant copy of Hunminjeongeum, a document explaining the new script for the A long queue of several hundred meters forms down a narrow alley in Seongbukdong, northern Seoul, every spring and autumn. In line are people waiting for nothing else but a precious peek into the latest exhibit at Kansong Art Museum, which only opens to the public twice a year: for about two weeks at a time in May and October. Visitors wait at least an hour, or at most three, to get inside. Kansong is the nations oldest private museum and holds an impressive collection of more than 12,000 priceless artworks of all

show how excellent our culture was, says Choi. The museums opening to the public, however, was delayed for many years due to the aftermath of the Korean War (19501953). It was only after Jeons death in 1966 that his descendents scouted Choi, a scholar and researcher at the National Museum of Korea, to work at the museum and reopen it. Led by Choi, a group of researchers who are now regarded as the Kansong School started to study the museums collection. They started the exhibits in the autumn of 1971 and also the publication of Kansong Munhwa, a book containing research papers related to each exhibits theme. Among the museums collection, works from late Joseon Dynasty comprise the largest portion. The early Joseon Dynasty was influenced by Chinas Zhu Xis Neo-

exhibitions on each artist. Choi says that the peoples love for their nation during the late Joseon Dynasty is reflected in their work. Even Mount Geumgangsan, which obviously never changed externally, is painted more delicately compared to early Joseon art. It is because the artists examined the mountain more closely, finally regarding it as beautiful.

pEnEtrating KorEas art history

Koreas art history cannot be discussed without mentioning Kansong Art Museum, the oldest private museum in Korea. Chief curator Choi Wan-su explains the history of the museum and shares his thoughts on late Joseon Dynasty paintings.
by Park Min-young | photographs by Kim Nam-heon

genres, including paintings, sculptures and calligraphy, from the period of the Three Kingdoms (57 BC-AD 668) to modern times. Among the collection, 12 have been designated national treasures and 10 more are also recognized as treasures. One hundred portrait and genre paintings by 52 representative artists of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) were brought out from the museums private stores for its last exhibit in October. Upon hearing that complaints are growing amongst art aficionados about the

insufficiency of twice-a-year exhibits, Choi Wan-su, chief curator at the museum, chuckles and shakes his head. Museums in general play one or more of these three big roles collecting art or relics and preserving them; studying them; and exhibiting them. The role of Kansong is to study works of art, not exhibit them. In a way, we are doing volunteer work every spring and fall to let the public know the results of our studies, Choi says with a smile. The number of visitors to Kansong

Choi Wan-su explains his views on art (opposite). The entrance to Kansong Art Museum (top right). The exterior of Kansong (right). Visitors browse at one of the rare exhibits (bottom right).

Korean language, written by King Sejong. It is National Treasure No 70 and was also registered on the UNESCO Memory of the World list in 1997. Shin Yun-boks Hyewon Pungsokdo (National Treasure No 135), a 30-leaf album containing the famed painting Miindo (Portrait of a Beauty), can also be found at the museum. In Kansongs time, Japanese scholars tried to plant a colonial view of history in Koreans minds, emphasizing that our culture was worthless. Kansong collected the works because he did not believe it and wanted to Confucianism, so even people in our paintings resembled the Chinese. In the latter part of the dynasty, though, our own Neo-Confucianism was established. When ideology is the root, art is like a flower. Our own culture started to blossom because we finally had our own roots, Choi explains. Kansong sensed it. That is why his collection is concentrated on the late Joseon period, like paintings by Gyeomjae (Jeong Seons penname) and Danwon (Kim Hongdo). We have enough to hold separate

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rest was contemporary. But the situation soon reversed as art started to emerge as an investment tool. Demand for older art continuously decreased. Thanks to the stable pool of collectors, though, prices have stayed the same, even in 2008 when contemporary art values dropped due to the global economic crisis, Eum adds. In fact, I think people are starting to change their minds about antique art, seeing how stable they are. They are realizing that classics never change. Antique art auctions steadily mark about 75% to 80% sales each time. Among late Joseon Dynasty artworks, paintings by Jeong Seon, Shin Yun-bok, Kim Hong-do and calligraphy works by Kim Jeong-hui consistently comprise the highest

already highly valued, so it is likely that the owners of works by major artists were influential figures in society. If a painting carries the seal of a big-name collector from that time, it is appraised at a higher rate. Joseon Dynasty artworks and relics can also be found in overseas auctions like Sothebys or Christies, because a great number of them were leaked out of the country or sold to foreigners during and after the Japanese colonial rule (1910-1945). The auction results overseas, however, are poor, especially compared to Chinese antique art, which continuously breaks auction records. The highest-ever priced antique from the Joseon Dynasty was made of white porcelain, which sold for 7 billion won (US$6 million) in 1996 at Christies in New York, while a Chinese embroidered ceramic bottle was sold at over 97 billion won (US$84.49 million) in 2010 in Bainbridges of London. Chinas antique art market is growing because Chinese economic power is getting stronger and they have great pride in their own culture. They believe that they should take back what is theirs from the world. The country has a large population, and a lot of them are interested in overseas auctions, comments Na. Another reason Koreas antique art market is depressed is because of forgery issues. Instead of one officially authorized institute to appraise the works, there are three private ones. So opinions usually split in most cases and fail to set a proper price for the works. Despite problems, however, critics argue that antique art, especially late Joseon Dynasty paintings, has a high cultural value
People bid on Lee Joong-seops A Bull at Seoul Auction in Korea (opposite). Hermit by Kim Hong-do sold for 160 million won (US$139,360) (above).

undErvaluEd paintings
Experts have critically acclaimed the quality and value of late Joseon Dynasty paintings, but priceless works of art are as yet undervalued in local and international markets. by Park Min-young

price range. At Seoul Auctions latest antique art auction held in March, Kim Hong-dos Baenguigwaneumdo (Hermit) was sold at 160 million won (US$139,360) and Jang Seung-eops Hosaneoeundo (Landscape) was sold at 150 million won (US$130,662). Both were sold near the starting point of the estimated price range. There are detailed standards for fixing the price of Joseon Dynasty paintings. But even if the artist is the same, prices can vary across genres. Jeong Seons works, for example, range from about 20 million won

and potential to stand out in the international market. It was in the late Joseon Dynasty that Koreans first started to see their culture and artworks with their own eyes, says art critic Sohn Cheol-ju. Evaluations on contemporary art can change anytime. But old artworks, like late Joseon Dynasty paintings, are already considered masterpieces, he says. Sohn adds that Koreas traditional culture, including the paintings, is the root of the recent Hallyu Korean wave, and that it could be proved anytime only if people would realize it. Many expected the Korean wave to fade out quickly, but it didnt. It will expand even further, carried by digital tools like social networking sites. The art industry is relatively ignorant in that aspect. There are almost no websites to promote the value of our traditional works overseas. What we need to do right now is to establish a digital base to systematically organize and promote our artworks, Sohn says.

While museums were elated over the recent string of successful exhibits featuring Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) paintings, auction houses were rather indifferent to the news. Such momentary interest of the public does not necessarily lead to actual sales, they say. The antique art market is going through a slump, like the overall art industry. The recent popularity of antique art among the public, temporarily buoyed by the exhibitions, doesnt have much to do with auctions, says Kim Jong-chun, head of AT Auction in Seoul. Na Yun-jeong, an antique art specialist at K Auction, says that the artworks displayed

at the shows are not easily found in auctions. Although collectors are always looking for investable artwork, high quality pieces from the late Joseon Dynasty rarely come out in the market, Na explains. Seoul Auction and K Auction, the two biggest auction houses in Korea, allot only a small part of their auctions to antique art. In hopes of revitalizing the market, several antique art-exclusive auction houses such as AT Auction and My Art Auction were launched last year. Due to the limited pool of collectors, however, industry insiders find it difficult to animate the stagnant market. The collector

pool for old art does not expand that easily. The general assumption that old and rich people are the only ones collecting antique art is actually right. Among art collectors, those interested in antiques only take up about 30%. Most prefer contemporary art because antiques look rather somber when placed in houses, says Eum Jeong-woo, an auctioneer at Seoul Auction. As much as the collectors stay the same, the prices do not fluctuate either, especially compared to the soaring prices of contemporary art. Up until 2000, antique art took up about 80% of the lots in auctions, and the

(US$17,422) to several hundred million. In the case of works of the same genre and theme, some were painted with extra care while some were not. The price depends on how much effort the artist put into the work and how rare that piece is. Jeong Seon, for example, painted many genres, but his

Jingyeong (realistic) landscapes are

considered the most expensive because they were his major works, and were thus painted with great care, says Eum. Prices can also vary according to whether the painting has a seal or not, its overall condition, and its previous owners. During the late Joseon Dynasty, paintings were

Korean Style

Around the world, Korean food is no longer seen as just a hot and spicy dishes from an East Asian country. After discovering a range of healthy and delicious dishes in Korean restaurants the world over, people have come to realize the diversity of Korean fare. While some ingredients and preparation techniques are similar to those found elsewhere, Korean cuisine truly embodies the nations culture. Furthermore, the many fermented dishes that are part of meals have recently gained prominence as part of the slow food movement, leaving little doubt that Korean flavors are making waves overseas.
by Seo Dong-cheol



Han an St K o r eS t y l e y l e

Kimchi is one of the principle fermented dishes of Korean food (above). Jangajji , fermented in soy sauce or gochujang , are also kinds of "slow food" (below).

Visit Korea period. What are the must-eat dishes to sample at the numerous events taking place during this period in the country? It can be daunting to see just how many menus can hold, so a recommendation or two from those in the know can really help. A survey by a Korean newspaper last year found that foreign residents in Korea enjoyed bulgogi (barbecued beef) best, followed by galbi (grilled short ribs), and bibimbap (rice mixed with meat and vegetables). Recently, Koreas Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) and the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MIFAFF) conducted a survey of peoples favorite

he Korean government has deemed the years from 2010 to 2012 as a

dishes at Korean restaurants overseas, and the following, in order, were the top 10: kimchi (and kimchi-jjigae), bibimbap, Hanjeongsik (a traditional, full-course Korean meal), galbi, bulgogi, samgyeopsal (sliced pork belly), samgyetang (ginseng and chicken soup), naengmyeon (chilled buckwheat noodles), haemul-pajeon (seafood and green onion pancakes) and tteok (rice cakes). This would suggest, then, that its high time people put aside their fear of unknown dishes and embraced new flavors. Interestingly enough, those top 10 Korean dishes are not solely confined to Korean restaurants anymore, as their tastes make them popular with palates on all continents. Sick of eating processed food and quick bites in

between meals, people all over the world are turning their attention to slow food (as opposed to fast food). Thats where kimchi and other fermented foods come in, as well as Korean barbecue, pizzas and chicken soups, all of which are becoming recognized globally. As Korean foods take up more space on peoples tables, and people give them a closer look, the subtleties of the dishes will inevitably be revealed. Slow and Steady Visit a Koreans home and youre sure to come across a home appliance unique to this part of the world: the kimchi fridge. Koreans have a regular refrigerator to keep their food cool and another one to store their kimchi. Traditionally, Koreans made

kimchi in the autumn and buried it underground to let it ferment. These days, however, the majority of Koreans live in apartment buildings and do not have a yard in which to bury their kimchi. Thus, the birth of the kimchi refrigerator, which recreates conditions similar to those underground, maintaining an average temperature of 1C. Kimchi is easily the most famous of fermented Korean food. Though cabbage is the most well known variety, kimchi made with radishes or cucumbers are also popular, all of which use the formula of mixing salt, red pepper flakes, crushed garlic, green onions, ginger, soy sauce and fermented fish together. Fermented kimchi is healthy and nutritious, as it contains a

Soy sauce, gochujang and soybean paste are made from bricks of ground fermented soybeans (above). Salted shrimp and fish are matured in Korean traditional pots (below).



Korean Style

wide range of vitamins. Other Korean fermented foods such as soybean paste, gochujang (red pepper paste) and soy sauce have been thrust into the spotlight as the perfect slow foods. The history of the term dates back to 1986, when the international slow food movement got its start in Italy. The message of the movement was to promote a return to a traditional diet. Fed up with fast and instant foods, people who used to be obsessed with speed and convenience are now returning to more natural ingredients that agree with the human body. The slow food movement has led to a decline in American fast food, which in turn has given way to emerging slow food from Asia, says Jeong Hye-

gyeong, a professor at Hoseo University. New trends have seen healthier food finding its way onto the tables of people around the world. In the near future, healthy, eco-friendly foods will be the norm. There is no doubt that fermented foods have been a part of diets in both the East and West for millennia. Long ago, Western cultures developed wines, beers, cheeses and yogurts as their own healthy fermented food products. But when it comes to things that are slow and patient, nothing quite matches the variety of Korean cuisine. Theres nothing out there like Korean food, insists Jeong. We have slow food like no one else. Korean soy sauces and soybean pastes are usually preserved at

Samgyetang is one of popular healthy food in Korea, especially in summer (opposite). Tteok is made of rice, nuts, herbs and even some fruits that make it highly nuturitious (above). Naengmyeon is also a popular dish for its refreshing cool broth (below).



Korean Style

least one year before theyre consumed, with some aged as long as 60 years. There arent a lot of people who can wait that long. Koreans, however, embody slow food. These slow fermented ingredients are a fundamental part of the national cuisine not merely an afterthought. Most meals and side dishes include a fermented ingredient. Among stews,

bulgogi, galbi, and samgyeopsal have become popular with people in other countries. People overseas enjoy Korean meat dishes not just for their familiar ingredients, but for the original recipes used to prepare the food. As Professor Jeong explains, Western meat dishes are simple, served rare, medium or well-done. Thats it. However, Korean meat dishes agree with foreign palates because of the many unique ways in which theyre delicately prepared. Bulgogi is made by taking thin slices of sirloin or other cuts of beef and marinating it in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, green onions, garlic, toasted sesame seeds, ginger, pepper and sesame oil. It is then fried in a pan before serving. Galbi, or sliced short

ribs, is marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, green onions and pear. However, its different from bulgogi in that its grilled over a charcoal fire or braised. Additionally, the seasoning goes deep into the meats tissue, suffusing it with the uniquely original smells and flavors of Korean cuisine. And dont forget about the grilled fatback of samgyeopsal, which reminds many of unsmoked bacon and is also cooked in its own way. Koreans grill the slices of pork belly on a tabletop grill before wrapping it with an assortment of vegetables.

sliced cucumbers, radishes and pears, and topped with a boiled egg in a chilled broth of beef or chicken, is one of the most popular. SeedS of globalization A recent survey found that 60 percent of foreign residents in Korea believe Korean food has the potential to go global. One Japanese housewife loves kimchi so much she not only has a kimchi fridge but makes her own kimchi! Perhaps the globalization of Korean food has already begun. The Korean government aims at accelerating the further globalization of the national cuisine. Indeed, the governments bold new goal is to make the domestic fare one of the worlds five most favorite foods within a decade, and increase the number of Korean restaurants around the world from its present number, 10,000, to 40,000. In May 2009, the government formed a Korean Cuisine to the World group, and a Korean Cuisine Foundation is in the works as well. Related government agencies including the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism have vowed to cooperate with civic groups to nurture the brand of Korean food. Behind this sweeping culinary movement lie the universal traits of the cuisine and its potential to become globally recognized. It is only a matter of time before the seeds of Korean food grow into a strong, global tree. With an open mind to new cultures and an interest in following a healthy diet, people are being encouraged to join this movement to make this unique food more popular and accessible in every corner of the world.
Bibimbap is a combination of rice, vegetables, meat and gochujang. It is one korean dish wellknown overseas.

kimchi-jjigae (kimchi stew) and

doenjang-jjigae (fermented soybean paste stew) are popular. When people make guk , a basic Korean soup, with kimchi or soybean paste, salt and soy sauce are added to season it as well. Then theres bibimbap, which would not be complete without gochujang. Essentially, if you sit down to have a
Some meat dishes are cooked directly on a tabletop grill just before eating (above). Galbijjim is a steamed beef dish marinated with soy sauce and seasonings (below).

Samgyetang is a traditional Korean

meal eaten by many to beat the heat of summer. Similar to the broth of chicken noodle soup, samgyetangs health benefits are unparalleled. After removing its innards, the chicken is stuffed with glutinous rice, garlic, and jujubes and then boiled for hours. Ginseng, that mysterious root whose positive effects on the human body are still being uncovered to this day, is also added, making samgyetang as much a tonic as a delicious meal. Haemulpajeon, which resembles a pizza or pancake in appearance, is made by adding oysters, squid and clams to a mixture of chopped green onions, hot peppers and flour dough. It is then fried on a pan and eaten while still hot. Korean traditional rice cakes, tteok, are made by steaming pounded or glutinous rice. Seasoning it with nuts, fruits and herbs makes it highly nutritious. Then there are all the different noodles, which come in a whole slew of shapes and sizes: the pasta of Italy, the rice noodles of Vietnam, the udon of Japan and the chow mein of China. Of the many kinds of Korean noodles, naengmyeon, buckwheat noodles seasoned with

traditional Korean meal, it would be nearly impossible to avoid all the fermented foods present on the table. Korean food is, fundamentally, a hodgepodge of slow foods. UniverSal traitS the top 10 Korean foods which non-natives like most have more in common than just fermentation. The ingredients that go into the dishes and how theyre made are fairly universal, as its common to find barbecue, pizzas, soups and noodles in dishes from other countries. Beef and pork are universal ingredients, save those nations which refrain from incorporating them in their cuisine for religious reasons. Barbecued foods and steak are popular around the world, so



Korean Style

SUwon galbi (gyeonggi-do ProvinCe)

Suwons marinated galbi short ribs are a local specialty that can be enjoyed anywhere in the world. As Gyeonggi-do Provinces most famous dish, this rich, meaty meal has a universal appeal, almost like barbecue. Suwon galbi is said to have originated at a restaurant called Hwachunok, which opened in Suwon in the 1940s. The galbi served there, marinated in sesame oil, garlic, scallions and Asian pear, then charcoal-broiled over a low flame, quickly gained popularity due in part, perhaps, to the fact that at the time Suwon was home to the largest cattle market in the country. Its served with an assortment of different vegetables.

A CornuCopiA of TAsTe in LoCAL speCiALTies

Geographically speaking, Korea is a small country. But that doesnt mean it lacks great, diverse food and flavors. Get ready for a journey around this small but culturally rich nation in search of local food that best represents each region. by Seo Dong-cheol | illustration by Yu Yeong-eun

Recommended Restaurant | Bonsuwon Galbi Address | 51-20 Uman-dong, Paldal-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do For more information | call +82-(0)31-211-8434 or visit www.bonsuwon.co.kr Gyeonggi-do Travel Information | www.ethankyou.co.kr

Cheonan byeongCheon SUndae (ChUngCheongnam-do ProvinCe)

The origins of Byeongcheon sundae date back to the years after the Korean War (1950-53) when a Western ham factory was established in the township of Byeongcheon. It was there that people started making sundae, a type of blood sausage, with the residual pork which had been processed to produce ham. They also began selling pork bone soup with sundae at outdoor markets. Recommended Restaurant | Cheonghwa Jip Address | 167-6 Byeongcheon-ri, Byeongcheon-myeon, Dongnam-gu, Cheonan-si, Chungcheongnam-do For more information | +82-(0)41-564-1558 Chungcheongnam-do Travel Information | tour.chungnam.net

gangneUng Chodang SUndUbU (gangwon-do ProvinCe)

Made from local soybeans and water from the East Sea, Gangneung chodang sundubu is a silken tofu soup with the savory taste of soybeans. They say the first person to ever make tofu was Heo Yeop, a government official and scholar during the Joseon era. He made his tofu by coagulating soymilk with clean seawater. Unlike conventional tofu, chodang sundubu is more watery, because its not curdled, with a clean, mellow aftertaste. Tofu is high in protein but low in cholesterol and saturated fat, making it a much-loved commodity by people around the world for its health benefits. Recommended Restaurant | Yetnal Chodang Sundubu Address | 334-2 Unjeong-dong, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do For more information | +82-(0)33-6450557 or www.oldchodangdubu.co.kr Gangwon-do Travel Information | www.gang won.to

Gyeonggi-do Province features incredibly sumptuous food that is presented beautifully. Host to Koreas royal family and nobility for centuries, the regions cuisine has long been influenced by food from the royal court, which explains its traces of extravagance. Gangwon-do Province is the most mountainous region in the nation. Its distinguishing geographic features include the Taebaek Mountains and the East Sea. Fresh seafood and produce such as potato, corn and buckwheat are staples for many of its unique dishes. Food from the Chungcheong-do Province is clean and simple, with people there using fewer spices than in other regions. The only landlocked, northern portion of the region has an abundance of ginseng, garlic and jujubes. The southern part, which is closer to the water, carries plenty of seafood, including blue crabs and shrimp. The Jeolla-do Province, which makes use of the large amount of fertile land within its borders and the southwestern coast, has myriad local crops and seafood to create a range of dishes. While the Gyeongsang-do Province is also blessed with both fertile land and a rich coastal region, its cuisine is relatively simple, with many of its dishes being saltier and spicier than those from other areas. Finally, Jeju Island, the outcrop located off the southern tip of the Korean peninsula, is a seafood lovers paradise.

JeonJU bibimbaP (JeollabUk-do ProvinCe)

There are numerous theories as to how bibimbap, a bowl of warm white rice topped with an egg yolk, seasoned beef, and a variety of vegetables, was first made. Some say it was a light meal served in the royal court, later introduced to the public. Another theory says farmers combined rice with certain side dishes in a bowl because they had no time to sit down and eat during the busy harvest season. Although no one is certain of bibimbaps origin, theres no doubt it combines a variety of tasty ingredients together in one bowl to make a nutritious meal. Recommended Restaurant | Gajok Hoegwan Address | 80, Jungang-dong 3(sam)-ga, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do For more information | +82-(0)63-284-0982 or www.jeonjubibimbap.com Jeollabuk-do Travel Information | www.jeonbuk.go.kr

yeongdeok Snow Crab (gyeongSangbUk-do ProvinCe) obUnJagi ttUkbaegi (JeJU iSland)

Obunjagi ttukbaegi is a soup consisting of obunjagi (a shellfish related to abalone) and served in an earthenware pot with mushrooms, tofu, garlic, onions and hot peppers. The dish is a local specialty of Jeju Island, Koreas largest and a popular tourist destination. With about 70 percent of all obunjagi harvested off Jeju, it boasts an addictive chewy taste that is high in protein but low in fat, with a clean, refreshing flavor. Recommended Restaurant | Sambo Restaurant Address | 319-8 Cheonji-dong, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do For more information | +82-(0)64-762-3620 Jeju-do Travel Information | www.jeju.go.kr If youre a fan of king crab and lobster, youll love the snow crab from Yeongdeok. This delicacy is also called bamboo crab because its leg joints resemble the plant. The best snow crabs are caught in the clear waters of the East Sea near Yeongdeok, as they have longer legs and chewier meat. It is high in protein, low in calories and rich in minerals, including calcium. Winter and early spring are the best times of year for snow crab, usually steamed or boiled in soups. Recommended Restaurant | Sanho Snow Crab Town Address | 305 Ganggu-ri, Yeongdeok-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do For more information | +82-(0)54-733-4023 or www.sanhocrab.com Gyeongsangbuk-do Travel Information | www.gbtour.net


Han an St K o r eS t y l e y l e

Makgeolli is a traditional alcoholic beverage in Korea, much like wine in France or sake in Japan. It is made by fermenting a mixture of boiled rice and water with yeast. There are several reasons makgeolli has become more popular in Korea than other types of rice wine. For one, it has been loved across the country since the Goryeo Dynasty that began in the 10th century. In its unfiltered form and served with its natural sediment after being stirred, it was not just an alcoholic beverage but a filling refreshment. Originally popular with farmers, it earned the nickname nongju, or farmers liquor. A popular drink for years, makgeolli eventually fell out of favor with people during the Japanese colonial era (19101945). Because of food shortages, there was not enough rice to eat, let alone enough to produce alcohol. As a result, the government restricted the making of rice wine and the once ubiquitous makgeolli seemed to fade into history. But as rice production increased, people started to miss the traditional drink, and it began its return to the spotlight. Today, in a world where health and wellbeing are at the forefront of many peoples minds, makgeolli is the perfect fit. Usually around 6.5 percent alcohol by volume, its lighter in alcohol content than other

alcoholic beverages like soju (a local grog) and wine. The sediment, which gives it a milky, off-white color, is rich in nutrients such as lactobacilli, protein, amino acids and vitamins. Interestingly, makgeollis popularity extends beyond the borders of Korea. In Japan, large department stores like Takashimaya sell makgeolli and idong makgeolli, makgeolli cocktails, as well as other fusion varieties. the beSt wayS to drink makgeolli William Lawton Cromwell, an American from Connecticut who has been living in Seoul for a year and half, loves makgeolli. I like it because its lighter than other drinks [tequila, rum or whiskey], and goes down easy, he says. It smells fresh and its fruity taste makes it feel like Im drinking a fruit wine. Along with its popularity, side dishes that are well-matched with the drink are turning heads, too. From time immemorial a countless number of dishes have competed with each other, vying for the title of the best side dish complement to makgeolli. Today, the most popular and affordable is probably pajeon, especially Dongnaepajeon, a Korean pancake from Busan that is made of dough with spring onions, seafood and eggs. With its melange of

balanced ingredients, it boasts a flavor that goes well with the rice wine. Another good accompaniment is a specialty of the Jeolla-do Province called hongeo-samhap, a three-layered dish consisting of cooled fermented thornback ray (or skate), steamed pork and well fermented kimchi. The thornback has a unique burning taste from ammonia, though it becomes milder when eaten with pork and kimchi. In addition, sashimi chomuchim, made with fresh fish, spiced with vinegar and hot pepper bean paste, is paired with the beverage. Kim Ok-sim, the owner of a bar named Gounnim in Seoul says it is the best side dish, claiming Its sweet and sour taste goes well with makgeolli. The makgeolli craze is sure to be around for a while. Even the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced last year it would give full support by subsidizing companies that make makgeolli with freshly harvested rice. The popular drink was even served during a Korea Night event at the Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland. Koreans have long appreciated makgeolli for its taste and health benefits. Will it, however, be able to gain popularity overseas? It will certainly be interesting to see how makgeolli fares globally in 2010.

makgeolli: A TrADiTionAL Drink ThAT TiCkLes moDern TAsTebuDs

The world of alcohol is governed by trends. These days, the most popular drink in Korea is definitely makgeolli, a traditional Korean rice wine. Last year, in fact, 889 patents related to makgeolli were applied for, a 32 percent increase from 2008. Each region of Korea has countless varieties, which has led to the rise in use of terms such as makgeolli bar and makgeolli nouveau. Lets take a closer look at the appeal of the alcoholic beverage thats changing Koreas drinking culture.
by Oh Kyong-yon | photographs by Kim Nam-heon

For William Lawton Cromwell, left, who enjoys a few drinks with friends after work, makgeolli is no longer a foreign drink for him (opposite). There are more than a hundread kinds of makgeolli in Korea (below). Makgeolli matches with many side dishes, like hongeo-samhap (right).


Korean Style

The PresenT and fuTure of

Gwanghwamun, located in Sejongno, Seoul, was the main gate for Gyeongbokgung Palace in the Joseon Dynasty, and is an important landmark of the Republic of Korea. Bronze statues of two of the countrys most influential leaders grace Gwanghwamun Plaza and represent some of the greatest achievements in Korean history. Sejong the Great, who invented the Korean alphabet, and Yi Sun-sin, a famous Korean naval commander in the Joseon Dynasty, both left indelible marks on Koreas history.
by Song Jeong-ran | photographs by Kim Nam-heon


A bronze statue of Sejong the Great, who invented the Korean alphabet, Hangeul , graces downtown Seoul's Gwanghwamun Plaza.



Korean Style

accurately express any sound that can be made by the human voice. Sejong the Great is the Leonardo da Vinci of Korea with the depth and variety of natural talents. Jared Diamond, who has researched the evolution of alphabets and a professor for the University of Californias medical division, says, Letters are made by combining Hangeuls 10 vowels and 14 consonants, and is therefore easy to learn. With 24 vowels and consonants, more than 11,000 different sounds can be expressed, more sounds than any other alphabet in the world. The convenient and easily learned characteristics of Hangeul have made
A sculpture of Hunminjeongeum is on display in King Sejong Memorial Hall in Seoul (above). An international student paints Hangeul characters at the 1st Foreigners' Writing Brush Competition in Seoul in September (below).

recordable system ethnic minorities without one of their own. Many linguists have chosen Hangeul as the most suitable alphabet for this cause. It has also been selected as the official alphabet by the Cia Cia tribe of Buton Island, Indonesia. Other tribes, including the Lahu tribe of Thailand, Lhoba, Ewenki and Lowchen tribes of China, Chepang tribe of Nepal, and Badjao tribe of the Philippines, are considering to adopt Hangeul as their official alphabet as well. Hangeul, which is a phonetic alphabet that has a systematic connectivity between sound and letter,

year, on the 563 anniversary of the


the system popular among ethnic learn system contributes to low the illiteracy rate in Korea. According to a Human Development Index (HDI) report released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2008 and 2009, Koreas adult literacy rate was at an astonishing 99 percent. Sejong the Greats invention of the Hangeul alphabet helped Koreans develop an excellent command of their own language, and in memory of this great achievement the Korean government designated October 9 as Hangeul Proclamation Day. Furthermore, the Korean government established the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize in 1989, which is awarded to organizations and individuals who contributed in lowering the illiteracy rate. The superiority of Hangeul is not an arbitrary evaluation within Korea. Nobel Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Pearl S Buck states in the introduction of her novel The Living Reed (1963): Hangeul is the worlds best and easiest alphabet. A combination of 24 components can

he 6.2 meter bronze statue of Sejong the Great was erected last

minorities lacking their own native alphabet. There are a total of 6,809 spoken languages in the world, of which 6,600 do not have their own alphabet. In 2001, UNESCO established the Initiative Babel to supply a
Hangeul education is one of the several services provided to foreign workers at Incheon's Migrant Workers' Center (above). Foreign participants of the World Korean Educator Conference in August, held at the Kongju National University in Gongju, proudly display their Korean textbooks (below).

proclamation of Hangeul, or the Korean alphabet, an achievement incomparable to any other. An underground exhibition hall containing artifacts related to Hangeul was built under the plaza nearby his figure. The kings invention of the alphabet system for his people is an important accomplishment in Korean history. Sejong the great: LinguiSt for the PeoPLe Sejong the Greats love for his people was the driving force behind his desire to create an alphabet. For many years, Korea used Chinese characters to record documents, but due to differences in pronunciation and grammar, learning to read became a time consuming and exclusive privilege for the upper classes. After the promulgation of Hangeul, most of the Korean people, including women, were able to learn the alphabet, making it the official lettering system of Korea. Today, the concise and easy-to-


Korean Style

can be used to write many of the worlds languages. These characteristics of Hangeul show that King Sejong, a great linguist and ruler, founded the idea that his people should know how to read on humanism. hangeuLS future It is estimated that a total of 70 million people on the Korean peninsula and 77 million people worldwide use the Korean language. Korean is ranked 13 in the world in

an instrument of communication and create economic value. The Korean language holds relative importance among the languages of the world. The market competitiveness of Korean is quickly strengthening as the number of people interested in learning Korean increases. The second- and thirdgeneration children of the 7 million Korean residents living in 169 countries worldwide are important customers. Additionally, with the increase of Korean companies abroad, many international employees are also interested in learning Korean. The Hallyu or the Korean wave that started in the 1990s has also increased interest in learning the language. Foreign workers have been an integral part of the Korean economys rapid growth by fulfilling the needs of the workforce. These foreign workers are required to pass an Employment Permit Korean Exam before they may begin working in Korea. Currently, this exam is being held in China, Mongolia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. 40,000 people took the exam in Indonesia last year and another 40,000 took the exam in Nepal. There are 25,000 students leaving Korea for

foreign education every year, and a large number of students are coming to Korea for educational purposes. Universities in Seoul and other large cities have more than 2,000 international students from various countries, including China, Japan, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Cambodia and Bangladesh. Some study in Korea as exchange students, some attend Korean universities, and others learn Korean culture and language from the influence of the Korean wave. Students wishing to attend a Korean university must pass the class IV TOPIK (Test of Proficiency in Korean) exam which requires a year to a yearand-a-half of studying the Korean language. Universities in 54 countries have Korean

The Republic of Korea's Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo in China was inspired by the aesthetic forms of Hangeul .

respect to the total number of people using the language, but is estimated to be between 9th and 11th in regard to the languages influence around the world. In 2007, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) designated Hangeul as the 9 language of

publication. Hangeuls current status can be seen through numerous statistics. From 1920 to 2010, a total of 125 different dictionaries have been published in Korean, and a total of 510,000 words are currently listed in the Standard Korean Language Dictionary published by the National Institute of the Korean Language. There are 2,177 institutions around the world teaching Korean to some 250,000 students. A total of 3,400 textbooks for foreign learners have been published worldwide. There are 628 elementary, junior high, and high schools in 15 countries that have chosen Korean as a second foreign language, and 642 universities in 54 countries have majors in Korean or offer Korean language courses. Today, languages are used as



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departments. China alone has around 70 universities with Korean majors, and Peking University has established a Korean department. In Vietnam, Hanoi University, Ho Chi Minh City University and University of Foreign Languages all have Korean departments as well. The graduates are employed by local Korean companies who pay high wages, heightening the competition for these majors. Last year, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism held a World Korean Educator Conference, arranging a chance for Korean educators worldwide to assemble. What surprised people in the first meeting was discovering Korean schools located in countries unfamiliar to Korean people. Many were surprised to hear of the interest in Korean in countries like Belarus, the United Arab Emirates, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan. Widespread interest of the Korean
A model wears a Hangeul-patterned outfit designed by Lie Sang Bong for the fashion runway, on the occaston of the 20th anniversary of Korea-Russia diplomatic relations in Moscow (above). UN Peacekeeping Korean soldiers in Lebanon play jegichagi a Korean folk game, with local students that specialize in Hangeul (below).

policies is the King Sejong Institute Joint Brand Business. The program will evaluate 2,000 Korean education institutions and certify 350 of them with the national title of King Sejong Institute by 2015. Additionally, 150 King Sejong Institutes will open for those regions with high demand for Korean language education that lack resources. A standardized curriculum and textbooks will be developed and supplied to systematically operate these Korean educational institutes, ultimately increasing Koreas national competitiveness. the gLobaLization of hangeuL The two paradigms leading the 21

forming the grounds for creating new and unique imagery for aesthetic purposes. Book designer Jung Byunggyu says that Hangeul inherently carries fundamentals for the creation of Korean culture and the principles of typography design. The consonants contain the basic elements of shapes, including triangles, squares and circles. The vowels act as coordinates for formative change with vertical and horizontal lines. Hangeul also encompasses architectural characteristics with its layering of initial consonant, medial vowel and final consonant. Hangeuls originality and beauty has been the muse for conceptual design in typography since the 1970s, and numerous fonts continue to be developed today. Individual fonts using calligraphy are used in product designs. Fashion designer Lie Sang Bong used Hangeul characters as a motif for his

designs in a Paris fashion show, which received praise from local media and buyers alike. Hangeul is a valuable cultural asset that encompasses the Korean peoples culture, history, and tradition in a concise form. The lettering system boasts of linguistic, aesthetic, philosophical and scientific qualifications for a highly developed 21st century, information-based society. These characteristics provide a strong indication that Hangeul has the potential to grow into the countrys representative cultural icon for the 21st century.

century are universal communications and cultural content. An environment of constant communication is taking shape in this highly advanced digital era, and Hangeul is viewed as one of the most appropriate alphabets for these everchanging times. Hangeul is composed of 24 letters, compared to the 26 letters in the English alphabet and 55 in Japanese. For cell phones, the average input speed of Korean letters is 35 percent faster than English and six to seven times faster than Japanese. Unlike Japanese and Chinese, where each letter must be found by typing the corresponding sounds in the Roman alphabet, Korean does not need any conversion and is therefore seven times more efficient than Japanese in situations involving business relations. This factor has helped increase the high rate of cell phone propagation in Korea. With the rising interest in text messaging, Hangeul typography is also becoming popular around the world. Fonts are no longer mere tools for communication, but are simultaneously

language worldwide has brought about a change in the interest and recognition for Hangeul. The Korean government has various policies and visions to elevate the status of the Korean language on a global scale. One of these

Foreign lecturers are receiving a Korean lesson in Ulsan in September (top). Mexican students hold a Korean folk performance, samullori , to celebrate the opening of a Hangeul school in Mexico City, in September (above). June was a significant month, as the first Hangeul school for local students opened in Chile (below).



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love for the common people. The creation of Hangeul began with his benevolence and compassion for his countrymen. Although the Korean language existed prior to the creation of Hangeul, the written form was based in complicated hanja (Chinese characters). Hanja was insufficient when describing and recording the onomatopoeic and mimetic words of the Korean vocabulary, and because of its complexity was accessible only to the highest classes. Creating a language for the common man was a revolutionary idea. Expecting resistance from the elevated classes, Sejong the Great began his work on Hangeul in secret. When the king finished his work in 1442, Sejong the Great named the new alphabet

Hangeul is an alphabet of fixed sounds. For example, the vowels , , each have unchanging sounds. This is in contrast to the English system, where the vowel a has a different sound depending on its placement within a word. Originally, there were 28 characters when first invented. The Standardized System of Hangeul in 1933 reformed the alphabet, however, leaving 14 consonants and 10 vowels for a total of 24 characters (Consonants: , , , , , , , , , , , , , / Vowels: , , , , , , , , , ). After the invention of Hangeul, Sejong the Great continued his efforts to propagate the language by making wooden block printing letters. He wrote the first song and the first work of prose written in Hangeul. Unlike the grateful citizens who finally had an alphabet that corresponded with their speech, the higher social classes of Korea underrated Hangeul and compared it to the hanja characters. Women who did not receive a proper Chinese education started writing letters in Hangeul. At the time, Buddhism still played an important role within the Joseon Dynastys Confucianism-based politics. The Buddhist temples in Korea started translating Buddhist scriptures into Hangeul, which soon spread to the people. Sejong the Great also had a great interest in the sciences and the arts. He established the astronomy research institution Seoungwan, and together with scientist Jang Yeongsil invented the water clock Jagyeokru , the

sundial Angbuilgu , and a device to observe the movements and position of celestial bodies called Honcheonui , which helped the citizens with agriculture. The king was also responsible for the greatest musical achievement in Korean history, by compiling and organizing music used in ceremonies and Korean traditional music. But such passion came with a price, and his health deteriorated with his achievement. Yet, even as he fought illness, Sejong the Great personally checked all newly compiled works until his passing at the age of 54 in 1450. Today, Hangeul is recognized by such international organization as UNESCO, which began awarding the King Sejong Prize in 1990 for individuals or organizations worldwide that contributed to the eradication of illiteracy. Hangeuls eminence is a product of Sejong the Greats character, as great history and culture begins with one person.

Hunminjeongeum , or the proper sounds for

the instructin of the people. The language was enacted into law a mere four years later in 1446. The name Hangeul was first used in 1910 by the scholar Ju Si-gyeong and come into general use in 1948. The han in Hangeul means one, great and proper, or that Hangeul is a unique and proper alphabet. Hangeuls greatest characteristic is that it is easily learned. It is the worlds most advanced phonetic alphabet and is unparalleled in its science and creativity. Consonants and vowels were created separately, and are combined to form syllables. The basic consonants , , , , are based on the simplified shapes made by

Sejong the great: a Leader of Language and man of the peopLe

Sejong the Great is perhaps the most respected leader in all Korean history. During King Sejongs 32-year reign (1418-1450), during which Korea enjoyed a political, economic and cultural golden age. The leader most acclaimed feat was his creation of Hangeul, the Korean alphabet. And for a country that boasts one of the worlds highest literacy rates, Hangeul Proclamation Day, October 9, is worth celebrating.
by Lee Se-mi ng Jeong-r

Inscriptions of several Hangeul consonants are featured at the Republic of Korea Pavilion at Expo Zaragoza in Aragon, Spain (opposite). A statue of Sejong the Great, who is remembered for his many achievements, in Gwanghwamun Plaza (below).

On October 9, 2009, Sejongno in Gwanghwamun welcomed an addition to its already eye-catching cityscape. On Hangeul Proclamation Day, a bronze statue of Sejong the Great was erected in the heart of the capital, 563 years after he proclaimed Hangeul. The fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty, Sejong the Great ascended to the throne at the age of 22. He was able to further his academic education due to a stable political foundation that was achieved by his father, King Taejong. Though Sejong the Great is considered one of the most exceptional kings of the Joseon Dynasty for his achievements, what separated the leader from others was his

the mouth, while the remaining consonants are formed by adding extra strokes to imply stronger sounds. Vowel shapes represent the sky, earth and man, as they are the roots of Eastern philosophy. The basic vowel represents the skys round shape, the vowel represents the flat earth, and the vowel represents a standing man. All of the other vowels are made by combining these three basic shapes.


Korean Style

The adoption of the Korean lettering system by the Indonesian Cia-Cia tribe set a precedent for Hangeul. It was the first time the Korean alphabet was adopted outside the peninsula for official use, and expected to be adopted by others. The Cia-Cia, with a population of 80,000, is the largest tribe on Buton Island in Sulawesi, Indonesia. The island has a total population of 500,000, consisting of 10 different ethnic minority tribes, including the Java and Sunda. After learning of the tribes situation, the Hunminjeongeum Society of Korea traveled to Bau-Bau City on the island and proposed the adoption of Hangeul as the tribes official alphabet. The two signed an MOU on the promulgation of Hangeul on July 21, 2009. Almost immediately, the Hunminjeongeum Society began teaching Hangeul and printed textbooks, handing them out to 40 elementary students in the

system for the Cia-Cia language. After two months of classes, the students in Bau-Bau City could write their names in Hangeul. The curriculum expanded to nearby schools, and local road signs are now written in both Hangeul and the Roman alphabet. There are plans to publish history books and folktales in Hangeul. Since the 1980s, the Indonesian government has felt the need to preserve cultural assets that were in danger of extinction, including the ethnic minority languages that have been dying out with the widespread use of a standard language. Ethnic minority languages in the region have been reduced from around 30 languages to 10. Many ethnic tribes in the Buton Island region are preserving their native languages through foreign alphabets. The Olio tribe has adopted the Arabic system, while others are showing interest in Hangeul. An educational Korean Center is currently being constructed in Bau-Bau City, and consists of a library, computer room and cultural space. The center is planning to hold training programs to supplement the shortage of instructors in the area. There are 10 elementary schools, nine junior high schools, and six high schools in the city, and only two certified teachers of Hangeul: Korean professor Jang Duk-young dispatched by the Hunminjeongeum Society and Abidin. Next year we are planning to upgrade the Hangeul alphabet teaching program,said Won Sung-muk of the
Since the adoption of Hangeul, road signs are now written in Hangeul in Bau-Bau City, Indonesia (opposite above). Abidin, left, is the Cia-Cia tribe's first local teacher for both Hangeul and Korean, and has given lectures in elementary and high schools since July 2009 (opposite below). Cia-Cia tribes people attend a Korean lesson in Seoul on an invitation from the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family in July (top). Cia-Cia natives receive taekwondo lessons from Korean volunteers in July (above).

IndoneSIa'S CIa-CIa Language preServed by adoptIon of Korean aLphabet, hangeuL

Sorawolio district that neighbors the Cia-Cia. The textbook, Bahasa Cia-Cia 1, comprises basic writing, speaking and reading sections. Students write the Cia-Cia language phonetically in Hangeul. The alphabet taught to the Cia-Cia tribe consists of the same consonants as in Korea, but only five vowels are used. Additionally, due to the characteristics of Cia-Cia pronunciation, the letter was reformed from the original system, though it has not been used in Korea since the 15 century.

Bahasa Cia-Cia 1 was co-written by

Hunminjeongeum Society. We are also attempting to hold Hangeul teacher training programs in the region. The Korean government plans to establish a string of Korean propagation institutions called King Sejong Institutes, hoping to expand to 500 establishments worldwide. Hangeul has taken its first step in becoming one of the worlds foremost alphabets.

For centuries, Indonesias Cia-Cia tribe has preserved its native spoken language without an alphabet. But now in danger of losing its history through a lack of written records, a search for preservation caught the attention of a Korean organization, which proposed the adoption of Hangeul, the Korean alphabet. With the Indonesian governments official approval for the adoption of Hangeul and a new curriculum for local schools on the rise, the Cia-Cia tribe is now on the road to preserving its native tongue, one letter at a time. by Lee Se-mi

professors Lee Ho-yeong and Hwang Hyoseong, and Abidin, an English teacher in BauBau City and the son of a former tribal leader. The textbook contains the history, culture, society, traditions, and fables of the Cia-Cia tribe. Abidin, the only native teacher in BauBau City, traveled to Korea to study the Korean language at Seoul National University for six months. During the time, he researched and adapted the alphabet

Korean Style

Hanok, or traditional Korean houses, are a place where you can forget all of the stresses of the modern world. Designed to withstand the forces of the Korean climate, Hanok are built with natural elements such as trees, soil, stone and paper. The house offers visitors a chance to learn about Korean history and culture while reconnecting with Mother Nature.
by Chung Dong-muk | photographs by Kim Nam-heon

Traditional houses in Hahoe Folk Village



Korean Style

theory, such an area was called yeonhwabusu, meaning a lotus floating on water. In ancient Korea, people took account of such theories when deciding where to build a village or house. If a location harmonized with the forces of nature, its residents would be brought good luck. A house built in a manner contrary to those forces would meet with disaster. Hahoe Village is home to many tile-roofed Hanok, or traditional Korean houses, because it was a favorable area according to feng shui theory. a protective home In 1392, when the Joseon Dynasty was founded, state official Ryu Jong-hye chose Hahoe as the home for the Ryu clan of Pungsan. Brothers Ryu Un-ryong (1539~1601), a renowned Confucian scholar, and Ryu Seong-ryong (1542~1607), a prime minister who helped the dynasty overcome the Japanese invasion in 1592,

were both from the village. Thanks to the success of the Ryu family, the village thrived and tile-roofed homes, which were traditionally reserved for the aristocracy, started to appear in Hahoe. Today, 162 traditional Hanok houses with roof tiles remain standing. There are also 211 straw-roofed houses, traditional homes for commoners. Aside from Hanok, the village is also home to 11 wooden masks designated as the National Treasure No. 121. The masks are used in the Hahoe byeolsingut tallori, or Hahoe Mask Dance Drama. The Korean government designated the entire village as one of the most important folk heritage treasures in 1984. Last year, UNESCO listed the village as a World Heritage Site, putting Hahoe in the global spotlight. Its not easy to preserve and maintain such a huge tile-roofed house,
Korean traditional bedding is kept neat and tidy in the room of a Hanok (above). Hwagyeongdangs spacious daecheong , or the main floor room, maintains cool temperatures during the summer thanks to the scientific flow of air (below).

says Ryu Se-ho, owner of Hwagyeongdang in Hahoe Village. But there are traces of our forefathers in all corners of the house. I cant just ignore them. I do this out of a sense of duty. Visitors to Hwagyeongdang, one of Koreas best-known Hanok, can feel the structures long history. Ryu Sa-chun, one of Ryu Se-hos ancestors, built Hwagyeongdang in 1797. Then in 1862, his great grandson Ryu Do-seong constructed additional buildings to complete it as the home of the nobility. Hwagyeongdang is now the largest in town and is listed by the government as No. 84 among important folk materials. A trip to Hahoe Village is not complete without a visit to Yangjindang and Chunghyodang Hanok as well. Yangjindang is the home of the head family of the Pungsan Ryu clan. And it was built by Ryu Jong-hye in the 15th

Jangdok , porcelain pots used to store Korean fermented sauces such as doenjang (soybean paste) in the front yard of a Hanok (left). White rubber shoes are placed in front of a traditional Hanok door (below).

tarting at Hwangji Pond in Taebaek, the Nakdonggang River winds some

of Korean heritage: Hahoe Folk Village in Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province. Hahoe is a compound Korean word meaning the water takes a roundabout. The river literally winds around the village in an S shaped bend. In topography-based divination

500km through southeastern part of Korea before flowing into the South Sea. It is the countrys longest river, and has been flowing through the peninsula for thousands of years. Sitting along this natural jewel is another important piece


Korean Style

century and inherited by his eldest grandson, Ryu Un-ryong. Chunghyodang was home to Prime Minister Ryu Seong-ryong, and Ryu Un-ryongs younger brother inherited the home. The anchae (womens quarters) and sarangchae (mens quarters) are shaped like squares, typical of houses in the southeastern part of the country. The quarters are parallel to each other and connected by a pair of rooms on either side. Shutting the inner door to the sarangchae ensured the privacy of women. During the Joseon Dynasty women from the noble class were not allowed to be seen by strangers. When the wife of an aristocrat traveled
Part of the magnetism of Hanok is chagyeong , which means borrowing scenery (above). There is a shapely old pine tree in the back yard of Hwagyeongdang (left). Ryu Se-ho, owner of the Hwagyeongdang in Hahoe Folk Village, says it is important to preserve Hanok (below).

outside, she would ride in a closed palanquin carried by four people. If she wanted to walk, she had to wear a long hood that covered her entire body. The Korean word during this period to describe women literally meant a person who spends their time inside the house. Men, on the other hand, were free to come and go as they pleased. the Beauty of Natural ScieNce Hanok employ the laws of natural science to circulate the air. When you visit a Hanok like Hwagyeongdang, you will notice that trees and flowers are planted in the rear garden as opposed to the front yard. This allows the house to keep cool during the summer and warm during the winter. Most aristocratic Hanok have a wooden-floored hall, or daecheong, in the middle of the anchae that serves as the living room. The front side of the daecheong is wide open while doors shut off the backside. When the sun beats down on the barren front yard, the temperature rises. The heated air rises and leaves the front yard in a vacuum. But in the back yard, plants and trees absorb the heat, making the air a bit cooler. Such cool air travels through the wide-open daecheong and reaches the front yard. This creates a natural circulation of air. In the summer, you can open the doors to the daecheong and enjoy the cool breeze that flows through the house. In the winter, warm air will stay in the house with the daecheongs back doors closed. In addition to their practical use as a temperature regulator, flowers and trees in the backyard serve as a private garden. The aesthetic theory chagyeong, which means borrowing scenery, helped shape Hanok gardens. While many Western houses have solid walls, Korean Hanok have columns connected by a series of windows and doors. These openings serve as frames for the outside world. If you open one door, you might see a small stream flowing across the yard. If you open another door, you might see the flowers and trees in full bloom. Instead of hanging paintings on their walls, Koreans would open their windows or doors and borrow the scenery right outside their house. Hanok designers try to make small doors and windows throughout the house so inhabitants can view their garden from different angles at different times of the day and in different seasons. The designers had to take into consideration not only the shape of the
A view of the fascinating exterior characteristics of Byeongsan Seowon from the floor of the Mandaeru Pavilion (above). Traditional Korean utensils are displayed in a Hanok kitchen (below).

house, but the placement of trees and flowers and the location of the surrounding landscapes, be it mountains or rivers. Visitors to Hahoe Village can see wonderful examples of chagyeong at the Mandaeru Pavilion of the Byeongsan Seowon. Located near Hwasan Mountain on the east side of Hahoe, the Byeongsan Seowon is a memorial for the scholarly achievements of Ryu Seongryong. Sitting on the second floor of the broad Mandaeru Pavilion, you can see the Nakdonggang River flow by a picturesque mountain. Along the river spreads a white sand beach that glimmers in the sunlight. Wild geese pass their time on the beach. If you come at dusk, the orange-colored twilight covers the river like something from a gorgeous landscape painting. Ryu Se-ho, the owner of Hwagyeongdang, decided to open up his Hanok to visitors four years ago. He


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some of the old facilities of Hanok have been upgraded. For instance, many Hanok owners have installed flushing toilets, standing basins and shower stalls. To help facilitate these improvements, the Cultural Heritage Administration is preparing a manual for the renovation and repair of Hanok. Since many old homes are registered as cultural heritage, the government wants to ensure that the historical attributes of Hanok are preserved, as homeowners make the houses more comfortable for visitors. The movement to preserve Hanok comes after a century of disregard for the traditional homes. Following the says that he wanted to share the great science and spectacular beauty of Hanok with people from around the world. Hanok can only be preserved when people live there, he says. You have to light up the fireplace in the kitchen and heat up the house made up of trees, clay and stone to breathe life into it. If I wanted to bring in guests, I thought I might as well do it right and present the true beauty of Hanok and great taste that you can enjoy there. Thanks to Ryus efforts, those who stay at Hwagyeongdang get to enjoy delicacies of a traditional Korean house. They can stay warm on the ondol floor and sleep in the same type of beds and eat out of the same brass utensils used by noblemen of the past. haNok revival Hanok tourism has been formally registered by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism as a business and is growing in popularity nationwide. The Association for Proprietors of Korean Culture Houses has played a leading role in the industry. Its members include 380 proprietors of ancient houses across the nation. It has
Omokdae is where Yi Seong-gye threw a party to celebrate victory of a Hwangsandaecheop battle in the 14th century (above left). A craftsman makes Hanji (above right). Souvenirs can be purchased at Jeonju Hanok Village (below).

and Hanok Village in Damyang, Jeollanam-do Province. American Peter E. Bartholomew who has lived in a Hanok in Dongseomun-dong, Seoul, for nearly 40 years will attest to the joys of living slowly in a Hanok. I love that I can spend time with myself here on the daecheong, sipping tea and looking out at the garden, Bartholomew says. I am convinced that Hanok is the worlds greatest form of architecture, with its scientific design that also embraces human emotions.

and owner of Sungyojang in Gangneung, Gangwon-do Province. But we could only preserve the homes by having people see them. Bringing in guests is what I needed to do, too. Sungyojang is a 310-year-old house where 10 generations have lived, and its one of Koreas most famous Hanok. In 2000, Sungyojang was ranked the top Hanok in the country. The Gwandong region, or the eastern part of Korea, lies next to the dark blue East Sea and is known for it beautiful scenery. Scholars in the Joseon Dynasty with refined artistic tastes always made Sungyojang a stop during their travels through the Gwandong area. The reason there are many annexes to Hanok, such as haengrangchae, sarangchae and byeoldang, is to

Joseon Dynasty, Korea was annexed by Japan in 1910 and remained under colonial rule until 1945. The five years following the liberation were marked by chaotic ideological conflicts. Then, the Korean War from 1950 to 1953 demolished what little was left on the peninsula. Over some 50 years in the post-war era, Koreans had to constantly try to make ends meet and had little interest in investing in the preservation of cultural heritage. Koreans enthusiasm for accepting Western culture led to a materialism that valued the new and shiny over the old and traditional. It wasnt until the 21st century that Koreans had reached a comfortable income level and some began to question their harried lifestyle. They adopted live slowly as their mantra, and took an interest in Hanok and other traditional elements. What does live slowly mean? Perhaps its no different than living as mankind should. That is, living trying to coexist with nature; minimizing material goods that cater only to our convenience, such as cars; and trying to

An elegant seat is awaiting visitors of a Hanok (above). Hakindang is one of the most famous Hanok in Jeonju Hanok Village (right). Hakindang, built in the 20th century, is a cultural icon showing traditional and modern architecture in one building (right below).

be thankful and satisfied with life each and every day. But living slowly in this fast-paced world is difficult. We know that the exhaust from vehicles speeds up global warming, but we still pick up our car keys for even short trips. Its quite meaningful that places that value slow living such as Hahoe Village in Andong and Yangdong Village in Gyeongju have been registered as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Another international organization, the Cittaslow movement, has designated several Korean villages as slow cities. In Korea, you can experience the slow life in seven places, including Hanok Village in Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do Province,

helped open such homes to tourists from Korea and around the world, teaching visitors about Korean culture and heritage. Many of our member homes are national or local cultural heritage, and in the past, we were always trying to stay out of them for protection, says Lee Gang-baek, head of the association

encourage whoever was passing through to stop by and stay overnight, Lee says. It was never a house only for the owner. But in modern times, it has lost its meaning and weve lost our heart. And to turn back time and revive that original meaning, Sungyojang will stay open to everyone from around the world. To accommodate modern visitors,

Korean Style

The Meaningful life of a guardian of hanok

Peter E. Bartholomew is an American expatriate who has lived in Hanok for 38 years. He believes the Hanok is a piece of art that combines philosophy, visual aesthetics and science. Bartholomew says he has studied architecture from around the world and is convinced Hanok boasts some of the worlds greatest design elements.

uprooted. Inside the courtyard of Bartholomews house is a ginkgo tree that he planted about 20 years ago and that now stands a good 15m high. When the typhoon hit his neighborhood, he was smoking a cigarette on the main floor of his home, watching to see if his tree would be uprooted by the strong wind. But something incredible happened. While the tree was getting whipped into all directions, the smoke from his cigarette was shooting straight up. My god, that just had to be science, Bartholomew says. Theres absolutely no wind protector between the main floor and the courtyard, but the wind was blowing hard out there and not here.

Its a Korean traditional house, or Hanok, in Dongseomun-dong in Seoul, the nations capital and by far Koreas busiest city. Peter E. Bartholomew, the American owner of this house, is seated at the table in the main hall, sipping coffee and soaking in the arrival of the new season. Bartholomew is all smiles. This is why I love Hanok, he says. When I work outside, I am constantly stressed out. But when I smell this fresh spring air at home, it all goes away. This house is like a purifier for me. Bartholomew is known in Korea as a guardian of Hanok. He has attended a series of seminars and debates on Hanok and has been featured in the press, too. Korean people have also taken a liking to this blueeyed man who extols virtues of the traditional form of Korean residence. Its a great irony that most Koreans actually prefer Western-style housing, such as apartments, while Westerners like Bartholomew loves Hanok. But if you hear him talk about the science of Hanok, even the most skeptical Korean would be impressed. Heres one story. Last summer, Korea was hit by a monstrous typhoon. It came in through Incheon on the west coast, swept through Seoul and then left off the east coast. The wind was so blustery that large trees were

Isnt that amazing? The unique structure of Hanok is to thank for the strange wind patterns. Bartholomews house takes the shape of an inverted L. Most Korean houses face south, and Bartholomews house had its back on the north side and turned slightly to the west. The house was designed to keep the wind out. The typhoon was blowing in from the west at the time, and the wall on the western side of his house blocked it all out. The eaves of the house also minimized the strength of the wind. As Bartholomew discovered, the Hanok is designed with the Korean climate in mind. The specific length of the houses eaves keeps the sun out during dog days of summer and yet helps bring the warm sunlight in over the main floor during winter. The artistic frame of the paper sliding door is covered in changhoji (traditional paper of mulberry bark) to ensure air circulation. In the winter, the traditional floor heating system, ondol, keeps the house at a comfortable temperature. fiNdiNg a place for haNok iN moderN Seoul Bartholomew first came to Korea in 1968 as a member of the Peace Corps. While working as an English

Peter E. Bartholomew has lived in Hanok for 38 years and praises its unique structure (above). A room of Bartholomews Hanok showcases a typical and classic interior (opposite).

teacher at a middle school in Gangneung, he discovered the Hanok Sungyojang, one of the most famous Hanok in eastern Korea. He had been interested in ancient architecture since grade school, and for Bartholomew, Sungyojang was a museum. After he visited the place four or five times to study it, an old landlady told him to just move in. Bartholomew went on to live there for about five years and fell in love with the house. It was during this time that he decided to settle down in Korea. Bartholomew found a job at a shipping company and moved to Seoul, but he could not forget Sungyojang. In 1974, he moved to the Hanok of Dongseomun-dong, where he lives to this day. Living in a Hanok can be a bit more taxing on your body than a Western-style apartment, since the floor constantly needs sweeping. But Bartholomew loves his house because it is in touch with the slower way Koreans used to live. Bartholomew also had a few choice words for Koreas policy on Hanok and on construction as a whole. In the name of redevelopment, traditional homes are being

bulldozed and replaced with towering apartment buildings. Bartholomew says theres something wrong with that picture. The growing population obviously means a rising demand for housing, but new apartments should be built outside Seoul, he argues. He thinks there is no need to take down the Hanok, important cultural and historic icons. Bartholomew says that Koreans treasure the landscape paintings of Kim Hong-do and Goryeo celadon, but Hanok, something that captures peoples everyday lives, seems like its fading away. You rarely see a country like this anywhere, Bartholomew says, welling up. When I first came to Seoul, there were about 800,000 Hanok in the city alone. But today its just left fewer than 7,000. Bartholomew calls Hanok a complete work of art that intertwines literature and visual aesthetics with philosophy and science. Perhaps its time for Koreans to take another look at Hanok and rediscover the virtues that the traditional house has long provided.


Han an St K o r eS t y l e y l e

with so much to offer. Parking is also free. And street vendors are more intent on explaining the history of their hometown than on selling their goods. Jeonju came to national prominence during the Joseon Dynasty. Yi Seong-gye, who founded the 500-year dynasty, and his ancestors were born and raised in Jeonju. The citys residents took great pride in the fact that their hometown was the birthplace of the founder of the Joseon Dynasty, one of the most important figures in Korean history. The Hanok Village stores the portrait of Yi Seong-gye in its Gyeonggijeon Shrine, which honors the Yi family. The founding of Jeonju Hanok Village is also rooted in history. During the Joseon Dynasty, Jeonju had a huge fortress and four gates, just as Seoul did. But during the Japanese colonial rule, three of the four gates were removed and the Japanese started living where the gates once stood. So Jeonju people began building Hanok to protest the Japanese occupation. Seeing the traditional Korean homes nestled among Japanese and

The region is home to some of the best Hanji craftsmen in the country, who use this high-quality mulberry tree pulp in their work. The quality paper has given rise to great calligraphers, too, which in turn led to the development of the areas publishing industry. The fact that the Annals of the

Joseon Dynasty registered on UNESCOs Memory of the World for its detailed recording of the dynastys history is stored in Jeonjus historic library is no accident. Other Hanji-based crafts, such as hapjukseon, a kind of traditional fan, along with pansori, a type of music performed with a fan in hand, have all thrived in Jeonju for similar reasons. Visitors to Jeonju Hanok Village should be sure to check out Seunggwangjae, the home of Yi Seok, the last living descendant of the Joseon Dynasty. He was born to Prince Imperial Ui, who was the son of Emperor Gojong. He was born in Sadong Palace in Gwanhun-dong near Jogyesa Temple in Seoul. Having spent his childhood in a royal palace, Yi Seok is particularly passionate about Hanok. I still remember when I was a child, my father, Prince Ui, put me in front of him on horseback as we ran around the front yard of the palace, Yi said. The towering ridge of that palace was magnificent. The grand and yet elegant Hanok roof is part of my

TradiTions of The Joseon dynasTy Live on

Jeonju Hanok Village became the seventh Korean area to be named a slow city by Cittaslow International, last year. Still palpable are the traces of Yi Seong-gye, who built the Joseon Dynasty, and Jeonju in Jeollabuk-do Province, southwest of Korea, has become the place where people are proud of Korean culture and arts.

Western buildings in what today is Pungnam-dong and Gyo-dong, the residents of Jeonju felt proud of their heritage. The LasT ImperIaL DescenDanT Sadly, most of the Hanok in the village are now gone and only about 550 remain standing. The Jeonju municipal government has a policy of preserving those remaining Hanok, a source of pride for the residents. Jeonju is a place where our basic necessities of life and traditional culture are all vividly alive, said Song Ha-jin, mayor of Jeonju.

Seunggwangjae is the home of the last living descendant of the Joseon Dynasty, Yi Seok (above, below). The structure of Hanok is displayed in Jeonju Hanok Village (opposite).

memories. These days, Yi lectures visitors to Seunggwangjae on the history of Joseon and virtues of the royal culture. Yi dreams of spending the rest of his life reproducing traditional royal wedding ceremonies at palaces such as Gyeongbokgung in Seoul. Last November, Jeonju became the seventh Korean city to be designated a slow city by Cittaslow International. Its the first such city with more than 50,000 in population. In keeping with the new designation, the city also offers a slew of slow traditional Korean food, including bibimbap. With so much history and culture, time almost stands still in Jeonju and its Hanok village. If you want to discover Korea and its traditions, dont miss Jeonju.

The Hanok village in Jeonju, located in the southern province of Jeollabuk-do Province, is not your average rural village. On a typical weekend, Koreans and foreign tourists easily mix, to a point that it can be hard to tell if youre actually in Korea. They are immersed in cultural experiences and shopping for

traditional souvenirs. Weve got about 20 people who provide commentary on culture, and on weekends, we have so many visitors that all of our guides are out on streets, said Kang Chulmin of Jeonjus municipal tourist information center, who guided us through the village.

Look at our office. It can be really crazy. Were trying our best to serve every single visitor. The passion and pride of Jeonju residents for their culture and art are beyond imagination. For instance, there is no admission fee to walk on these broad streets

We will try to make sure Jeonju will duly represent Korean traditions and help globalize Korean culture. Hanji, or traditional Korean paper, has helped turn Jeonju into one of the countrys top art towns. The citys clean water, which has a relatively low iron content, allows mulberry trees to flourish.


Korean Style

The BeauTy of han

Korean traditional culture is gaining the spotlight on the international stage. From fashion to eco-friendly art, the six elements of Korean style Hanbok (dress), Hanji (mulberry paper), Hanok (house), Hansik (cuisine), Hangeul (Korean alphabet) and Hanguk eumak (music) are influencing minds around the world.
by Lee Sun-min



Korean Style

beautiful sleeveless apparel. But upon closer inspection, the fine waistband is raised to just beneath the bust, a voluminous skirt bursts with form and a graceful bow left dangling. The color of each look is radiant, but maintain gentle elegance and a partiality to subtle earth tones. This is Venezuelan designer Carolina Herreras Spring 2011 collection, which appeared at the New York Fashion Week last year. Herrera, known for her elegant style and classic tastes, incorporated elements of Hanbok, or Korean traditional dress, into her collection. Blending influences from both mens and womens traditional clothing including gat, the traditional woven hats typically worn by males the collection combines the cuts and details of Korea with the feminine playfulness of 18th century botanical plates. Each look flows seamlessly, combining two disparate cultures into a unified garment. Despite the ease with which Herrera combines Western and Eastern elements in her clothing, she discovered Hanok only recently. A Korean seamstress in her Manhattan atelier showed her family wedding photographs featuring the foreign dress. The hats and costumes and details were just so fantastic, I asked to see more. They bought me books, and then I spent several days visiting the Korea museum in New York. I was captivated, Herrera told the Telegraph, referring to a Hanbok museum founded by Korean designer Lee Young-hee. Others in the fashion and design industry have been keen on learning more about Hanbok as well. Global jewelry company Swarovski commissioned 22 world-renowned designers including the likes of

t first glance, the dresses gracing the runway appear to be simple,

outfits. Instead of learning to grace the catwalk, models practiced posing underwater, turning gently to let light flow through the sash of the skirt and allow the dress to move with the water. Park specifically designed her clothes to look beautiful even when soaked through. International media, including the Huffington Post and fashion magazine Nylon displayed videos and photos of the fashion show. Most recently, Park invited K-Pop stars to model in one of her fashion shows, using their celebrity status to help increase awareness and promote Koreas traditional dress. The event, held in August at the Grand Hyatt Seoul, saw groups such as Kara appear on the runway in unique garments. One of the major themes was saekdong, or multicolor strips used on the sleeves of jeogori, or bolero-style jacket of Hanbok, which gave an energetic pop of color fit for the popular girl group. Not only designers, but also the Armani, Givenchy and Lanvin to create Swarovski crystal-studded dresses in collaboration with six Korean designers. The dresses, which were auctioned off to support a charity, were beautiful Hanbok that incorporated the sparkling jewels. The cooperation [between Swarovski and Korean designers] is designed to position the worlds finest crystal elements within the Hanbok and illustrate how Korean tradition can be harmoniously melded with modernity to suit the demands of todays market, Swarovski said in a statement. Behind the trend of Hanbok spreading in the global fashion scene, there are numerous Korean designers who have been striving to introduce traditional garments to broader audiences. Lee Young-hee and Park Sulnyeo are the most well-known of these designers. Lee was a forerunner in cultivating the elegant and sophisticated image of Hanbok, as she held the first Hanbok fashion show in the White House in Washington, DC, in 1983. Afterwards, she was invited to present her Hanbok collections at numerous international events, finally making her debut at the prestigious Prt--porter Paris in 1993. The following year, Lee opened up a Hanbok store in the French capital. Lees Hanbok is a modern twist on the original, simplified yet still faithful to the curves and design. She places emphasis on color, and each of her Hanbok is hand-dyed from natural materials, sticking to the Korean tradition. She continues to showcase her work in a multitude of venues, holding fashion shows throughout Korea and even founding the Lee Young Hee Museum of Korean Culture in New York. With Lee as a pioneer, other designers have further expanded the Hanbok market with their own unique looks. Park was one of the most daring, never hesitating to switch out classicism for something more young and fun. Moving away from Lees example, she created multicolored collages on her garments. Last year, the designer made news with her latest project: an underwater fashion show, with each of the submerged models wearing full Hanbok
Dresses from Carolina Herreras Spring 2011 collection at New York Fashion Week (opposite). Musicians play the gayageum , Korean traditional zither-like string instrument (above).

6 eLemenTs of han sTyLe

A womans Hanbok (traditional dress) consists of a wrap-around skirt called chima and a bolero-style jacket called jeogori . The bow that ties the jacket shut is called goreum . For men, Hanbok typically consists of three pieces: baji (pants), an inner jeogori jacket and an outer jacket called magoja .

A typical meal in Korea consists of rice, a multitude of side dishes of seasoned vegetables, a soup or stew, and meat or fish. There are several distinct categories of cuisine, from temple food (which is local, vegetarian food without pungently aromatic elements such as onions, garlic or leeks) to royal cuisine (characterized by its attention to detail and seasonal menu).

The Korean alphabet was created in 1443, and consists of 24 consonants and vowels. At the time, it was in vogue for most elites and scholars to write in Chinese characters. Developed by King Sejong the Great to overcome the class divide, the alphabet enabled even the most common of people to read and write in their native tongue.

general public has been showing a rising interest in Hanbok. Some brides have been opting to wear Hanbok at their wedding receptions, instead of the usual Western-style evening gowns. Hanbok seems to be a proper choice of dress for a wedding, since I actually dont get to wear such a full skirt in everyday life, says Jackie Zo, who wore a Hanbok at her wedding reception in May. And the elegant image of Hanbok fell right in place for the occasion. Korean traditional cultural elements can be broken down into six categories: Hanbok, Hanji (paper), Hanok (house), Hangeul (Korean alphabet), Hansik (cuisine) and Hanguk eumak (music). Each of the categories, which includes the word han (or Korea), was designated the Han Style in 2006 by former culture minister Kim Myung-

Traditional architecture in Korea typically feature ondol, or floor heating, and environmental elements most Hanok were made of soil, wood and rock. The style and shape of a Hanok differ according to region.

hanguk eumak
The genres of traditional music, also called gugak , range from the guttural vocals of pansori to the strong beats of sanjo percussion music. Court music, farmers music and shamanistic music are some of the varieties of traditional music. Gugak is now seeing a revival through fusion genres, which are often upbeat and catchy.

Made from the natural fibers of a mulberry tree native to Korea, Hanji paper is a soft and durable material that can be shaped into all manner of items and crafts.


Korean Style

gon. Im not promoting the six categories of Han Style solely because theyre our own, Kim said in an interview in 2007. They are as outstanding as any other culture, but have been underestimated and kept behind the scenes, since many people have been emulating Western culture. At the time, Hallyu (the Korean wave), had just reached Japan and other Asian countries, and Korean films and dramas were starting to gain recognition outside of their homeland. Seeing an opportunity to promote Korean culture, Kim began advertising the connections between Hallyu and Han Style. Hallyu cannot just stand alone by itself. For Hallyu to stand firm, it is necessary to have a strong fundamental support base, so it can be bolstered along with other cultural elements, Kim said. While in office, the culture minister held various events that would introduce all six facets of the Han Style campaign in one setting. Foreign ambassadors, diplomats and media were invited to partake in a night of Korean culture, from viewing a Hanbok fashion show to a tasting of Hansik, learning a bit of Hangeul, appreciating Hanok models and Hanji craft all while Hanguk eumak (better known as gugak) resonated throughout the venue. Since its inception, Han Style has

continued to progress globally. Hansik began appearing in food trucks popular in Los Angeles, made it to New York restaurants and, in its latest development, has now secured broadcasting time on national television in the US. American public broadcaster PBS has been airing a program on Korean cuisine since July, titled Kimchi Chronicles. The program is hosted by Michelin three-star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and his Korean-born actress and model wife Marja Vongerichten. Kimchi Chronicles introduces viewers to regional Korean dishes, as well as the area the food originates from. The couple then takes the cuisine back to their home, and demonstrate how Hansik can be duplicated in any kitchen. A variety of well-known dishes such as bulgogi (marinated beef) and bibimbap (mixed rice with vegetables) have been introduced, and rare delights will be explored later in the season.
From left to right: Expats participate in a gimjang , kimchi-making event; a calligrapher writes in Hangeul (the Korean alphabet); a view of the inside of a Hanok (house); Fusion gugak (Korean music) group Yeoul performs a piece; Designer Han Song created pants made of Hanji (paper) fabric.

Korean food, often known for its lack of specific recipes, is now being introduced online with standardized cooking instructions. The Korean Food Foundation, sponsored by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, provides exact recipes and even how-tos on table setting with a variety of side dishes on www.Hansik. org. Other resources provide recipes and restaurant ratings, such as the Korea Tourism Organization-run website www.koreataste.org. If intrigued by Korean culture, one might naturally become familiar with the Korean language. As it is a phonetic language and relatively easy to learn, Korea has shared its alphabet with a small tribe in Indonesia, where it has become the tribes official writing system. The native language used by the Cia-Cia, which has a population of just 60,000, was endangered as the tribe didnt have a systemized writing method. The decision for a foreign country to adopt Hangeul is an unprecedented act. It will be a meaningful case in history if the Indonesian tribe manages to keep its aboriginal language with the

help of Hangeul, said Kim Ju-won, Seoul National University professor and member of the Hunminjeongeum Research Institute, to Yonhap News Agency. In the long run, the spread of Hangeul will also help enhance Koreas economy as it will activate exchanges with societies that use the language. As Hangeul paves its way into peoples lives, the Hanok has also become more approachable. Many Hanok-structured guesthouses and hotels are being built across the country, allowing both natives and tourists to experience a night in a traditional setting. Ragung, meaning Silla Palace, a hotel in Shilla Millennium Park in Gyeongju, is a high-end Hanok that combines modern luxuries with traditional aesthetics. In Seoul, a variety of Hanok guesthouses can be reserved for a night in old Korea, while troves of hidden Hanok houses can still be seen in neighborhoods such as Bukchon and Seochon. Perhaps one of the most accessible cultural elements is Korean music, which is seeing a resurgence in modern renditions. The National Theater of Korea hosted the first annual Yeourak Festival last year, which featured fusion gugak groups. The instruments used in the performances were all from the Korean tradition, but participants were

not afraid of mixing in Western rhythms or styles. Fusion gugak typically applies fast-paced rhythms to traditional sounds, so that even the gugak novice can become familiar with the music quickly. In September, Korean musician Kim Young-il received a Grammy Award nomination for his album Gagok, Pungnyu III, Jeong Ga Ak Hoe the first time a Korean album has received such a distinction. Lastly, Hanji proves to be one of the most diverse elements of Korean tradition. Directly translated, Hanji is a type of mulberry paper, but the actual use of Hanji does not stay within the category of materials that are written upon. While most often used to create crafts or artwork, more and more people are stepping up to the plate to find new uses for the material. Han Song, a designer who focuses on developing eco-friendly fabrics, showed a collection for his brand TROA. The pieces blend Hanji yarn and more common fabrics like Lycra to create modern, sustainable clothing. He was even able to produce one of his signature sleeveless jackets out of pure Hanji fabric. [The material is] closer to cotton than silk, but still different from cotton. Its slightly rougher but very comfortable. It is also noted for its cooling qualities, Han said, explaining

why Hanji was his choice of fabric. He also said that his overall collection for the season, which was introduced in May, is a very, very Korean collection without being obvious. This is not an ethnic collection, but the root of it is Korean tradition. Hanji is now expanding its market to global customers. The Cemal Reit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul hosted a festival dedicated to Hanji from Sept 13 to 15, introducing Korean handcrafts to local residents. From its use in calligraphy to crafting ornate works, Turkish festivalgoers were enthralled with Hanji. The festival was a branch of the popular Jeonju Hanji Festival, which has previously traveled to Shanghai, Berlin, Prague, Vancouver and St Petersburg. In the front line to promote Hanji, UNs Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon decorated his official New York residence and guesthouse with Hanji. Legendary Korean director Im Kwontaek even created a work based on the cultural element, his 100th film that was released in Korea this March. As Han Style reaches further into the global community, it becomes easier to see that appreciating local tradition is perhaps better than imitating what is already known and popular in the international community. The beauty of Han Style is in Korea.



Korean Style

of art, tradition and skill. Heejai Hanji has already helped more than 100 students master the craft. Hur exhibits her work at art galleries in Seoul and overseas, such as in Italy, France, China and Indonesia. Though her next step is to exhibit in Japan, a surge in work has kept her from beginning preparations. There is a continuous string of orders for Hanji crafts here, including furniture and DIY Hanji craft packages, which are sent to art classes in schools across the country. Materials and complete products ready for delivery are piled neatly in a corner next to her studio; hundreds of DIY kits are sent out weekly to aspiring craftsmen, young and old. I gain motivation from cloth samples, ancient crafts and exhibition works. They are all good references for exploring colors and patterns. We create our own styles from what we see and feel in the world around us, Hur says. Her own personality peeks out throughout the room, depicting her many interests: Chinese letters, grapevines,

home. She hopes to one day build an entire house with Hanji, from its wallpaper to the smallest decorative vase. As she speaks, her hands rhythmically gesture to depict the magnificent shapes of the traditional mulberry paper.

Learn more abouT hanjI

cho soo-jung hanji art gallery Daechi-dong, Seoul Renowned Hanji craftsman Cho Soojungs Hanji Art Gallery displays a variety of graceful works. Characterized by a tenacious use of naturally-dyed papers, Chos workmanship incorporates elements of Western aestheticism, transforming the traditional works into modern art. Porcelain, tea sets and dishes made of Hanji can be purchased. A tea room provides visitors with a place to relax, and offers traditional cookies and rice cakes. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.soojungHanji. co.kr. hanji story Insa-dong, Seoul Hanji Story is where you can buy everything you need for Hanji crafts, from various papers to small decorative ornaments. Once inside, itll be hard to leave the shop. Lessons in Hanji crafts are

a Cove of CrafTs
Hur Hee-jai says there is only one pure joy in her life: Hanji crafts. The artisan has devoted 30 years to the traditional paper craftwork, and the art form continues to entice her today. by Lim Ji-young | photographs by Kim Hong-jin
Heejai Hanji is nestled in the middle of a shopping district in Sanbon, south of Seoul, and serves as a cozy home for Hanji (Korean traditional paper) crafts. Visitors immediately notice the wall to wall displays of colorful, countless Hanji. The next room over is owner Hur Hee-jais studio, which also serves as a gallery and storage space. The entire interior of the building overflows with the dynamic works Hur and her students have created over the past three decades. Though the studio offers plenty of items to purchase and covet, Hur centralizes her work and business on strong principles. She

The beauty of Hanji is that there is nothing it cannot be shaped into, whether it is a chest of drawers, a tea table, stationery box, business card case or a napkin holder. Its also an excellent starting point for beginner craftsmen, as it is easy, affordable and practical, yet still contains all the charms

butterflies, lemons and marigolds. Hur says there is nothing she cant express through Hanji. She hopes to show the traditional crafts potential to as many people as possible, using her own life as her canvas. She reveals she even has about 30 pieces of Hanji furniture decorating her

believes traditional crafts should not only contain beauty, but have a practical function. This philosophy has helped the artist expand her horizons, making everything from delicate paper lanterns to sturdy cabinets stocked with pullout drawers. So what made her fall in love with Hanji? It is said that Hanji lasts a thousand years. The paper, which may look thin and fragile, is actually very strong and long lasting. The original color and patterns of Hanji craftworks are made from tender, yet strong, Hanji paper the materials do not fade, but gain a time-worn elegance as they

age. Thats the true charm of Hanji, Hur says. The creation process begins with a simple framework for an object the designer wishes to make. A layer of glue is then applied to the matte frame, before a layer of the delicate, handmade Hanji is placed on top. It is up to each artist to get just the right balance between the color of the paper and the shape of the object. The process of gluing and layering is then repeated, resulting in an ever-more sturdy craft. To excel in the craft, patience is key, as each step takes time to dry, settle and finish.
A collection of Hanji (traditional mulberry paper) crafts are on display at Heejai Hanji, south of Seoul (opposite). Owner Hur Hee-jai has spent 30 years creating the traditional crafts and teaching others (above). Boxes and drawers can be made with Hanji (left).

held regularly. A monthlong beginners course is 150,000 won (US$130, materials included), and participants will learn to create tea trays, tissue cases, business card cases and mini jewelry boxes. Visit www.Hanjistory.com. bukchon hanji craft Bukchon Hanok Village, Seoul Hanji crafts lovers gather here to share their trade secrets. As Bukchon Hanji Craft is located in the heart of a Hanok village, a truly authentic experience can be had within a traditional atmosphere. Sign up for lessons and tips, and you can learn how to make Hanji dolls. Visit http://cafe.naver.com/wooridoll.


Korean Style

That tradition, in particular, seems to be surviving more in the countryside. For Bin Do-rim, birth name Dirk Fuendling, its more fitting to wear a Hanbok when going out in the small city of Damyang. Bin is a former interpreter for the German Embassy and former professor of Catholic University of Daegu. He first came to study at Seoul National University in 1974, after his curiosity about the little-known Asian country grew. The East Asian studies major returned a decade later, and he hasnt left since. After a while, city life began to wear on him, and Bin decided to move to the country house hed been building during his 10 years at the Seoul-based embassy. Though his previous work as an official kept him in black suits, his new work as a translator and beeswax candle maker afforded him a new liberty. I didnt wear Hanbok a lot while in Seoul, but since moving down to the countryside I started wearing it a lot more.
From opposite, clockwise: Korean citizen Bin Do-rim stands before his Hanok house in Damyang; a traditional mens Hanbok (traditional dress); Bin holds one of his handmade candles; Bin and his wife in their home.

people wearing the Hanbok than before, although as you know, its still a rarity, Koehler says. When I first came to Korea in the 1970s and 80s, people would only wear Hanbok on chuseok (the harvest holiday) or seollal (the Lunar New Year) to perform a bow to their

a CosTume of CuLTure
While some Koreans are slowly distancing themselves from ancient traditions, others are learning to take in as much as possible, reviving the best of Koreas Hanbok. Will others soon follow in their wake? by Ines Min | photographs by Park Jeong-roh

Now its the opposite from before: theres no real need for me to ever wear a suit and I havent worn a tie in about 10 years, Bin laughs. He also wears the modernized gaeryang Hanbok, for its comfort and convenience. It looks good and, especially now that Im a little older and my beer belly has come out, its very comfortable, he jokes.

elders. Outside of that, men would always wear black suits. Black or brown, one of the two, it was always fixed. But lately, in the countryside especially, people are wearing Hanbok a little more, Bin explains about the change. If you look at it in one way, Korean people have become more confident. Back in the 70s, Koreans didnt have enough confidence, and there were a lot of complaints about the country and how this didnt go right and such, and everyone was always looking to the US. But now, its not like that confidence has really grown and Koreans now view Korea as successful. I think that one expression of that change is a return to pride in tradition.

More and more expats are showing locals how its done. While young Koreans are eager to try out the latest trends in fashion, a small community of people are steadfast in their dedication to one of Koreas most visible traditions: the Hanbok. Korean traditional dress is making a comeback from the corners of Korea, and expats are some of Hanboks greatest proponents. Robert Koehler, the editor of Seoul magazine and writer of the popular Marmots Hole blog (www.rjkoehler.com), is one of the most prominent Hanbok

supporters in Seoul. Koehler is known to wear a gaeryang Hanbok, or a modernized version, on a daily basis. Theyre comfortable, easy to maintain and look nice. Im also naturally partial to traditional culture I started wearing the Hanbok around 1998, when modernized Hanbok were first coming into fashion, explains the 14-year resident of Korea. Koehler first came here to teach English in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province. Though he arrived in Korea without much foreknowledge of what would await him, the

American expat soon fell in love with the culture. We think of traditional as something stuck in the past, and by doing so, we sometimes keep it there, unfortunately. I think the modernized Hanbok is an attempt to overcome this by reestablishing some historical continuity to the clothing. Clothing, like most facets of culture, evolves. Its no different from what took place with Western clothing todays clothing, for the most part, is a continuation of a fashion tradition that goes back centuries, Koehler says.

Bin still keeps around a range of Hanbok, however, from the traditional outfit he received as a gift when he was naturalized as a Korean citizen, to a lighter summer version made of mosi, or ramie. As many residents in Damyang are also accustomed to wearing Hanbok, Bin is able to fit right into the local scene, and has even received the occasional compliment of, Very stylish! Perhaps this attitude is filtering its way through the local population, as both Koehler and Bin have seen a small, but visible, increase in Hanbok wearers. You see more


Korean Wave

The Korean ripples around The World

by Jeong Deok-hyeon


In its home country, hallyu the Korean Wave of TV series, movies and pop singers that swept across Asia was once considered no more than a fad. While its biggest hits, such as Winter Sonata and Dae Jang Geum (aired in the U.S. as Jewel in the Palace), were sensations overseas, the resulting glut of hallyu-prefixed output was often of a vastly inferior quality, leading many to think that its days were numbered. But recently, hallyu has emerged stronger than ever, with its hits sweeping through Asia and onto the world stage.

A still from the TV drama Personal Preference , which stars Lee Min-ho and Son Ye-jin.



Korean Wave

Vietnam, K. from Korea was astonished. Though he had certainly glimpsed the posters of Korean celebrities adorning the shops en route from the airport, he hadnt expected to see them all again on his TV in a seemingly endless procession of Korean drama shows. Seeing the actors dubbed in Vietnamese was also a source of amusement. On one show, he could swear that one persons voice was dubbing every single character. Later asking a guide, who confirmed his suspicion, whether it wasnt offputting to have one actor do all the voices, he was told no it wasnt, because the dramas are just so addictive. And situations like this arent limited to Vietnam. At 9pm, the golden hour for viewing figures, Korean dramas are a common sight on Hong Kongs TV stations. ATV, one of the largest outlets, currently shows Korean programming from 8 to 10:30pm, Monday to Friday. Just a few years ago, Korean dramas were a marginal concern, with only two or three aired per year. Then Dae Jang Geum, a historical tale about a female physician in the Joseon Dynasty, seized a massive 50 percent audience share, taking Korean TV shows into the big time. China has proved just as susceptible to the Korean wave. Again, the catalyst for success was Dae Jang Geum, which gained an audience share of at least 15 percent in 31 major cities across the country, followed by other big hits such as Full House and Stairway to Heaven. Such has been the success of Korean stars in the country, some are now appearing in homegrown Chinese productions. After gaining popularity in Successful Story of a Bright Girl, about a

urning on the television in his hotel room on a recent business trip to

country girl falling for a big-city business type, Jang Na-ra co-starred in the Chinese drama My Bratty Princess with Taiwanese actor Alec Su. Its sequel, My Bratty Princess 2, featured another Korean actress, Chae Rim, who hit it big in All About Eve, in which two news reporters vie for a top spot in the network they both work for. Alongside Jang Hyuk, who gained popularity with Introducing My Girlfriend, Chae Rim is scheduled to star in the upcoming Chinese remake of All About Eve. From Hong Kong, hallyu has also spread throughout Southeast Asia. Even Myanmar, a country not known for its cultural openness, has fallen for the charms of Korean entertainment, first with Winter Sonata and now Dae Jang Geum and a comedy gangster flick Marrying the Mafia. In cracking Southeast Asian markets, Hong Kong has proved a crucial conduit. Full House, to take one example, garnered a 52 percent rating in Hong Kong with 63 percent in Thailand, 42.3 percent in the Philippines and an astonishing 78 percent rating in Indonesia. Today, proving their remarkably adaptable appeal, hallyu shows have started creeping into Central Asia, Africa and even the Muslim world. Slushy hit Winter Sonata aired in Egypt in 2004, while Tunisia has developed a taste for Korean historical dramas such as Jamyeonggo. In 2007, after joining the long list of countries to fall for Dae Jang Geum, Iran became hooked on Jumong, which recorded a 60 percent audience share. Uzbek viewers saw Painter of the Wind; Mongolians watched Temptation of a Wife. And the recently finished Personal Preference, in
Kim Tae-hee, who starred in the hit show Iris (opposite). Actors Lee Jun-ki, heroine Nam Sang-mi and Jung Kyung-ho star in Time Between Dog and Wolf (above, from left). Stills from the drama Iris (below left, right). A scene from the drama Boys Over Flowers (bottom).

Korean Wave

which a straight man pretends to be gay in order to room with the female lead, is being exported to Central and South America, Africa, and the Middle East. The InTernaTIonal Wave So how is the original market for hallyu, Japan, faring now? Though many believe the Korean wave petered out after Winter Sonata and Dae Jang Geum, the reality is that, though not on the phenomenal scale of those two shows, a string of Korean shows continue to do well there today. Having failed to lure audiences with dramas that
Protagonist Lee Seung-gi from Brilliant Legacy (above). Iris s stars Lee So-yeon, Kim Tae-hee and TOP (below, right). A still from Boys Over Flowers (opposite top). A scene from Personal Preference (opposite bottom).

November 2008 to June 2009, the number of such shows increased from 27 to 42, with each channel raising its own quota of dramas from two to six. And with greater volume has come greater diversity. After Winter Sonata inspired a cult-like following among women throughout Asia, Korean producers saturated the market with sentimental romances with increasingly unfeasible plots. Now, however, subject matter includes noir (Time Between Dog and Wolf), family (Brilliant Legacy), history (Jumong) and even private educational institutes (Boys Over Flowers). By diversifying their output into fast-paced, more action-oriented historical series, producers have managed to lure male viewers into what was once an almost entirely female preserve and now, viewers are getting younger, too. Iris is a prime example of how hallyu dramas have changed. On April 21, the espionage thriller was the first Korean drama to be aired on Japanese TV in the 9pm golden hour, with the first two episodes (broadcast consecutively) receiving a 10.1 percent overall audience share, a huge number by Japanese standards. Nor were ratings the sole triumph for Iris. With much of the production and marketing duties shared with TBS, Iris starred Lee Byung-hun, one of Koreas biggest stars, and TOP, a singer with popular K-Pop group Big Bang, and featured a soundtrack by Shin Seung-hun, a fast-rising Korean star in Japan. By bringing such big and varied stars on board, Iris aimed for, and got, not just viewers in their 30s and older, but a younger demographic as well. As a joint production with Japan, Iris also symbolized hallyus growing role as a truly pan-Asian phenomenon. From

mimicked the formula of the big hits, Korean TV producers are finding that homegrown successes are continuing to pull in Japanese viewers. Romantic comedy My Lovely Sam Soon, a huge success in Korea, took a 5.2 percent share in the highly fragmented Japanese market (where even 6 percent is rare), and historical dramas Yi San and Dae Jo Yeong also struck a big chord with Japanese viewers. At home, the number of Korean dramas is rising steadily. From


Korean Wave

success in Asia, producers recognize that they, too, have to change. Though not created specifically with the international market in mind, Dae Jang Geum is perhaps the best example of how Korean dramas can succeed across borders: by identifying universal themes that can appeal to viewers everywhere, and can be tweaked to speak to their own lives. Today europe, TomorroW hollyWood The internationalization of Korean TV dramas is every bit as evident in movies. In China, the list of Korean stars appearing in local productions includes Song Hye-kyo in Wong Kar-wais The Grand Master, Jun Ji-hyun in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, and Kim Hee-sun in the historical movie Civil Wars. And while the focus for hallyu in Southeast Asia undoubtedly remains TV dramas, in other markets, notably Europe, it is the movies that are catching the critics eyes. Among the films on show at this
Jeon Do-yeon, who previously won the best female actress award at Cannes Film Festival in 2007, recently starred the film The Housemaid (above). A scene from The Housemaid (below).

fame, sold his latest work, I Saw the Devil, to French distributor ARP. Though still unfinished, the movie is receiving a lot of attention thanks to its stellar cast, which includes Lee Byunghun and Oldboy star Choi Min-sik. As seen at Cannes, Korean movies are slowly but surely gaining ground in Europe. But what of the movie Holy Grail, Hollywood? So far, hallyu has

had considerably less success there. Yet two top stars, Rain and Lee Byung-hun, were cast in big-budget movies respectively Ninja Assassin and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and with the success hallyu continues to enjoy elsewhere, who would bet against a Koreandirected Hollywood film hitting it big in the next 10 years?

A scene from the movie Ha Ha Ha, which starred Moon So-ri and Kim Sang-gyeong the film received the top prize at this years Cannes Film Festival (top). Director of Poetry Lee Chang-dong and The Housemaids director Im Sang-soo (above, from left). Poetrys heroine Yoon Jeong-hee (below).

being made entirely in Korea, and then viewed in Japan and China, newer productions are often harnessing the strengths of all three countries. Kim Hyoo-jong, dean of the Graduate School of Arts Management at Chugye University for the Arts, defines the first phase of hallyu as the made in era, the next phase as the made by era (when the focus will be on the production company), and the current phase as the made for era, where the emphasis is on targeting groups that can receive the most value and enjoyment.

Hallyu has become an industry where content is no longer restricted by national boundaries. Chinas vast market, Japans marketing skills and Koreas excellence in production are now combined to produce a single product. Having expanded its boundaries within Asia, the next stepping stone for hallyu has become the global market. Korean actors and actresses are starring in Chinese and Japanese dramas, and Korean directors and authors are working with Chinese and Japanese actors and actresses. Capital is no longer limited by national boundaries, and TV and movie moguls are searching for new investments throughout the region. As hallyu aims to consolidate its

years Cannes Film Festival was Im Sang-soos The Housemaid, a remake of a cult Korean classic from the 1960s. Meanwhile, Lee Chang-dongs Poetry received great acclaim and went on to win the award for best screenplay. Another Korean movie Hong Sang-soos Ha Ha Ha received the top prize in the Un Certain Regard category. While Cannes itself was, because of Europes ongoing economic problems, a somewhat dampened affair, Korean films enjoyed their most successful showing yet. Besides The Housemaids tally of 15 countries, Poetry and Lee Joon-iks Blades of Blood (which was not officially on show) were sold to four countries apiece. In addition, Kim Ji-woon, of The Good, The Bad, The Weird



Korean Wave

These are heady days for Koreas historical dramas. Now shown around the world, the genres road to success began back in 2004 with the mega-hit Dae Jang Geum, which told the story of a female physician in a Joseon Dynasty. As of June 2010, the show has been broadcast in 60 countries worldwide, enjoying phenomenal success as far afield as Japan, Taiwan and Iran. In India, so taken was one prisoner with the show that he penned an open letter to Korea saying, I have found new hope in life through watching Dae Jang Geum. In bringing Korean culture into households around the world, Dae Jang Geum has raised Koreas profile enormously, while also bringing tangible financial benefits to the country. The shows heavy focus on food sparked a craze for such dishes as bibimbap, with Korean restaurants even in New York reporting a spike in interest in the dish. In addition, the show sparked a wave of spin-offs and merchandising, in everything from tourism to musicals to computer game characters. More recently, the historical dramas Jumong, Yi San, The Kingdom of the Winds and Emperor of the Sea have raised awareness of Koreas history and culture while gripping viewers worldwide. Calling them cultural ambassadors, one member of the production staff at Korean TV network MBC says: Although historical dramas need to be
A still from the TV drama Kim Soo Ro (opposite). A scene from the drama The Kingdom of the Winds, starred Song Il-gook (top). Kim Soo Ro s hero Ji Sung (above).

and Thailand for US$ 6 million even before the drama was aired in Korea, says a crew member working on the show. Buyers are growing tired of male dominated historical dramas, and are increasingly fascinated by historical stories about women. Some historical dramas also attempt to cover aspects of Korean history that had previously been neglected. Kim Soo Ro delves into largely forgotten Gaya civilization, while Dae Jo Yeong serves as a source of information on Koreas ancient Balhae civilization. Why so popular Just as we think of pyramids and the Sphinx when Egypt is mentioned, and Ancient Greece brings to mind mythology, in like manner Korean historical dramas are providing a compelling historical context for the country Korea is today. These intriguing storylines and the culture they convey are one of the most precious gifts left to us by our forefathers, and have a universal appeal that can be enjoyed by foreigners as much as by Koreans. And the benefits are more than just a higher profile for Korean culture. According to the Study of the Economic Value of the Korean Wave (Hallyu), published in 2005 by the International Trade Research Center of the Korea International Trade Association, in 2004, the year Dae Jang Geum was released, hallyu generated income of US$ 1.87 billion overseas. Clearly, a well-made depiction of Korean culture can bring great economic benefits, too. But the intangible benefits are as valuable, providing Korea with a chance to display the vibrancy of its culture, lifestyle and history to the wider world. Korea currently may not make blockbuster movies like Transformers or Iron Man, a Korean cultural critic recently noted. But Korea definately has a distinct culture that nobody else possesses. This unique aspect is distilled and displayed in Korean historical dramas.

While conventional wisdom has it that Korean women were always and everywhere suppressed by dominant men, historical dramas have shown a more nuanced picture, depicting the lives of women who wielded genuine power in historical Korea. Take, for example, MBC historical drama Queen Seondeok. Set in Koreas distant past, the show depicts the conspiracies and feuds that eventually saw Seonduk become Koreas first queen. A big success in Korea, the series has also been exported to 14 countries around the world. In Dong Yi, also on MBC, Consort Choi, though born to the lowest echelons of Korean society, mothers the man who goes on to become Joseon Dynasty monarch Yeongjo. Dong Yi was contracted for export to Japan

Learning From the Past

As Sex and the City fans would surely acknowledge, the shows setting and the lifestyle of its main characters are as appealing as its plotlines. Indeed, rightly or wrongly, the show is great insight into how New Yorkers live for many viewers. In much the same way, various hallyu productions are providing a window into the lives and culture of Koreans. And nowhere is this truer than with one of its most popular exports: historical dramas.
by Ahn Jin-yong

interesting, they must also accurately depict Korean history. If our historical dramas are not accurate, they could show foreigners a distorted picture of Korean history. The real pIcTure Ever since the success of Dae Jang Geum, Korean pop culture has used the countrys history both to feed the overseas demand for hallyu and to make domestic audiences look at their past anew. One notable instance of this has been in the changing depiction of women, of whom the determined protagonist of Dae Jang Geum is only the most notable example.


Korean Wave

alongside Ko Hyun-jung, who starred as Mishil in last years historical drama Queen Seondeok, and Ko Hyun-jung, who will play Koreas first female president. Much is being made of the potential on-screen chemistry between Kwon and Ko, whose star is on the rise after her appearance in Queen Seondeok. Kwon also returned to the big screen, with an appearance in Lee Jae-hans 71-Into the Fire. made oF korean maTerIals So Ji-sub, who last year went to Japan to

released in 1997, Sweet Sweet Love, which originally starred Leon Lai and Maggie Cheung, has the advantage of a familiar and much-loved story. Parks Japanese fans and the legions of Chinese viewers who so loved the original are sure to make the new version, Love Song, a big hit. Also set for the Korean remake treatment is It Started With a Kiss, a hit drama series from Taiwan that was itself based on a bestselling Japanese comic book. Kim Hyeon-jung, from K-Pop idol group SS501, and Shim Chang-min, from rival group TVQX, or Dong Bang Shin Gi, are rumored to be playing the lead roles in the Korean version, which is scheduled to air in the second half of 2010. With both Kim and Shim already big pop stars in Korea and throughout Asia, producers are confident that It Started With a Kiss will be a big hit

haLLyus Big Bang

Some of hallyus biggest stars have a busy six months ahead. Having conquered Southeast Asia and, in some cases, gone further afield, some of the biggest names in Korean entertainment including Rain, Song Seung-hun, Kwon Sang-woo and So Ji-sub are set to return to the big and small screens. In this big hallyu showdown, who will be the last man (or woman) standing?
by Ahn Jin-yong

promote his hit series Cain and Abel, is starring in a new drama. To mark his return, So chose Road Number One, a drama series about the Korean War that air in the memory of 60th year of the Korean War, which is on the air nowadays. A reference to National Highway No 1, the main artery connecting North and South Korea during the war, Road Number One looks at the loves and friendships that are forged during the war. So Ji-sub plays Lee Jang-woo, a passionate South Korean officer born to a poor farming family, who finally overcomes enormous hardship and danger by sheer instinct and force of will. Starting broadcast on June 25, Road Number One also stars Kim Ha-neul, Yoon

After a long absence as he focused on becoming a global star, Rain will be back on Korean TV screens in this years October with a new miniseries, Fugitive. Five years have passed since the Ninja Assassin stars last TV outing, so expectations among his fans are reaching a fever pitch. Making his small-screen debut in 2004s Full House, Rain has consolidated his Asiawide appeal in the years since with a string of pop hits and, more recently, movie roles. In the new series, Rain will be working with producer Kwak Jung-hwan and writer Chun Sung-il, who teamed up to a successful effect in last years drama Chuno. Fan boards are also aswirl with rumors linking Lee

Na-young, star of Korea-Japan co-production Dream and hit drama Island, with the lead role opposite Rain. As comebacks go, this one could be really special. sTars, rIvals, FrIends Song Seunghun, famous for the dramas Autumn in My Heart and Summer Scent, and Kwon Sangwoo, the milky-skinned star of Stairway to Heaven, have a fair bit in common. They are both 33. They are very close friends. And in the second half of 2010, they are preparing to battle it out for the affections of hallyu fans everywhere. An award winner for his star turn in the

drama series East of Eden, Song is set to appear in My Princess, from the team at Curtain Call Producers. Though neither the network nor the director have yet been confirmed, Song will star opposite one of Koreas hottest female stars, Kim Tae-hee, fresh from her success in the smash hit thriller series Iris. Kim Eun-sook, who wrote Lovers in Paris and On Air, will write the script, says a member of the production team. With Song Seung-hun and Kim Taehee in this drama, were all expecting big things, both inside and outside Korea. Also set to make Korean TV screens sizzle is Kwon Sang-woo, who will return in The Substitute this October. Kwon will appear

Kye-sang, Choi Min-soo and Son Chang-min. A member of the crew says: Road Number One is not only an engrossing series, it is also an opportunity to reflect on the Korean War. By casting So Ji-sub in the lead role, the show is sure to convey the full emotional impact of the war to his foreign fans too. Meanwhile, Park Yong-ha, star of Winter Sonata and On Air, is to star in Love Song, a remake drama of the Chinese movie of Sweet Sweet Love. Park is also a famous singer, especially in Japan, where he has released 10 albums and even held a concert at Nippon Budokan, one of the countrys most famous concert halls. By remaking what was a worldwide hit when it was

Kim Hyeon-jung is rumored to be playing the lead roles in upcoming drama, It Started With a Kiss (above). So Ji-sub (below) and Kim Ha-neul (bottom) are currently starring in the show Road Number One .

with their younger fans. With so many big names returning, the remaining half of 2010 is truly shaping up to be a war of the stars, says a source at Korean TV network MBC. This will also become a battle amongst the three main TV channels. The whole tide of hallyu could change this year.

Korean Wave

and The neW Korean Wave shaKe The World

The power of music leaves us in awe. Its no longer unusual to hear people on the opposite side of the planet hum along to K-Pop songs. Korean music is spreading throughout Asia and around the world. As it leads the new Korean wave, just how far can K-Pop go? by Jeong Deok-hyeon

Boy band Beast gives a showcase of the Legend of Beast - Vol. 1 , in September 2010 in Japan.



Korean Wave

ream High, a popular Korean TV drama that wrapped up in

company JYP Entertainment co-produced the drama, but their appearance is significant not just in terms of their business but of pop culture. It proved the barrier between TV dramas and pop music is slowly but surely coming down. Their appearances brought together the first generation and the second generation of Korean wave stars. In the drama, Bae is a director at Kirin Art High School and recruits future K-Pop stars. He appoints Park
Bae Yong-joon in TV Drama Dream High (above). Dream High highlighted the enthusiasm of Koreas young musicians; the show caught audiences attention because it starred some real K-Pop stars like Taekyeon (right and below), Suzy of Miss A, Eun-jeong of T-ara, IU and others (below).

displays the state of the Korean wave today. k-pop as The neW korean Wave Karas first Japanese single, Mister, reached No 5 on the Oricon Weekly Chart in the first week of its release last August. They became the first Asian [besides Japan itself] girl group to crack the top 10. And Karas greatest hits compilation album debuted at No 2 and sold 50,000 units in its first week. It also ranked second on the weekly chart. And the recent DVD titled Kara Best Clips sold 132,000 copies in its first week to top Oricons weekly DVD chart. This was an unprecedented feat for a female artist since Oricon started tracking DVDs in 1999. Girls Generation, who debuted in Japan last September, put their first single, Genie, at No 4 on Oricons monthly chart after selling 45,000 units in its opening week. The group has sold 121,000 units of its album to date. Girls Generation ranked second only behind AKB48, the Japanese equivalent of Girls Generation, on the girl group power ranking compiled by Nikkei Entertainment, based on record sales last year. Its noteworthy that Japanese media have taken an interest in Korean girl groups. News Watch 9 on NHK, the most-watched news program in Japan, once allocated five minutes at the top of the program to a story about Korean girl groups. Many other private broadcasters have reported on Korean girl bands on
2NE1 makes an intense impression with a unique visual style (above). Its easy to see why Girls Generation has attracted both male and female fans of all ages, both at home in Korea and around the world (below).

February, told the story of a young musician named K, who goes on to win a Grammy Award in 2018. Even for a drama, the exaggerations can be a bit too much to handle, but theyre somewhat related to the ongoing evolution of the new Korean wave. K-Pop, which is leading the way for the new wave, has already transcended Asia and has begun to reach America, Europe and even South America and the Middle East. If the drama Dream High comes across as extra ambitious, thats likely because the show cast some of the top K-Pop artists of the day Taekyeon and Woo-young of 2PM, Suzy of Miss A, Eunjeong of T-ara and IU. Bae Yong-joon and Park Jin-young, both top artists themselves now involved in talent development, appeared side by side. Baes agency Keyeast and Parks

as one of the teachers before leaving for Japan. This was a symbolic development. It was almost as if Bae, who started the Korean wave with his hit dramas, had passed the torch to Park, the face of the new Korean wave led by K-Pop music and agencies. The influence of K-Pop is now the subject of popular TV shows nothing better

morning shows. Most of the programs took a serious approach to the phenomena: What separated Korean girl groups from Japanese groups, and why teenagers and 20-something Japanese girls went crazy over Korean artists. The Japanese industry felt the need to analyze the rush of Korean



Korean Wave

fan base thanks to their songs and music videos made readily available via online sites. K-Pop has taken a leading role in the new Korean wave, largely because its content is so web-friendly. Music videos and music files content that can be consumed in a short time are a much better fit for the Internet than TV dramas. The spread of music is also less impeded by any language barriers, unlike dramas. So Korean songs that are spread through the Internet have transcended the boundaries of the old Korean wave. No longer limited to Japan, China and Southeast Asia, K-Pop has seen its girl groups and decide how they should respond to it. This is phenomena is reminiscent of how Bae Yong-joon Syndrome first took Japan by storm. Yon-sama (Sir Bae Yong-joon in Japanese) fever started with middle-aged women who went head over heels for Korean dramas. And the Korean actors, who were polite and gentle to them and treated them like ladies, were easy to like. The rise of Korean girl groups in Japan is similar to the Yon-sama fever in that even though there was no Japanese equivalent, there was clearly enough demand. The neW korean Wave map Before the second Korean wave took shape, people took note of idol groups dominance in local digital music markets. Idol groups gradually developed more talent as they underwent systematic training. The rise of Wonder Girls, Girls Generation and Big Bang helped usher in an era of digital music and dispel any lingering worries of recession in the recording industry. Still, the explosion of K-Pop, leading to the second Korean wave, was beyond
Koreas brand new boy group ZE:A, which made its debut last year, gives a performance in Japan in September 2010 (above). 4Minute played overseas shows in Thailand, the Philippines and elsewhere (below).

artists arent so much trying to hit the foreign markets as they are visiting foreign countries. That has made it possible for Kara to come back to Korea to release a new single, all the while their stock continues to soar in Japan. Time and space have been rendered less important. You can take the stage in Korea and Japan, and fly over to South America and the US if necessary. These changes to marketing strategies have also led to a shift in strategies on localization. Park Jin-young once said the words Korean wave themselves are obstacles to the very movement they

T.O.P, a member of Big Bang, is becoming a big hit thanks not only to his work as a singer, but also for his acting (right). Girl group After School joined with several Japanese artists on their albums (below). With its owerful stage show, boy group 2PM has seen its popularity soar. (bottom).

The new school of thought is that its better for Korean artists to stay true to themselves rather than trying to be American. k-pop Goes Global Now that K-Pop is catering to a global audience, the most important asset is content with international appeal. Producing music is increasingly becoming a global project. For instance, Girls Generations singles such as Hoot and Tell Me Your Wish (Genie) were written outside of Korea. A group of Danish writers composed Hoot and a Norwegian composing group named Design Music wrote Tell Me Your Wish. Words are written and songs are arranged in Korea, and choreographers from the US and Japan create the routines. Its truly a global project. Because K-Pop songs have such diverse backgrounds, they are that much more likely to be accepted internationally. Just because K-Pop music

horizons expand to the rest of the world in real time. Be it the US, Europe or the Middle East: wherever there is Internet, the Korean wave has transcended language and racial barriers and reached international audiences. Soompi.com, the worlds largest Korean wave community site, headquartered in the US, boasts 700,000 members worldwide. And theyre all non-Koreans, including Caucasians, African-Americans, Hispanics, Arabs and people of mixed backgrounds. The emergence of social networking services has altered K-Pop marketing strategies. The costs have been reduced. Agencies dont have to directly market to the public when fans themselves build their own networks online and share describe. His point was that the only way to carve a niche in the US is to become Americanized. Many people agreed at the time. For all that Korean wave, it would all be for naught if audiences couldnt relate. But Parks theory cant explain the recent trends of the new Korean wave. Today, international fans tend to be enamored with the Korean lyrics. Fans in Japan, Taiwan and even in South America are trying to sing along with the Korean words of these songs, some going as far as learning the Korean language. Some cover bands emulating Korean artists have sprung up in the US. Their mimicking of K-Pop dances are uploaded on YouTube and generate more interest.

anyones wildest imagination. The catalyst for the success was the Internet. Girls Generations Japanese showcase on Aug 25, 2010 saw about 800 fans greet them at the airport, much to the shock of the group members themselves. They had never even been to Japan before, let along performed on a Japanese stage. That first showcase drew 22,000 people. Even before Girls Generation set foot in Japan, the group had already built a huge

content. So it really comes down to the content itself and whether it can appeal to the global audience. Companies can gauge possibilities in new markets around the world through the Internet and then focus on regions with potential by releasing albums. The singer Rain traveled uncharted territory with his world tour, but today artists can be a bit more precise in their preparation. Rain, Wonder Girls or other


Korean Wave

members seem like goddesses that are hard to approach, Kara girls have a friendly, more down-to-earth image. K-Pop artists and producers have experimented with global music in an attempt to reach out to international audiences. In the past, Korean agencies merely tried to copy the Japanese system and musical trends. Today, these agencies catch on to the latest trends in the US and Europe and apply a Korean twist. Because of this, K-Pop has become the trendsetter for pop music in Asia. The same can be said for boy bands such as 2PM. These young men have given K-Pop a clear identity. The worldwide spread of Korean pop music has, amazingly, reached all the way to South America. Chile, for instance, held the 2 K-Pop

ITs culTure, noT naTIonalITy For the new Korean wave, which retains its local identity as it moves globally, the idea of nationality is no longer important. What has become more important is the distinct nature of the culture. Lee Soo-man, producer of SM Entertainment, was buoyed by Chinese enthusiasm for the boy band H.O.T. and saw the possibilities of K-Pop in Asian markets early on. By joining forces with Japans Avex, Lee helped build successful Japanese careers for BoA and TVXQ. That was the very start of the ongoing success of the new wave. Korean girl group After School collaborated with Amuro Namie on the artists greatest-hits compilation, the success of which suggests there could be more international collaborations involving Korean artists in the future. The album features songs on which Amuro was featured. After School also joined other Japanese artists such as AI&Anna Tsuchiya, Kawabata Kaname and Yamashita Tomohisa on working on their albums. M-flo, a leading black music artist in J-pop, has an interesting lineup. The group consists of VERBAL (born Ryu Yeong-gi), a third-generation ethnic Korean, and DJ Takahashi Taku. The group itself is global, and they have
Kim Hyun-joong, once a member of boy group SS501, is widely popular in several countries, including Taiwan, Hong Kong and Thailand (above). Miss A is a global project group which has Chinese members Zia and Fei (below).

has been key to building ties with agencies in Thailand and Taiwan. Theyve created synergy effects that cross international boundaries. k-pop chanGes The IndusTry Once smartphones and tablet PCs become more widely available, you will likely experience an even bigger revolution than ever. K-Pops contents may go beyond songs and could well blend with dramas, films or other genres. A project such as Dream High serves as an example, and the fact that more recording companies are investing in storytelling contents such as dramas and films reflects this shift. K-Pop is expanding its horizons because of the obvious advantages of its storytelling contents. K-Pop is pretty competitive with its songs, but in order for it to be constantly consumed and talked about, it needs to tell stories one way or another. Music videos have done the job so far, and now producers are trying to be more aggressive in dramas and films. This transition suggests that K-Pop wont be confined to music for too much longer. K-Pop wields the biggest influence as a champion of Korean pop culture, but it may also have a more practical impact on the industry. Its significant in many ways that Girls Generation has been tagged as the Asian face of Intel. and Amber of the girl group f(x), and Zia and Fei of Miss A, are Chinese. This sort of globalization has helped change the perception of K-Pop groups. For fans, Korean groups arent them but one of us. Such a strategic partnership that transcends borders isnt confined to group members. The know-how for the management system unique to K-Pop It means multinational corporations have recognized the global economic values of K-Pop artists, and that those companies have taken interest in the rising popularity of K-Pop as its contents have reached all over the world through the Internet. The new Korean wave, led by K-Pop, has moved on from music to pop culture and now to an entire industry.

contest in Santiago last November. It seems that K-Pop has many fans in that country, with many expressing a great interest in the Korean wave. The syndrome doesnt stop there. Argentina also hosted Latin Americas K-Pop contest last October, which was attended by more than eleven teams from six countries from throughout Latin America.

has become global doesnt mean it has lost its Korean character. As previously mentioned, girl groups like Girls Generation found success in Japan because they separated themselves from their Japanese counterparts. Japanese girl groups a cute image, while K-Pop girl groups sought to portray an air of confidence and sexiness. Kara, unlike in Korea, enjoyed a quick rise to stardom in Japan because it had both the girly image of Japan and the sexy image of K-Pop. If Girls Generation

Boy band SHINee is popular among young girls all over the world (above). Girl group T-ara are known for their cute and friendly image (right).

worked with such Korean artists as Wheesung, BoA and Alex. They believe that a cultural bond through hip hop is more important than their nationalities. Some K-Pop groups themselves have broken down these barriers. Sandara Park of 2NE1 started her career in the Philippines, and Park Jae-beom, formerly of 2PM, is an American born to Korean parents. 2PM even recruited a foreign national: Nichkhun, from Thailand. He was born to a Thai-Chinese family and is now a national star in Thailand. Victoria

Korean Wave

videos on the list of the most viewed clips on YouTube. Nobody by Wonder Girls in 2008 got the ball rolling, and Gee by Girls Generation hit the charts in the US and Europe, too. To this day, Gee has been viewed more than 33 million times on YouTube alone. YouTube is now serving a launching pad for K-Pop artists. With the term YouTube Silk Road being tossed around, K-Pop is actively using YouTube to reach out to foreign markets. For instance, in October 2010, SM Entertainment introduced a teaser clip for the new Girls Generation single Hoot and then the full music video on YouTube. Within two days, these videos attracted 1

Sweden, Mexico and Spain also watched the music video on YouTube. Its truly a global list. This is all thanks to the power of SNS. Big Bangs new album reached No 7 on Billboards Heatseekers Albums chart, which tracks titles from new or developing acts, and No 3 on the World Albums chart. Last January, TVXQs new single, Keep Your Head Down, made it to No 4 on the United World Chart at the German site Media Traffic. Neither TVXQ nor Big Bang resorted to direct local marketing, but still achieved outstanding results, mostly thanks to SNS and the new Korean Wave. K-Pop stars can indulge themselves on

stars spread the word about their new albums and keep fans up to date on whats going on with them in Korea. SNS also wields a great deal of influence on the activities of fan clubs. Last September, when artists of SM Entertainment put on a joint show at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, some 2,000 members of SM Town fan clubs had a spontaneous gathering. And it all started with a seeming innocuous Facebook posting by a 20-something female American fan. When that message took a life of its own, fans decided to get together for a giant party, taking SM officials by surprise. It was also encouraging that while most of the

StarS and FanS ConneCted by SnS

Through Social Network Service (SNS) such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, K-Pop stars are broadening their horizons. This magic service that transcends time and space helps turn Korean stars into global icons.

footage from TV show programs to all corners of the world in real time. Compare, for instance, the situation for TVXQ when it first entered the Japanese market to what the market is like today. TVXQ was virtually unknown in Japan and it had to hit the streets first to build a name for itself. A few years later, Girls Generation didnt have to do all of that work. The girl group had already secured tens of thousands of Japanese fans through YouTube, and their first showcase drew 22,000 people. The girls had to hold three shows to accommodate all of their fans. It was all thanks to the power of YouTube. With the groups videos widely million clicks. Thats almost on par with the leading pop artists of the world. Last September, YG Entertainment put music videos by 2NE1 on YouTube and they had 10 million clicks in just two weeks. Most recently, Tonight, the lead single off a mini album by Big Bang, was spread around the world through YouTube. It has surpassed 3 million viewers, topping the list in Korea. It also led all music videos in Japan, enjoyed the most comments, made the most favorites lists and received the highest ratings. The video has also fared well in nonAsian countries. It was the second-most watched music video in Australia, fourth in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and fifth and sixth in New Zealand and France. Fans in India, Facebook, Twitter or me2day, a Korean equivalent of Twitter. Today, pop stars see Twitter as the most important window of communication with fans. And often, Twitterians with the most followers are celebrities. Super Junior boasts a massive following. Donghae has 320,000 followers, the top among Korean stars. Kim Hee-chul has about 284,000 followers and Choi Si-won is followed with about 283,000. Nichkhun of 2PM has 267,000 people following his tweets. Through Twitter, K-Pop
Wonder Girls recorded a big worldwide (above). Big Bang throwed an exclusive concert, the Big Bang Show, in February 2011 (opposite).

audience was expected to be KoreanAmericans, there were more Caucasians and African-Americans. SNS wont stop there. Once smartphones and tablet PCs become more widely used, the impact SNS will have on K-Pop will be beyond your wildest imagination. With more media platforms, cultural content will transcend music videos or footage of concerts, and dramas and movies so-called storytelling content could take over. After dramas and films started out the first Korean wave, the second wave will be all encompassing of all contents as it turns global. The K-Pop will be placed on a different pedestal.

It took several years for the TV drama Winter Sonata to find its footing in Japan before leading to Yon-sama syndrome. At the time, Korean pop culture contents could only be moved along the retailing system. Contents had to first reach the market and then be signed on to local broadcasters or agencies

before making it to the program listing just to reach an overseas audience. But K-Pop, which is leading the second Korean wave, is spreading across the globe at the speed of light. The magic that is SNS enables K-Pop stars to reach out to their fans all over the world. It also carries K-Pop music videos and

available, some eager fans began to mimic the girls dances and produced their own videos. Those clips also made it to YouTube. The video for the single Gee by a group of Japanese high school girls was a sensation in both Japan and Korea. Today, you can easily find K-Pop music

Korean Wave

But these programs just might be the tip of the iceberg. On the Internet, you can find a string of websites where you can watch Korean programs live and even add your own subtitles. And Korean pop artists are the hottest celebrities. Music programs are there, and variety shows featuring idol stars have helped show different sides of musicians behind the stage to fans around the world. Though countries may be divided by their boundaries and languages, people in different countries can enjoy their K-Pop music all the same. As K-Pop grows more popular, foreign broadcasters are taking greater interest in Korean music. Ura Kara, a Japanese TV drama starring Korean girl group Kara, has drawn an average of 3.13% ratings over seven shows, which is a quite success in Japanese drama field. Whats really fascinating is a number of K-Pop-related programs that air outside of Asia. The Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange keeps track of K-Pops popularity through its stringers, and its getting some interesting news. Last February, Sans Chichis, a program on Belgian public TV station RTBF, introduced SHINee and Girls Generation as the leading artists of K-Pop. A reporter named Sophie Frison walked into the studio to the beat of Gee by Girls Generation and greeted her audience with, Annyeonghaseyo, or Hello in Korean. The panel discussed how stars are groomed and nurtured in Korea. They marveled at the music video for SHINees Hello, and one member of the panel proudly claimed to have known long ago of SHINees exalted status in Asia. Music Bank on KBS often runs global events for international audiences. Leading K-Pop artists such as Big Bang, 2NE1, Girls Generation and Kara can connect with their fans in Southeast Asia. Those who are signed to Astro in Malaysia, SCTV in Vietnam and Sky Cable in the Philippines can watch Music

played 2NE1, 4Minute, BoA, Girls Generation, 2PM, G-Dragon, Super Junior and SHINee. Lim Jeong-hee, a stringer in Brazil, said Leitura Dinamica, an entertainment program on Rede TV, a terrestrial network, played Tonight by Big Bang. The music video for Tonight capped off the program after midnight on Feb 28, after a series of world famous artists were introduced, Lim said. The host of Leitura Dinamica said, Big Bang is the most accomplished group in Asia and within just two days of the release, the groups new album was an instant hit in Canada and New Zealand. On this program, Drunken Tiger and his wife Yoon Mi-rae greeted their Brazilian fans with fluent English and Korean. In Uzbekistan, K-Pop become popular among the Goryeoin, overseas Koreans in the Soviet Union, according to the stringer Lee Myung-sook. North Korean songs and dances dominated the air until recently, but

the youth of today mostly listen to Wonder Girls, Girls Generation, Rain and TVXQ, among other K-Pop stars. Older generations have caught on and theyve developed interest in old Korean pop. As K-Pop artists continue to make strides in countries like Mexico and Brazil, where actual performances are limited, local agencies have turned their eyes to overseas. Digital music files have narrowed the chasm between publicity and revenues, and are breaking down barriers between countries. Through major satellite and cable platforms, K-Pop is creating a new Korean wave in almost real time. The K-Pop fever is also attracting even more broadcasters. In the Middle East and South America, K-Pop is only just breaking ground. Still, its encouraging to see international audiences falling in love with K-Pop. The Korean wave road that K-Pop is paving is delivering Koreas culture to television sets all around the world.

K-PoP MuSiC iMagination

K-Pop is heating up the tubes around the world. Korean music programs are readily available in living rooms across Southeast Asia via satellite and American and European TVs are busy promoting K-Pop music, which has carved its niche through the Internet.

Koreas girl group Kara gets a fame overseas, especially in Japan (below). Super Junior is one of the most well-known K-Pop star all over Asian countries (opposite).

Bank in real time, at the same hour as Korean viewers. Korean stations are all available on major satellite and cable rotations. KBS World is providing its programs to Direct-To-Home (DTH) channels such as Echo Star and Time Warner in the US, and

also to American cable channels Comcast and Cox. Astro, Hong Kong Cable, Star Hub (Singapore), SCTV, Sky Cable, and Sansar TV (Mongolia) across Asia. On Astro, the largest satellite platform in Southeast Asia, KBS programs rank among the top 10 in ratings in 80 countries.

Park Geum-jeong, a Mexico-based stringer, said a program on a Guanajuato local affiliate of Televisa showed K-Pop music videos. This program plays dance music and b-boy routines, targeting young people who are into dancing, Park said. Some viewers requested K-Pop music, and the program

Korean Wave

Koreas young classical artists are sweeping global competitions. With the worlds leading ballet companies beckoning to dancers and major symphonies searching for the next big musician, the country is proving itself a vibrant cradle for young maestros. This new generation of artists is leading the way to success.
by Lee Se-mi | photographs by Kim Nam-heon

Taking classics To new HeigHTs

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Korean Wave

musicians took home prizes in the piano, violin and voice categories. The competition, held in Russia every four years, has been dubbed the Classical Olympics, and the young musicians shocked the world with their talent. Soprano Seo Sun-young and bass Park Jong-min won the top prizes in the female and male voice categories. Son Yeol-eum and Cho Seong-jin placed second and third, respectively, in the piano competition, while Lee Je-hye took third place for violin. Additionally, Son won several Best Performance awards for her pieces by Rodion Shchedrin, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky. In May, soprano Hong Hae-ran also made news by becoming the first Asian winner of the voice competition at the 7 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium, one of the worlds top three music contests besides the Tchaikovsky

t the 14th International Tchaikovsky

when he was 15, receiving international recognition for his performance of the complete works of Maurice Ravel at the Lincoln Center in New York. Violinist Chung Kyung-wha, the sister of Chung Myung-whun, entered Juilliard at 12 and quickly became a star when she played a Tchaikovsky concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra. Award-winning soprano Sumi Jo attended the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome and sang at the worlds top five opera houses as a prima donna. Musical Guidance Apart from the rare exceptions, most of Koreas top veteran musicians have received their and International Chopin Piano Competition. Using the Brussels win as a springboard, Hong is now poised to launch her career with New Yorks Metropolitan Opera House this month. Their accomplishments are extraordinary, and these young artists whose ages range from 17 to 28 are part of the rise of local classical musicians. Each of the winners was educated in Korea, demonstrating that it is no longer necessary for Koreans to receive their musical instruction abroad if they are to be successful. These steps toward classical independence have been long coming. A number of successful veterans have been
Cho Seong-jin, who placed third for piano in the Tchaikovsky Competition, performs at the international contest (above). Soprano Hong Hae-ran, winner of the Queen Elisabeth International Competition, listens to Queen Fabiola of Belgium (left). Opposite, from left: Seo Sun-young, Son Yeoleum, Cho Seong-jin, Park Jong-min and Lee Je-hye.

so-called homegrown classical kids (as they are known colloquially) has become such a talked about phenomenon. Behind a string of successes at international competitions are the educational support system and economic growth that have, together, enabled Koreans to foster an interest in art and culture. This generation studied at national institutions whose instructors were the very same people who had once studied abroad, and benefited from Korean companies that now support the arts. In short, becoming an artist is no longer the pipe dream it once was, and the field of classic arts in Korea is rapidly evolving with the times.

the world classical music stage. In addition, the Korean National Research Institute for the Gifted in Arts (KRIGA), a stepping stone for many on the way to KNUA, has helped provide an early education for gifted youth in music since 1994. Several graduates from KRIGA later went on to win international music competitions. Professors with a wealth of experience and talent have been vital in helping these young artists. Choi Hyunsoo, winner of the 1990 Tchaikovsky Competition and the first male ethnic Korean singer to win, is now a professor at KRIGA. Acclaimed pianist and conductor Kim Dae-jin, a professor at KNUA, actually taught two of this years Tchaikovsky winners and also Kim Sun-wook, the winner of the 2006 Leeds International Pianoforte Competition and the first Korean to win the event. Young musicians are no longer looking west with wistful eyes. To study overseas is not a prerequisite to success or even necessarily a stepping stone to

Competition in June, five Korean

paving the way for decades, and past winners of the Tchaikovsky Competition include pianist and conductor Chung Myung-whun, baritone singer Choi Hyun-soo (also known as Hans Choi), pianist Paik Hae-sun and singer Kim Dong-seub (also known as Gerard Kim). Others have gained recognition both at home and abroad with their rigorous international touring schedules and overseas activities. Paik Kun-woo, one of Koreas leading pianists, went to the United States to study at Juilliard School musical training overseas from an early age. As late as the 1980s, it was difficult to get a strong musical education in Korea a country where Western classical music had not been introduced until the 1960s without some form of governmental support. If one wanted to become a world-famous musician, the only way to achieve that goal was through ones own network, and preferably overseas. This is why the recent success of Cho Seong-jin, one of the Tchaikovsky Competition winners, is currently studying at Seoul Arts High School. The other four competition winners studied at the Korea National University of Arts (KNUA) and soprano Hong also graduated from KNUA. KNUA has positioned itself as a wellspring for talented musicians through an education system that focuses on practice. Since its foundation in 1993, it has given rise to numerous winners on

advancing on the global stage. It really helped to study under such excellent teachers who had international experience and at schools with wellorganized programs. The only reason I was able to win had to do with the groundwork laid by my teachers, says soprano Seo. Fellow Tchaikovsky winner Son adds, An artists identity comes from a sense of originality, and Im happy I have developed my own musical skills and identity in Korea.

aGe of achieveMent
Over the last four decades, Korean classical musicians have been increasingly distinguishing themselves at international competitions. The following musicians have made their mark at the worlds top classical music events: the International Tchaikovsky Competition, the International Chopin Piano Competition and the Queen Elisabeth Competition.

Chung Myung-whun takes 2nd place for piano at the Tchaikovsky Competition, becoming the first Korean to place at the event.

Kang Dong-suk takes 3rd for violin at the Queen Elisabeth Competition.

Lee Mi-kyung takes 5th for violin at the Queen Elisabeth Competition. Kim Chin takes 6th in violin.

Lee Mi-joo places 6th for piano at the Queen Elisabeth Competition.

Choi Hyun-soo (Hans Choi) wins the top prize for voice at the Tchaikovsky Competition (competing for the US).

Paik Hae-sun takes 4th for piano at the Queen Elisabeth Competition.

Paik Hae-sun comes in 3rd for piano at the Tchaikovsky Competition. Lee Kyung-sun comes in 6th for violin.



Korean Wave

fountain of ResouRces Koreans no longer have to give up their dream of studying music due to a lack of funds, as major corporate sponsors of the arts are stepping in to help. Four of the Tchaikovsky Competitions winners (Son, Cho, Lee and Seo) have been the beneficiaries of the Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundations sponsorship program, which has been supporting young talent for the last decade. Their initiatives include scholarships, free airline tickets, opportunities to perform and free instrument rentals. Kumho accepts new musicians into its sponsorship program twice a year, in a cutthroat competition in which over 200 aspiring musicians apply. To date, roughly 1,000 people have benefited from the program. Another noteworthy music sponsor is the Daewon Cultural Foundation, which specifically supports classically-trained musicians. Korean Leeds winner Kim received financial and administrative support from 2005 to 2008, and has since signed with Askonas Holt, an international arts management company whose client list includes the likes of Sumi Jo, Chang Han-na and Chung Myung-whun. daRe to dance Korean ballet dancers are rapidly making their mark on the world stage as well. Ten students from the KNUA dominated the 6th International Dance Competition Sicilia Barocca 2011 held in Modica, Italy, in July, winning in the junior, student and senior categories. Sim Hyun-hee and Yang Chae-eun shared the top spot in the senior section, while Sim took top honors in the pas de deux with Kim Hyun-woong, a former member of the Korea National Ballet and a KNUA alumnus. Jung Ga-yeon and Choi Ye-lim jointly won the first prize in the junior category. Na Dae-han finished second in the same section. In the student category, Lee Sun-woo took the top prize, with Lee Goh-eun and Lee Soo-bin tying for second place, and Jun Joon-hyuk taking third. There was a lot of interest in Korean ballet because it was the first time our country had joined the competition. We were able to show that Korean ballet is indeed of a quality high enough to win at a major international competition, says Kim Sun-hee, a dance professor at KNUA. Kim herself graduated from the well-known Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia, which has produced other legendary dancers such as Vaslav Nijinsky and Anna Pavlova. Since the competition, there has been a lot of inquiry about the Korean artform. Across the globe, there are more than 10 Koreans who dance as prima ballerinas and soloists at some of the worlds major ballet companies. Kang Hyo-jung, a dancer with Germanys Stuttgart Ballet, was promoted to principal dancer after her debut as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, a performance in which she received 12 curtain calls. Kang joined Stuttgart after winning a prize at Switzerlands Prix de Lausanne at 16 and has danced as a soloist with the company for the past years after dancing with the corps de ballet. On American shores, ballerina Seo Hee became the first Korean soloist at New Yorks American Ballet Theatre. She debuted as Giselle in the popular

classical ballet of the same title and won the prestigious Prix de Lausanne in 2003. In Russia, Bae Joo-yoon joined the Bolshoi Ballet in 1996. Similar to classical music, however, more and more dancers are getting their start in Korea. While both Kang and Seo studied abroad before joining international ballet companies, recent star Lee Sang-eun decided to join the Universal Ballet Company (UBC), one of only four professional companies in Korea, upon graduating from Koreas Sun Hwa Arts High School. Though Lee, a past winner of the Grand Prix Award at the Seoul International Dance Competition and a silver medalist at the Shanghai International Ballet Competition, later left the UBC, it is remarkable that she began her career entirely domestically. Earlier this year in May, Lee danced one of the leading roles in La Bayadre with the Dresden Semperoper Ballet. Park Sae-eun, a student at KNUA, joined the Paris Opera Ballet in August, while classmate Choi Young-gyu joined the Dutch National Ballet in May. Park, in particular, is the first Korean ballerina to enter the ranks of the French company, following in the footsteps of formercompany member ballerino Kim Yonggeol, now a professor at KNUA. While studying at KNUA, Park won the top prize at the Lausanne competition in 2007, following it up with a gold medal at Bulgarias International Ballet Competition Varna in 2009. Furthermore, Han Sung-woo, also a

KNUA alumnus, has become the first Korean ballet dancer to join Great Britains Royal Ballet after winning second prize at the 39 Prix de Lausanne,

Active communication with overseas ballet companies has also enabled Korean dancers to take on new and different styles from Russia, as well as the latest trends from Europe and the United States. Koreans are creating their own legends in the classical music and dance fields. Young artists on the international stage are presenting hope to future homegrown classical kids in Korea. Indeed, the country is emerging as a powerful source of classical arts with the continuing growth of education and resources. Just as with K-Pop and the Hallyu Korean wave, unwavering support and investment are needed to ensure promising young talents continued success.

a first for a male Korean dancer. More recently, Kim Ki-min joined Russias Mariinsky Ballet, the worlds top classical ballet company, as the first male Asian dancer. Mariinsky, the Dutch National Ballet and Great Britains Royal Ballet are all stages very much sought after by dancers around the world. Its a first step for Korean ballet dancers to adorn the global stage, says KNUA dance professor Kim Sun-hee. Rise to success How did Korean ballet become so competitive? The educational groundwork was laid in the 1980s and 1990s when several ballet institutions opened in Korea, one after another. It started with the Universal Ballet Company in 1984, then the Culture School of Korea National Ballet in 1993 and lastly the Dance Division at KNUA in 1996. The level of education has been enhanced as dancers from world-class ballet companies such as Bolshoi and Kirov have returned to Korea as professors and instructors. Experts say Korean dancers have improved greatly as their overall physical condition strengthens and the educational system here becomes better.

Park Sae-eun is the first Korean ballerina to join a French company (opposite). Seo Hee is one of Koreas leading dancers (left).

Park Jong-hwa takes 5th for piano at the Queen Elisabeth Competition.

Kim Dong-seub takes 3rd for voice at the Tchaikovsky Competition. Lim Dong-min comes in 5th for piano.

Kwun Hyuk-joo takes 6th for violin at the Queen Elisabeth Competition. Brothers Lim Dong-min and Dong-hyek tie for 3rd place at the International Chopin Piano Competition.

Lim Hyo-sun takes 5th for piano at the Queen Elisabeth Competition.

Cho Eun-hwa wins the composition category at the Queen Elisabeth Competition.

Jeon Min-je wins the composition category at the Queen Elisabeth Competition. Kim Su-yeon places 4th for violin and Yoon So-young takes 6th.

Kim Tae-hyung takes 5th for piano at the Queen Elisabeth Competition and Kim Da-sol takes 6th.

Soprano Hong Hae-ran becomes the first Asian to win the Queen Elisabeth International Competition for voice. Soprano Seo Sun-young and bass Park Jong-min sweep the top voice prizes at the Tchaikovsky Competition. Son Yeoleum and Cho Seong-jin place 2nd and 3rd for piano and Lee Je-hye takes 3rd for violin.



Korean Wave

learn to become a composer. Yun excelled in applying elements of Korean traditional music to the Western musical scale. For
Han Dong-il, one of Koreas most wellknown pianists, made his debut at Carnegie Hall.

Juilliard with the possibility of studying under the renowned Armenian violin teacher Ivan Galamian. In 1967, she entered the prestigious Leventritt Competition along with fellow alumnus Zukerman. The two ended up tying for first place as the jury couldnt select a single winner between the two. The history of Korean ballet overseas starts with Kang Sue-jin (1967-present). A role model for many aspiring dancers, the modifier the first seems to follow Kang everywhere she goes, as she was the first Asian to win the Prix de Lausanne and the youngest dancer to join the Stuttgart Ballet. She alone put Korea on the world map of ballet. In 1993, Kang was asked to dance the lead role in Romeo and Juliet in celebration of the works 30th anniversary. In 1999, she won the Prix Benois de la Danse, the veritable Oscars of the ballet world, and in 2007 was bestowed the title Kammertanzerin (Royal Court Dancer), an honor only given to four people in the 50-year history of Stuttgart Ballet. Both were firsts for Asians.

instance, he would use the gayageum, a 12-string zither, as vibrato, or apply the singing styles of Korean traditional minyo or pansori to the cello or violin. His works include operas like Sim Tjong (performed at the opening ceremony of the 1972 Summer Olympics) and orchestral music such as Silla. When a feeling of helplessness dominated a post-war Korea, celebratory

Pioneering ClaSSiCal artiStS

The Korean arts have undergone dramatic changes in the nations tumultuous modern history. In less than a century, Korean classical artists have soared to the top of their respective fields internationally. This remarkable growth seen by todays musicians and dancers was made possible due to the hard work and sacrifice of the generations that came before.

news of 14-year-old Korean pianist Han

Composer Yun I-sang is known for integrating traditional music with classical.

Dong-ils debut concert at Carnegie Hall on April 28, 1956, was joyously welcomed by Koreans. In 1962, he was invited to John F Kennedys White House to play Franz Liszts Mephisto Waltzes and Debussys Reflets dans leau. Three years later, he won the 24th Leventritt Competition, making Han the first Korean to have won an international classical music competition. Along with Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman, Chung Kyung-wha (1948-present) is one of the most respected violinists in the world. Her success became an inspiration for many young Korean musicians, especially after she was awarded a full scholarship to

Chin Un-suk, a Germanybased Korean composer, is a contemporary pioneer.

Ahn Eak-tai is one of Koreas first conductors (opposite). Ahn conducts an orchestra (below). Pianist Paik Kun-woo, based in Paris, is another internationallyrecognized musician.

By the early 20th century, Western classical music had only barely begun to trickle into Korea. The few that heard it were quickly taken with its unfamiliar melodies, inspiring musicians to venture into the genre. A notable Korean composer from that period is Ahn Eak-tai (1906-1965), the creator of Aegukga, now the national anthem of South Korea. The first Asian to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Ahn was also the first Korean to study conducting. He headed to the United States

after learning to play the cello in Japan and, after realizing that Koreans had borrowed a foreign song as their national anthem, decided to write one himself. Aegukga would become the first piece of original Korean music written and released overseas. In 1936, Ahn moved to Europe, where he learned to conduct from some of the great maestros of his day, such as Bernhard Paumgartner and Zoltn Kodly, in Germany, Hungary and Austria. Later, he met with the world-famous composer Richard Strauss and

became his assistant conductor. By his 40s, Ahn had already conducted over 200 orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Yun I-sang (1917-1995), born 11 years after Ahn, was one of Europes leading musicians in his day. Today, he is seen as someone who bridged Eastern and Western music, helping open a new era in the history of world music. After studying music in Japan, Yun moved to France and Germany to

Conductor and pianist Chung Myung-whun directs the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.


Korean Wave

Animation Department was invited to Switzerlands Fantoche Animation Film Festival in 2007, along with the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, and Italys National School for Cinema,

Knua GRaduates who Placed at inteRnational coMPetitions

74 70 74 65 38 13 18 8 38

Music Dance

30 8

the StarS oF Knua

Korea is turning heads as its most talented young artists sweep international classical music and ballet competitions. At the center of this success is Korea National University of Arts (KNUA). Arguably the most influential national arts school in Korea, KNUA was established 18 years ago as a cradle for classical education that focuses more on actual practice than mere theory.

which has, in essence, been unofficial recognition that KNUA is one of the top four animation education centers in the world. At the same time, KNUA is vastly different from most other arts universities in Korea, as it has established a curriculum of expertise with a focus on training and practicing. The school chooses a select few new students every year, with an educational program focused on private lessons, group discussions and field training. Students also have a number of opportunities to perform their work. The admissions process is also centered on practical aspects to the arts, whereby a students current skills are balanced against their potential. A practical examination and past school transcripts are considered too. In addition, the schools tuition is






2011 (until June)

These statistics show the number of graduates and current students from the Korea National University of Arts (KNUA) that placed at international music and dance competitions. They include combined statistics from the music and dance departments of KNUA.

spend up to 10 years helping one child hone their skills. From 2011, it has also become an educational center for teachers of gifted children, making full use of KNUAs accumulated expertise and know-how. KNUAs educational programs produce world-renowned artists under a vision of nurturing creative professionals. Its important for artists to express the values of society through their art, and to become a leader in the art world, one should understand the importance of peoples inherent abilities, Park says. As Koreas only national art school, and the institution most responsible for heightening the nations arts, KNUAs vision is clear and simple. As Park puts it, KNUAs vision is to foster beautiful artists, ones who can help make others happy. Musicians who

perform at the Lincoln Center or Carnegie Hall, or winners of international competitions, are all world-leading artists. At the same time, those who perform in a small town and can capture the value and beauty of life through their art are no less important.

Five young Korean artists took home prizes at the 14th International Tchaikovsky Competition in June, all of whom were educated in Korea. The most interesting aspect of their success is that they each performed Western classical music with a Korean spin. Four out of the five winners from the prestigious Russian competition were from the Korea National University of Arts (KNUA), and the 6th International Dance Competition Sicilia Barocca 2011 was similarly dominated by 10 KNUA graduates. In addition to classical music and ballet, students from this national arts school are finding success in fields spanning from theater to moviemaking and animation. Many KNUA graduates took part in the production of the movie The Chaser, an edgy

thriller that made it to the final round of the Cannes Film Festival in 2008, including cinematographer Lee Seong-jae, art director Lee Min-bok and director Na Hong-jin. Emerging director Yang Hyo-joo, another KNUA graduate, won the Silver Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival this year for her short film The Unbroken. More than anything else, the government established KNUA with the intention of focusing on training and practicing, as it was determined to have Korea play a leading role in arts and culture in the 21 century, says KNUA president

professor at KNUA in 1995. His work has not changed in principle, however, as he still focuses on the beauty of humanity and believes that education lies in the challenge of uncovering peoples true talents. Although there are many great art schools in the world, from Juilliard School to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, they are all separate institutions that focus on one major field. KNUA, however, has six different subdivisions: music, dance, drama, film and multimedia, visual arts and Korean traditional arts. In 2007, KNUAs Department of Architecture acquired international certification from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the first time this certification had been awarded to a school in a non-English-speaking country. The

relatively inexpensive and still manages to offer excellent facilities, with generous postgraduate support. For example, music students are given 92 private practice rooms and chances to perform over 140 times annually, on different stages that include an ensemble room, a percussion room, an opera recital room, a large-scale orchestra hall and KNUA Hall. Upon finishing school, KNUA graduates frequently get jobs at art organizations or launch careers as professional artists. As of 2010, 5,222 men and women had graduated from KNUA, with 2,684 of them (51 percent) gaining employment in the arts. KNUA tries to find gifted children as early as possible, in order to focus on nurturing creativity from as early an age as possible. In some cases, KNUAs Art Talent Center will

Park Jong-won. As a former film director, Park is an artist himself. He is known for his works Our Twisted Hero and The Eternal Empire, and had an active career in film until he became a

Park Jong-won, president of the Korea National University of Arts, speaks with KOREA in his office (opposite). Students practice Korean traditional instruments to perform Gugak (traditional music) at KNUA (above). KNUA is the only national arts university in Korea, and has six major departments, including drama (left).



Sports and Arts

In the world of sports, Korea is no longer an underdog. Already renowned for its remarkable economic growth in the aftermath of the Korean War (1950-53), Korea has increasingly proven itself as a sporting power, too. In South Africa this year, the small peninsula nation will be competing in its seventh consecutive World Cup and, around a year ago, took second place in the World Baseball Classic. At the most recent Vancouver Winter Olympics, Korea took gold medals in speed skating and figure skating to achieve an impressive fifth-place overall finish. In addition, Korean athletes consistently score big wins in both mens and womens golf. Here, KOREA meets some of the countrys most talented sports stars, whose success has swept through the nation on a wave of adulation. by Jeong Se-yeong

Kim Yu-na, 2010 Winter Olympic champion in ladies singles figure skating



Sports and Arts

Gold medalist Mo Tae-bum competes at the Vancouver Winter Olympics (opposite). Kim Yu-na, gold medalist in ladies singles figure skating, reacts to the crowd (above left). Team Korea poses with their medals (above right). Gold medalist Lee Seung-hoon is lifted onto the shoulders of his fellow athletes at an awards ceremony (below).

to accomplish its best ever finish. As Koreas athletes repeatedly prevailed against sporting powerhouses from Europe and North America, the international media hailed a remarkable achievement by a country that had traditionally been a winter sports minnow. As much as these results triggered pride in a jubilant home nation, the success will be felt in more lasting ways. According to the Korea Sports Promotion Foundation, the economic ripple effect of the Olympics is approximately 6.5 trillion won (US$57 billion), while the Samsung Economic Research Institute (SERI) predicts that the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics will generate about 20.2 trillion won (US$17.8 billion) worth of promotional benefits for Korea. victory in vancouver Though Korea had tasted gold at previous Winter Olympic events, prior to the 2006 Turin Games they all came via short track, which earned the country the rather unflattering epithet of The Short Track Republic. Desperate to shed their reputation as a winter sports one-trick pony, Koreans all over the country were willing their team to bring back medals in other events this time around. Their prayers were answered. Right at the beginning of the Vancouver Games, 22-year-old Lee Seung-hoon won silver in the mens 5,000m speed skating event. As well as being a delight for his fans, Lees victory was also a considerable surprise: in a sport traditionally
118 119

t this years Vancouver Winter Olympics, Korea claimed six gold, six silver and two bronze medals

Sports and Arts

dominated by the European racers, Lees medal was the first won by any Asian in speed skating events of 5,000m or longer. But Lee had more surprises up his sleeve. On February 24, in an event he had competed in just twice before at the international level, Lee stunned the skating world by winning gold in the 10,000m speed skating event, after all-time favorite Sven Kramer was disqualified for a lane violation. The silver and bronze medalists who shared the podium with Lee Seung-hoon celebrated the arrival of a new champion by hoisting Lee on their shoulders. As hoped, Korea continued its winning streak in its traditional stronghold, short track. In the 500m womens and mens speed skating events, Lee Sang-hwa and Mo Tae-bum won respective golds, marking the first time in the history of the sport that skaters from the same country were victorious in both events. On top of being gold medal winners, Lee Seunghoon, Mo Tae-bum and Lee Sang-hwa share deeper bonds. All hail from Korea National Sport University and are close friends. All three are recognized at the top level of skating despite coming from very modest backgrounds. After failing to make the short track team last year, Lee Seung-hoon was so short of money that he had to borrow skates to practice speed skating. Mo, a picture of happiness at the ceremony, had been the archetypal bad boy in his teenage years, choosing to ride his motorbike rather than study or even train sports. life changing moments As for Lee Sang-hwa, the hardships she had overcome made her a symbol of hope for many back in Korea. With so little money in her family, Lees brother had been forced to forgo his own dreams of skating glory so that Lee herself could continue with her training. Lees parents, too, made tremendous sacrifices for the success of their daughter, and Lee never forgot the debt of gratitude she owed them. Aged 12, she wrote her parents a letter saying, If I become a successful skater, Ill buy you everything from a washing machine and a gas stove to a fridge. Later on, Lee demonstrated her burning ambition with an entry in her diary that read, I want to be famous. I want to be in the news. I want to make the national team. And, as her big day approached, Lee marked it on her calendar with the simple words Life-Changing Moment.
Speed skater Lee Sang-hwa carries the Korean flag at the Vancouver Winter Olympics (opposite). Cha Bum-kun was the first footballer to advance overseas (above left). Footballer Park Chu-young plays for AS Monaco (above right). Park Ji-sung, who plays for Manchester United, is the captain of the South Korean national team (below).

Nevertheless, Koreas greatest triumph came with the girl the Korean press were to dub Queen Yu-na. In two near-perfect rounds of jumps, pirouettes and ornate hand gestures, Kim Yu-na blew away her closest rival with a record-breaking score of 228.56. Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Secretary of State, said she stayed up well into the night to watch Kims performance, which she described as extraordinary. Indeed, Koreas overall performance stunned the sports world. Im sure I could sense a hint of envy when overseas journalists asked me how such a small country could have done so well, said Park Sung-in, the Korean teams captain. But as well as being a great measure of pride, Koreas excellent performance in Vancouver has greatly boosted our chances of hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. the Park Ji-sung effect But as much as Koreas recent success may have appeared to have come out of nowhere, it is in many ways a culmination of everincreasing sports prowess stretching back several decades. The story largely began in 1978, when Cha Bum-kun, the first Korean athlete to make it big overseas, began his career in the Bundesliga, the top league in German soccer. Scoring 98 goals in 308 appearances with Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer 04 Leverkusen, and 55 in 121 games for the Korean national team (still a record), Cha was later named Asias Player

Sports and Arts

120 wins (95 losses) and a 4.35 ERA. He needs only four more wins to become the Asian pitcher with the most wins in history. With news of his victories streaming in from the United States, Park helped provide the Korean public with hope and courage amid one of its darkest hours in the modern era, the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-1998. Since then, several Korean baseball players have since followed Park into the Majors, such as, Choo Shin-soo (27, Cleveland Indians) who is now a member of the 20-20 club (20 homers, 20 steals), and who finished the 2009 season with a .300 batting average, the first Asian
The South Korean national football team pose before the test game against C e dlvoire (above left). Chu Shin-soo finished the 2009 season with a record batting average (above right). Pitcher Park Chan-ho is the first Korean player in major leagues (below).

baseball player to accomplish this feat in the Majors. the se-ri kiDs In the world of gold, Pak Se-ri has had similar success on the fairways. Since turning pro in of the Century by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS). Though several Korean football players since Cha have plied their trade overseas, none came close to repeating his success until Park Ji-sung. A star of the national team that stormed all the way to the semi-finals during the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup, Park followed then national team manager Guus Hiddink to the Netherlands, where the pair worked together at PSV Eindhoven. Thriving in his new environment, Park was an integral part of a team that reached the semi-finals of the 2004-2005 UEFA Champions League. It was this run that brought Park to the attention of his next club, and one of the biggest teams in the world, Manchester United. Today, players such as Park Chu-young, Lee Chungyong and Ki Sung-yong who play, respectively, for AS Monaco in France, Bolton Wanderers in England and Celtic in Scotland are making their mark in some of Europes top leagues. And they are, in large part, beneficiaries of the Park Ji-sung Effect. In a way, said a Korean sports agent working in Europe, the fact that Park Ji-Sung is playing for Manchester United is more influential in opening up Korean sports to the rest of the world than the 2002 World Cup was. On the other side of the Atlantic, Park Chan-ho, now a pitcher with the New York Yankees, has played a major role in boosting the image of Korean sports since joining the Los Angeles Dodgers back in 1994. As of 2009, he had 1996, she has won 30 events, including the Korean LPGA Tour, as well as victories in majors, the McDonalds LPGA Champion-ship and the U.S. Womens Open. In November 2007, at the very young age of 29, she was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Her outstanding performances over the years has inspired a new generation of Korean golfers. Affectionately dubbed Se-ri Kids, these golfing proteges are now growing to dominate the LPGA. As of 2009, Korean women have won 88 tournaments on the LPGA. On the mens side, Yang Yong-eun wrote himself into the record books in 2009 when chasing down Tiger Woods to become the first Asian to win the PGA Championship. In fact, the most encouraging part of Koreas growing sports prowess is that the generation of athletes inspired by the likes of Park Ji-sung and Pak Se-ri, who are only 29 and 32, respectively. The new, young wave of Korean sports stars exude a confidence and fearlessness often absent in their trailblazing predecessors. Dubbed the G-generation (due to their being born in the global era), these youngsters point to a bright future a future where Korea becomes acknowledged, not for its sporting upsets, but for a consistent, exhilarating run of success.

Yang Yong-eun is the first Asian golfer who won PGA championshop (above). Pak Se-ri is one of the most famous and successful Korean golfer who actively plays in both of Korea and the US, who has won 30 events in total (below).



Sports and Arts

Im dying for a sleep, says Lee Kyou-hyuk, as our interview commences. Given his punishing schedule since returning from Vancouver a seemingly endless procession of TV shows, receptions and interviews it is a testament to his dedication and good nature that he has managed to show at all. Though team Korea excelled in Vancouver, Lee, one of Koreas greatest ever speed skaters, failed to break his medal duck. At his fifth consecutive Olympics a series that began in 1994 at Lillehammer Lee came 15 in the 500m and ninth in the

preferred just to run away. I never felt I was actually outskated in the races by the younger athletes, he says. But in Vancouver I think I lacked the tenacity to overcome the huge amount of stress I was facing and to fully concentrate on the task at hand. During the Olympics, Lee envied his younger teammates, who were clearly enjoying their time at the Games. Even though this was my fifth Olympics, Ive never been able to enjoy the experience. I dont think I know how to enjoy them, Lee says. I always thought that you couldnt win a medal if you stopped and relaxed. I believed that I had to compete in the Olympics with total intensity. I guess that approach got in the way of my ability to perform. Asked about the future, Lee says he isnt ready to quit just yet. To be honest, Id like to skate a little longer, not because of my desire to win a medal, but because I want to end my career as a professional skater on my own terms. There will be no more Olympics, though. I wish I was four years younger and had one more shot. But I know Ill be too old for the Olympics four years from now. Perhaps I can compete in my own mind. Whatever I do, Lee says, I would like to be with my fellow athletes at the next

Olympic Games. I dont know when it will happen exactly, but Im confident my last Olympics will be as a coach. For Lee Kyouhyuk, Vancouver was definitely not the end of his Olympic journey.

1,000m events. Given his success in other competitions, sports fans throughout Korea were aching for him to win a medal that his dedication surely warranted. But it wasnt to be. At a press conference in Vancouver, Lee said simply, Its sad to compete for something that is unattainable. Although I was disappointed that I failed to win a medal, it was uplifting to receive such tremendous support, says Lee. It felt good to have my entire career as an athlete recognized. Indeed, such was the attention he received, he says he now feels a little guilty for deflecting the limelight from some of his younger teammates who had actually won medals. Before the Olympics, Lee had scored a second place finish in the 500m and a third in the 1,000m events during the International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup season. Expectations grew further when he won the World Sprint Championships in Japan in January. So why couldnt he reproduce this form at the Olympics? I anticipated the pressure of the Olympics in advance and never stopped preparing for it, he says. However, when it came to the races, I couldnt perform at the same level Id been practicing at. I think I was overwhelmed by the notion that this was my last chance. As a result, so nervous was Lee before the 500m race, he says he would have

the ups and downs of a five-time skating hero

Lee Kyou-hyuk, 32, is a legend in Korean speed skating. Over the past decade and a half, he competed in five consecutive Winter Olympics, making his name synonymous with the sport. Yet, despite a string of great achievements in world championships, Lee never managed to land an Olympic medal. A streak that, sadly, he was unable to break at the Vancouver Olympics this year. But his passion and refusal to give up have inspired and moved sports fans throughout the country. Today, KOREA salutes Lee Kyou-hyuk.
by Jin Jung-eon


Sports and Arts

As of late, Korea has spawned a generation of dreamers. Inspired by Koreas success at the soccer World Cup, the Olympics and assorted world championships, an army of children has swarmed to parks, pitches and rinks in an attempt to emulate their heroes and eventually claim sporting glory for their country. Though still very young, these kids boast a passion and dedication that would put most adults to shame. Yet for all the new waves of interest now, Koreas recent success was the result of already having a sizeable pool of talent, assiduously developed from early childhood. Lee Seung-hoon, who at the Vancouver Olympics became the first Asian to win the mens 10,000m speed skating, learned his skills at Lila Elementary School, which is renowned for its skating classes. Lee Sanghwa and Mo Tae-bum, who won respective golds in the 500m womens and mens speed skating events, are graduates of Eunseok Elementary School, which runs trial skating classes for all its students. From this nurtured beginning, promising youngsters are chosen, groomed, and turned into tomorrows champions. However, with the recent success of Kim Yu-na, who chalked up world record scores while enroute to figure skating gold this year,

profile in world soccer in recent years. Today, a slew of local boys ply their trade at some of the worlds most famous clubs, including Park Ji-sung at English titans, Manchester United, and Ki Sung-yong at Scotlands Celtic. Hong Myung-bo, captain of Koreas national team during the 2002 World Cup, runs two soccer schools: one in Seocho-gu, Seoul, the other in Suwon in Gyeonggido Province. Hong oversees the tuition of some 450 students at his academies, including, with an undoubted touch of family pride, his own sons. Hongs schools pride themselves on their nonelitist approach, and focus on creating an atmosphere where kids can enjoy learning soccer skills free from other pressures. And those who take seriously are here too.

mini interview

Interview with Ju Eun-seo, Korea University Arena/Grade 2 student at Donam Elementary School i want to fly on ice! When asked why she likes figure skating, 8-year-old Eunseo doesnt hesitate. The ice feels just like the sky, she says. If I could skate across the sky, it would definitely be like flying. Eun-seo stepped into ice skates for the first time at the age of six, during a winter visit to an arena at a hotel in downtown Seoul. She may scarcely have been able to skate upright that day, but she couldnt have enjoyed it more. Harboring dreams ever since of becoming a figure skater, the recent success of Kim Yu-na has made little Eun-seo even more determined than ever. She has already made tremendous progress, as her skating teacher would attest. After just eight weeks of training, Eun-seo passed the basic level of figure skating, an achievement that usually takes most students upward of six months. The axels are the toughest, she says, but I want to try hard and do triple axels and skate beautifully like Kim Yu-na. Not yet 9-years-old, Eun-seo is like a tiny bird learning to fly on skates in a sky made of ice.

We have a special advanced class for their soccer more very welcome kids who want to become professionals, says Park Seung-hyeon, who manages one of the academies. Today, we have 55 kids who are all training hard to become the next Park Ji-sung, Ki Sung-yong or Hong Myung-bo. While facilities and opportunities have improved tremendously, the final arbiter of success is the work, sweat and occasional tears of the aspiring athletes themselves. And whatever their level, and whatever their game, these future sports stars thanks to Koreas avalanche of sporting success are more inspired than ever before.

reaching for the stars: koreas new wave of sports hopefuls

From skating, soccer and golf, to baseball, archery and swimming, potential young Korean athletes are displaying their skills like never before. With dazzling performances in pro sports around the world, Koreas international sports stars are bright beacons for the countrys children, filling them with equal hopes of making it big one day. Here, we meet some of the youngsters who dream of becoming the next Kim Yu-na or Park Ji-sung.
by Seo Dong-cheol | photographs by Kim Hong-jin

skatings popularity has gone into overdrive. Jeon Hyo-jeong, who teaches at Kims occasional practice rink at Korea University in Seoul, says they have been getting three times as many calls asking about skating classes since the Vancouver Olympics. We now teach around 20 kids, which is more than double the number we had before the Olympics, Jeon says. Some of them are accompanied by their parents, but there are also a lot of middle school students who come on their own. International success has bred enormous interest in soccer, too. Beginning with Koreas sterling run at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Korean players have enjoyed a much higher


Sports and Arts

In the late 1990s, a new genre was born in Korean theaters. Though the name initially sounded, within 10 years non-verbal performances grew up to become a central pillar of Korean theater. It introduced the world, and much of Korea, to the dynamism of the people and modern culture. Now, a successful decade later, non-verbal performance continues to expand the possibilities for performing art. by Jang Say

NoN Verbal


A typically boisterous scene from Nanta .



Sports and Arts

can hear from the stage is the sound of heavy breathing, Korean words and occasional shrieks. Some of the words are then translated into English for the benefit of foreigners in the audience. But as for dialogue, thats pretty much it. All the rest of the hilarity comes via the actors motions, outlandish facial expressions, and interaction with an invariably game audience. In what has come to be known as non-verbal performance, the actors communicate in a wordless language, making it possible to reach out to all cultures and appeal to audiences around the world. Because the performances are inspired by elements of traditional Korean culture, that communication retains the ability to teach foreign viewers about Korea itself. Here, we meet the people who took this distinctly Korean, yet profoundly universal form, beyond national borders. We also get a sneak peek of upcoming non-verbal shows and delve into what the future is. the legenD of nanta In Korean, Nanta means to strike violently, but today, the word has become synonymous with the smash-hit show of the same name. Before Nanta debuted in 1997, the most popular Korean shows among foreigners were pansori, or traditional narrative song, and gugak, Korean classical music. There were, of course, successful modern plays or other non-musical performances, but thy were almost entirely limited to speakers of Korean. So when Nanta came along, it caused a sensation. Apart from conventional dance performances and mimes, shows without dialogue were completely

t can last anywhere between an hour and 90 minutes. For that time, all you

unknown in Korea. For this reason, neither the producers nor the audiences really knew how it would go across. But within just a few performances, word of mouth about Nanta had reached fever pitch, and the show became a smash hit. From the beginning, audiences marveled at this enthralling new genre, with many returning to see it time and again. Ive never seen anything like this, became the standard refrain. If you asked them what it was about, theyd often reply that the story wasnt really the point. The main characters in Nanta are a master chef who cant face up to his manager, a male chef who tries to rely on his sex appeal rather than his cooking, and a female chef whose youthful looks belie a deep inner strength. While working in their kitchen one day, the manager bursts in and gives them just one hour to prepare for a previously unannounced banquet. Worse, he saddles them with his troublemaking nephew. In the ensuing melee, the chefs dash around the kitchen, clattering pots, banging drums, and chopping food in time to pulsating rhythms. Through it all, as they rush to get everything done, the nephew causes all sorts of mishaps, bringing the three chefs no end of comic anguish. Throughout the action, hardly a single word is uttered. Yet the audience is often doubled up with laughter, a sense of tension growing palpable as the deadline nears. With only five actors on stage, Nanta packs all the dynamism of a show with a cast 10 times its size. With rhythms borrowed from the traditional Korean percussive form
Cast members from Nanta play with fire (opposite top). It doesnt take long to work out why this show is called Jump (opposite bottom). Nanta s spirit comes from rhythms played in unlikely settings even on chopping boards (above, below). Jump keeps the audience laughing from the beginning to end (bottom).

Sports and Arts

Nanta, says that it had

international markets in mind from the outset, and the show continues to play to packed houses overseas. To satisfy enthusiasm, PMC now plans to build a resident theater for Nanta somewhere else in Asia, as well. None of this has detracted from a focus on the domestic market. PMC says its trying to make more use of its own theater in Seoul, while also commissioning a new score for the whole production. Using this background music, a renowned Korean musical director added stronger beats and accentuated the Korean sounds. Highlights of the show, such as the striking of the chopping boards, the cooking
A scene from Jump features dynamic martial arts performances (above). Fanta-Stick combines non-verbal performance with Korean classical music, gugak (opposite).

given a distinctly theatrical spin. Drawing on taekwondo and the lesserknown martial art taekkyeon, Jump throws in acrobatics, dance moves, and slapstick to create a form that producers refer to as extreme martial arts. The fluid, creative yet graceful, nature of these moves is a constant throughout the entire show. In the middle of the night, two thieves climb over the fence of a home, only to discover that theyve run into a family of martial artists, runs the tagline for Jump, covering the whole plot. Within this simple framework, however, can be found a doddery grandfather with hidden strengths, and a seemingly ordinary middleaged couple with slick moves of their own. In one scene, the couple begins dancing a tango and ends up fighting a battle, neatly showing just how flexible and inventive the show is. Also inside the house, an uncle grabs a bottle of booze and gives his best impression of Jackie Chan in Drunken Master. Each character toys with the others, showing off masterful skills in the process. By combining extraordinary physical action with moments of suspense, Jump manages to keep you laughing and on the edge of your seat at the same time. Yegam, the company behind Jump, came up with the idea after mulling how they could incorporate taekwondo into a stage performance. In early versions of the show, conventional acting played a big part, but as time progressed, martial arts came to the fore. Success came quickly, but Yegam wasnt prepared to sit back and relax. It began changing and improving the show almost immediately, and has continued to do so ever since. In practically every show, the actors ad-lib

lines and try out slightly different moves. This keeps the performance fresh and interesting, prompting spectators to return for repeated viewings. In its early days, Jump received numerous and often unfavorable comparisons with foreign martial arts shows, but as time went by, it gained recognition for being something entirely unique. In a run that has continued virtually unbroken since its debut, Jump has played in 40 towns and cities around Korea and, after being named an excellent performance by the Korea Cultural & Arts Centers Association, it will tour more than 40 more venues this year. Jump now has two dedicated theaters in Seoul alone, and two more each in Busan, Korea and New York, the US. It has filled theaters in Britain, Greece, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. Last year, Jump played its 5,000th show, a feat for which it was awarded the 2009 Korea Contents Awards. As with Nanta, what makes Jumps success particularly gratifying is that it embraced Korean cultural sentiment and took it around the world. The hope now is that people who danced to these ancient samulnori rhythms will go on to take a wider interest in Korean culture. Whether they do or not, Nanta and

that years 2,050 shows by The

shockwaves through theaters in Korea and around the world. It was a breath of fresh air for a dance world that had, in some countries, seemed to run out of new ideas. It became a social and commercial phenomenon that even business figures and politicians paid attention to. President Lee Myung-bak, the prime minister, cabinet ministers and legislators have all attended the show, as have leaders in education and religion. The plot is very straightforward. On a street where a ballet hall is located, some breakdancers set up a square

Scotsman newspaper. The show has

since enjoyed an illustrious, if short, history: it has played 40 times on Broadway, drawn more than 800,000 viewers in four years; and will take up residency in a special theater in Beijing this October. Initially derided as little more than coarse street culture, b-boys are now at the forefront of Koreas performance culture. Ballerina Who Loves B-Boy took this critical rehabilitation even further by melding breakdancing with ballet, a combination that sent

elements and conclusion, have been rendered richer and more colorful. Having taken Nanta around the world, PMC is now gearing up for a second act. As with Nanta, the company is looking close to home for inspiration.

samulnori, Nantas drumbeats provide

the energy underpinning this live-wire show. The wonderful choreography, the pulsating interplay between the cast, and the seemingly irregular rhythms all serve to keep the performance compelling from beginning to end. Though based on traditional rhythms, the backing track is so joyful and accessible that even first-time listeners cant help but be carried away by it. And this is precisely why Nanta has proved such a hit wherever it has played. PMC Production, which produced

TAAL, a visual performance, draws on

the Hahoe Masks of Andong, where the show is being staged this month. Produced in collaboration with the Korean musical company, Creative Team, TAAL shows there is plenty of inspiration left in PMC yet. JumP into another worlD Jump, the other great non-verbal success, combines the comedic, live-wire action seen in Nanta, with Korean martial arts. As with Nanta, the tradition has been

Jump have shown that Korean shows

can have a universal appeal, a crucial stepping stone for Korean companies as they spread out into the world. the growing voice of nonverbal Performance Following in the footsteps of Nanta and Jump,

Ballerina Who Loves B-Boy played 30

shows at the 2007 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. A huge success, it was designated the top production among

Sports and Arts

where they can practice, leading to friction between the b-boys and the eponymous ballerina. As time passes, however, the ballerina falls for one of the b-boys and chooses to become a street dancer instead. Though choosing life on the opposite end of the spectrum and giving up something she had been doing since childhood, the ballerina achieves genuine happiness. The story is designed as a wake-up call to the many of us who dont recognize just what it is our loved ones want, as well as those of us who forget out true dreams. In stark contrast to the b-boys, ballet has long been the preserve of
Masterpiece Drawing, one of many artistic moments from Drawing Show (top). Ballerina Who Loves B-Boy is a compelling combination of nonverbal performance, ballet and b-boy dance (above, opposite bottom). A scene from Fanta-Stick (below). Light Drawing, one of the performances of Drawing Show , features several dazzling scenes (opposite top).

the music is performed right before the viewers eyes. In addition, Fanta-Stick covers all genres from pop to gugak meaning there is something for every kind of music fan.

Drawing Show, a so-called picture

concert, is a non-verbal performance detailing the magical process of how a piece of art comes to life. Combining art, theater, and musical, it introduces original artistic concepts, including sculpture, frottage and marblework. During the creation of the art work, an image in the painting might change into something completely different, or a new picture may be added. At one point, a crying statue of Korean military hero Yi Sun-sin is used to convey Koreans anguish over the fire that engulfed Namdaemun, an ancient gate in Seoul. The high-speed drawing and changes to the pictures occur right before the audiences eyes, letting imaginations run riot. All the drawings have an element of magic to them. With its long and rich history, Korean culture offers a wealth of material that can be channeled into stage performances. Samulnori in Nanta and taekwondo and taekkyeon in Jump are only two examples. The genre of non-verbal performance in Korea is blessed with a sea of other sources from which to choose, spanning music, dance, martial arts and art. Finding out where it will be go next will be just as exciting as attending one of the shows.

the cultural elite. The genius of

Ballerina Who Loves B-Boy was that

it brought these two disparate genres together, opening each up to the others audience. Yet in marrying breakdancing and ballet, Ballerina

Who Loves B-Boy didnt just

showcase the two styles, it created a new one. Producing a kind of Jekyll and Hyde hybrid, the show managed the fine balance between ballet and breakdancing, and enjoyed a hugely successful run as a result. More recently, Fanta-Stick, a live music show incorporating gugak, is another hugely enjoyable non-verbal performance. Mixing the ancient Korean fable Jamyeonggo Tales with Shakespeares classic Romeo and

Juliet, Fanta-Stick delivers a riveting

re-interpretation of traditional forms, including pansori, violins and percussion. The excitement in Fanta-Stick is built around the live music performances. Virtuosos in percussion, pansori and the violin all have key roles in the show, and all
134 135

Sports and Arts

Jump, we realized actions were what brought us closer to the audience. Both Nanta and Jump incorporate nonverbal elements of traditional Korean culture. For its show of chefs banging out pulsating rhythms using kitchen utensils, Nanta drew inspiration from a traditional Korean percussive form samulnori. Jump uses elements of the Korean martial arts taekwondo and taekkyeon with joyous Korean music in the background. With the exception of taekwondo, none of these forms are well known outside Korea, but all were crucial in creating the shows successes. Besides their embrace of traditional Korean culture, the other key part of the shows long-term success, Song says, has been their decision to open up their own resident theaters. We opened the theater in 2000 and weve been performing there ever since, he
Song Seung-hwan, head of PMC Production

remnants of Hallyu the Korean Wave of popular culture that swept across the region in Asia. If we keep our focus on countries where people are more positive about our culture, then it could ultimately have a great effect on Koreas national brand and recognition. The first step to further enhancing Nantas standing overseas, Song says, is to open specialized theaters in Asia, and then to try and elevate the show to the level of longrunning Broadway hits such as The Lion King. Jump is also trying to reach more foreign fans. Through the second half of 2010, Yegam has planned 25 shows in 13 Chinese cities. They are also hoping to open up specialized theaters in the U.S., Japan, China and Singapore. Both companies are also working on follow ups to their hit productions. PMC has been trying out several new shows, including The CAR and TAAL. Later next year, Yegam plans to tour a new martial arts blockbuster

a similar to Jump. Called Break Out, the show, which incorporates elements of b-boy dancing and hip hop music, has already previewed to good reviews. As with Nanta and Jump, we have to keep developing creative and original content, Song says. Rather than going with whats hot at the moment, you have to develop new content and keep making necessary changes to pursue a long-term project. If you stick only to whats distinctively Korean, you may not win over too many fans outside the country. So its important to have some universal values. Quality and originality are essential elements, says Kim, echoing Songs ideas. You also have to find a common sensibility that everyone in the world can relate to. With Nanta and Jump, Song and Kim achieved exactly that. Wherever they go next in search of those universal values, it promises to be an exciting ride.

said. I think that was the biggest key to our success. The show itself is important but stability from the specialized theaters has

pioneers of korean nonverbal erformance

From the beginning, Nanta was created with overseas markets in mind. In the mid 1990s, when Nanta was written, the home market actors, we were able to overcome the disadvantages of non-verbal performances. Because there is no dialogue, anyone can watch our show and laugh. Jump faced similar problems, but Kim Kyung-hun, CEO of Yegam Inc., turned those challenges into strengths by focusing on motion. Motions arent constrained by language. Actually, movement is a form of language in which everyone in the world can communicate, says Kim. But its still very difficult to do comedy without dialogue using just martial arts, acrobatics, gymnastics, and straight acting. By doing

produced synergy effects. We can host foreign tourists at the same venue and weve been able to maintain partnerships with many travel agencies. The huge success of Nanta and Jump has done much to heighten the profile of Korea overseas. This hasnt necessarily led to increased knowledge of the countrys culture, as Song discovered when pitching Nanta to a foreign buyer a few years ago. He said to me, You perform in Korea? There are three things I know about Korea: North Korea, South Korea and the DMZ, recalls Song. And things arent that much different today. According to a 2009 study by Korea Brand and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, people in America and Europe still mostly associate Korea with the Korean War and North Korean nuclear issues. If you look at Asia, its more encouraging, Song adds. There are s till

Kim Kyung-hun, CEO of Yegam Inc.

Song Seung-hwan, head of PMC Production and creator of the mega-hit show Nanta, and Kim Kyung-hun, CEO of Yegam Inc., the company that produced Jump, recently sat down with KOREA to discuss the success of Korean nonverbal performance, their vision, and where, after years of huge success, they plan to go next.

was fairly small and success was far from certain, so it is made sense for an ambitious producer to create a work with something with international appeal. Still, there were no guarantees with an untried genre like nonverbal performance. But Song Seung-hwan, the producer of the show, overcame potential difficulties with originality, determination, and an excellent storyline. We wanted to create a drama where we could clearly deliver our story, Song says. Thanks to the perfect performances of our


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for korean shows, all the world is a stage

Nanta, which kick-started the genre of nonverbal performances, wowed audiences at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland, before taking New York by storm. Jump also played to packed houses in Edinburgh and now has its very own resident theater on Broadway. This is the story of two boisterous shows born in Korea, but now very much a part of the world stage.

Korea specifically to see it. Within months, Nanta had opened its own purpose-built venue. Nanta was performed during the opening ceremony for the 14th Asian Games in Busan in 2002, instantly elevating it to the status of Koreas signature show. The following year, Nantas astonishing run of success continued when it became the first ever Asian show to have its own theater off-Broadway. To date, Nanta has been staged in 250 cities in 40 countries, becoming one of the most successful ambassadors for Korean culture that the country has ever seen. Its travels have taken it across Asia, Europe, the United States, South America, and Oceania. In visiting Tunisia in 2009, Nanta had played all six continents. Despite Nantas success, it didnt inspire an immediate legion of imitators. But just as people began to think the appeal of the non-verbal performance was a flash-in-the-pan, along came Jump. Arriving seemingly from out of nowhere, Jump a frenetic show about a family of martial arts experts defending their home from burglars followed a similarly astronomical trajectory, Jolie among the thousands of people to have seen it. In March 2003, the Broadway show marked its 200th performance. In 2005 and 2006, Jump played the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where it received a Sell-out Show Award given to all productions that sell out every performance and became the first Korean show to win the Comedy Award and Cavalcade Best Walking Group prize. Jump later became the first Asian show to perform at the Royal Variety Show, an annual performance put on for Britains royal family. If anything, Jumps success exceeded that of the wildly popular Nanta, and confirmed non-verbal performance as a major international attraction. From mid-2006 to mid-2007, Jump was performed in 16 cities in 12 nations, raking
Jump s resident theater in New York (opposite). Festival-goers in Edinburgh check out a poster advertising Nanta (above). A Jump actor goes airborne (far left). A seasonal poster for Nanta (left).

in US$1.1 million. In an unprecedented event for a theater production, Jump also won the Export Tower Honors, awarded by the Korea International Trade Association to highly successful exporters, along with US$1 million in prize money. In 2003, when the Korean theater market was growing, Jump embarked on wildly successful world tours taking in Israel, Spain, Japan, Singapore, China, Thailand, South Africa, Russia, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and France and opened purpose-built theaters on its way to becoming a bona-fide cultural phenomenon. As it continues to entice crowds around the globe, the future for Jump and its production company Yegam can only get better.

When Nanta first traveled to play the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland in 1999, the company felt an equal measure of excitement and concern. Though a huge hit in Korea since debuting in 1997, Nanta hadnt played outside the country before, and no one could be sure that its live-wire mix of acrobatics, and percussion all set in a Korean kitchen would capture the imagination of foreign audiences. In order to perform in Edinburgh, Song Seung-hwan, the shows producer, had reached deep into his own pockets, in addition borrowing 100 million won (US$85,000) from a friend. Though proclaiming his confidence that Nanta would

be a hit, he kept the loan a secret from his wife. Song had everything riding on the success of the show. In the end, he neednt have worried. Nanta was an instant smash at Edinburgh, drawing reviews that were as ecstatic as the crowds who came to see it. Deals were signed to take Nanta to other theaters, and Song was soon able to repay his debt. Such was its success that the next year, tour groups of Japanese students were traveling to

from debuting in 2003 to opening its own theater in Seoul in 2006 and another on Broadway in 2007. Today, Jump has two venues in Seoul and one each in Busan and New York. In a first for this kind of show, the 500-seat New York theater was opened under license to CAMI (Columbia Artists Management Inc), one of the worlds largest show management companies, which pays royalties to Jumps creators. On first performing in New York, Jump soon caught the attention of The New York Times, The New York Post and CBS. It has played during halftime at an NBA basketball game, and it counts Brad Pitt and Angelina

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koreas favorite game

Professional baseball in Korea began with a slam a grand slam, that is. Lee Jong-dos grand slam on the opening day of the first professional baseball season in 1982 proved to be a good omen, as pro baseball would grow into the nations most popular sport. Today, fans turn out in droves to see the titans of Korea play ball. by Park Kwang-min | photograph by Kim Hong-jin

Jamsil Stadium was a packed house on April 9 for the Doosan Bears vs Kia Tigers game.



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began in Korea. This year, Korean professional baseball celebrates its 30 year, and it has only become more popular with time. In its inaugural year, there were only six teams with 141 players in the professional league, compared to the current eight teams with three times the number of players. This year, a ninth team, NCsoft, is set to make its debut. There are also rumors of further expansion that could see the start of a two-division professional league within the next few years. Last October, Steven C.Rockefeller, Jr, a world famous oil baron and a fifth generation member of the Rockefeller family, visited Seouls Jamsil Stadium to watch Game Four of the playoff series between the Samsung Lions and the Doosan Bears. Rockefeller fully immersed himself with the Korean style of cheering, smiling at fans screaming from the top of their lungs, and never taking his eyes off every play on the field. When the Doosan shortstop Son

t all started on March 27 in 1982 that was the day professional baseball

Si-heon came to the plate, Rockefeller clapped to the beat of his so-called fight song, and took pictures of the home fans along the first base. When the Bears clawed back with five runs in the seventh after trailing 7-2, Rockefeller gave a standing ovation and high-fived people around him. Calling himself an avid New York Yankees fan, Rockefeller says he was deeply impressed with the way Korean fans kept cheering on their favorite teams for the entire game. I dont know much about Korean baseball but Ive just started to learn, and I want to find out more, he says. And the culture of fans of a team all becoming one is surprising. Its full of energy. Its passionate. I want to take this culture to the Yankee Stadium in New York. history of baseball in korea Philip Gillett, an American missionary, was dispatched to Korea in 1901 and founded the Young Mens Christian Association (YMCA) two years later. In 1905, he started teaching baseball, then

a Western ball game, to members of the YMCA, and that was the birth of baseball in Korea. The professional league was launched in 1982, and now in its 30 popular sport. It has captured the imaginations of not just Koreans but also foreigners living in Korea. Marking its 30th season, the Korea Baseball Organization decided to expand with a ninth club, and looks to make it a 10-team, two-division league by 2014. This year, the league hopes to draw more than six million fans a season for the first time, and the players have worked hard themselves to keep people in their seats. The 2011 season kicked off on April 2, with all eight teams in action. Fans who had been dying for some baseball over the long winter flocked to the four ballparks in Jamsil of Seoul, Gwangju, Busan and Incheon. Each team will play 133 regular season games, and the top four teams will reach the postseason, with the champion determined in October. The opening day was as wild

season, baseball is the nations most

(From opposite left to right) Korean traditional fan dance performance before the opening game of Koreas first pro baseball league in 1982; The Haitai Tigers celebrates its eighth victory, tossing the coach into the air in 1996; Lee Seung-yeop is cheered after his 56th home run, Asias best record, in 2003; A reception to commemorate the 30th season of Koreas professional baseball league on March 28, 2011.

(1996-2007) before being reborn as the Woori Heroes in 2008. The MBC team was sold to become the LG Twins in 1990, while Haitai became the Kia Tigers in 2001. The Tigers have won 10 championships, more than any other franchise, and theyre the Korean equivalent of the New York Yankees.

in 2006, second at the 2009 WBC, and won gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, going undefeated in nine and five games, respectively. Since its inception, professional baseball has been beloved by people all over the nation, says You Young-koo, commissioner of the KBO (Korea Baseball Organization). We had some down periods in the 1990s with the foreign reserve crisis, but thanks to the passion of the teams and fans, were experiencing a renaissance again. Entering our 30th year, pro baseball in Korea is at a crossroads, You adds. We will work even harder for fans who love our game. The KBO is trying to look back on its 30 years, holding a special photo exhibition in commemoration of the

as had been expected, with all four games sold out for the third-straight season. Pro baseball here was founded with six original clubs: Samsung Lions, Haitai Tigers, Lotte Giants, Sammi Superstars, MBC Blue Dragons and OB Bears. Over the ensuing three decades, the Superstars franchise went through ownership changes, with the Chungbo Pintos (1985-1987), the Pacific Dolphins (1988-1995) and the Hyundai Unicorns

In 1986, the Binggrae Eagles joined the league as the seventh team and became the Hanwha Eagles in 1994. In 1991, the Ssang Bang Wool Raiders became the eighth team, and in 2000, SK bought out the team to turn it into the SK Wyverns. Korea has steadily developed into a world baseball power. Starting with the bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Korea finished third at the inaugural World Baseball Classic (WBC)

koreas Professional baseball teams (2011 season)

doosan bears Basement City : Seoul Established Year: 1982

kia tigers Gwangju 1982

sk wyverns Incheon 2000

nexen heroes Seoul 2008

lotte giants Busan 1982

samsung lions hanwha eagles Daejeon Daegu 1986 1982

lg twins Seoul 1990



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anniversary. At the reception to mark the start of the 30 season, the KBO laid

channel could also help push up the revenue of KBOP, a marketing affiliate of the KBO, to 100 billion won by 2020. The KBO will also reorganize its minor leagues, the main source of young talent, and support independent leagues, while helping youth clubs set

fastball reaching 155km/h and a slider. Unlike normal sliders, which often break away from the right-handed batter, Suns slider broke down vertically, almost like forkball. Sun had such an aura about him that he could scare his opponents just by warming up

allowed) dating back to 2009. In the majors, Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals pitched 22 quality starts in a row from May 13 to Sept 9 in 2005. Bob Gibson, also of the Cardinals, had 22 consecutive quality starts in 1968. Ryu has been the ace for Korea at the WBC

Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers, has returned home, along with former New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Seo Jae-weong (Kia), and ex-Washington Nationals pitcher Kim Sun-woo (Doosan), much to the delight of Korean fans.

glimpse of stars such as Ryu Hyun-jin and Lee Dae-ho. Group cheering is one of the major features of Korean baseball. Ryan Sadowski, who re-signed with Lotte Giants, says, I think the Ma! [a unique cheering word catered to the Lotte team] cheer for Lotte is fun. I stayed put in Korea for the fans passionate cheers. Travis Blackley, a new starter for Kia Tigers, mentions, This is my first season in Korea and the fan support is awesome. I am experiencing things that Ive never had before. All eight teams have traveling cheering squads for road games. Their Thunder Stix and amps blasting loud music fire up the fans. With baseballs surging popularity, Little League baseball has also grown exponentially. Kids who would kick around soccer balls on playgrounds are now picking up gloves and baseball bats, breaking a few windows here and

out five major objectives: to introduce a two-division league with 12 clubs by the year 2020; to draw 10 million fans to ballparks; to start turning profits; to restructure the minor league system and

to support youth baseball; and to open a baseball museum and hall of fame. In addition to Gwangju, the KBO pledged to build new ballparks in Daegu and Daejeon currently home to downtrodden stadiums that can hold at least 30,000 people, and to have seven stadiums with at least 25,000 seats nationwide by 2017. The KBO turned in 40 billion won (US$3.6 million) at the gate last year, and wants to raise the revenue to 90 billion won by 2020. With improved infrastructure, the KBO predicted its total revenue, from the gate, marketing and other sources, would reach 300 billion won by 2020. To help meet its goals, the KBO will establish KBO.com in 2015 and open its own broadcasting channel to generate revenue online and offline. Modeled after MLB.com in the majors, the new

(From left to right) One of the biggest Korean stars Sun Dong-yeol pitches at a KS (Korean Series) game in 1995; Hanwhas Ryu Hyun-jin is well-known for his nickname Monster, because of his excellent pitch; A dynamic scene from Busan Sajik Baseball Stadium, home of the Lotte Giants; Slugger Lee Dae-ho hit his 200th home run on April 11, 2011.

in the bullpen. Splitting his time as a starter and a closer in 11 seasons in Korea, Sun helped his Tigers to six championships, putting up 146 wins, 40 losses and 132 saves with a 1.20 earned run average. Sun also pitched for the Chunichi Dragons in Japan and earned the

and the Beijing Olympics. At the plate, Lee Dae-ho, slugger for Lotte Giants, homered in a record nine games in a row. He began his streak on Aug 4 against Doosan and set the record against Kia on Aug 14. In the majors, Ken Griffey Jr. and two other players have hit home runs in eight straight games, but Lee topped them all. Last year, Lee also led the KBO in an unprecedented seven offensive categories. He has been in the heart of the order, the cleanup trio, for Korea in international tournaments like Olympic Games and WBC. The league has more impressive stars. Lefty Kim Kwang-hyun of the SK Wyverns and right-hander Yoon Sukmin of the Kia Tigers are both fixtures in the national team rotation. Choi Heeseop, Big Choi formerly with the

what to look for in 2011 Aside from these Korean stars, foreign players with Major League experience have joined the KBO. Radhames Liz, a starter for the LG Twins, wowed the crowd with his 160km/h fastballs. Dustin Nippert, pitcher for Doosan Bears, has been firing fastballs from his 203cm frame. Korean baseball is very fast and dynamic, Liz says. Hitters have great techniques and theres not much difference from the major leagues. Nippert was also impressed, saying, Ive not so much experienced Asian baseball before, but baseball players here have tremendous passion and talent. I am having an unusual experience in Korean baseball. Fans have been packing stadiums from early on, hoping to get their

there. And amateur club baseball has exploded in recent years. There are 200 officially registered leagues with about 10 teams each. And counting unofficial clubs, there could be around 5,000 teams around the nation. Though pro baseball is just 30 years old, the league has ushered in a renaissance with eight teams duly catering to their local fans. For its part, KBO has set up an executive committee to handle development of the sport and implement necessary policies. Players are improving by the day, and quality foreign players are coming to the Korean league to add new twists. And with the support of enthusiastic fans, the Korean league has already transcended Asia to become among the top competitors in the world.

up across the nation. Lastly, the KBO will determine sites for the baseball museum and hall of fame in 2011, with plans of opening doors in 2012. stars of korean baseball Korea has seen its share of stars over the past three decades of pro baseball. Among the best, Sun Dong-yeol, former Samsung manager, is by far the greatest pitcher. He made a splash as a super rookie with the Haitai Tigers in 1985. His arsenal included a four-seam

nickname Sun of Nagoya. Then in 2005, Sun won the Korean Series in his first year as manager and defended the title in 2006. After 417 wins, 340 losses and 13 ties in six seasons, Sun resigned, months after finishing runner-up in 2010. The Korean league last year saw two world records. On the mound, Ryu Hyun-jin of the Hanwha Eagles, nicknamed the Monster, put together 29 straight quality starts (at least six innings and three earned runs or fewer


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Park was a key member of the bullpen for the World Series runners-up Philadelphia Phillies in 2009. In 2010, he joined the New York Yankees, but was traded mid-season to the Pittsburgh Pirates after an injury-plagued first half. In 17 major league seasons, Park pitched for seven clubs, throwing 1,993 innings in 476 games. He posted a record of 124 wins, 98 losses with an earned run average (ERA) of 4.36, 1,872 hits and 1,715 strikeouts. Parks 124 wins are the most by an Asian pitcher in the majors, one more than Nomo Hideo of Japan. After mulling over another season in the majors or joining the Korean league, Park decided to go to Japan to experience a new country and league. Though he failed to win a World Series, Park, the Korean Express, left a huge mark in the majors. Choo Shin-soo signed with the Seattle Mariners for US$1.3 million in 2001. A prototypical five-tool player, Choo made his major league debut on April 21, 2005. But despite all his talent, Choo rarely got to play in Seattle and was traded to the Cleveland Indians in 2006. In Cleveland, Choo began to live up to his expectations and has developed into the teams offensive leader. Last year, Choo batted .300 with 22 home runs, 90 runs batted in and 22 stolen bases. He also put up a .401 on-base percentage for a new career high. Despite a thumb injury suffered during the season, Choo enjoyed the best season of his career. In the majors, only two other players Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies and Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins had a .300 batting average with at least 20 home runs and 20 steals. In 110 years of history of the Cleveland franchise, Choo is the very first player to put up back-to-back seasons of .300 average plus 20 homers and 20 steals. After the Major League season, Choo donned the Korean national uniform to represent the country at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, and led Korea to the gold medal. Choo had been exhausted after playing in 144 games in the majors in 2010. But he came to Korea right While slugger Lee Dae-ho and fireballer Ryu Hyun-jin capture the hearts of fans in Korea, baseball ambassadors have served Korea well in the US and Japan. Leading envoys have been Park Chan-ho, a 37-year-old pitcher for the Orix Buffaloes, Choo Shinsoo, a 28-year-old outfielder for the Cleveland Indians and Lim Chang-yong, a 34-year-old pitcher for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows.
(Clockwise from opposite) Choo Shin-soo rounds third base after hitting a home run against the Boston Red Sox on April 6, 2011; Lim Chang-yong pitches at Japans All-Star Game in 2010; Park Chan-ho records his 124th win on Oct 2, 2010, with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

koreas baseball ambassadors

in the global spotlight

From former Major League All-Star Park Chan-ho to the Choo-Choo Train Choo Shin-soo in Cleveland, Korean baseball players are making a name for themselves abroad. These men are promoting Korean athletics as baseball ambassadors and picking up hefty paychecks along the way.

Choo just hit a jackpot at the salarynegotiating table this time. He signed a oneyear deal worth US$3.9 million dollars, a ninefold increase from his previous salary. This season, Choo is back in the heart of the teams offense. During the teams spring training in Arizona last February, Choo said, I am feeling great, and I have high expectations for the club since we have a lot of good prospects. I am proud of being a Korean playing baseball in the majors. Choo says he will gun for a season of at least 30 home runs and 30 steals this year. My goal is to get better and better every year, Choo says. I want to put up better numbers this year than the last, and I also want to play in the postseason too.

Park is a pioneer among Koreans playing ball abroad. He became the first Korean in the majors in January 1994, signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers for US$1.2 million. On April 7, 1996, he picked up his first Major League victory against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. During his heyday with the Dodgers, Park regularly clocked in at 99mph (159km/h) on his fastball and fooled hitters with breaking balls.

after the season ended and started getting ready for the Asian Games. People couldnt help but love the man who gave everything he had for the national team. Coming off the most productive season of his career, plus the military service exemption in the offseason,

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Jerry royster

was a monumental moment of my life. I am really, really grateful. When asked why he thought fans had remained supportive, Royster says, While managing Lotte, I stayed in close contact with fans. I exchanged e-mails with them and sometimes invited them to games. Its important to instill in kids hopes and dreams. After the Korean postseason last fall, Royster reflects on his experience: Just as the three years in Korea went by quickly, the past six months in the US have been very hectic too. I am finally spending some great paths, putting fear into opposing batteries. Though hed been a position player, Royster also stressed aggressiveness to his pitchers. He preferred guys who could throw inside, and he came down hard on those who got away from the inside part of the plate. Royster ultimately emphasized confidence. Asking pitchers to go inside was designed to help them develop more confidence on the mound. And pitchers and position players alike all bought into his No Fear baseball. As a result, Lotte reached three straight playoffs and got stronger each season. Over three seasons under Royster, the Giants put up 204 wins, 185 losses and three draws for a winning percentage of .520. On top of that, the Giants had more fun playing baseball than any other team. time with my family, he adds. I love being around my two daughters. Theyre both aspiring actresses and theyre going to be in films soon. Royster later quips, I made my film debut before my daughters in the Korean film Haeundae or Tidal Wave [where a Lotte baseball game was included in an early scene]. Royster said his three seasons in Korea were unforgettable, and that he would like to manage again in Korea if an opportunity arises. Royster has been mentioned as a future potential manager for an expansion Korean team, owned by game company NCsoft. Royster can offer a lot to a new club. He is a trusted man among Korean fans and has already proven his leadership by guiding Lotte, formerly a doormat, to three postseasons in a row. He is a players manager who reaches out to his charge and has a wide network in baseball that includes major league coaches. As an expansion team, NCsoft will be able to acquire four foreign players and place three on the active roster, one more than existing teams. And when scouting overseas talent, perhaps itd be better for the team to rely on Royster and his network than to employ Korean scouts to do the work. Lottes pitcher Ryan Sadowski, who joined the team last year, says he signed with the Giants because of Royster.

Looking back on those three seasons, Royster says, When I first took over, the team was not that strong. But I tried to find out more about each individual player and tried to customize lessons for each player rather than teaching all of them the same thing. More than anything, I stressed that they had to have the right attitude as baseball players. By having Royster, NCsoft could sign some big-name foreign stars to draw fans early and quickly establish its identity. Royster would have an edge in that respect over all other managers in Korea. And he still loves the country, saying, I still miss my time in Korea. Royster adds, I think I can demonstrate my talent on an expansion

team. Interestingly, the first general manager for NCsoft is Lee Sang-goo, a former Lotte general manager who brought in Royster in 2008. That connection has fueled rumors that Royster would be the teams inaugural manager. Royster says he had a good relationship with Lee while with the Giants. We know each other well and I think he is a capable general manager, Royster says. But I havent heard anything from

koreas first foreign manager

American baseball manager Jerry Royster is a great leader. After taking over the Lotte Giants in 2008, he guided the team to three straight postseasons. Today, hes back in the United States, providing commentary for Major League ballgames. But he says hed like to manage again in Korea someday. Is there a place for Royster in future Korean ball teams?

In the history of Korean baseball, only one manager has ever walked on a red carpet all the way from the ballpark to the parking lot after every home game. Its Jerry Royster, a former manager of the Lotte Giants and the first foreign manager in Korean professional baseball. He became the manager of the perennial underachievers in 2008 and led them to the postseason for three straight years. A former Major League manager, Royster ran his club on excellent strategies and communicated openly with his players. Currently working as

an analyst for Major League games, Royster would like to return to Korea to manage again. He won over players by running efficient practice regimens that gave players some leeway, rather than indiscriminately grueling routines. As befit a former major leaguer, Royster pursued a daring brand of baseball and asked his charge to never fear anything. Under his watch, Lotte became the most aggressive team in the eight-team league. Hitters started swinging at the first pitch, and they became more aggressive on base

But the lack of playoff success ultimately did in Royster. Though the Giants made three playoffs in a row, they also lost in the first round in all those three years. Following the latest defeat, Royster returned to the United States. When rumors surfaced late last season that Lotte would not re-sign Royster, Giants fans started putting up signs to support their manager and even paid out of their own pockets to run newspaper ads. Royster thanked his fans, saying, You cant imagine this kind of support even in the majors. This

their camp. Id like to become a manager if I receive an offer. If not NCsoft, then Id like to manage any Korean team. On Korean baseball, Royster says, Korea was the runner-up at the second World Baseball Classic in 2009 and won every game it played to win the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, beating the U.S., Cuba, Japan and Canada in the process.
(Clockwise from opposite) Jerry Royster at his house in LA; Royster cheers his team players during a game in 2009; Lotte Giants fans hold up a banner inscribed with We Want Jerry.

Korea has transcended Asia and its world class in baseball.



Sports and Arts

The definition of Korean dance is being stretched to include not just traditional dances from the past, but new ballets depicting Korean stories, dances that weave traditional motions into the modern and even the remarkably popular iterations of b-boy crews featured in tourism advertisements. by CedarBough T Saeji | photographs by Park Jeong-roh

Dancers perform in the National Dance Company of Koreas 2009 Gaya.



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solo violinist in a black suit and fedora walks across the stage,

KOREA sat down with Ahn in a quiet cafe in Itaewon to talk with her about traditional dance, her most recent work, Dancing for Grandmother, and her upcoming presentation of her piece Princess Bari at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2011. Princess Bari is the well-loved Korean story of a fearless Sunflower have increasingly used Korean traditional movement vocabulary and stories as elements in modern dance works. Many regard the integration of Western and Eastern elements as the future of dance in Korea. integration of moDernity No discussion of modern dance in Korea would be complete without mentioning the queen of modern Korean dance Ahn Eun-me. One of Koreas most active and innovative choreographers, Ahn has presented around the world and frequently works with non-Korean dancers. Ahns choreography includes traditional elements in some of the most creative ways since she first incorporated gayageum (12-string Korean zither) into the piece Please, Catch Me. and devoted daughter who ventures to the underworld to bring back the water of life for her ailing father. In this performance, Ahn incorporates four traditionally-trained dancers, a pansori singer to belt out the tale and musicians playing Korean traditional instruments to fuse Korean tradition with modern dance. Combining these traditional elements with a more empowering re-interpretation of the tale, Ahn fuses traditional and modern dance to create a moving, award-winning production, which showcases the best of dance in Korea. An MBC reporter closed her news spot on the Princess Bari series saying, Culture from Korean antiquity has been given new life in this unstoppably modern work, a sentiment that properly encapsulates much of what is happening in the

modern dance world in Korea today. I am much interested in incorporating traditional elements into my choreography, Ahn says. People usually believe that tradition has to be presented in a certain specific way, but I dont think so. Tradition continues to change, and I also want to take my roots, these Korean stories and Korean consciousness, and create something new. A similar motivation seems to have even spread to the world of ballet. Although ballet, a classic of the Western dance canon, is unlikely to adopt the use of Korean movement or dancers trained in Korean traditional dance, the Universal Ballet Company has added the ballets Shim Chung and The Love of Chunhyang to their repertoire, and the Korea National Ballet Company has developed Prince Hodong. The story of Chunhyang is a true Korean classic (it has been made into an award-winning movie by Im Kwon-taek, a popular Korean TV drama and a modern dance piece by both the National Dance Company of Korea and Ahn Eun-me). Chunhyang is best known as an epic narrative pansori song; it is the Korean

playing a haunting melody from the classical Western tradition as an overhead spotlight leaves his face shadowed by his hat brim. As the music changes, the stage lights reveal five women in white, shoulder-baring dresses, gliding dramatically across the stage on their toes before pausing in long-limbed extension. Although still performed on Western instruments, the music changes to the tune of a Korean folk song sped up to double time to accompany the now violent and explosive movements of the dancers. This is the opening of Soul, Sunflower, a full-length modern dance concert borrowing elements from Korean traditional dance. It is also one of the major touring pieces in the repertoire of the National Dance Company of Korea. National dance companies tend to feature the cultural heritage deemed authentic to their own locale, so it is not surprising that the company, founded in 1962, originally focused on Korean traditional dance. However, the companys works such as Soul,

Lee Jeong-yun, a longtime member of the National Dance Company of Korea, performs in a modern work alongside fellow company dancers (above). Dancers perform in the domestic production Model House at the International Modern Dance Festival (MODAFE) in late May (opposite below). A female lead strikes a stance during a performance of Model House , choreographed by Park Hae-joon, which explores the many roles of family in life.

Romeo and Juliet. The original version tells the story of Chunhyang, the daughter of a gisaeng (Korean geisha), and Mongryong, the noble son of a governor, who secretly marries her. They are separated by fate and social obligations, and in Mongryongs absence, Chunhyangs great beauty is noted by a corrupt local politician. These new Korean ballets have begun touring extensively overseas, with the current schedule presenting The Love of Chunhyang, Shim Chung and Prince Hodong in more than 40 cities including Naples, Italy; Singapore; Taipei, Taiwan; Moscow; and Johannesburg between 2011 and 2013. In fact, Korean ballet has grown up quickly. With several Korean ballerinas and ballerinos winning major international competitions in 2010, ballet has become a hot trend, especially with the new emphasis on Korean stories which renders the art form more approachable to the Korean public. Some of these works have appeared in MODAFE, the International Modern Dance Festival held annually in the late spring (May 18 to 29) which has become


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one of Koreas most exciting international modern dance showcases. Each year the festival includes not only a selection of established and emerging Korean modern dance stars, but also several overseas dance companies. Since MODAFE began in 1982, performers from countries around the world including Israel, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, the United States and France have presented their choreography in sold-out halls. After performances, MODAFEs format frequently allows for dialogue between the choreographer and the audience, an opportunity for insights that eager young dance students relish. Given the wide popular support and quick explosion of the Korean b-boy sensation in recent years, tourism advertisements here are helping spur the genre of the modern iteration of 1980s break dancers as Korea is currently home to half of the top competitive b-boy crews. Korean crews are highly regarded overseas and have become a fixture on the international circuit, winning acclaim and awards at events such as Battle of the Year, Red Bull BC One and R-16 Korea. R-16 was started in Korea only a few years ago, but it has already become one of the biggest hip-hop and b-boying festivals in the world. the influences of history The innovative appropriation of traditional dance vocabulary into modern dance is

a natural step forward, both for modern dancers and for Korean traditional dancers. Surprisingly, the Korean government which once focused almost exclusively on the protection of the traditional arts, particularly during the Park Chung-hee, Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo administrations is now embracing the fusion of Korean dance and contemporary dance from around the world. In the past, Korean dance was inseparable from Korean society.
(From left to right) The lead dancers in the Korea National Ballet Companys modernized piece Prince Hodong embrace in a singular movement; Ballerinas dance en pointe for the Universal Ballet Companys retelling of the classic Shim Chung folk tale; Company members perform scenes in hanbok , Korean traditional dress, for the National Dance Company of Koreas Dance Chunhyang .

Court dances were needed in the era of a court that received international envoys and wanted to show some form of sedate and Confucian entertainment. Koreans danced, sang and played musical instruments as part of the daily life in cooperative agricultural communities, lightening group work, building community and enlivening important annual festivals and village rites. In the modern era, people no longer believe in village tutelary guardians and they use tractors to harvest their barley, reducing or even erasing the relevance of the traditional folk arts. Many of the arts that remain strong in Korea are part of the lineage of the professional entertainers called gisaeng, because only the arts of the gisaeng were created for an audience, allowing them to translate well to the proscenium stage. In Korean traditional dance, the performers are generally clad in voluminous skirts of the hanbok, or Korean traditional dress. In addition to

the ubiquitous hanbok, there are certain key elements to be found when staging Korean traditional dance. For example, Korean dance does not have intricate placements or gestures with the fingers and hands the hands are often relaxed and move together with the wrist and arm. Most of the typical gestures trace interesting curving patterns in the air and the shoulders are loose, relaxed and even slightly hunched, particularly in folk dance. The basis of movement is a duck-footed stance and dancers step heel to toe. But in the fastest folk dances the legs stay close to each other with the feet close to the floor, although they lift to knee height in the most physically demanding folk dances. Dance performed by gisaeng entertainers was on occasion suggestive, but suggestive motions in Korean dance do not isolate or feature the hip, backside or chest. All of these traits can be seen in the National Dance Company of Koreas major touring work, Korean

Fantasy, a medley of 10 Korean traditional dances. This dance concert contains all the elements an audience expects in Korean traditional dance, including dancers in swirling pink, manipulating oversized fans trimmed with feathers dyed fuchsia in Korean classic fan dance. However, many other dances are credited with deeper ties to Korean history; amongst the most fascinating of Koreas staged performing arts are the mask dance dramas. Combining elaborate masks, music, dance motions and stories that reflect a snapshot of Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) society, the preserved mask dance dramas remain crowd-pleasing favorites. One of the most captivating is Goseong Ogwangdae, from the small town of Goseong on the south coast near Busan, so focused on dance that little to no dialogue is included. The dances within the traditional drama are so widely loved that in the modern era this deotbaegichum is staged

by unmasked dancers alongside major classics of the dance canon, such as Salpurichum (shamanic ritual exorcism dance) and taepyeongmu (great peace dance). The distinctive motions show the dancer casting off the undesired, even drawing an invisible sword to scare away unseen forces. Yi Yun-seok, National Living Treasure for Goseong Ogwangdae, explains, Traditionally this motion was to banish ghosts or malevolent spirits. In the modern world where many regard belief in ghosts as a superstition we can think of this motion as casting off stress, heartbreak or failure and banishing it from our lives. Dance in Korea, whether the movements are modern Korean or the story alone harkens back to an idyllic past, is vibrant and well established with myriad institutions for training, promotion and production. As the barriers between different forms grow more permeable, we can expect to see ever more creative works arising on the Korean stage.


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an ideal life
Lee Jeong-yun says his life is ideal the way it is right now. A principal dancer at the peak of his career, Lee has the respect of his colleagues and the satisfaction of loving his work.

enough to convince young Lee that he had to move to Seoul and become the performers student. Kim was also a student of Jeong Jae-man, a National Living Treasure for the Salpurichum (shamanic ritual exorcism dance). Had Lee learned it from his teacher? More than saying Ive learned Salpurichum, I would like to say that traditional dance takes a very long time to master, he says, showing a respect for tradition. Lees background is in more than just Salpurichum. His traditional dance training has extended through most of the classics, including seungmu (monks dance) and mask dance dramas like Bongsan Talchum, Hahoe Byeolsin Gut Tallori and Goseong Ogwangdae. Hahoe Byeolsin Gut Tallori, the mask dance drama from Hahoe Village near Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, was incorporated into one of Lees performances in April. The concert Lee Jeong-yun and Etoile was the first time in the history of the National Dance Company of Korea that a single dancer was able to present a fulllength show on the main stage. Coinciding with Lees 10 year with the

undergraduate practices, while carrying out thesis research on nabichum, the Buddhist ritual butterfly dance. Following a period of post-graduation independent study, Lee entered the National Dance Company of Korea in 2002. Lee explained that the company is about displaying the best of Korean dance, no matter what type. Dancers rehearse Korean dance from 10am to noon everyday and receive special training from leading traditional dancers such as Jeong Jae-man for Salpurichum. Likewise, they are taught by various experts in modern dance and ballet, as well as rehearse choreography. The bottom line, according to Lee, is that some people have a negative opinion of Korean traditional dance. They think its slow, boring
National Dance Company of Korea member Lee Jeong-yun poses in front of the National Theater of Korea (above). Lee, who has studied both traditional and modern dance forms, extends his body gracefully in a piece for the company (opposite).

and for the older generation, and this is an attitude Lee wants to change. He wants to show the dynamism of traditional in partnership with modern dance, see the dance world freed from the fantasy that tradition does not change, and allow a natural evolution of the traditional

world, Lee explains, that they rarely even meet. When they do, however, their dates might include watching other dance performances. On occasion they have even met up while both were touring shows overseas. Lee obtained all of his dance training in Korea. For his bachelors, he attended Sungkyunkwan University, where he spent half of each day in classes devoted to theory and the other half practicing dance. At that time, the Korea National University of Arts (K-Arts) dance program had only recently opened. Through friends, Lee learned that at K-Arts, the students were focusing on practice to the extent that no one changed out of their dance clothes; a shockingly radical but highly appealing approach. Lee entered K-Arts for his Masters degree, where he excitedly rushed from class to class auditing a wide variety of

performing arts. Lees eyes glint with pride as he describes the staging of ogomu, the five drum dance, comprised of a line of 13 men powerfully beating on the instruments in perfect synchronicity. When I ask him about memorable roles, he highlights the romantic male lead in Dance Chunhyang. He describes his realization of growth in his own ability brought about by performing Mongryong in the story, 10 years after his first performance of the part. His joy in his own development shows the passion that has made him an indispensible member of his company. After the interview winds down, Lee heads back inside, the empty practice rooms siren call echoing in his ears.

company, the performance showed the depth of his training, creativity and influences. Lee passionately explains that dance is dance, no matter if its ballet, Within a few moments of meeting Lee Jeong-yun of the National Dance Company of Korea, he is posed in front of the photographer on the balcony of the National Theater of Korea. Lee, 34, is confident and not the slightest bit afraid to strike a dramatic pose, but his personality escapes between shots in a grin that extends to his eyes, the bandaged wrist and part of a blackink tattoo peeking out from above his waistband. Adjourning to a studio for an indoor shot, he cant restrain himself from tearing into a fast-paced beat on a set of drums, his hands

flying through a series of motions so dynamic they seem a blur. Commenting on Lees comfort level with the photography, I find he has made a conscious effort to learn to be a natural in front of a lens. He explains his frustrations with popular reality TV shows such as I Am a Singer, where stars of the past are forced to prove their chops all over again. Compared to such programs, Korean dance has been relatively neglected, so now Lee takes every opportunity to publicize its traditions and the new creative works which draw from traditional movements. A desire to build a

more favorable environment for Korean dance, particularly to the benefit of the next generation of dancers, is a recurring topic of conversation. At one time he had been one of those young hopefuls himself, and with the support of his parents and teachers he made the decision to pursue dance when he was 15 years old. After a period of learning modern dance, he happened to attend a performance by noted traditional dancer Kim Choong-han. Lee describes the concert as the moment he was hit with the beauty of Korean traditional dance. Just watching was

modern, creative or Korean. Hence, his concert moved through the spectrum of genres without regard for artificial boundaries, using Korean sentiment and thought as its foundation. Lee chuckles, his eyes twinkling, as he describes the great pride and happiness he felt when rehearsing and presenting the piece with his friends. One of those friends was female lead Kim Joo-won, the prima ballerina of the Korea National Ballet Company and Lees girlfriend of the past several years. The two dancers are both so busy with their rehearsals and performances all around the


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Korean dramas (in this case, Lie to Me). The company is housed at the large National Theater of Korea complex, a warren of practice rooms and theaters of various sizes, along with the National Orchestra of Korea, the National Drama Company of Korea and the National Changgeuk Company of Korea. The company employs more than 50 dancers, most of whom have a solid rooting in Korean traditional dance. A typical day at the theater complex runs from 10am to 5pm, with rehearsal supervised by senior company members, and classes under the artistic director. At present the company has three major works: Korean Fantasy, Dance Chunhyang and Soul, Sunflower. In 2011, they will present more than 40 full-length dance concerts in Korea and make seven fulllength international appearances. Whether Princess Kongji will join the regular repertoire has yet to be decided. In 2010, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism created a new state-funded company specifically to explore the field of

of the Seoul Arts Center and for the moment is comprised of a 10-person staff. Unlike other nationally supported performing arts groups, the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company secures dancers for each individual performance through auditions, instead of keeping a permanent company. The inaugural director, Hong Sung-yop, was a ballerino before his 20-year history as a choreographer, and will remain in the position for at least the first three years of the company. The Modern Dance Promotion of Korea is the powerhouse at the center of the Korean modern dance world. Their major goals include providing support for modern dance in Korea, promoting the academic study of and research on dance, nurturing choreographers, creating opportunities for international exchange and fellowship and maintaining a database of Korean modern dance works and individuals. Some of the activities that the association has engaged in while pursuing these goals include running the Seoul International Choreography Festival since 1992, hosting the Seoul

International Youth Dance Festival since 1997, publishing the dance magazine Images of Dance since 1989 and giving out awards to recognize the promotion of Korean modern dance since 1990. Domestic anD abroaD Traditional dance in Korea is protected under the auspices of the Cultural Heritage Administration, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The seven protected dances are Salpurichum (shamanic ritual exorcism dance), seungmu, taepyeongmu, Cheoyongmu (dance of the hero Cheoyong), Jinju geommu (Jinju sword dance), seungjeonmu (victory dance) and hagyeonhwadae hapseolmu (hakchum, that is, crane dance). The online Keep Korean Rockin (www. koreanroc.com) is the go-to site for information on the b-boy/b-girl scene from a local perspective. The same organizers also oversee the quarterly Korean competitive performance called Rockin Sensation. For non-Korean speakers, the website supplies a rich trove of videos and links to the major Korean b-boy/b-girl crews, as well as international crews, dancers and websites for major competitions. There are several overseas organizations that concentrate on maintaining Korean traditional dance culture. The Korean Dance Studies Society of Canada can be found in

dancing for life

A large number of organizations associated with Korean dance in all its many enumerations are keeping Korean traditions alive. These institutions help Korean dancers receive the support they need to excel in classical and contemporary dances of the Western world, and to blaze new conceptual trails.

contemporary dance. The Korea National Contemporary Dance Company is based out

A ballerina warms up for rehearsal at the Universal Ballet Company (below). Dancers perform sanjo chum , a composition that uses traditional dance vocabulary (opposite left). A character from the mask dance drama Dongnae Yayu performs (opposite right).

Education is the key to the future of the arts. According to the latest government statistics, there are 32 middle and high schools for the performing arts, five of which focus specifically on traditional arts. These programs for young, talented individuals allow students to get the head start needed to develop a solid foundation. Once they graduate, though, there is one university that has increasingly become the preferred destination: the School of Dance at the Korea National University of Arts. The K-Arts university dance program,

founded in 1996, features three departments: Dance Performance, Dance Theory and Choreography. Students in the Dance Performance major are divided into four areas: ballet, Korean dance, modern dance and creative dance. The students are taught under the guidance of faculty members such as Kim Hyun-ja, the former director of the National Dance Company of Korea, and Jung Seung-hee, a master of seungmu (monks dance). In addition, some dance majors also attend the K-Arts School of Traditional Korean Arts, where one can

collaborate with students from other music or performance fields. Two full-time professors in this entirely practice-based program are noted performers of taepyeongmu (great peace dance) and hakchum (crane dance). cornucoPia of comPanies The National Dance Company of Korea, founded in 1962, premiered a new work in May called Princess Kongji. This work, like many of their other pieces, capitalizes on well-known Korean folktales that have been made into

Toronto and the OngDance Company is located in the San Francisco area. The East Coast is overseen by the Korean Traditional Performing Arts Association, Inc in New York and the Halla Huhm Foundation covers those located in Hawaii.


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computer graphics: a New star iN koreaN movies


When a massive tsunami approached the shores of Busans Haeundae Beach, the excited chatter of vacationers was instantly transformed into hellish screams. In the summer of 2009, Koreans packed movie theaters to watch Haeundae, the nations first natural disaster blockbuster. The film, which sold more than 10 million tickets, owes its success to computer graphics technology.
by Min Yong-jun


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make almost any image into reality. However, the use of CG is not some effortless, quick and simple wave of a magic wand. CG is only a part of VFX, which functions as a means to artificially portray extraordinary scenes normal cameras are unable to capture. The increasing incorporation of CG in Korean films means VFX supervisors are playing a more important role than ever. As Jeong Seong-jin of EON Digital Films (the VFX supervisor for Take Off) puts it, For the last 30 minutes of Take Off, the whole crew had to make a huge collective effort. Creating an explosive finale, while at the same time giving viewers a sense of realism, was important to us. It was also vital that CG supported the dramatic emotions of the main characters, who were facing the risks of ski jumping in spite of bad weather, while delivering a sense of real speed. Jeong underscores that CG is not simply a device used to buttress movies on a technical basis; its a catalyst that enables more effective drama, but is an addition that should not interfere with the overall flow of the film. Jang Seong-ho, president of Mofac Studio (the VFX supervisor for Haeundae), also said, We could have achieved a better quality of CG than we did if the production company had told us to look for ways to create CG with our own technology from the beginning of the project. [Furthermore,] we could have done it for half as much as was spent in the US (when we outsourced the material). In any event, its a relief that we were able to bring the level of CG up to a point that viewers found acceptable, though I would not be honest if I said the project was completed with total satisfaction. In fact, the quality of the computer-generated data in Haeundaes water scenes bought from the American company was originally so bad, in part due to a lack of budget, that Jang completely reworked the data he was given. Mofac Studio ended up changing the texture and lighting of the CG cuts, rendering them over and over, and adding extra details. They spent roughly two months focusing on the final composition of more than 640 CG cuts.

CG on the Korean Screens

A film chronicling the rise of a hopeless group of ski jumpers quickly garnered fame in Korean theaters. Take Off (2009) follows the tale of five young men who train in ski resorts without any proper ski jumping facilities, in the hopes of someday winning an Olympic gold medal. The hit film sold more than 8 million tickets and combined with Haeundae, the two blockbusters sold nearly 20 million tickets domestically more than 10 percent of the entire nations 156 million movie ticket sales in 2009. Both films took advantage of Koreas own virtual effects (VFX) technology, particularly in the area of computer graphics (CG). But even before recent box office hits like Haeundae and Take Off, CG played a prominent role in Korean cinema. Blockbusters such as Tae Guk Gi: Brotherhood of War (2004), director Kang Je-gyus Korean War epic that breathtakingly recreated the misery of the battlefield on the silver screen, and fantasy film The Restless (2006) also made extensive use of CG. In 2007, Dragon Wars: D-War took the technologys potential to a new level, setting the bar higher within the Korean film industry. Director Bong Joon-hos The Host (2006) was also recognized for its use of the technology. In essence, CG has grown to become a "secret weapon" that can

A still from the movie Haeundae (opposite), CG works from the TV drama Legend (left, right above) and also from the TV drama Tamra, the Island (right below).






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VFX company become one of the worlds most respected in its field by bringing it in to help in the making of his hugely successful movie project. Its not practical to always depend on just one company do all the work. At the same time, overcoming huge challenges is a prerequisite for positive growth. Previously, Insight Visual

took part in the production of Kang Je-gyus Tae Guk Gi: Brotherhood of War, and is now working on D-Day (working title), Kangs first overseas project that is still in the planning stages. At the time when Tae Guk Gi was being made, Kang didnt trust our CG team very much, says Son Seung-hyeon, Insight Visuals production director. But afterwards I think he learned


to trust the role CG plays in movies. I think hes decided to use CG a lot more from now on. The most important part of D-Day is location, as the movie is based around the Normandy invasion. The production department is planning on shooting in China, Germany, Hungary and Korea, but continues to discuss the necessity of each location. Additionally, theyre examining different ways to get the effects they need without spending too much of the budget to film in all those locations. Although the movie has substantial funding of around US$27 million, shooting will be hard to execute because of its sheer scale, which is why CG is bound to play an important role. It is likely that matte painting, a cost-cutting technique used to copy and paste peoples movements for a particular shoot in the form of digital data, will be used in D-Day because of the way it positively impacted Tae Guk Gi.


after Still and CG works from TV drama, Iris (top and above, below).

Learning from Experience

The experience of learning to use CG provides another opportunity. Director Yoon Je-kyoon and JK Film are now in the early stages of putting together an underwater monster movie called Sector 7. Mofac Studio is working on preproduction together with JK Film for the project. The creature in The Host was brought to life by an American VFX company called The Orphanage. Back then, a movie featuring a huge monster was an unprecedented challenge in the Korean film industry. For a blockbuster that cost around US$9.1 million to make, the producers had to be careful when making choices to ensure they didnt lose money, which is why The Orphanage was chosen over every other Korean company. While The Orphanage was known for the CG work it did on a texture called hard surface, through its work for The Host, the company acquired the necessary technology to create a new kind of monster, which in turn helped raise its own standard of quality. Not to be outdone, the making of Haeundae was also an amazing achievement. JK Film stipulated in its conditions that all technology would transfer to Mofac Studio when it signed a contract with the foreign VFX company. The resulting data from Haeundae thus became the property of Mofac Studio, which ultimately helped improve Koreas own VFX technology. In a similar move, Weta Digital, a New Zealand visual effects company, grew leaps and bounds with Peter Jacksons The Lord of the Rings trilogy. More recently, it helped work on the science fiction epic Avatar (2009). Keep in mind that although New Zealands movie industry is, relative to Hollywood, underdeveloped, Peter Jackson helped his own New Zealand-based

Still and CG works from the movie The Forbidden Kingdom (top, below), CG works from the movie The Restless (bottom).






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is an educational benefit for the film crew they can gain an intimate understanding of the overall flow of each movie or TV drama they work on it is born from a grueling work process. Today, Korean VFX companies are turning their sights to overseas markets. In an effort to promote Koreas VFX industry, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Creative Content Agency jointly sponsored Koreas seven leading VFX companies by participating in the American Film Market (AFM) the largest motion picture trade show in the world in 2009. Before the event, few Korean companies received requests to help make foreign movies. One notable exception was when DTI Pictures, Macrograph and Footage all took part in the postproduction of The Forbidden Kingdom (2008). Yang Seok-il of DTI Pictures explained it this way: The price difference wasnt very big. Breaking into Hollywood doesnt guarantee success. What you need to do is respond to business strategically. Mofac Studio also took part in the production of the soon-to-be released movie, The Warriors Way (2010). While it wont be easy Korean VFX companies to become an inseparable part of extravagant Hollywood films any time soon, they will need to search for more long-term targets when considering overseas markets. The expansive achievements of Koreas CG technology will be rendered useless if not given the chance to be properly used, but opportunities arent created solely through the efforts of a single individual. So far, there have been the select few who have worked hard to develop the industry, but now it is time to understand where the country stands, from an industrial and international perspective. The CG industrys ambition to re-create the future of Korean cinema with its technology can only begin to be realized after this understanding comes about. Looking only at the progress so far, the results are encouraging. Based on the diverse range of experiences Korean VFX companies have had so far, they will one day be able to create such comparable CG works as that of Avatar.

The Future of Korean VFX

Perhaps the greatest benefit of CG technology is that it allows for more diverse storytelling. From Haeundae and Take Off, to a recent movie called Woochi (2009), Korean cinema is attempting to deal with genres and subjects that would have been impossible in the past. The same applies to TV dramas. The Legend (2008) and Iris (2009) were both large-scale projects that captured the attention of viewers with their unique use of CG. As a result of technological developments, Koreas movie and video game industries gained new freedoms in sharing their stories. At the same time, its important to think seriously about how efficiently CG will be used in the future. Yang Seok-il, a manager at DTI Pictures, cautions, Some producers just hate CG but others heavily depend on it. For example, when shooting a car chase scene where a car is flipped over, producers need to think about whether their action team or CG team can reconstruct it better, and then also consider which one is more within their budget. Im not saying you have to use CG and spend more money, but it is important to decide which part of a movie definitely needs proper CG. The box office success of Haeundae and Take Off is definitely encouraging. Indeed, the success of big budget movies that make liberal use of CG has led to the planning of other such movies, with companies able to study and apply the new technology to them. Korean VFX companies usually work on several projects simultaneously three to four at any given time. Although there
after before after CG work from the movie Hong Gil-dong (opposite), a still from the movie Tae Guk Gi (left), CG works from the movie Modern Boy (right above) and from the movie Private Eye (right below). before


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Francisco in 1996. I then worked on three feature films and one short animation at the Walt Disney Studios before landing a job at Weta Digital. In the past, Ive also worked for Paramount Studios and Sony Computer Entertainment, the maker of the Sony PlayStation. Early on in my career I spent three or four years in the field of game cinematics, working for companies like SNK, Activision and Sony. Park Jee-young In character animation at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), I started work at an indie movie production company as a 2D key animator. At the time, many 2D animators were transitioning into 3D, and I was no exception. Three years ago, I saw an announcement saying James Camerons Avatar was going into preproduction and of course, thats when I applied to join Wetas animation team. Q What exactly did you do on Avatar? A Jung In November 2008, for the first eight months of production, I worked as a texture artist, developing colors and textures for CG character backgrounds and objects, and then for the last four months I worked as a lighting technical director, designing the lighting for scenes to create the final images. This transition between departments enabled me to experience a wider range of the movies production process. Park I worked on Avatar as a senior animator. All of these creatures, none of which exist in the real world, were created from scratch through nothing but animation. Anyone who has been paying close attention to the end credits of Hollywood blockbusters for the past several years will have noticed the occasional Korean name scroll by. Today, there are actually quite a few Korean VFX artists working on some of Hollywoods top productions and at some of Americas leading studios. These talented men and women represent the future of the Korean VFX industry.

during which an efficient production plan is drawn up, while developing the necessary software and technologies and creating a coherent storyline at the same time. Such thorough preparation, combined with an efficient work environment, saves a lot of time. During the preproduction of Avatar, which lasted several years, James Cameron and 20th Century Fox developed a new camera technology called the Pace Fu sion 3D camera system. Another strength of the Hollywood VFX industry is that there are so many artists who know how to use all these new technologies really well. Q How do you think Koreas VFX technology is coming along? A Park Thanks to Koreas soaring interest in VFX and how its revitalizing the entertainment industry, investment in VFX movies is growing every year and movies out there are becoming more and more expressive. The use of VFX is only going to increase in Korea in the future. Its also noteworthy that there are a growing number of professionals who are well-versed in this field. Q What do you think about Koreas turning their attention outside the country to cut costs. So as long as you have solid qualifications and a good command of English, theres a good chance you can sign some kind of a deal with an overseas company for VFX or animation production. We have to figure out what our strengths and weaknesses are, and deal with the particular problems we face. Korea has a domestic movie and game market base, and a professional workforce. On the other hand, there is a lack of experts with high-end production experience and a language barrier in place. You also have to keep in mind that most of the countries doing VFX and animation work for the US right now are English-speaking ones like Canada, India, New Zealand, Singapore, India and the UK. intention to take its VFX overseas? A Jung Its great that Korean VFX companies are collaborating on overseas projects and making inroads in other markets, and they should definitely keep up with this. Its difficult to expect the Korean VFX industry to grow if companies just target the limited domestic market with its small number of moviegoers. Producers in Hollywood are



Koreans had a hand in Avatar (2009), James Camerons epic 3D motion picture that has fundamentally altered the movie industry. The list includes lighting technical director Jung Byung-gun (above), digital modelers Chang Jung-min and Lo Eung-ho, senior facial modeler Lee Jin-woo, modeler Lee Sun-jin, visual effects artist Im Changeui, FX ATD Sean Lee, motion editor Kim Ki-hyun and senior animator Park Jee-young. Q How did you end up working overseas? A Jung Byung-gun After graduating from Hongik University with a degree in Department of Art Studies, I enrolled at the Academy of Art University (AAU) in San A total of nine Korean artists were involved in the historic cinematic project, two of whom sat down to talk with KOREA about their lives and the VFX industry.

Q What did you think was special when you first saw how Hollywood productions were made and became a part of it? A Park The first things that come to mind are the massive amounts of capital investment, the systematic production pipeline in place, and the abundance of trained professionals. A particular focus is placed on preproduction and planning,

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HELPinG THE CG induSTry GAin Ground WorLdWidE

In November 2009, seven Korean VFX companies shared a booth at the American Film Market (AFM), the largest motion picture trade show in the world. The companies were involved in a project aimed at actively promoting the technology of Korean VFX companies through business meetings with international film professionals, an endeavor spearheaded by Koreas Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) and the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA). The two government groups backed the companies promotional efforts by arranging business meetings with buyers from Hollywood, which Jo Ha-sup, an assistant manager at KOCCAs Future Convergence Content Group, expounded on when he said, It is very difficult for small Korean companies to open booths at international festivals because of their limited budgets. Thats why the government provided an opportunity for these small businesses to share a booth. Park Sang-uk, who works at the MCSTs Convergence Content Team, adds, The AFM is part of the bigger promotional package picture. The main part of the program is aimed at supporting Korean CG companies participating in movie/broadcasting projects both in Korea and overseas by paying for part of the production costs. The goal is to help these companies enhance their price competitiveness and the quality of their product. In this context, participation in the AFM can be seen as an additional marketing

technologies emerging around the world. The MCST plans to spearhead participation in overseas projects involving Korean companies and to provide further marketing opportunities by bringing relevant businesses together in overseas markets, including the Cannes International Film

outcome of their hard work to coordinate these demands was the establishment of the Korea Computer Graphics Industry Alliance (KCGIA) in 2009. The idea of a council was conceived in 2008 and came to fruition in August 2009 as an advisory committee to the government. In a nutshell, the success of this policy depends on how well government officials are informed of what is really going on in the industry. People are paying attention to whether this meaningful first step can lead to an even bigger leap.

support tool. The industry welcomes the move. Hollywood tends to keep going back to companies that have proven themselves time and again. Initially, we predict we will not achieve exactly what we want, but I do think that we will be able to improve our relations on a lasting basis once we successfully complete our first project, says Son Seung-hyeon, production director at Insight Visual. In essence, government support is like fertilizer, supporting the industry until companies can stand on their own two feet. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism made an official announcement about the project to promote Korean CG companies in foreign markets on January 14, 2010, with Minister Yu In-chon explaining, The government plans to inject around US$181 million into its computer graphics industry by 2013. The action plan includes creating a special CG fund of around US$45 million, offering tax breaks that include refunding the cost of production, and providing support in the form of equipment to small companies to enhance their technological competence. On top of that, the government will help individual companies which have had difficulty finding investment for their technologies, with their R&D efforts. The project aims to improve the technological prowess of all Korean VFX providers and secure new 3D
Stills from the recently released movie Woochi (above) and last years hit movie Take Off (below).

Festival and the American Film Market. If all goes according to plan, this will create sales of 100 billion won and 30,000 new jobs by 2013. The governments policy initiative was brought about after Korean companies would not leave the issue alone. The


K o r e as L e a d i n g I n d u s t r i e s

Koreas Motor Ways

oN the fast track to success

On the global stage, Koreas automobiles rise rapidly nowadays. The Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, in particular, strongly spotlighted on its own quality and reliability. Yet the companys success overseas certainly hasnt been an overnight affair. It has been built through exhaustive research into local conditions and, in part, its factories role in helping revitalize local economies. And as Hyundai-Kias star has continued to rise, other Korean automakers are being vitalized, too.
by Shim Hui-jeong



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Annie Davison last February as she breathlessly thanked the Korean automaker for setting up shop in her hometown of West Point, just south of Atlanta, Georgia. In an astonishing turnaround for the area, which had suffered a long, slow economic decline, construction began on the Kia plant just before the subprime mortgage crisis engulfed much of the U.S. economy. In 2008, Kia Motors America started hiring online, a first for the U.S. automotive industry. In addition to 1,100 local hires of its own, Kias 25 business partners, which all entered the country together, has hired another 4,000 people thus far. As a result, Kias Georgia plant has created 5,100 new jobs. Kia is planning to hire a total of 3,300 people by 2013, with its business partners upping manpower to 7,500 over the same period, for a grand total of 10,800 employees. The Georgia Tech Research Institute has forecast that Kias plant will create over 20,000 jobs in nine neighboring counties by 2012 and its overall economic impact will be as high as US$6.5 billion. A GlobAl ConCern Among major automakers, Hyundai-Kia a group formed in 1998 when Hyundai bought a controlling interest in Kia is fast becoming a global company with local characteristics. Just a few years ago, however, nobody was predicting Hyundai would be one of the major auto-making success stories. Though today one of the fastest growing car brands in the United States, Hyundai Motor Company (as it was known back then) was long hamstrung by a largely deserved image as a low-cost, low-quality producer. Selling 126,000


was like a desert here, and Kia was the fountain. So said

cars in its first year in the market, 1986, and 264,000 cars the following year, Hyundai was undone by a reputation for being shoddy and unreliable. As a result, sales suffered and secondhand Hyundais could be had for practically nothing. But things started to change in 1999, when Chung Mong-koo became the CEO and president of Hyundai-Kia. Meetings were scheduled twice a month just to address quality issues, and employees from every single department acknowledging that quality had to be tackled from the ground up conducted product quality management with a renewed sense of purpose. By 2009, just eight years after theyd placed rock bottom, Hyundai cars were recorded top on a product quality analysis list compiled by J.D. Power and Associates, a marketing information firm. In March 2010, Hyundai ranked sixth in J.D. Powers durability performance analysis, a measure of automobile reliability three years after purchase. Coming higher than stalwarts of trust such as BMW and Volkswagen, Hyundai reveled in its second top 10 finish in two years. turninG Crisis into opportunity When asked to select the most intimidating automaker to emerge in recent years, automakers around the world named Hyundai. This success has brought increasing attention from international media, who are analyzing just how a company that was something of a joke less than 20 years ago has grown into the worlds No. 5 automaker (by number of cars produced and sold). Just as Hyundai made a name for itself 10 years ago with its Americas Best Warranty promotion campaign, the
An exterior of Korean car company SsangYong Motors Chairman H (top). A dashboard of Lacetti Premiere of GM Daewoo Auto & Technology another Korean automobile company (above).

company again adopted an astute marketing strategy targeting the United States in the midst of the global financial crisis. In January 2009, under its Hyundai Assurance Program, Hyundai succeeded in making hesitant Americans open their wallets with an astonishing promise to pay up to three months of installments for people who were looking for work, or to buy back the cars if employed customers lost their jobs. In a month when automakers suffered the biggest decline in U.S. car sales since 1963, Hyundai actually posted a growth of 14 percent. brinGinG the world toGether In 2000, Hyundai-Kia had only 3 overseas plants. As of April 2010, the group has 11 overseas production bases. In addition, Hyundai is currently constructing a factory in Russia with a production capacity of 100,000 cars, and is preparing to build other plants in Brazil and China. As Hyundai-Kia becomes more global in scope, it is investing heavily in

locally customized community services. In China, the group is taking the initiative in preventing desertification and helping the environment by conducting a five-year project to turn 50 million square meters of arid land in Inner Mongolia into grassland by 2012. In the Indian market, where HyundaiKia is the top seller, the group donates 100 rupees to the Hyundai Motor India Foundation (HMIF) for each car it sells there. This year, Hyundai-Kia donated approximately US$750,000 to the foundation, a 67 percent increase over the previous year. The company is also helping improve medical and educational conditions in remote and marginalized regions of the country. Last March, the Hyundai-Kia Group provided US$200,000 in relief funds to earthquake-stricken Chile. Also, in cooperation with Hyundai Mobis, an affiliate that provides auto parts, the group conducted repair tours for cars damaged by the earthquake and offered discounts on auto parts. In previous years, Hyundai-Kia has looked to fulfill

GM Daewoos compact car model Gentra drive along winding roads (above). Kia opened a production factory in Georgia, U.S., positively affecting the local economy (below). Korean cars are exported to all over the world (bottom).


K o r e as L e a d i n g I n d u s t r i e s

its social responsibilities by providing funds and resources following disasters such as the 2003 Bam earthquake in Iran, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2006 Java earthquake in Indonesia and the 2007 Greek forest fires. In the United States, Hyundai Motor America employees travel across the country in white Santa Fe to offer financial support to child cancer patients. The company is also working as a sponsor of the Soccer for Hope program, which raises awareness for children with cancer by teaching them how to play the sport. KoreAn Automotive brAnds GAininG leverAGe overseAs GM Daewoo, whose parent company is the new GM, is being revitalized as the global automotive industry shows signs

of recovery. From January to March this year, GM Daewoo exported 116,479 cars, while selling 259,508 complete knockdown (CKD) kits to overseas markets. Those numbers represent a 19.7 percent and 38 percent increase, respectively, over the same period last year. The rising status of GM Daewoo can be seen through at the Beijing Motor Show 2010. Ambitious entries from the company are next-generation vehicles that GM Daewoo has taken the initiative in developing. CEO Mike Arcamone, who has held his position since last October, said, It shows the importance of GM Daewoo that the next-generation global cars, whose development was led by GM Daewoo, were shown as major models from Chevrolet at a recent international motor show. The



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company is playing a leading role in designing cars for the future as it also develops parent company GMs compact cars. This is seen in GM Daewoos Seoul Advanced Design Studio, which analyzes trends of the global automobiles design for GM develops. At present, only four countries have more than two GM design centers, Korea, the US, UK, and Germany. Renault Samsung Motors Company is enjoying the greatest boom in its history thanks to high sales of its new cars this year. In April 2010, the company celebrated its 10th anniversary since acquiring Samsung Motors. Over that time, Renault Samsung has established itself as a premium brand in Korea and has earned the respect of customers around the world by exporting models melding Renaults cooperative development platform with Koreas unique style. Indeed, Renault Samsungs decade of success clearly shows the brand power of Samsung.

Furthermore, as Renault Samsung achieves substantial results with its great product power in Korea and overseas, the Renault Group has prolonged its contract to use the trademark and Samsung name until 2020. Renault is paying 0.8 percent of domestic sales (2 million to 3 million Korean won) as royalties to Samsung every year. In addition, Renault Samsung Motors Company is exporting more cars than it ever has since its launch in 2000. Starting with the export of its SM3 model, the company has increased the total number of cars it sends overseas, with exports making up 48 percent of total sales in 2008. This year, Renault Samsungs exports from January to March increased by 171.5 percent over the same period last year. Renault Samsung exports its SM3 CE model under various names Scala, Sunny, and Almera to the Middle East, Europe, and Russia, while its SM5 model is sold as the Safran and the QM5
SsangYong Motors Super Rexton continues its fame as SUV maker (top). The Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group supports several sporting activities (above). Renault Samsung Motors, another Korean car company, unveiled its New SM5 model last January (below). An orange-colored Gentra of GM Daewoo (above). Hyundai is an official sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup (below). The Busan International Motor Show 2010, a biennal motor show, is held from April 29 to May 9 (bottom).

as the Koleos to over 60 countries worldwide (except North America). The SsangYong Motor Company is noted for its creation of a characteristically Korean SUV. The company was a breath of fresh air to the countrys automotive industry with the Korando series, Koreas first four-wheel drive station wagon. Since then it has continued to make SUVs like the Musso (the epitome of Korean four-wheel drive vehicles with its unique style and excellent performance), which was first released in 1993, the luxury SUV Rexton in 2001, and the Kyron and Actyon in 2005. SsangYong named its new crossover utility vehicle (CUV) the C200 Korando C, with the aim of reviving the legendary success of its predecessor, the companys best known model during its heyday and moving forward as the new SsangYong. Korea is the worlds fifth largest carmaker. Many automobile companies have succeeded in distinguishing their unique characteristics in the global auto

market. Hyundai-Kia disposed of its old image selling low-priced cars and is instead transforming itself into a leading global brand with amazing product quality and design. GM Daewoo and Renault Samsung have also contributed to raising the status of Korean brands, while SsangYong is also continuing with production of its Korando model in domestic and overseas markets.



K o r e as L e a d i n g I n d u s t r i e s

Throughout Southeast Asia, Korean cars are increasingly vying for road space with more established Japanese brands. Korean automakers more recent success in a region long dominated by Japanese cars is a testament both to Korean cars value for money, and their ever-improving standards of engineering. And as sales improve, so do peoples perceptions. In Vietnam, for instance, being made in Korea has become such a stamp of quality for cars; many people make a point of not removing Korean-language stickers and brochures from the car after theyve bought it. When Korean cars entered the Chinese market in 2002, they became the vehicle of choice for taxi firms throughout Beijing, for their high product value. Building on this success, Korean automakers have already constructed two manufacturing plants in China with plans to build a third. Indeed, with sales so healthy in the country, Korean car makers plan to roll out new models for sale only in the Chinese market. In India, meanwhile, small Korean cars are having a big impact thanks to canny localization policies. After thorough research into local needs and tastes, Korean automakers worked out that a slightly higher roof in their cars

strongest here, has begun offering state support for exports of its used cars, in order to enable dealers in Russias Far East to sell Japanese automobiles at lower prices. As yet, however, the measure has had only a limited effect in stemming the general consumer tide toward Korean cars. A key part of Korean automakers success overseas has been their stringent efforts to adapt to regional market conditions. When Korean car firms initially set up a plant in a foreign country, their first priority is to establish relations with consumers as a means of gauging local sentiment and adjusting their sales strategies accordingly. Perhaps most important in the ascent of Korean car firms, though, has been their willingness to diverge from most major car makers who tend to rely on unchanged existing models when they build plants overseas and release new models that are

adjusted for different markets. This has served to reassure local consumers, who seem more willing to trust the commitment of a firm that brings new models to a foreign market. In India and China, for instance, brand-new Hyundai models such as the i10 and a customized version of the Avante have been big sellers. Korean car makers have gone to great lengths to connect with local employees, too. Korean managers overseas have tried hard to adopt local cultural practices and to give workers plenty of opportunities to air their grievances or make suggestions. Having had time to fine-tune their employee relations policies, Korean companies are gaining an ever better reputation as desirable places to work. This emphasis on human resources and on adapting to cultures has won Korean automakers a lot of respect around the world. Thanks in large part to these localization strategies, the overseas production of Hyundai, Koreas largest automaker, now eclipses that of its domestic factories. Between January and March, 2010, Hyundai produced 397,000 cars in Korea, as compared with 442,000 cars at overseas plants, providing still more evidence of just how international the Korean auto industry has become. From being considered cheap knock-offs of better brands, Korean cars are now regarded as some of the best quality, yet reasonably priced, cars in the world. Today, the Korean car industry is increasingly snapping at the heels of the big boys, with sales forecast to account for as much as 7 million units 10 percent of the global market by 2015. Korean cars, it seems, have plenty of places to go yet.

KorEAn CArS: MAKinG inroAdS oVErSEAS

Korean cars are going places. Thirty years after first selling cars worldwide, Korea is now the fifth biggest car producer in the world, according to research carried out by the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA). This commanding position is evident in the global expansion of local automakers. In addition to Korean cars success in the United States, practically every growing market is home to auto plants run by Korean companies. Furthermore, one domestic brand has recently announced plans to establish an automotive plant in Brazil, the heart of the South American market. Today, Korean cars are a truly global presence.
by Kwon Yong-ju

would be very helpful for the large number of Indians who wear turbans. In the United States long the most competitive market for automobiles Korean-made cars are also enjoying great success. While top Korean brands continue to do well there, some American automobile brands manufactured in Korea notably the Chevrolet Aveo are also selling well, demonstrating Koreas increasing importance in all aspects of the automobile industry. The success story stretches right across the world to Russias Far East, where consumers have been attracted by Korean cars combination of good value and reliability. In response to the competition, Japan, whose carmakers have traditionally been the


K o r e as L e a d i n g I n d u s t r i e s

ECo-FriEndLy: CLEAnEr And GrEEnEr

The term green has recently become a buzzword in the automobile industry. Although there is a national drive to respond to the global financial crisis, there is also a collective need to deal with climate change, which is why Korea is moving foursquare into the field of eco-friendly automobiles. The Korean automotive industry has already come up with the LPi hybrid, an LPG engine installed within a hybrid vehicle, and is about to release a next-generation hybrid in the form of an electric vehicle (EV). Today, as with the rest of the world, Koreas automotive industry is thinking green in order to cut carbon.
by Kwon Yong-ju

When people think of eco-friendly cars, they usually imagine some form of alternative fuel: EVs, say, or fuel cells. Much of the focus, however, is in fact on cars with a higher fuel efficiency or reduced gas emissions. Today, all major efforts at cutting the use of fossil fuels

in cars include ideas on how to use oil and gas more effectively, while not compromising on looks or performance. This is why, at last years Geneva Motor Show, Hyundais nextgeneration hybrid concept car caused such a stir. Called the i-flow, the car drew at least as many plaudits for its sleek design as for its hybrid-system power unit. At just 0.25, the i-flows drag coefficient (Cd) is less than that of a sports car, meaning low resistance while driving and greater fuel efficiency. As the whole concept of eco-friendliness with car fossil fuels refers to getting more kilometers to the liter, the lower Cd on this hybrid car was a big development.

Also increasing the cars eco-friendliness is its weight and its power generation system, which has reduced the cars CO2 emissions to a minuscule 85 grams per kilometer. Getting a whopping 33 kilometer to the liter, its no exaggeration to say that the i-flow has raised the bar for hybrid technology. However, even more important than hybrids, at least if the volume of interest in Geneva was anything to go by, are electric cars. Representing 80 percent of the ecofriendly cars on show at the Swiss car show last year, electric cars seem finally to have come of age, and Korean researchers and car makers are taking note.

Last March, KAIST, a prestigious Korean technical university, developed an online electric vehicle (OLEV), which works by drawing on electric power carried in underground cables. Another notable emerging technology is neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs), which are loaded with lead storage batteries and lithium-ion batteries. Designed for driving within cities at speeds of less than 60 kilometers per hour, NEVs are already being developed by some small- and medium-sized companies. For those who like a bit more bite in their green cars, Korean automakers are planning to start production of full EVs by next year. Though not, yet, quite as powerful as cars

powered by internal combustion engines, EVs are getting closer, and when one manages to go 200 kilometers at 160 kilometers per hour on a single charge, the age of electric vehicles will truly have arrived. To date, what weve seen is just a taste of the potential for eco-friendly cars. But if it can combine all the eco-friendly car technologies it has accumulated through the development of fuel cells and EVs, Korea has a good shot at being a contender in the global eco-friendly market.



K o r e as L e a d i n g I n d u s t r i e s

These are heady days for Korean electronics. Everywhere you look, there are electronics gadgets that bear the Made in Korea stamp, whether they are cell phones and TVs or components in other firms products. Korea is now also a world leader in broadband connection but the journeys only just begun.
by Song Yeong-rok

koreas elect roNic dreams



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guide, the exhibition draws student field trips from Japan and China, as well as delegations from Harvard Business School and other top colleges in the United States. Lately, weve had corporate visitors from the US and developed European countries, and also from rising countries like Vietnam, China and India, says Bong Ju-hwi, a manager at Samsung Dlight. Samsung Dlight is also famous for unveiling the companys latest electronics products. The 9000 series of 3D TVs; the NX10, a high-end digital camera; the N310, a mini notebook; and the Omnia 2 and Galaxy S smartphones were all unveiled for the first time in the exhibition hall. T.um, SK Telecoms ICT (information and communications technology) With high-profile successes like this, Korean technology is making a name for itself around the world. And having heard these stories, visitors are coming from far and wide to learn the countrys electronic secrets. it lessons Ask a Korean what the top must-see tourist attractions in his capital are, and hell no doubt say the all-night market at Dongdaemun or perhaps the traditional stores along Insa-dong. However, rising quickly in the ranks of that list is Samsung Dlight, an exhibition hall at Samsung Electronics headquarters in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul. In just 18 months, this showcase of high-tech gadgetry has attracted more than 800,000 visitors, or roughly 3,000 people every day. Samsung Dlight has built its reputation as an interactive digital space, managing to attract hordes of visitors from overseas. Listed as a recommended stop in a Japanese travel interactive hall, serves as another venue for visitors to experience Koreas latest

information technology firsthand. Since opening in October 2008, the hall has hosted government officials, business figures and academics from 19 OECD members. Visitors include the US, Britain and France; major trading partners including China, Thailand and Vietnam; and from more unlikely locales like Mali and Tajikistan. In February last year, Nathalie KosciuskoMorizet, Frances Minister of State, paid a visit and saw Samsungs DMB and IPTV, two kinds of mobile TV services, in action. In March, T.um replaced its Ultra Mobile Personal Computer corner with smartphones and, after some more renovations that included the installation of a system that tracks visitors in real-time, the hall was reborn as T.um 2.0. Every exhibit is smartphone-interactive: With the body scanner, patrons can create an avatar of
A spectator tests out an IT product, a body scanner, at SK Telecoms ICT interactive hall, T.um (above). Visitors react to seeing their pictures on the screen of a wide monitor at Samsung Dlight (below).

Unlike most Koreaphiles, however, Bocellis affection is not a result of food or traditional culture, but of a braille computer created by local firm HIMS Korea. Having been blind since the age of 12, Bocellis life was improved immensely by the device, which enables
Samsung Electronics new smartphone, Galaxy S is seen (top). HIMS Koreas portable braille computer, Hansone, was developed for the blind (above). Samsung Dlight is an exhibition hall for the companys latest electronic products (below).

ndrea Bocelli, the world famous Italian tenor, is a big fan of Korea.

him to write music, send e-mails and documents, and doubles as a braille score for when hes performing operas. Korean IT, Bocelli said, changed his life. World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking is also a beneficiary of Koreas IT industry. Though only able to move two fingers due to the degenerative effects of Lou Gehrigs disease, Hawking can communicate through a Korean-made speech synthesizer. Produced by a firm called Voicewear, the device turns computerized text into a human-sounding voice. Hawking picked it, he said, because it was the best available anywhere.



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themselves and try on virtual costumes, while pressing certain keys on their smartphones will open the door of a sports car they can take for a spin. T.um 2.0 also includes the Play Dream hall, where you can experience the ICT services of the future, and the Play Real hall, which showcases SK Telecoms current technology and services. The Play Dream hall lets visitors sample home networking services using motion-detection technology, futuristic games, real-time conversion of 2D into 3D, and shopping services using image recognition. The Play Real hall, meanwhile, has an array
Samsung Electronics held an consumer event, Super Smart Day, to introduce the Galaxy Ss functions and applications on July 17 in Seoul (above). Samsung recently unveiled its latest 3D TV series, the Samsung PAVV hybrid 3D PDP TV, in two models (below).

eleCtroniC politiCs Koreas government is also playing a central role in transforming the country into an IT powerhouse. Demonstrating the nations pioneering role in the move toward e-Government, Ministery of Public Administration and Security of Koreas Minister Maeng Hyung-kyu and UN Under-Secretary-General Sha Zukang last June agreed to jointly develop the UN Public Administration Knowledge System, a project under the auspices of the UN department of economic and social affairs in Barcelona, Spain. The system will collect information related to e-Government policies, infrastructure and evaluation among the 192 UN member states, with a view to creating a UN-centered global e-government in the future. On behalf of Korea, Maeng also received the top prize at the 2010 UN Global E-Government Survey Special Award, a recognition of Koreas leading position in the field. Looking to learn from Koreas success, officials from 11 developing countries visited in March, taking classes in Koreas e-Government policies and information technology. The tour included visits to agencies that have already embraced the new e-Government system, such as the National Computing and Information Agency and the Korean Intellectual Property Office. According to the National Information Society Agency, over 3,000 public servants from about 100 nations have taken part in specialized IT training programs in Korea since 1998. leAdinG the world Nowadays, no matter where you are in the world, youre never far from a Korean mobile phone, TV, washing machine or air conditioner. Koreas Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are ranked second and third in the world mobile phone market, and occupy the top two spots in the global TV market. Nor are Korean firms focused only on finished products. If youre using a Nokia or an Apple handset, the chances are that some parts were made in Korea. Check your HP or Dell computer, and the DRAM memory chips will almost certainly be from Samsung or Hynix. In the 3D industry, a booming field since the release of James Camerons epic Avatar, Korea is also playing a pivotal role. I think Korea will firmly establish itself as the world leader in the new industry of 3D TV, Cameron said on a visit to Korea in May. Korean consumers tend to be early adopters, adjusting to new technologies quickly. And that will help companies like Samsung and LG supply 3D TV sets, starting with Korean households and then the rest of the world. During his time in Korea, Cameron
Participants of the World IT Show 2010, an IT exhibition held in Seoul from May 26 to 28, watch LGs 72-inch LED 3D TV (top). People play a videogame at SK Telecoms T.um (above). The Korean government hosts a civil affairs website, G4C (below).

of core technologies currently under development at SK Telecom, plus mobile network management systems and high-tech services that are being provided or are in development today.


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announced a deal with Samsung in which his Avatar production crew would shoot music videos for Korean pop stars including BoA and TVXQ to be displayed in Samsung 3D TV retail outlets worldwide. Korean firms, as major players in the mobile phone market, are also working to increase their presence through smartphones. Samsungs flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S, will be offered through more than 100 mobile service providers as the company seeks to sell 10 million units. In the global semiconductor industry, Koreas strength is even more pronounced. According to a recent poll by the market research firm iSuppli, Samsung and Hynix respectively accounted for 32.6 percent and 21.7
Fans watch the American NCAA mens final game in April on the LG Electronics 3D TV at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, US (top). LG Electronics launched a new 3D computer package, which provides 3D-effects for 2D images (above).

A Bhutanese IT official tests out the U-City Environment program, supported by the Korean government, at Digital Media City in Seoul (top). Hynixs semiconductor chip, 44nm 2Gb LPDDR2, is seen (below). James Cameron, director of the famed 3D movie Avatar , visited the Samsung Digital City in Suwon on May 13 (below right)

percent of the global semiconductor market in the first quarter of this year. While competitors have been holding back, Samsung and Hynix have continued to make bold investments, ensuring their dominance. Samsung recently announced a 9 trillion won (US$7.5 billion) investment in its semiconductor sector, while Hynix plans to pour in 3.5 trillion won.

In terms of sales, Samsung is ranked first with 26.5 percent and LG Display second with 23.7 percent. In February, both firms surpassed an accumulated production of 500 million large LCD units enough to cover 10,000 soccer fields since beginning their operations in 1995. For all their success, there still remains a feeling that Koreas electronics industry still has the potential to grow. Soon 3D TVs will come without glasses, chips will be smaller yet even more powerful, and smartphones will do things wed never imagined. And when they do, you can be sure that Koreas electronics giants will be a part of them.



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Compared to just three months ago, the demand for new apps has tripled, says Yang Soo-yeol, research chief at Inpion Consulting, a web services company. To meet this demand, we


Though somewhat late to arrive to the party, iPhones have taken off in Korea with a vengeance. And as the iconic smartphone has seen its sales soar, its applications, or apps, have become a local phenomenon too. Just as amateur app designers have reflected local needs and tastes around the world, Koreans are coming up with their own games and solutions with intriguing, lucrative, results.
by Son Jae-kwon

see more and more app developing companies and individuals appearing almost every day. As wildly successful as its been, Kims Chinese app is just one of a flurry of hits designed by and for Koreans. Seoul Bus, designed by second-year high school student Yoo Joo-wan, became a smash hit by telling Seoulites exactly how long theyd have to wait for their bus, whichever stop they were at. Since its release last December, Seoul Bus has been downloaded 560,000 times. Seoul Bus also served another, hugely important role: teaching civil servants the value of openness. When the app was first released, the governments of Seoul and Gyeonggi-do Province on whose data Seoul Bus relied to work tried to have it banned, saying that Yoo required their express permission to use the information about the buses. The public made their objections known, arguing that the information in fact belonged to them. The governments soon relented, and an app sensation was born. For many Koreans, it was inspiring to see a student preparing for Koreas notoriously tough university entrance exams find the time to create an app. The moral seemed to be that whoever you were, and whatever your background, you could develop and make money from these programs. up with these delivery apps, and more are doing so every day. While catering to specific local needs, apps such as Delivery Box are also creating brand new experiences and new business opportunities. This, in turn, is creating a self-perpetuating cycle of profit: As more innovative apps appear, more people want to buy iPhones. Within just two months of iPhones and apps going on sale in Korea, the amount of online data used by Koreans more than doubled. Today, Koreas iPhone users log an average of 442 MB per month, 44 times higher than regular cell phone holders. This exponential growth has had a positive knock-on effect to the economy. In the first quarter of this year, there were 6,689 job notices in the mobile communication and software sectors, up 51 percent from the same period a year ago. Between December 2009 and February 2010, there were also 1,325 companies newly registered in the publication, video, broadcasting and optional service provision sectors, an increase of 39 percent year-on-year. This vast increase, of course, coincided with the introduction of iPhone and the App Store in Korea. According to KT, the Korean telecommunication company that brought the iPhone to Korea, the mobile data market could jump by 4.5 trillion won (US$3.8 billion) over the next three years. The paid contents market could rise by 1.9 trillion won over the same period, KT estimated. From a country that held out against the iPhone longer than most, its arrival has been nothing short of revolutionary. Korea may not have been an early adopter of apps, but its a major player now.
As the smartphone gains in popularity in Korea, several applications have become hits. People of Delivery, Kims Chinese, Seoul Bus and Facial Recognition Physiognomy apps are seen (from top left).

Kim Si-hyun, head of the Chinese Character Education Research Institute, is one of the most famous lecturers of Chinese in Korea. Every semester his lectures at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Dongguk University and Sookmyung Womens University draw more than a thousand students. Despite his common touch, however, Kim long shunned the digital lifestyle. Social media or mobile phones, he felt, only served to undermine human-tohuman contact. But this lifelong Luddite recently transposed his conventional popularity into a more high-tech form, with the hugely successful Kim Si-hyuns Chinese Dictionary for Everyday Living, which shot to No 3 in the Korean store for applications for Apples iPhone. So why the big change? The story began in February of this year when Kim, who didnt even own a mobile phone, was asked by his students to develop an app for their iPhones that would help with their studies. Kim gave it some thought, consulted with business

partners and, overcoming his technophobia, decided to give it a go. Besides a Chinese dictionary containing 2,300 key characters, Kim built several other apps that offered help in studying for Chinese tests, then watched as his creations became an overnight success. Apples iPhone arrived in Korea on November 28, 2009. In the nine months since then, the handsets and apps have become a phenomenon. After joining the revolution late, Koreas App Store now offers some 6,500 apps (there are around 134,000 available in total). In Korea, app development is no longer the exclusive domain of techies. From corporations and public agencies to teachers and restaurateurs, app makers are popping up in all walks of life. As for apps themselves, their influence is being felt in economics, industry, politics and culture. For Korea, The Age of the Apps has truly arrived.

Another app thats been clocking up big sales is Facial Recognition Physiognomy. Tapping into the old belief in assessing peoples character through their faces, this app lets users access facial shots saved in their photo album then breaks them down into five areas. From this, it divines insights into what the future holds for him or her. In a country where fortune telling remains a popular pastime, the physiognomy app has been a big hit. As anyone whos spent time in Korea will tell you, delivered food is a staple of the local diet. Little surprise, then, that apps have appeared to cater to this demand, too. Apps like Delivery Box and People of Delivery provide locations and phone numbers for chicken places, pizzerias, and a host of other take-out eateries. The apps offer access to menus and coupons that are only available through online orders, and even keep tabs on how long its been since the order was placed. More than 30,000 establishments across the country have signed



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and where upwards of 25 percent of the population, according to surveys, consider themselves early adopters of new technology, Koreas bloggers have risen from minority tastes to wielding real influence on what consumers decide to buy. And Korean tastes matter to more than just domestic companies. With Korea increasingly known worldwide for its demand for the very latest technology, the San Francisco Chronicle recently ran a feature story detailing how several Silicon

forwarded the camera to the companys Japanese headquarters, where technicians discovered problems in the production process. As a result, Canon issued an apology on its global websites and offered a free clean up of the cameras mirror box for users whod experienced the same problem. Cowon, a Korean manufacturer of MP3 players, had a similar experience. Having received a complaint that a 16GB player had taken three hours to fill with music files, rather than the expected 20 minutes, the firm responded by saying that their own tests showed no such problem with the product. The disgruntled owner then fixed the problem himself and posted his solution, along with a strongly worded complaint, on the companys homepage. Cowon subsequently admitted that after further tests, certain models were slower than advertised. Its online apology included a reprint of the solution suggested by the irate power user. These influential voices are an increasingly important component of Koreas high-tech industries. For about three years, Samsung and LG, among others, have been managing prosumer groups of 20 to 50 people. They are sent on overseas inspections and their creative ideas and exacting standards are frequently reflected in the companies services or new products. And while an average of one out of 25 products reportedly made it past the focus groups last year, this year, that number fell to just one in 40. Some groups made proposals that were so radical, they got engineers thinking in entirely new ways. Power users are also making their presence felt in the electronic map sector. M&Soft, a Korean electronic map maker, update its maps six times a year thanks to power users. Consumers who have used the companys GPS navigation systems find discrepancies between real maps and the companys

koreas early adopters set the tone for electronics giants

You may have never heard of them, but Koreas power bloggers are affecting the goods you buy. By making their online voices heard in one of the worlds most wired countries, bloggers and power users have changed the way electronics companies do business to the benefit of consumers everywhere. by Son Jae-kwon

Earlier this year, as it prepared a conference to unveil the worlds first LED TV, Samsung Electronics called in the bedroom scribes. Inviting regular reporters and journalists for a morning session, the company held a second event in the afternoon, which was attended entirely by bloggers. Around the same time, NHN, which operates Koreas top portal site, Naver, did the same thing, holding a conference for bloggers as it announced changes to its homepage. In fact, more and more Korean tech and IT companies are realizing the value of blogger opinion. Whether its launches of TVs, smartphones or digital cameras, bloggers can increasingly expect to be invited along to the party. In a few cases, the boundaries between bloggers and old-school media have disappeared altogether. At recent product launches, LG Uplus (formerly LG Telecom) and Taiwans smartphone company HTC invited bloggers and journalists along to the same event though the reporters less than ecstatic response suggests that not all of them are quite ready for that level of intimacy yet. Perhaps more than in most countries, Korean bloggers have enjoyed a stellar rise in importance and status. In a nation with one of the highest rates of broadband penetration in the world,

Samsung hosted an event for smartphone users on May 14 in Seoul (opposite). Power bloggers discuss LG cell phones at a meeting hosted by the company (above). Korean Navigation company Thinkwares navigation (left).

Valley companies try out their latest products there as a barometer of how theyll work worldwide. Of course, Korean firms have been doing this for a long time. In releasing their products in Korea six to eight months earlier than anywhere else, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics look to find out what early adopters think of their goods and iron out any problems through consumer feedback. Canon, the worlds top digital camera maker, once altered its production process for its DSLR cameras following suggestions from a Korean power user, as Koreas influential early adopters are known. Having bought a DSLR camera from the company, the user wrote that photographs he took with it had some ringshaped distortion. He complained to Canons Korean branch, who

electronic versions, and then post their complaints online. The company said there are about 150 comments a day and more than 3,000 per year, with the numbers increasing by more than 20 percent each year. In Korea, early adopters are a very distinct breed from opinion leaders, the trendy, often high-profile folk who both pursue and shape whats cool. Early adopters here are real consumers, as eager to find high quality as the very newest in electronics goods, and determined that their opinions will be heard. Though you may not know their names, they are a powerful force, whose voices increasingly influence not just electronics in Korea, but in products internationally as well.


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196 197

Since the late 1990s, Koreas online gaming industry has grown as quickly as access to high-speed Internet. Today, gaming is a central part of Korean life. And in a country that has long had to rely on science and technology over natural resources, the gaming industry seems set to become even more relevant in Korea. by Baek Bong-sam

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European affiliates. Dungeon Fighter, Nexons other signature title, once had 2.2 million players connected simultaneously in China and was picked as one of the most popular games at the WebMoney Award 2010 in Japan. Cross Fire, a first-person shooting (FPS) game, is also in the elite club of games to have registered 2 million simultaneous connections in China. Though it only enjoyed marginal success in Korea, players in China, Taiwan and Vietnam made the game a huge hit overseas. Along with The Legend of Mir 2 and Dungeon Fighter, it is one of the three biggest Korean games in China. the SecretS of their SucceSS As ever more Korean online games find fans overseas, gaming has established itself both as an industry and as a orean online games have gone beyond their home turf and are
Screenshot from the online game Aion , which is one of the most popular games not only in Korea but all over the world (above). Muguk, one of the striker characters of Dungeon Fighter (right). Main poster of the game Dungeon Fighter (below).

three game makers, alongside the US and Japan, by 2012. To help the industry develop even further, the government plans to focus more on promotion, while also easing certain regulations. A major reason that Korean online games have thrived away from home is their success in adapting to local needs and tastes. Just as high-speed Internet connections became more widely available around the globe, Korea marched into Japan, China and Taiwan, as well as the US, Europe and Russia. By setting up overseas affiliates, Korean companies hired local talent to help infuse local culture into games and create marketing strategies that would appeal to local players.

It hasnt all been plain sailing, however. Since the late 2000s, China has looked to protect its own developers by restricting access to its gaming market. In response, Korean companies began forming partnerships with local publishers like Shanda and Tencent. Still, the rapid growth of Chinas indigenous gaming industry has seen Koreas market share drop from 80 percent to 25 percent. Some gamers in North America and Europe continue to find Asian games a little exotic for their tastes, and not all countries enjoy the

now reaching out to the US, Europe, China and Japan. No matter where you live, you can play Korean games and strike up cyber friendships with fellow gamers around the world. At big gaming tradeshows overseas, such as Gamescom and the Tokyo Game Show, Korean online games are some of the most hotly anticipated, wowing seasoned gamers with their dynamism and creativity. Korean game developers have also been quick to adapt to the latest trends, building a host of hot new social games, functional games that are educational as well as fun, and open platform games that are staking claim in the booming realm of smart devices. rocking All over the World Guild Wars by NCsoft, Maple Story by Nexon, and Cross Fire by Neowiz Games are among the most popular Korean

online games overseas. Guild Wars first took off in North America and Europe markets where console video games have traditionally been dominant. Developed by ArenaNet, the North American affiliate of the leading MMORPG (Massively multiplayer online role-playing game) maker NCsoft, Guild Wars sold about 6.3 million copies outside Korea, raising huge expectations for a sequel. When it arrived, Guild Wars 2 didnt disappoint, winning NCsofts best online game award at the 2010 Gamescom, a German gaming exhibition. It was the second year in a row that NCsoft took the prize, following Aions victory in 2009. Maple Story is also available in about 70 countries across Asia, North America and Europe, with Nexon offering officially serviced versions of the game through its North American and

cultural phenomenon in Korea. Suitably for Korea, games dont require much in the way of natural resources, instead relying on a highly skilled and inventive workforce. As such, gaming is one of the highest value-added industries in the country. According to the 2010 Korea Games White Paper, published by the Ministry of Culture and Korea Creative Content Agency, the local game market recorded 6.6 trillion won in annual sales in 2009. In the same year, Korea accounted for 3.1 percent (US$3.58 billion) of the overall international market (US$117.3 billion), and exports increased 13.6 percent year-on-year to US$1.24 billion. In 2010, exports of Korean games were estimated to have grown by a further 29 percent to surpass US$1.6 billion, with many predicting that figure could top US$2 billion in 2011. Korea has set out to become one of the worlds top
Aion s characters are seen on its screenshot (above). Attendees for G-star 2010, an annual game trade show held in Busan, Korea, experience online games on the iPad (right). A screenshot from Metro Conflict (below).

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fastest of Internet connections. But the increasing presence of online games in the global gaming market is enormously encouraging for Korean companies. According to market researcher DFC Intelligence, the world online games market in 2011 is expected to grow by 17.2 percent to surpass US$18 billion. Korea, long on experience and technology in online games, is poised to become more competitive overseas. A Perfect PAStime An online teaching site recently showed that Korean middle school students spend

57 percent of their free time surfing the Internet and 10 percent of the time playing online games. The 2010 white paper on games said more people (28.3 percent) selected playing games as their favorite pastime than watching TV (22.1 percent) and going to the movies (19.7 percent). In Korea, gaming is a part of the cultural furniture. G-Star, an annual game trade show, served as further proof of this. Held over four days in the BEXCO center in Busan, Korea, G-Star 2010 attracted
One of the opening shots of The Legend of Mir 2 (above). Some of NCsofts games were featured at Gamescom 2010, held in Germany last year (far left). Ferres, a new character in Arche Age , showed up at G-Star 2010 for the first time ever (left). Screenshot from Arche Age (below).

around 283,000 visitors from Korea and overseas. Some 316 companies from 22 countries conducted 3,550 rounds of export consultations, with 166 deals, worth around US$20 million, being inked in total. Every year, the crowds at BEXCO have been growing, with the geeks being joined by growing numbers of families and couples. This in itself marks a major shift, as games in Korea have traditionally been seen as a baleful influence that keeps youngsters away from their studies and shuttered up in smoky PC rooms. Some games have drawn controversy for their racy or violent content. Though the Game Rating Board reviews and labels games for different age groups before they hit the market, its rulings have also been the source of rancorous debate. But as games increase their presence in Koreans lives, and as trade shows and e-sports events turn gaming into a form of spectator sport, games are laying ever greater claim to the mantel of culture. And as this rehabilitation gathers pace, the government seems certain to increase its support for the gaming industry and to help it nurture talent. the move to mobile Just as the Internet heralded a seismic shift away from consoles and arcade machines, so smartphones and tablet PCs are threatening another revolution in the
Attendees of G-Star 2010 enjoy online games in the middle of the event room (above). The main characters from the educational PC game by the UN World Food Programme, Food Force , bring to gaming an awareness of worldwide environmental disasters (below).

gaming industry. Potentially the biggest platform in this new gaming world are social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, where social games have exploded over the past year. Com2uS and Gamevil are two of Koreas top mobile game makers. Having earlier focused on games for feature phones, the companies threw their creative weight into iPhones and Android-based phones soon after those devices hit the Korean market in late 2010. Com2uS has released about 20 games for Apple App Stores and Google Android Markets, with titles such as Homerun Battle 3D and Slice It! faring much better overseas than in Korea. For its part, Gamevil has produced Baseball Superstars 2010 and Zenonia 2, which have both ranked No 1 in sports and RPG games, respectively, at Koreas Apple App Store. Seeing these enormous new opportunities, online game


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and learning disabilities. Game portal sites are also changing. As the industry has grown larger, the gap between major developers and small companies widened, with new ventures finding it extremely difficult to get a foothold. Part of the problem was that developers stuck rigidly to their own services, or signed exclusivity deals with certain portals. But with the new channeling services, games are now available through multiple sites, with everyone sharing the revenues. thinking About the future Up till now, Korea has concentrated on developing games linked to new platforms based on online games. However, boundaries between video games, online games and mobile games have been blurring, and Korea is looking to take advantage of a more developers have been quick to get in on the action. Nexon is working on mobile and smartphone games through its subsidiary Nexon Mobile, using its own original games such as Kart Rider, a wildly popular racing game. Neowiz Games has acquired a mobile game company, Zio Interactive, as it bids to become a player in this booming market. NCsoft has focused on producing applications linked with online games, earning plenty of good reviews in the process. The rise of SNG, or social network games, is increasingly impacting Koreas online games as well. Whereas users previously relied entirely on online games built by developers, they can now bond with other SNG players and build networks of their own. Another change is in the gamers themselves. Previously the domain of men, gaming has become increasingly
A screenshot from the online game Asta (above). One of the main poster images of Kingdom Under Fire 2 (right). A screenshot with characters from Aion (below).

Dungeon Fighter, Neowiz Games Cross Fire and NCsofts Guild Wars, which were all big hits in countries outside of Korea. ABI Research in the US estimates that the global online games market could reach US$20 billion by 2012. Korea is aiming to become one of the worlds three biggest gaming countries by then, with an increased focus on moving beyond the saturated domestic market and toward the wider world. Growth on that scale requires more support from the government, civic organizations and the general public. Archaic restrictions and policies could

hinder the further development of the gaming industry, which has the potential to be as important an export as automobiles, ships and semiconductors. Instead of the often stifling current restrictions, Korean game companies are hopeful that Korean regulations will increasingly be brought into line with international standards. Given its steady growth and its nimble response to ever-changing trends, experts are optimistic about the future of the Korean online game industry. Highly-anticipated games such as Tera by NHN and Guild Wars 2 by NCsoft are scheduled for release this year. The world of Korean gaming is set for even more excitement ahead.

popular with women, too. Thanks to improved technology, its also possible for moderately tech-savvy gamers to develop appealing SNG at a low cost. For companies, SNG games represent a low-risk venture that can bring outstanding results. Companies like WeMade, SK Communications, Nexon and Gamevil have all shown interest. They are expected to start rolling out their own efforts sometime this year. Functional games are another new trend. Beyond entertainment, games are being used for education, therapy or to raise awareness of global environmental disasters. Food Force, an educational game published by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), has been released in Korea by NCsoft. Hanja Maru, by NHN, helps players learn Chinese characters. Other games currently in development promise to help users with rehabilitation training

globalized market as well. Korean developers, thanks to their cutting-edge technology and quick responses to trends, expect the country to mount a sustained challenge to gaming powerhouses such as the US, Japan and China in the years ahead. The year 2011 is set to see another major push from Koreas game developers, as they prepare for further growth and move deeper into overseas markets. Government and corporations are expected to invest heavily in the search for more games like Nexons
An original painting for WeMades upcoming online game, NED (left). A screenshot from the brand new online game by NHN, Tera , which proved to be a mega hit when it was unveiled in Korea in January (above). A screenshot from Kingdom Under Fire 2 (below).

tiP for underStAnding

chAnneling Service
This refers to servicing of games by a game portal site through another company over a certain period of time. There are no additional costs besides the contract and the companies share their profits. Such deals are often reached between major game portals and mid-sized developers. Big portal sites have entered this partnership as of late in a bid to win more players.


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acquired GameHi, the developer of Koreas

developer PopCap. NCsoft is also bidding to launch a new professional baseball team in Korea, which would make it the first local IT firm to own a ball club. In doing so, it is looking at ways to connect its games with other types of businesses. hAngAme, koreAS no 1 online gAme PortAl Hangame, operated by NHN, is the most popular game portal in Korea. Buoyed by computer versions of traditional games such as go-stop and poker, Hangame has enjoyed tremendous recent success with RPG games like C9, Monster Hunter Online, and Seven Souls. Hangame is hoping to make an even bigger splash in the game sector this year with Tera, an MMORPG developed over four years by Bluehole Studio. The FPS game Metro Conflict, unveiled at the game trade show G-Star 2010 last November, and Kingdom Under Fire 2, an action strategy game, will round out Hangames lineup for this year. As part of its new strategy, NHN plans to set up a game channeling site called PlayNet. The idea is to let the millions of daily visitors to NHNs Naver Koreas biggest portal site gain easy access to dozens of games after a single log in. Currently running a beta version, its scheduled to go fully live early this year. These concerted efforts can be traced back to NHNs Achilles heel. Whereas Nexon and NCsoft started out as game developers and continued to make progress as developers, NHN has mostly rode the success of its gambling games. Now, however, NHN wants a place at the top table of games developers, and is going all out to get there. It was also in this vein that NHN last year set itself the goal of becoming the top player in smartphone games in both Korea and Japan. At the time, NHN announced that

over the next three years, it will invest 100 billion won in smart device games and will concentrate its efforts on mobile game development in Korea and Japan. Accordingly, on January 3 NHN set up Orange Crew Corp to develop smart device games. Game experts say the Big N3 have been able to dominate the market through a clear vision, a real feel for what their customers want, and outstanding and constantly evolving technology. The companies have remained very nimble to new trends, and have not been afraid to invest heavily. This eye for competition, and the relentless quest to outdo one another, means things could yet get even bigger for the Big N3.

koreas Big ns:

To say that the so-called Big N3 Nexon, NCsoft and NHN own the Korean online game market would be only a slight exaggeration. In addition to being smash hits in Korea, games such as Nexons Maple Story and Dungeon Fighter, and NCsofts Guild Wars and Lineage, have enjoyed great popularity overseas as well. As for NHNs Hangame its the most popular games portal site in this Internet-crazed country.

top FPS (first-person shooting) game Sudden Attack, for 120 billion won (US$108 million). Nexon then bought out Ndoors, developer of the MMORPG Atlantica, giving itself some momentum for overseas growth. The industry estimates that Nexon last year became the first gaming company to surpass 1 trillion won in annual sales, with overseas sales accounting for almost 70 percent of that. ncSoft, globAl recognition Thanks to such hits as the Lineage series and Aion, NCsoft is widely regarded as Koreas best MMORPG developer. The company has also enjoyed success overseas: NCsofts Guild Wars package, developed by the companys North American affiliate ArenaNet, has sold more than 6.3 million copies worldwide. Lineage, an MMOPRG released in 1998, laid the foundation for NCsofts massive success. To this day, Lineage remains the face of NCsoft, with huge followings in Korea, Japan and Taiwan. The game posted its

One of the main characters of Blade & Soul is seen (opposite). A character from Asta (below).

In this three-way battle, everyone has a slightly different weapon of choice. For Nexon, its casual games. NCsoft is the leader in MMORPG (Massively multiplayer online role-playing game), and Hangame is the top site for Web board games. Each company has distinct characteristics, and each takes enormous pride in its product. And this being a battle, each also engages in little psychological digs aimed at giving it the edge. nexon: the fAther of rPg gAmeS Nexon has made steady progress since bursting on to the scene with 1998s Land of the Wind, the father of RPG games. In 2003 the company released Maple Story, which now boasts more than 100 million registered players in 60 countries around the world. The following year it continued its hot streak with Kart Rider, a racing game so

popular its been dubbed the national game of Korea. But it was in 2008, when Nexon acquired Neople, the developer of Dungeon Fighter, that the company really hit the big time. Through the publisher Tencent, Nexon moved into China and soon had 2.2 million users simultaneously connected to its games. The Nexon portal saw a 20 percent hike in new users, as well as a 21 percent jump in overall visits. But Nexon has had its down moments, too. Its had its share of hit games, but some, such as Husky Express, bombed. And though far from disastrous, Nexons foray into the MMORPG market didnt come close to emulating the companys success with regular games. To work on its flaws and make another big leap forward, Nexon last year went on the hunt for the best of developer talent. It

highest quarterly sales in the second quarter of 2010, and with some substantial updates scheduled for this year, Lineages success seems sure to run for a while yet. Using its first-class MMORPG technology, NCsoft is expected to mount a bigger push into overseas markets. Blade & Soul, an MMORPG successor to the online smash hit Aion, and Guild Wars 2, a sequel to Guild Wars which enjoyed huge success in North America and Europe are both under development and penciled for release either late this year or early next year. NCsoft hasnt been as successful in regular games though not for lack of trying. While Love Beat, a dance game, fared quite well, neither Dragonica or Punch Monster ignited the passions of Koreas notoriously demanding gamers. To find its next breakthrough, NCsoft has signed a publishing deal with global game


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successful MMORPG overseas. However, since the game is quite dense in terms of data and layout, some point to the need to make it more efficient. With Tera having thrown down the gauntlet, XLGames is preparing to enter the fray with Arche Age. After two private tests last year, Arche Age will have another test either in March or April before hitting the market in November. Arche Age was already generating major buzz in Busan last November during G-Star 2010, the largest game trade show in Korea. With Song Jae-kyung, a main developer behind Nexons The Land of the Wind and NCsofts Lineage, on board, gamers are brimming with anticipation to see what unique new worlds this maestro and his team have created. Sleek, CryENGINE 2 technology graphics and a massive range of quests promise to make Arche Age a great game. XLGames has already signed deals with Japans GameOn and Taiwans GigaMedia to provide the game in those territories, along with Hong Kong and Macau. The timing of the release, however, remains a point of concern. If NCsoft goes ahead with its plan to unveil Blade & Soul toward the end of the year, then XLGames will be going up against one of the best established names in the MMORPG business instead. Gamers, needless to say, are NCsoft and NHN, two of Koreas biggest computer game companies, are primed for some heated competition. With developers from NCsoft bolting the company to take part in the building of NHNs Tera an act of high treason in the gaming world NHN is itching to release something better than NCsoft has ever done. For its part, XLGames is also poised with a world-leading game of its own. While its too early to tell which of the companies will emerge victorious from this round, gamers themselves stand to win big.
A screenshot from NHN Hangames Tera (opposite). Yuran, one of the main characters of Blade & Soul of NCsoft (above). Screenshots from XLGames Arche Age (below, bottom).

line up two hours for a brief chance to go hands-on. Despite the wait, players gushed about Blade & Souls brilliant graphics and impressive new skills sets. Released under the slogan, The Signature Eastern Fantasy MMORPG, Blade & Soul is populated by wildly diverse tribes and characters. Art director Kim Hyung-tae, of Magna Carta fame, has produced a visual tour de force with his artistic and colorful touch. Bae Jae-hyun, who worked on Lineage, brings a real technical craft to the game. Their joint creation will see a general release before the end of the year. NCsoft is, in fact, in no great hurry to introduce Blade & Soul. Lineage and Aion are still doing well, so the company is loath to split its own market share. It all depends on how Tera does. If Tera starts taking a bite into NCsofts market, expect Blade & Soul to appear very soon afterward. WeMade Entertainment, which found success in China with The Legend of Mir 2, is also back this year with Chang Chun 2, the sequel to Chang Chun Online. Ntreev Soft is set to release Elisha, a horse-themed MMORPG. Special Force 2, the sequel to the popular first-person shooting (FPS) game Special Force, is also scheduled to appear this year, as is Football Manager Online, the online version of SEGAs Football Manager package, which will be serviced through KTH. If were lucky, we just might see all three of Tera, Arche Age and Blade & Soul this year, said an official in the online game industry in Korea. This year, the Korean online game industry will be a fertile ground for battles of major, epic games.

The year 2011 promises to be a big one for Koreas gaming industry. NHN was first out of the gates with Tera at the beginning of the year. XLGames is scheduled to unleash Arche Age in November. And NCsoft, a giant of the MMORPG, looks to roll out Blade & Soul in the next few months.

terA vS Arche Age: 40 billion Won tAkeS on A neW StAndArd in mmorPg After three private tests, one stress test and a mountain of anticipation, Hangame unveiled Tera at 6am on January 11. Developed by Bluehole Studio, Tera offers the best graphics of any existing online games. Created with Unreal Engine 3 technology, the graphics cleanly capture the world of Tera, with exceptionally realistic backdrops and objects. As a free targeting game, Tera doesnt automatically target

monsters, forcing the player to defend themselves from all sides and distances. It all adds up to one of the most intense, deeply immersive games ever released. Before its launch, some introductory scenes from Tera were posted on the US game site GameTrailers.com. Enthralled gamers raved about its music and composition, awarding the new game 8.7 points. Frogster, a famous developer, is currently working on the European version of Tera, meaning Bluehole is looking at its first

watching the situation closely. more neWer online gAmeS on the WAy NCsoft the creator of topnotch MMORPG such as the Lineage series and Aion has got high hopes for Blade & Soul. Unlike other epic games that relied solely on flashy graphics and sheer scale, Blade & Soul is already being hailed for producing nearly perfect content. Players got their first glimpse of Blade & Soul at G-Star 2010, where the NCsoft booth was so popular that gamers had to


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Ascent of KoreAn shipbuilDinG

Korea is home to three of the worlds largest shipyards. The small peninsular country, which yielded its decadelong lead in the industry last year, is set to rise once more as the No 1 shipbuilder. Armed with cutting-edge technology and skilled workers, Korea has made its way to the top from humble beginnings. by Kim Yoo-chul
A view of a shipyard in Busan, on the southern coast of Korea.



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Korea started to rebuild its industrial structure in the 1970s by investing heavily in the shipbuilding industry, as the military dictatorship believed it could help the war-stricken nation foster faster economic growth. Like Korea, which made shipbuilding a strategic sector, China is in the process of

ships used to search for crude oil, as well as more calls for offshore and energy-related vessels, were pushing shipbuilding stocks to rise. Korea has proven its ability to deliver valuable ships on time, and clients are willing to pay more for the service. The next milestone will be the

Kingdom, Norway and Denmark for the construction of drill ships, liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, container ships and FPSO projects. The worlds fifth-largest shipbuilder, STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, is winning orders similar to the top-tier local shipyards. Last month, STX won

the shipbuilding industry is for the health of the nations economy. This is because the performance of shipbuilders has a significant ripple effect on the countrys trade and other ancillary services. Despite being hit by a slew of cancellations and declining ship prices in the aftermath of the global economic crisis, the nation is now preparing to make a comeback, with local shipbuilders leading the way. Last year, China surpassed Korea as the worlds top shipbuilder, but officials say this year will be different, citing a legion of orders they believe will help overcome the neighboring nation. Beijing contributed to an overall commodity-vessel glut by providing financing to Chinese yards and securing jobs during the global financial crisis. China has more than 3,000 shipbuilders, including roughly 1,000 that are able to build vessels that can travel in deep seas, according to data from the Korean government. As of the end of 2010, China was the No. 1 shipbuilder in terms of compensated gross tons (CGT) of ships, with a total of 15.9 million tons, followed by Korea with 11.77 million

orea, home to the worlds largest shipyards, knows just how critical

From left to right: The CMA CGM Magellan by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), one of the worlds top three shipbuilders alongside Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries; a drillship constructed by Samsung; the Saiph Star built by DSME; the Expedient, an LNG re-gasification vessel constructed by DSME.

the total number of new ship orders in 2011, as the markets for value-added ships are expanding amid rising oil prices. At the end of the first quarter this year, Korea claimed 3.3 million CGT, far ahead of Chinas 1.95 CGT, according to Clarkson-the worlds biggest

CGT, data from the Korea Shipbuilders Association (KOSHIPA) show. In overall tons, China is definitely flexing its muscles, but Korea is better positioned to export technological and value-added ships, raising the possibility to get more orders from big ship owners, says Ko Young-ryeol, a senior executive at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). In terms of the monetary value of ships, Korea is still the top shipbuilder as of last year, with China following behind. Chinese shipbuilders have been increasing the ship stockpiles driven by Beijings so-called shipbuilding initiatives, as part of its strategy to boost the Chinese economy. But most of the orders booked by the Chinese are less profitable ones, says KOSHIPA Vice Chairman Han Jang-sop. Han expects Korea to beat China in terms of

shipbroker. In terms of new orders, South Korea received 90 commissions during the first three months of the year, followed by Chinas 88 orders. However, the combined monetary value of the Korean orders was US$12.9 billion, while the combined value of Chinas was US$3.5 billion. That means Korean shipbuilders are winning the more valuable orders for drill ships and FPSO, which are floating, production, storage and offloading units, says a Ministry of Strategy and Finance spokesman. The top three Korean shipbuildersHyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), DSME and Samsung Heavy Industriesmanaged to sweep all 12 of the drill ship building orders in the global market this year. Riding on this upbeat mood, the countrys finance ministry has revised its forecasts for ships to US$51.7 billion, up from US$50.5 billion.

repeating the model with large, statesupported investments in the industry. Japan, once at the top of the international sector, lost its lead to Korea several years ago, and its global market share has since dropped drastically. Meanwhile, the European market share has decreased to just 10 percent of Koreas, and production from the United States and the rest of the world have become negligible in comparison. riSing Stock PriceS Helped by signs of a market recovery, investors appear to be returning to shipbuildingrelated stocks on the nations main bourse. Shares plunged when ship owners canceled orders in late 2008, and investors and analysts have been on the search for signs of the next increase. Jeon Yong-bum, a senior analyst at Solomon Investment, says rising orders for specialized vessels, such as drill

recovery of ship prices to levels before the 2008 downturn, Jeon says. After prices are regained, I think it will be the right time for the sectors stock rally. Indeed, leading shipbuilding stocks have already begun gaining consistently, as investors are giving more credits on shares, citing the steady winning of premium ship orders. Data from the Korea Exchange, the nations bourse operator, has shown that shipbuilding stocks outperformed others so far this year. As of the end of May, the worlds biggest shipyard, HHI, has won orders for 44 ships valued at US$11.7 billion, accounting for 60 percent of the companys previous annual revenue target, spokesman Jo Seung-woo says. DSME booked 16 orders valued at US$4.35 billion, and Samsung Heavy Industries won US$10.5 billion-worth of orders from the United States, United

US$550 million-worth of orders from Europe and the United States. The rise in shipbuilding stocks makes sense, because the demand for premium vessels is expected to rise amid higher oil prices and bigger appetites for exploring natural resources, says Jeong Dong-ik, an analyst at Hanwha Securities, another leading brokerage. He adds that there is no question about Koreas lead in premium shippingrelated fields, as China has at least a one- to two-year technology gap in shipbuilding. long-term momentum To keep momentum, Korea must shrug off the following key worries: volatile currency movements, uncertainty in the global economy and materials costs such as the price of steel plates and interest rates. The outlook is positive, however, as the global shipbuilding industry is seeing

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created a single entity to handle only solar-cell and wind-power businesses to expand into new markets. Hyundai shares are quite attractive because Hyundai is not just a shipbuilding firm. With active investment in non-shipping areas, we are securing new growth engines, says Ahn Ji-hyun, an analyst at HMC Investment Securities.

environmental standards regulations for new vessels in 2013. The investment will be used in the development of lowemission, energy efficient ships, which will help the industrys position strengthen in the global market. humble beginningS Although Korea is on the brink of returning as the

commodities led to a drastic decline in ship orders. Economic woes only increased with the onslaught of labor unrest, government hesitation to offer financial aid and Japans new, low-interest export financing for their domestic shipbuilders. Fortunately, more resources were injected into the Korean

signs of what market analysts say is structural change. Korea wont see any big hurdles in terms of orders throughout the next year, particularly because of a decrease in interest for nuclear reactors in the wake of the tsunami in Japan, says Oh Sung-jin, head of research at Hyundai Securities, one of the countrys largest financial institutions. Germanys latest decision to drop all of its 17 nuclear reactors by 2022 will further increase the demand for LNG, a more environmentally-friendly alternative. The demand for container ships is not strong enough yet, but it should revive toward the end of this year and the beginning of the next, Oh says. Deep-sea oil and gas storage equipment is considered the next source

of revenue for the industry. Korean shipbuilders are implementing a number of measures aimed at controlling industry risk and ensuring continued development. They include improving internal management, centralized procurement and expanding the non-shipping business. HHI, Samsung, DSME and STX have distinct technological merits in terms of equipment manufacturing across a broad range of sectors, pushing them to expand their operations. Offshore wind power generators are becoming some of the more vital contributors to shipbuilders development of a more global outlook amid the governments green growth initiatives. Hyundai, Samsung and DSME have all increased investment in

wind turbine-related technologies as part of their business diversification strategy. Diversification is the key for us to beat the industrys up and down cycles and to guarantee sustainable corporate growth, says a Samsung Heavy Industries representative. Hyundai has been transforming its image into one of a shipbuilder that supports solar-cell businesses by giving more authorities to its non-shipping divisions, according to the company. Although the annual revenue for Hyundais shipbuilding business dropped to 7.85 trillion won (US$7.3 billion) as of the end of last year from 9.1 trillion won in 2008, total corporate revenue has increased. Total revenue for 2010 was 22.4 trillion won, a change from its 19.95 trillion won in 2008. HHI

A night view of the dock at Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard on Geojedo Island, Gyeongsangnam-do Province, off the port city of Busan on the southern coast (opposite). A man finishes his work for the day in a local Korean shipyard (above). A view of a Goliath crane in Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard on Geojedo (above right).

worlds top shipbuilder, the start of the local industry had humble origins. Koreas modern shipbuilding history dates back to the early 1970s, a time when the military regime sought ways to boost the national economy in the shortest time possible. Shipbuilding was identified as a strategic industry since the field is simultaneously labor, technology and cash intensive. With full administrative, financial and political support, HHI constructed a 1 million-ton capacity dock in the city of Ulsan by the mid-1970s, aided by technological know-how from Europe. Daewoo Shipbuilding soon followed Hyundai and built a 1.2 million-ton facility on the southern island of Geojedo, in 1981. By the mid-1980s, a deep global recession and excess oil

industry as top policy makers anticipated its positive impact. A breakthrough was made in the early 1990s as new vessel orders were placed, and shipowners began to replace their outdated ships, creating work. Over the past two decades, Korea has only gained in competitive design, quality, skill, technology and component suppliers. The efficiency of a ship is best determined not just by its engines, but by the skills with which it was built, says a spokesman from Mirae Asset Securities, a leading local brokerage. The research house adds that the local industrys rise to the top has not been a simple route-much less one that could be easily copied. Korea is sure to rise to the top of its field once more, given its history and experience.

The government is stepping in to help close the gap between the top companies past successes and future endeavors. The Ministry of Knowledge Economy announced in February a pledge to invest 300 billion won (US$278.1 million) into the green shipbuilding industry over the next decade, providing an environmentallyfriendly edge to local shipyards. The announcement came after news that the International Maritime Organization will be revising its CO emissions and

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tightening global emissions regulations led by the International Maritime Organization

either present challenges or exceed existing production techniques. Hyundai, Daewoo and Samsung are frontrunners in FPSO technology, as they directly handle the designs, operations and delivery processes from start to finish. Hyundai won a bid to construct a US$1.2 billion FPSO project from oil major British Petroleum, with Daewoo and Samsung following close on its heels with similar projects. In contrast, Chinese shipbuilders rely on constructing dry-bulk ships, mostly used to carry iron ore, coal and other commodities, which are simpler in design than container carriers and tankers. Global demand for these types of vessels, about half of which are built in China, plunged 73 percent to US$2.3 billion in the first quarter. A WireleSS uPgrAde Korean shipbuilders are implementing wireless Internet technology to their shipyards to improve communication. Hyundai applies wireless-broadband technology to its sites with

digital dream bay, which allows the automation of a diverse range of procedures. From cutting steel to assembling pieces and loading items, nearly 65 percent of all automation includes robots the highest percentage of any corporation, according to Samsung. Not to be left out, STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, the worlds fifth largest shipyard, has developed an optical communication digital welding system, which enables technicians and managers to communicate smoothly during the construction process. The new technology is a hopeful indicator of STXs future in highend vessel orders, as officials say the technology will save time and improve the quality of the ships. We project that with the implementation of the technology, over the next five years we will save 11.5 billion won, says Kim Sung-soo, a spokesman for STX. Chinas leading shipbuilders are planning to produce more sophisticated vessels, because they attract higher prices, and to shy away from the capacity glut. The shipbroker Clarkson says new ships that can carry up to 9,600 boxes can cost roughly US$118 million, or near double the price for capsize dry bulk vessels, the No 1 component of Chinese yards order-books by tonnage. Chinese shipbuilders are trying to jumpstart their skills to cut down a reliance on less-profitable ships, but its challenging because new technology doesnt appear overnight, says Mirae Asset Securities Lee Sok-je.

the new transition to Premium Vessels

Korea once had a stronghold on the industry with its large-scale ships, but developments in the field are now focused on distinguishing local vessels in terms of design and technology.

is raising demand for LNG as an alternative energy source. Japan, which suffered a nuclear crisis following a major earthquake in March, is also turning to LNG to offset the loss of nuclear power. HHI recently won three LNG carrier orders valued at US$600 million from Greece-based Dynagas, and Korea overall has a 65 percent share of the LNG tanker market. Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels are another facet of the countrys advantage over rivals. FPSO systems excavate crude oil from deepwater wells and store it in hull tanks until it can be pumped into shuttle tankers or oceangoing barges for transport to shore. FPSOs have the potential to further develop oil and gas reserves on the Gulf of Mexicos Outer Continental Shelf, so deep underwater they

Koreas shipbuilding industry is transforming itself from a manufacturer of size-oriented ships to building vessels with advanced technology and high value. Strong advantages-skilled designers, capability, the economy of scale and development of innovative production methods have helped the country gain more orders for value added ships and technology development projects. A recent report released by the China Association of National Shipbuilding Industry said Chinese shipbuilders will face choppy seas this year on rising labor and materials costs. Demand in the international shipbuilding market has moved positively for liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels and premium engineering ships. Koreas leading shipbuilders are expected to benefit from the industrys demand shift as the nation has

already been proactively delivering high-end results. Korean shipbuilders have been expanding their concepts from just carrier builders to ocean developers, says a spokesman from local brokerage Woori Investment & Securities. Drill ships in particular have been a highlight for local companies. The vessel, used to explore deepsea resources like gas wells, has the advantage of being able to drill in water more than 2,300m deep. Offshore drilling firms are busy finding their next source of revenue amid rising oil prices and the lifting of a deepwater drilling ban by the Obama administration last year. Korea won all 12 overseas drill ship orders as of the end of the first quarter this year, and the nations shipbuilders also swept all 34 orders for large container ships over 8,000TEU (20 foot

equivalent units). Korea reclaimed the top global position by both backlogs and order revenues by the first quarter, with revenue reaching US$12.8 billion. The bulk of the quarterly revenue is from winning bids for premium ships, says a Ministry of Knowledge Economy spokesman. China currently relies on the less-profitable, small container ships. Besides size, local companies offer drill ships featuring advanced systems, cuttingedge design and economical layout to maximize efficiency. Korean-made drill ships are known to have a narrow hull that minimizes maintenance costs. Technological advances at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) include an automated propulsion system, blowout preventers and a position controlling system. For Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI),
Workers stand on a ships deck during sunset at a Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) shipyard in Ulsan (opposite). A birds-eye view of a shipyard in Korea (top). A worker welds the finishing touches on a ship at the Ulsan shipyard of HHI (above).

the cooperation of the nations top fixed-line broadband operator. Under the digital system, workers are able to communicate via voice, images and data sharing to communication centers and other workers. All that is needed is a portable wireless terminal that simply connects to the communication network. At Daewoo, a robot developed in-house is lending a helping hand in LNG carrier construction, which minimizes loss during the building procedure. Similarly, Samsung Heavy Industries has created a so-called


K o r e as L e a d i n g I n d u s t r i e s

sailing smooth on a Cruise

Europe may dominate the cruise liner market, but Korean shipbuilders are beginning to permeate the industry with a combination of savvy design and a family-oriented approach.

Nearly 13.5 million travelers across the globe went on a cruise in 2009. The good sign is that Korean shipbuilders are receiving increased calls to construct cruise ships which has a 20 percent premium per vessel compared to a containership with the same storage capacity in Europe, as well as North America, says an official from Hyundai Heavy Industries. Its too early to say that Korean shipbuilders are positioned to join the league of cruise authorities. But the Allure of the Seas, constructed by STX Europe, is a good example of how Korea has begun taking steps. PoSitive recePtion Leading the fray here is Koreas STX, which acquired Aker Yards and converted it into STX Europe. The European branch has 15 shipyards, including sites in Finland, Norway and Romania, and is a partial owner of three yards in Germany and the Ukraine. STXs two most representative cruise vessels the Allure and Oasis have received positive reviews since the premium ships began routes with

We are diversifying our business portfolios away from our heavy dependence on B2B businesses, but it will take some time, says a spokesman for Daewoo. DSME is constructing a US$262 million-worth ferry for Compagnie Tunisienne de Navigation (CTN), a Tunisian shipping firm. The 51,000 gross ton vessel is set for completion within the next year, and could carry up to 3,200 passengers and more than 1,000 cars. The average ferry carries 1,500 passengers and a few hundred vehicles. The ship, which will be a semi-cruise vessel with leisure facilities such as a shopping center and restuarants, will be able to sail 51km per hour. DSME will

integrate advanced technology into the construction, which shares many characteristics with existing cruise liners, but not major ferries. Daewoo will ease into the cruise industry by upgrading its ferries first, company officials say, hoping to move forward within a few years. The CTN will be used during peak seasons on its Tunisia-France and Tunisia-Italy routes. Samsung Heavy Industries has also laid down plans to build a 105,000-ton vessel, combining the competitive features of a private ship with those of a cruise ship. The final result will include 200 private cabins and 204 staterooms. The family-friendly vessel will feature a sundeck, a waterslide and outdoor theaters, and will be completed in 2014. Demand for cruise and cruise-like ships is rising thanks to royalties from major cruise ship operators, higher oil prices and room for additional investments, says Samsung Heavys Managing Director Joo Young-ryeol. Korea still lacks experience in building cruise ships, but with a strong technology basis, design and productivity, shipbuilders will narrow the gap between Europe and Korea.
A view of STXs Allure of the Seas (opposite). Clockwise, from top: A view of the lower deck of the Allure , which includes lush greens and benches; A cruise passenger climbs the ships rock wall; The main Adiago dining hall stands ready for passengers.

Imagine a wide, blue, open sea with nothing but waves. A plush carpet lines the halls, a deck chair sits warmed by the sun and a pool lures you into its cool depths, just tantalizingly close to the salty seawater. More and more people are choosing to spend their holidays on a cruise, and the ships have become more luxurious in recent years. Elegance has met affordability as the recovery of consumer spending strengthens. Top-tier shipbuilders are widening their scope to include premium options for cruise liners. Although European rivals have dominated the market for years, Koreans are slowly making headway into the industry. The Allure of the Seas and the Oasis of the Seas, built by Korean corporation STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, are the worlds largest cruise ships, each weighing a respectable 225,000 tons. Both vessels cost over 1.8 trillion won (US$1.67 billion), and

the Oasis is comprised of 16 stories. Integrating the highest technological standards, the ships feature innovative new designs while maintaining majestic proportions. A range of intimate accommodations and extravagant entertainment outlets and activities can be accessed on board, including a lush Central Park on the Oasis. From an outdoor aqua theater to cocktail bars, childrens playgrounds and graceful dining rooms, STX manages to integrate family entertainment with a romantic getaway. Parenting.com also selected Allure of the Seas as one of the Best Cruise Ships for Families, for its customizable services and ongoing programs for children. The level of comfort offered to our passengers is evidenced by the enjoyment of even our most discriminating customers, says Jeon Kyoung-ryeol, a senior executive at STX in charge of cruise ship construction.

Korea, home of the worlds three largest shipyards, has been hoping to bolster its presence in the cruise industry. Despite rapid growth in the past three decades and its competitiveness to Chinese shipyards, the country has yet to gain a strong foothold in the luxury liner field. Circumstances are becoming favorable for local companies, as research for new cruise technology has been catalyzed by a rising global demand for luxury vacations. Currently, European-centric cruise shipbuilders, including Italy-based Fincantieri and Germanys Meyer Werft, control 85 percent of the global cruise shipping market, which has an estimated annual worth of US$10 billion. The industry is the fastest growing travel sector in the planet, according to market analysts, and has evolved to become a leader in innovative advancements.

Royal Caribbean Cruises. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and Samsung Heavy Industries have shown an interest in investing in the lucrative sector. The shipbuilders are planning to maintain their current focus on ships for business-tobusiness purposes while also tapping into the car-ferry ship industry.


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The GlobalizaTion of Korean film

Korea is the 10th largest movie market in the world and is endeavoring to meet global standards. Not only have veterans such as Im Kwon-taek, Kim Ki-duk and Hong Sang-soo made a name in arthouse films, but blockbuster hits are appearing from Park Chan-wook, Bong Joon-ho and more. Korean films are becoming a global force through international collaboration, distribution and a higher quality of cinema. by Ra Je-gy



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Hollywood of the West, said French actress Isabelle Huppert at the 16


m more interested in this, the Hollywood of the East, than the

quite well. In 2009, Korean films made up 47 percent of the market share, the fifth highest figure globally. Put into context, France only stands at 36 percent and Italy at 24 percent even though theyre both countries with traditionally strong film industries. The Korean film industry is almost a century old, but it wasnt until the 1960s that a number of talented actors and directors emerged, ushering in Korean films first renaissance. Back then, Korean films enjoyed great popularity in Southeast Asia, and there was an attempt to industrialize and centralize Koreas film industry. Long the home of many production studios, Chungmuro, which is located in the heart of Seoul, remains a symbol of Korean movies. However, the industry staggered under the military dictatorships of the 1970s and suffered a period of political and economic turmoil until the mid-1990s. Koreas second film renaissance arrived in the 1990s, in the wake of democratization. As a new generation of directors and producers emerged, the film industry was given a boost. Socially conscious directors who tried to use their medium as a tool to change society during the dictatorships of the 1980s became the foundation for a new revival of Korean film. Park Kwang-su, Jang Sun-woo and Chung Ji-young did exactly this, and played a role in connecting the turmoil of the 1970s with the surge of the 1990s. With the appearance of large-scale multiplex chain theaters in the late 1990s, the number of moviegoers exploded. At the same time, investment and distribution agencies connected to large companies entered the market, such as CJ Entertainment (now the film division of CJ E&M), Show Box and Lotte Entertainment, allowing for more films to be produced. Studio after studio merged as they became listed on the stock market, and entertainment groups focusing on film studios started appearing as well. When money started flowing in from the stock market and big investment and distribution agencies, film studios in Chungmuro started to make movies in a bolder way. This combination of young talent and big money brought about a series of films that would continuously break former box office records. In 2004, Silmido attracted 10 million viewers, a first in the history of Korean movies. This was followed by Taegukgi, the second to break 10 million, then The King and the Clown in 2005 and The Host in 2006. As the industry grew, Korean films achieved more recognition at international film festivals. In 2002, director Im Kwon-taeks Painted Fire (also known as Chi-hwa-seon) won him the Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival, which set off years of Korean directors and actors earning the spotlight. Most recently, Kim Ki-duks Arirang won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes. Before the 2000s, there were only three Korean films which had won awards at major international film festivals the first was The Coachman in 1961, which won a Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. Many internationally known directors emerged one after another: Park Chan-wook, Bong Joon-ho, Kim Ji-woon, Hong Sang-soo, Lim Sang-soo, Ryu Seung-wan, Kim Ki-duk and Lee Chang-dong. Film companies in other countries, including the US and France, are now busy making movies with the aforementioned directors or investing in their productions. In addition, with rise of the Hallyu (Korean wave) in recent years, exports have been rapidly increasing to parts of East and Southeast Asia. Korean films are especially popular in Japan, where actors like Bae Yong-joon, Jang Donggun, Lee Byung-hun and Kwon Sangwoo are household names. In 2005, the export of Korean films reached its peak at US$75.9 million. In tandem with the growth of the film industry, international film festivals are taking root in Korea. Launched in 1996, the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) is one of the worlds most dynamic film festivals. Less than a

Busan International Film Festival this year. Huppert has won major acting awards at the Cannes Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival among others. Speaking at an event at the same festival, Luc Besson (Leon, The Fifth Element) added, Dont just dream of Hollywood, but make films based on stories of Korea in Korea, which is itself a great country. hollyWood of the eASt As Huppert and Bessons words indicate, Koreas film industry has turned heads in the past. According to the Korean Film Commission, Koreas film market was the worlds 10 largest in 2009,

The female leads of Sunny (opposite below). The actors of My Way speak at the 16th Busan International Film Festival (opposite). A scene from A Better Tomorrow (far left). A scene from Leafie, a Hen into the Wild (left).

decade after its launch, BIFF was recognized as more successful than the Tokyo International Film Festival, and had established itself as one of the most important film festivals in Asia. Other leading Korean festivals include the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival, the Jeonju International Film Festival and the Jecheon International Music & Film Festival, each of which highlight different genres of film. entering neW mArketS In this decade, Korean films are finding their way into overseas markets. Beyond simply exporting completed films to other countries, Koreans are now looking to break into new markets through joint productions. This was in part spurred by the fact that in 2006, Korean film studios faced a crisis because of a reduced screen quota for domestic Korean films, which gave an advantage to foreign-produced movies. The most common way locals enter overseas markets is by actors and

valued at US$1.275 billion. After Japan and India, its the third largest market in Asia, with 138 films produced in Korea every year. In terms of the domestic market share for its own movies, Korea is doing

AWArd-Winning filmS
The status of Korean cinema has risen exponentially since it first appeared on the world stage at the Berlin International Film Festival in the early 1960s. Since then, the country has won a range of awards from the three most prestigious festivals in the world: Berlin Film Festival, Venice Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival.

The Coachman by Kang Dae-jin wins the Silver Bear Extraordinary Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival, becoming the first Korean film to earn an award at a major foreign festival.




Park Chan-wooks Oldboy wins the Grand Prix at Cannes Film Festival. Kim Ki-duk wins the Best Director Award for Samaria at the Berlin Film Festival and the Best Director Award at Venice for 3-Iron.



Kang Soo-yeon wins the Volpi Cup Best Actress Award for her role in Im Kwon-taeks The Surrogate Woman at the Venice Film Festival.

Hwa-Om-Kyung by Jang Sun-woo wins the Alfred Bauer Award at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Im Kwon-taek wins the Best Director Award for Painted Fire (Chi-hwaseon ) at the Cannes Film Festival. Lee Chang-dong wins the Special Directors Award for Oasis at the 2003 Venice Film Festival.

Im Kwon-taek wins the Honorary Golden Bear Award for lifetime achievement at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Jeon Do-yeon wins Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for her role in Secret Sunshine .



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Jang Dong-gun starrs in My Way (left). Actor Park Hae-il shoots an arrow in the 2011 film Arrow : The Ultimate Weapon (opposite bottom left). Arrow was one of the years biggest box office hits (opposite bottom right).

budget of US$100 million, the biggest project a Korean film studio has ever participated in. Additionally, CJ E&Ms film division is exclusively working on importing and distributing films from Paramount Pictures, while also targeting the Japanese market through a partnership with Doei, one of three major movie studios in Japan. The country itself is proving to be an asset in the industry, with directors

Odagiri and Chinese actress Fan Bingbing. Investment in Korean films is increasing. Last years Korean remake of John Woos A Better Tomorrow and Pain, released last September, were both heavily financed by Japanese investors. Both movies starred Korean actors popular in Japan. The overseas cinema business is also part of the globalization of Korean films. Two of Koreas largest multiplexes, CGV and Lotte Cinema, are opening branches in China and Vietnam. CGV has been particularly fast-moving in their endeavors, and of the eight multiplexes it opened in China, three were opened in 2011. Another is scheduled to open by the end of this year. In addition, CGV built a multiplex theater in Los Angeles and is planning to use it as a stepping stone for Korean films to gain a better foothold in Hollywood. diverSifying StyleS Recently, Korean films have become more diverse than ever, as seen by the films that ranked high in box office sales domestically this year, continuing a trend of rising success for homegrown productions. Arrow: The Ultimate Weapon, which attracted the largest number of viewers in Korea this year (7.42 million), added

vitality to the historical drama genre that is often considered old-fashioned. A war set in the Joseon Dynasty, the film captured the attention of audiences by describing the ordinary yet tragic stories of people during that era, using action scenes to accomplish this instead of highlighting a specific historical figure. Another historical drama that did well was Detective K: Secret of Virtuous Widow, which drew 4.79 million people. Although set in the Joseon Dynasty, a modern sense of humor and plot pulled in viewers. The film deals with a main character who is a detective, a rare subject in Asian films, and showed that serious period pieces can still be lighthearted with the right approach. The box office success of Sunny (7.37 million viewers) also shed light in the diversification of Korean films. The fact that a family drama without any major stars achieved such success will open doors for more such films in the future. The Crucible (4.26 million viewers), which criticizes sexual assaults committed at a school for hearing impaired children, reconfirmed the potential of films regarding social criticism a genre that the Korean film world has shied away from for years. The box office success of the animation Leafie, a Hen into the Wild also represents a shift in the diversification of

Korean films. Korea has long worked for US and Japanese animations, and while the ability of Korean animators is considered among the best in the world, Korean animation hasnt succeeded commercially since Robot Taekwon V in the 1970s. At most, just one feature animation film is made every year in Korea. Leafie drew in 2.19 million people, achieving the highest box office record for a Korean animation domestically and combined the exceptional ability of Myung Films to make realistic films with animation technology. Leafie was released in more than 3,000 Chinese theaters in September. These days, there has also been a big push forward with independent films in Korea. Through the development of digital technology, filmmaking has become more and more accessible to a new group of aspiring directors. In 2008, Old Partner, a documentary about an old cow and an elderly farmer couple, attracted 3 million viewers, increasing the popularity of indie films. Korean films have also taken home the VPRO Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, widely considered the worlds biggest independent film festival, for recent hits Breathless (2009) and The Journals of Musan (2011).

directors appearing in foreign films. Lee Byung-hun, Jang Dong-gun and Rain have appeared in Hollywood films, while scores of other actors are constantly looking for chances to work in overseas markets. In recent years, its become more and more commonplace to see Korean names in Asian productions. Indeed, Hur Jin-ho (Dangerous Liaisons) and Kwak Jae-yong (Yang Guifei) are planning to direct films produced by Chinese companies. Kwak has already proven his international capabilities following his work on the Japanese film Cyborg She. Domestic special effects teams are also making it abroad, and the special effects team from Taegukgi worked on war scenes in the Chinese blockbuster Assembly. Korean directors are being snatched up by Hollywood, too. Park Chan-wook is currently shooting Stoker, starring Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska. Park, who won a Grand Prix and a Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, is considered the most appreciated Korean director by Western audiences. In 2009,

Park produced Thirst along with a subsidiary of Universal Studios. This year, Kim Ji-woon is currently filming The Last Stand, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Production companies are also actively involved in joint productions. CJ E&Ms film division is planning to co-produce three films with 1492 Pictures, a Hollywood studio founded by Chris Columbus, director of Home Alone and Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone. 1492 Pictures is trying to establish a foothold in the Asian market through its partnership with CJ E&M. Their first project will be director Yoon Je-kyoons Temple Stay, which has a budget of 30 billion won (US$26.4 million). Yoon is a local blockbuster film director who drew more than 10 million viewers for his 2009 movie Haeundae. CJ E&M is also producing a Hollywood blockbuster called 1950, the story of an American Marine Corps unit during the Korean War. It will be directed by Rob Cohen (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor) with a

coming to Korea to shoot films. The Kick, a movie about taekwondo directed by Thai film director Prachya Pinkaew (who is known for his Ong-Bak martial arts film series on Muay Thai) will be shot in Korea. The Kick stars Cho Jaehyun, Ye Ji-won and two other young Korean actors and former taekwondo athletes. Then theres Isabelle Huppert, who visited Korea this summer to perform in In Another Country (unofficial translated title), a new film by Hong Sang-soo. Korea is continuing to spearhead multinational projects, one of which is Snow Piercer. For this sci-fi film based on a French comic of the same title, several European countries are participating in the production and investment of it, including France. Production is set at 30 billion won and it will be directed by Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Mother), who served as president of the Camera dOr jury at Cannes this year. My Way, directed by Kang Je-gyu, is another multinational project starring Korean actor Jang Dong-gun, Japanese actor Joe


Hong Sang-soos Hahaha wins the Prix Un Certain Regard in the noncompetitive section of the Cannes Film Festival. Poetry by Lee Changdong wins the Prix du scnario at the Cannes Film Festival.

Kim Ki-duks Arirang wins the Prix Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival. Night Fishing by brothers Park Chan-wook and Chan-kyong win the Golden Bear for Best Short Film at the Berlin Film Festival. Broken Night by Yang Hyo-joo wins the Silver Bear Jury Prize for short film at the Berlin Film Festival.

Park Chan-wooks Thirst wins the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.



K o r e as L e a d i n g I n d u s t r i e s

Korean Cineastes exPanding their horizons

As Korean cinema continues to enjoy growing attention in the international film festival circuit, local directors and actors are expanding their horizons by partaking in various US and Chinese productions and other cross-border collaborations. by Lee Hyo-won
Cult favorite Park Chan-wook made a name for himself with The Vengeance Trilogy and his international reputation has led to his big Hollywood debut, Stoker. Based on a screenplay by Prison Break star Wentworth Miller, the film made headlines for its starstudded cast. Mia Wasikowska (Jane Eyre) plays a teenage girl who must deal with the sudden arrival of her mysterious uncle (Matthew Goode) while mourning the death of her father. Nicole Kidman appears as the emotionally unstable mother in the psychological thriller. The film, set for release next year, is in production in Nashville, Tennessee. Meanwhile Parks Oldboy is being remade into an English-lanugage version by renowned American director Spike Lee. Josh Brolin is set to play the lead male role (originally played by Choi Min-sik) opposite actress Rooney Mara (who replaces Kang Hye-jung). In addition, Park is producing Bong Joon-hos first English language film, Snow Piercer. Bong, who directed the highest grossing Korean film in history The Host, further rose to international prominence with the 2009 crime drama Mother. After serving as head of
Director Kim Ji-woons ouevre includes I Saw the Devil .

From left to right: Bae Doo-na will appear in Cloud Atlas ; director Bong Joon-ho; Song Hye-kyo will appear in Wong Kar-wais latest; actor Lee Byung-hun.

new film which is based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige. The film is about a group of people on a train without a final destination, struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic ice age. Song Kang-ho is the only Korean actor cast in the film. Im focusing on this new challenge involving the English language, a 30 billion won-plus budget and high technology, Bong said during the 16th Busan International Film Festival. The US$34 million sci-fi film is set to go into production in Prague in March. Bae Doo-na, who had been part of the main cast of Bongs The Host, is also making her way into Tinseltown. She follows in the footsteps of pop star Rain by taking part in the Wachowski brothers latest project Cloud Atlas. The actress, who made her debut in the critically acclaimed Japanese film Air Doll, will co-star with Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant and Halle Barry. The film interweaves various anecdotes, with Bae starring as a clone in a plot set in Seoul in the year 2144. The US$140 million project is currently is slated for a fall 2012 release. Meanwhile, I Saw the Devil helmer Kim Ji-woon is making his US film debut. Kim is also known for the so-called kimchi Western The Good, the Bad, the Weird and is expected to showcase more action in the upcoming project The Last Stand. Arnold Schwarzenegger makes his big screen comeback in the film as the sheriff of a sleepy town. He runs up against an escaped drug cartel leader (Spanish actor Eduardo Noriega) heading for the Mexican border. Rodrigo Santoro, Jaimie Alexander, Peter Stormare and Zach Gilford co-star in the film, which is being produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura. Lionsgate has worldwide distribution rights on The Last Stand, which has started production in New Mexico and is to hit theaters in 2013. Lee Byung-hun will also be taking part in an action-packed American film. The actor made his Hollywood debut in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and will reprise his role as the villainous Storm Shadow in the second installment of the franchise. Korean filmmakers are making their way into China, the worlds fastest growing film market. Kwak Jae-yong, best known for directing the international hit romantic comedy My Sassy Girl, was approached by China Film Group chairman Han Sanping for Yang Guifei. The upcoming film is about the eponymous Chinese royal consort known for her legendary beauty. The Korea-China-Japan co-production stars the neighboring Asian countrys top actress Fan Bingbing. It starts production in Korea in November and will wrap in February for a later 2012 release. Fan has also been making headlines for co-starring with Jang Dong-gun in a panAsian film project. Jang, who has debuted in the U.S. and China, is set to appear in the Korea-China-Japan co-production piece My Way. The film, directed by Taegukgi director Kang Je-gyu, is a World War II drama that will be released next year in Korea, Japan, China and the U.S.. Meanwhile, Jang will be working with Cecilia Cheung for Hur Jin-hos Dangerous Liaisons. The Korea-China joint project takes the 18th-century French novel to 1930s Shanghai, and the love triangle story includes Chinese screen beauty Zhang Ziyi. The film is slated to open in 2012. Meanwhile, actress Song Hye-kyo will appear in a film by Hong Kong arthouse master director Wong Kar-wai. The Grandmasters is about Bruce Lees kung fu master and co-stars top Chinese actors Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Chang Chen. It is also slated for a 2012 release.

jury for Cannes Film Festivals Camera dOr section in May, he has been working on his



K o r e as L e a d i n g I n d u s t r i e s

Jonathan Kim

After studying at an American university, he recognized the need for Korean films to enter the global market earlier than most. In 2007, he produced Virgin Snow with a Japanese company, attempting to set a precedent for a new production model. Widely considered a major mover in the Korean film business, he recently became an adviser at CJ E&M, as they thought he was the right person to take charge of the globalization of Korean films, a key goal in the Korean movie industry these days. There have been many attempts for joint productions in the Korean film community, Kim explains. Yet there have been no significant advancements. Although many of us have learned all about this concept, I havent been able to establish any specific principles about it until now. Simply investing in joint productions with Korean films is not the solution. Instead, Kim suggests guidelines that are much more concrete. The production capability of Korean films should be able to grow through these projects, or the joint project should be shot in Korea, or it should deal with Asian subject matter. Kim goes on to emphasize, We cant help taking different approaches in pursuing joint productions by country. China has a lot of money, so Korea needs to combine unique subject matter with their money. At the same time, the U.S. is interested in Asian subject matter, so we need to work on how to mutually benefit from that. Kim showed an especially keen interest in the rapidly expanding Chinese market, saying, China has a rigorous deliberation system with films, so horror movies havent been developed there very much yet. I think the Korean film industry has the capability to create horrors without being over-the-top

gory. Remaking successful Korean films could be a good approach, too. Im confident that we can enter the until now closed Chinese market if we find ways to please Chinese producers. He adds, We need to strike a responsive chord in each country. Korean audiences like exciting scenes, so Korean films have a lot of dramatic features, but Japanese films are the opposite. We need to understand cultural differences like this. He also says, In the end, joint productions come down to people. The problem is that Korea has little manpower with the accumulated production knowhow overseas. If we ignore experience because we have money, we will face substantial challenges in foreign countries. We should foster this manpower. For example, we can send some Korean Film Council students in its film academy to the U.S. for training. In the U.S. they do a lot of paperwork when producing films, and we need people who are accustomed to this so that American production companies can shoot their films in Korea with ease.

JonAthAn kimS cAreer

2003-2006 Chairman, Korean Film Producers Association 1997-2001 CEO, Hanmaek Movies 1983 Graduated from University of Southern California Producer 2007 Anna & Anna; Virgin Snow 2006 Monopoly; Fly, Daddy, Fly; Detective Mr Gong 2005 Daddy-Long-Legs 2004 Sisily 2km 2003 Silmido; The Legend of the Evil Lake 2002 First Amendment 2000 Ditto 1999 The Ring Virus 1996 Piano Man 1993 Hot Sea; The Man with Breasts 1992 Love War 1990 Burning Sun 1988 Miri, Mari, Uri, Duri

an industry insiders insights

Veteran producer and CJ E&M consultant Jonathan Kim is discovering that the best way to revolutionize and expand the local film industry is through strategic collaboration and cultural understanding. by Ra Je-gy | photographs by Kim Hong-jin
Foreign audiences need time to become familiar with Korean actors and directors, says Jonathan Kim, an advisor to the film department of CJ E&M, Koreas biggest media conglomerate. If Korean actors and directors can take part in joint productions overseas, it will allow Korean films to make their mark there more easily. But if all we do is export movies and depend on the acting, the business wont last long. Kim has some pretty firm ideas about joint productions, insisting, The Korean film market is in a depression, and the way to fix this is through joint productions. Kim used to be a veteran producer in Chungmuro, the central filmmaking area in Seoul, and got his start in the business by importing foreign films. He played an important role in taking Koreas film industry to the next level by producing hit movies that include titles such as Silmido, Ditto, and Sisily 2km. He also served a term as the chairman of the Korean Film Producers Association and has written screenplays.

Producer Jonathan Kim appears at the main office of CJ E&M in Seoul (opposite). (From above left to right) Posters for Kims major box office successes Silmido , Virgin Snow and Sisily 2km .