Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Korea charms heart of the people of Imphal city

I keep on thinking to write about an article of 11 Korean missionary who came to Manipur , where I myself was part of it to help them in communicating with Manipuris. But I was engaged with something very important which made me forget to revive what I was thinking, I forgot.

Suddenly, I saw one freind in " social network: Facebook" left me a scrap saying din't you been there to help those kind hearted Korean who came and help people here a Imphal? In response to that, I wrote back saying "yes very much I was there and I did helped them translating korean to manipuri and manipuri to Korean.

Well , after few days later I saw in various newspaper written about the visit of 11 Korean at Imphal title " Korea charm Imphal youths". Many people praise about them , many discussed about the korean cultural impact among the youth of manipuris and its merit and demerits.

It was last day of their 4 days of Rev. Yoon Suck Nahm and his Korean Mission's team visit. Rev. Yoon, his wife along with other 9 members came down. They provide free medical treatment through accupunture,free medicine, hair cut and atractive gift items.

I know many people especially the youths of Manipur are big fan of Korean wave. They follow everything what they saw in the movies, drama and K-pop. Even in Kindergaten manipuri teachers start teaching Korean rhymes like " Kom sey mari ka haan chibey isso...appa kom , amma kom ..aegi kom..", but there I saw many ladies of some 40, 45 to late 60,s old came to get treatment. It was fantastic to see many people throng there and lined up for getting treat-ment and haircut.

When I talk to them, they were too,very curious to know more about our clture and the resemblance. They were thrilled to learned about how manipuris are gaga over korean dramas.

Above all these they wanted to know about our very own oriental treatment and medicine. As in Korea, Korean oriental medicine and treatment is quite famous and even people from other countries came down for treatment.

It was short visit for them and us to but quie worthy for both groups. And I wish such things happen in the future too. Because we will able to get into closer with the koreans not only in fashion, movies but in other section . So that manipuri's also can excel in their own traditional medicine and treatment. Manipuri's do have tradiional medicinal way of treatment.

I thank to them because on the very last day the day I was with them, they were getting good response from many people specially for their accupunture treatment. Many people were praising them from their heart but there was communication gap even though they show their expression very well and take wishes from the manipuri peoples do have traditional ways of reatment with hrie own oriental medicine. Many people go for it but now a days people are not so much into that. Otherwise, in India people consider Manipur is one of the place where so many medicinal herbs homeland.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Daegu World Championships kick off

Record 2,000 athletes from 200 countries to compete in 47 events until Sept. 4

DAEGU ― Sport fans from around the world are looking to Daegu, as the best athletes on the planet are now in the Korean city for the 13th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, the biggest sporting event in 2011.

Starting on Saturday, a record number of 1,945 athletes from 202 countries will compete in 47 events, from marathon and hurdles, to long jump and javelin during the nine-day contest.

Korea is hosting, for the first time, the world’s biggest track and field event at the Daegu Stadium, which was also used for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

The country’s biggest stadium, seating more than 66,400 spectators, has been renovated to host the biennial event, featuring a distinctive blue racetrack and two large High Definition LED screens.

To make it more compact and exciting, the International Association of Athletics Federations has slimmed down the competition schedule, cutting down the number of preliminary races.

Reigning 100-meter world champion Usain Bolt of Jamaica, for instance, will need only six races to defend his title in Daegu, instead of the eight races in previous competitions. Also, most qualifying rounds will be held during morning sessions and finals will be in the evening programs between 7 p.m.-10 p.m.

The World Athletics Championships kicks off Saturday 9 a.m., and the first event, as is tradition, is the marathon, this time for women.

Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat, whose season-best record of 2 hours 20 minutes 46 seconds makes her the fastest entrant in Daegu, is hoping to win the first gold medal at the Daegu Worlds. But she is expecting strong challenges from Yoshimo Ozaki of Japan, who came second in Berlin two years ago, and also Asian Games champion Zhou Chunxiu.

Inside the stadium, the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt is settling into the starting block on Saturday as the men’s 100-meter preliminary round begins on the opening day of the competition.

The 25-year-old Jamaican, whose goal is to become a legend in athletics, is looking to make another sprint sweep in 100 m, 200 and 4×100 relay.

His toughest challengers, world No.2 Tyson Gay and No.3 Asafa Powell, are both out of the competition, and the 100 final on Sunday is likely to be an easy win for Bolt.

Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia is a living legend in long-distance running. The reigning Olympic champion, who holds world record in both the 5,000 and 10,000, is in the hunt for his fifth world title in 10,000 in Daegu.

If the 29-year-old wins the 25-lap race on Sunday, he will be the first runner in any distance to win five consecutive world titles.

In women’s 10,000 final on Saturday, Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot is the marginal favorite, facing strong challenges from her teammates Linet Masai and also Sally Kipyego.

Other events on the first weekend of the competition include men’s 20 km race walk, women’s long-jump and also women’s discus.

Two years ago in Berlin all Korean participants were knocked out in the preliminary rounds. This year Korea, with a 60-strong team for the home event, has set a relatively modest goal of finishing in the top 10 in 10 events here,

But Moon Bong-gi, head coach of the Korean athletics team is hoping to claim the country’s first-ever medal at the Worlds. He said earlier that Kim Hyun-sub, who set a national record of 1 hour 19 minutes 31 seconds in March, the seventh fastest time this season, has a real chance to win a medal in men’s 20-kilomter race walk on Sunday.

Source: Koreaherald

Friday, August 26, 2011

Are you ready for Daegu

Daegu is all set to proudly host the 13th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, a nine-day competition starting Saturday.

It is the first Korean city and the third in Asia to host the event that will draw some 2,000 athletes from 202 countries to vie in a variety of tests of athletic prowess.

Sprint sensation Usain Bolt of Jamaica, three-time world champion Allyson Felix of the United States, pole vault great Yelena Ishinbayeva and Oscar Pistorius, the first physically-challenged runner to compete in able-bodied races, are already in the southern city.

The main venue of this year’s world championships, Daegu Stadium, built for the 2002 World Cup, has been specially upgraded to provide every convenience for the athletes, their fans, viewers and the media. In particular, the 66,422-seat stadium has added a blue Mondo track, known for boosting runners’ performances.

The stadium also features a new main scoreboard at the south end and an auxiliary scoreboard at the north end, along with a temporary electronic board above the seats on the east side to keep abreast of all the scores and tallies.

The citizens of Daegu will also step up as both volunteers to support the event and as encouragement for the exceptional athletes from around the world.

Billboard opens K-pop chart

Billboard launched a new chart, the Billboard K-Pop Hot 100, on Aug. 25 in conjunction with Billboard Korea.

Billboard Korea said that it is the second such chart in Asia after Japan, reflecting the rising potential of K-pop and its current worldwide popularity.

In the first standings, girl group Sistar’s “So Cool” grabbed the No. 1 slot, followed by Leesang’s “I Turned Off the TV” and 2NE1’s “Ugly.”

Based on digital sales via major websites as well as downloads from mobile service sites, the rankings will be announced every week simultaneously in the United States and Korea and offered to other countries such as Japan, Russia and Brazil through the Billboard network.

The K-Pop Hot 100, other content and news provided by Billboard Korea are available on Billboard.com in the international chart section of Billboard.biz, in the offline Billboard magazine, and also on Billboard Korea’s website, billboard.co.kr.

“The launch of the Billboard K-Pop Hot 100 chart is a milestone, as it will provide the Korean music market with what we believe is Korea’s most accurate and relevant song ranking,” says Silvio Pietroluongo, Billboard’s Director of Charts on the website.

“We’re excited to be expanding Billboard’s globally recognized Hot 100 chart franchise into this country, and look forward to enhancing the K-Pop Hot 100 chart in the near future with additional data as well as creating new charts that showcase the breadth of Korean music.”

The site features Korean girl groups such as Sistar, 2NE1, T-ara and Miss A, which rule the K-Pop 100 this week. It introduces Sistar’s “So Cool” characterized by its intense beat.

“As you can see in the music video, Sistar’s appeal is not only in its music but also in its choreography. Though Sistar has just recently released its debut album, the girls’ sexy moves hint at dancing skills that will continue to win fans as they progress further into their career,” according to the website.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cellist explores unique Korean sounds

PYEONGCHANG, Gangwon Province ― The last time cellist Koh Bong-ihn was at the Great Mountains International Music Festival & School (GMMFS), the famed Juilliard professor Aldo Parisot said the young man should become reputed as an interpreter of works by Korean composers.

Seven years down the road the 26-year-old seems to be realizing the elder cellist’s advice. He has since then played Isang Yun’s cello concerto in both North and South Korea and has experimented with cross-continental sounds as part of Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. On Friday, Koh introduced the local audience to a riveting piece by Korean composer Younghi Pagh-Paan, who is reputed as “the next Isang Yun” in Europe.

“When Professor Parisot told me I should specialize in works by Korean composers I was not completely thrilled, because I thought that meant limiting my artistic scope and repertoire. But now I am extremely grateful and I hope to set an example,” said Koh. “I wish more Koreans can step up to set an example. That is why I want to perform more works by Korean composers, particularly in Korea, because I wish Koreans can realize the value of Korean artwork.”

The musician looked considerably thin compared to two years ago, when The Korea Times met him in Seoul. Back then he had given an inspired rendition of the Elgar Cello Concerto with the Jeonju Symphony Orchestra; likewise during the festival he brought a certain weight and girth to Haydn’s String Quartet No. 2. But as much as his interpretation of Yun’s cello piece earned him a top award at the Gyeongnam International Music Competition, Koh shined most performing Pagh-Paan’s “Man-Nam I.”

The violin and viola wept with a haunting sense of “han,” or pervasive sadness, and the cello spun out pizzicati to evoke the rhythmic interplay of two “janggu” drums. Though Koh played with an intense, red-blooded urgency, he made sure to burn off sentimentality to allow the music to speak on its own.

“‘Man-Nam’ has been performed over 90 times in Europe but this was the best rendition I’ve ever heard,” said Pagh, who is discussing prospects of Koh playing her other works for the cello.

“It was an honor to play Ms. Pagh’s piece. She wrote it as she longed for her mother while studying in Germany, and having also studied abroad I can really sympathize with that. The piece features very Korean vibratos, and the cello solo cadenza is very sentimental as it calls out ‘mother,’” said Koh.

“I think Koreans have really special ties with their roots. I remember when I was 10 and getting lessons from Professor Chung. She was so cosmopolitan and chic and seemed like a foreigner to me. But one day, she invited me to have dinner and she made kimchi stew instead of pasta. I thought, ‘wow she really is Korean!’” Chung remains to be a mother figure to him, he said.

He said he was thrilled to be back onstage and moreover, to reunite with his teacher. He used to receive lessons as a boy from the esteemed cellist and professor Chung Myung-wha, who is co-directing the festival with her violinist sister Kyung-wha.

“Professor Chung is always so concerned about me, and was worried whether I would have time to practice while studying. It felt like meeting family again and I’m so happy to see her as a musician (rather than a student).”

A native of Jeonju, a city known for its traditional housing and cuisine, Koh grew up in the United States from age five to nine. When he returned to North Jeolla Province, he said he experienced a most positive counter-culture shock.

“Everything was so interesting; from the way my Korean classmates played games to the food I got to eat. I was also able to appreciate Korean culture in a more profound way, and when I went to Germany for high school I would always bring back gifts made with ‘hanji’ (Korean traditional paper that Jeonju is particularly famous for),” he said.

“It’s amazing that PyeongChang will be hosting the Winter Olympics and that we have star athletes like (figure skater) Kim Yu-na. I hope the same can be said about Korean music,” he said, explaining that he was impressed by how the Kim Duk-soo “samulnori” (percussion quartet) recently performed at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Despite being a promising soloist, Koh has barely been seen onstage as of late. He made a rare appearance at the festival because he was able to get a couple weeks off from doing research on molecular biology.

The cellist, who graduated with a double degree at Harvard and the New England Conservatory, is currently in his second year of pursuing a Ph. D. at Princeton. During the festival, when he wasn’t playing onstage, he was often spotted typing away furiously on his laptop near the press center. It was for the wireless Internet connection so he could email his work to the U.S. school.

“When I’m doing research, I can’t wait to wake up to work on it more the next day. The same anticipation grips me when it comes to playing music,” Koh said. What’s more, lab work and making music help balance things out. “When I’m exhausted from researching all day I pick up my cello and play away the stress. It’s a constructive way to relieve stress.”

He hopes there will be more exposure for not only traditional Korean music but also contemporary classical pieces that explore quintessentially Korean sounds such as Pagh’s oeuvre. In the meantime, while wrapping up his five-year Ph. D program, he plans on pursuing a career as a chamber musician.

Monday, August 22, 2011

To the Global CG Market!

Korean movies are receiving attention these days. It is obvious to notice the difference from the viewpoints toward Korean movies by recent Korean actors’ entrances into Hollywood movies and higher international status of Korean movie directors than before. Recently, Korean movies are distinguishing themselves in another area, the area of Computer Graphic inside the movies.

The Centre of Asian Movies, Now Dreaming of the Best in Technology

<“Korean Movie Centre” booth run by the Korean Film Commission at Hong Kong Film Market> (Photo: mydaily)

Korean movies are not only acknowledged in Asia, but also at the World Film Festival. Korean movie industries are showing an advanced Korean CG technology off to the world by using CG not only in Korean movies, but also in Chinese films, successfully.
Ministry of culture and Korea Creative Content Agency supported the business meeting among Korean CG enterprises and Chinese movie-makers by participating in ‘Hong Kong Film Market 2011’, which took place for four days starting from March 21. ‘Hong Kong Film Market’ is the representative Asian contents market, which prospered with a participation of 548 enterprises, and about 4950 people in 2010. At this year’s Hong Kong Film Market, seven corporations took part in this event from a variety of areas in movie industries from animation production enterprises to the leading VFX (Visual Effects) company in the country.
Chinese movie industry is growing rapidly with a solid base of capital and manpower enough to make approximately 500 movies in 2010. By the number of film productions, the number China has is the third biggest scale after America and India. Due to a lot of recent contracts with Korean domestic enterprises and elements of CG production in historical dramas, action movies and etc, Chinese movie industry came into the spotlight as a new promising market.

(Photo: Maxnews)

Korea has taken charge of CG production of ‘Detective Dee’ and ‘The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate Originally’ by director Seo Geuk including ‘A Chinese Ghost Story’ and etc. Especially, the movie ‘Detective Dee’ attracted attention due to the combination of director Seo Geuk and Korean CG technology and it got an evaluation that it pictured the Tang dynasty, the era when it was most culturally diverse, in the movie so perfectly that it made the scene more beautiful.

The Power of CG technology

At this event, Korea Creative Content Agency preliaised movie professionals in Asia with Chinese movie-makers and directors participating in ‘Hong Kong Film Market’ as the central figure and arranged a business meeting with domestic CG enterprises. Through this meeting, domestic CG enterprises already obtained good results such as a consultation of CG production regarding director Seo Geuk’s next movie, and obtaining contracts in CG production of ‘Convert Magic’, the next movie of director Wilson Yip who directed IP Man, Flash Point and etc.
Also, it became an opportunity to let the world know the power of technology that domestic enterprises have due to a high interest of Western movie professionals such as movie-makers from all over the world including Australia requesting a meeting in advance.

(Photo: Heraldbiz)

Kim Jiin-gyu, the director of the headquarters of Korea Creative Content Agency, who held this event said that Korea Creative Content Agency obtained good results of about two hundred million dollars by winning a contract of ‘The Last Knight of Ako’, a Hollywood cinematic masterpiece by taking part in AFM 2010” and “the Agency will arrange a variety of set of measures to provide support to practically help domestic companies making inroads into not only Hollywood but also Chinese market.”
Frankie Cheung, the supervisor of VFX who participated in lots of works of Zhou Xingchi, a director and actor said that the working experience with a Korean company was very impressive and that Korea has the best technology in Asia and the talents people have are excellent.
Korea is standing out in global market with excellent technical skills and original ideas. It seems like it won’t take long for world-wide movie fans to enjoy better movies with a high level of CG production technology, which Korea has.

Ready Action! Find the spots of Dramas in Jeju

Due to the beautiful scenery and 1000 different faces, Jeju Island has been chosen as a background of advertisements, movies, and dramas. There is a saying that if the drama is filmed in Jeju Island, it will definitely succeed, because the scenery has a huge impact itself. Due to the success of dramas, more and more tourists are naturally coming to see Jeju Island. Drama makers choose Jeju Island as the best location for filming because of its picture-like and exotic scenery. Let’s get out of the small drama sets, and take a look at the filming locations in Jeju.

Rediscovered by , Sungsan Ilchul peak

“My name is Kim Sam-sun”, which was broadcast on MBC in 2005, produced a lot of great scenes and famous quotations with the best viewer ratings of 50.5% of the year. One of the great scenes was when “Hee Jin” (Jung Ryu Won) and “Henry” (Daniel Henny) climbed up the mountain and talked, looking down the scenery of Jeju. The wide meadow and the transparent ocean not only helped the scenery look more beautiful and dramatic but also attracted lots of tourists to the place even after the drama ended. Then, where is the location that made the drama stood out?

as well as the filming place of “My name is Kim Sam-sun” >
(Photo: Hani news)

World Natural Heritage, Sungsan Ilchul peak which was designated as one of the eight best attractions in Korea is the spot of the drama. Sungsan Ilchul peak has been chosen as the best attraction among others with its unique history, culture and nature by the Ministry of Culture and was recognized the possibility of development. To be selected as one of the best places, it should be recommended by many people, and pass a peculiar judging procedure such as documentary review, online vote, and in-situ survey. How could Sungsan Ilchul peak proudly be acknowledged?
Sungsan Ilchul peak, which is considered the first among ten sceneries of Jeju, has beautiful scenery . When you go up along the western steep ridge, on the top, there is a wide crater, which looks like the ocean has been moved to Baengnokdam at the top of Mt. Halla. Sungsan Ilchul peak, which is now at an elevation of 182m, is a rare volcanic edifice that was exploded under water among other craters. Due to the explosion caused when lava was mixed with water, lava was broken down into fine volcanic ash and was piled up around the circumference of the crater like a shape of cone. Originally, it was a volcanic island, however, a pile of sand and gravel connected the space between the island and the land side of Shinyang beach. At the top of Ilchul peak, there is a crater with a diameter of 600m, an elevation of 90m as the height of ground floor and the area of approximately 80,000pyeong. This place was used as a farm, but now it is a field of tall wild grass where Woodo can be seen with human eyes.
Even a long time ago, the sunrise view from the top of Sungsan Ilchul peak has been the best among ten places with good sceneries in Jeju. The sunrise above a horizontal line beyond the surging blue ocean dyes the whole ocean, catches people’s heart and makes them admire it. It was designated as a regional monument until July 19, 2000 when it was designated as a natural monument. It is now a treasure of Jeju, which attracts more and more tourists and gives more inspiration than the drama itself.

Attractive Scenery of , Woodo

is a fantasy tale of what happened in Chosun Dynasty in a mysterious Jeju island It handles the 21stcenturystyleofcommunicationhappeningin17thcentury,whichexceedsthewallofcivilization,race,socialstatus,andsex.Throughthetravelbydifferentyoungmenandwomenfromdifferentplaces,thedramagavetheviewersanopportunitytothinkoftheirpastwherefantasywasrealtothem.
Another main character of is the scenery of Jeju which was shown as a background on drama. It was because the extensive land, high sky, transparent cloud and ocean, and ocean breeze that tickles our nose made a good combination of nice scenery, and they made viewers unable to stop looking at it. Even though the drama ended, is still remained in our heart as attractive one. One of the most representative filming locations in Jeju was a peaceful island, Woodo, which looks like a cow which lies across the east side of the ocean.

(Photo: hankook Ilbo)

Even though the look of the rough and strong female divers of Jeju is interesting, Woodo is certainly the best. Even though the size of the island is small, across the shore, green ocean and black stone walls along the road, a mysterious land with beautiful sandy beach and beach scarps stretch out continuously. You can frequently hear the diving sound of female divers, and it makes sense because Woodo is called as ‘the homeland of female divers’.
There are the eight representative sceneries of Woodo: Day and Night (A full moon in day time, the light of fishing ship during the night time), Sky and Land (the look of Mt. Halla from East Cheonghindong Hang, Sand of Jeedu), Front and Back (Woodo’s front and back scenery), East and West (Cave and Cliff). Additionally, Woodo, the place where the movies , were filmed, is a representative tourist attraction with Mt. Halla due to the impressive scenery of lyrical Jeju Island, the mood of cozy green meadow and white sandy beach touching Jeju’s blue ocean.
The place you shouldn’t miss in Woodo travel is Woodo peak. It has marvelous scenery where you can see the whole picture-like view at once. Also, the coral sand ocean in Woodo is a place where you can capture one of the best sceneries. Red algae makes the ocean shine in beach color with exotic mood, providing fascinating view.

Famous Location in , Subjicoji;

The drama that Lee Byung-Hun and Song Hye-Gyo, two world stars representing Korea, played the main characters was filmed near Subjicoji. After the drama, this place became well-known as the location of the drama, which resulted in lots of tourists coming by. Even after the drama ended, the set was still remained, which got tourists’ attentions. Also “All In” house was built to remember the drama. When spring comes, Subjicoji, sticking out from the east coast of Jeju, shows the great ocean view with the background of Sungsan Ilchool peak with yellow rape flowers.

<“All In” house, the first drama museum restored at Subjicoji>
(Photo: the Korea Tourist Service, Inc.)

Shinyang sandy beach at the entrance, the field of rape flowers covered over the meadow at the edge of a hill, ponies eating grass peacefully, beach scarps and legendary Zen rocks are typically wonderful places you can find in Jeju. Especially the shore is made of red volcanic ash called “Songyi”, which is different from other shores in Jeju. Also, fantastic rocks and stones, which disappear and appear according to the flow and the tide are not able to be seen anywhere.

Jeju Folk Village Museum, the background of Oh-Na-Ra, Oh-Na-Ra

Dae Jang Geum, a drama, which was the most popular not only in Korea but also in the entire Asia, is actually a historical drama of Chosun Dyanasty, which a famous actress, Young-Aeh Lee stars. It is so famous that even though the drama ended a long time ago, people still talk about it. Jeju Folk Village Museum, the entire background of Dae Jang Geum, left a town of old thatched- roof houses, which is perfect to film a historical drama.

(Photo: the Korea Tourist Service, Inc.)

Jeju Folk Village Museum generally exhibits the organized collection of folk materials, traditionally from Jeju Island starting from 1890s, the end of the Chosun Dynasty. Especially, more than 100 traditional houses are not decorated just similarly, but were restored almost perfectly even from the tiny parts of the house where people lived before including stones and pillars. In this traditional house, there are about 8000 pieces of folk material including household items, farming equipments, fishing equipments, furniture, stone figures placed in front of a tomb and etc. It is a place where the traditional culture of Jeju is preserved, where we can see our flowers and trees at once and where we can compare the differences and similarities with World heritages. Lots of tourists who visit Jeju don’t miss this place and feel the scent of Chosun dynasty.

Wouldn’t it be much greater if you can not only enjoy the interesting drama story, but also the beauty of Jeju Island? If you are inspired by the role of Jeju as a catalyst providing dramas more fun and sceneries, why don’t you actually visit Jeju in person and be the main character of your own drama?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Former Seoul Station turns into cultural space

The former Seoul Station, which halted train services to give way to the KTX in 2004, has reopened as a cultural space.

The space is now called Culture Station Seoul 284. The new name commemorates the building, which was built in 1925 and was designated Historical Site No. 284 in 1981.

The renovated station presents the “Countdown” exhibition, featuring a variety of works from sculpture to performance art, prior to its grand opening in March 2012.

“Seoul Station, where people dashed to take trains, is reborn as a cultural space embracing history and the future,” said Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Chung Byoung-gug at the opening ceremony of Culture Station Seoul 284, Thursday.

The exterior of the station remains just as people remember it with its signature red bricks and domed roof. The VIP lounge was restored based on old photos of former Presidents Syngman Rhee and Park Chung-hee that were taken in the room.

Ahn Chang-mo, the Kyonggi University architecture professor who oversaw the station’s restoration, said, “We tried to restore the station to the way it was in 1925 while preserving some 80 years of the building’s history as well.”

The station is filled with works from some 20 artists, including Gim Hong-sok, Lee Bul, Yee Soo-kyung and Ahn Kyu-chul. The exhibition is expected to grow through February and 35 artists will display their works by the end of the exhibition. Most of the works are site-specific, interpreting the history and significance of the station into art.

A colorful stained-glass window decorates the ceiling of the main hall, where Gim Hong-sok’s “Fountain-no. 7” and Lee Bul’s “The Secret Sharer” are displayed.

Even the benches stand out. At the back of the main hall, Jackson Hong’s “Passenger Seat,” a series of red benches with wheels, reminds visitors of riding trains.

Choreographer and dancer Ahn Eun-me presented “Ga Seum Geol Rae — Made in Seoul Station” at the opening. Ahn was dressed in white like a queen, spraying water on guests as she stood on a landing. Twenty-three performers, including 10 dancers and nine actors, wearing aprons made from white cotton gloves and holding cleaning equipment, wandered around the station and wiped the building, symbolizing “ssitgim-gut,” or a shamanic ritual of purification.

Video artist Lee Tae-seok recorded the performance, which will be screened throughout the exhibition for those who could not attend the opening.

The Restoration Exhibition Room on the second floor reveals the original structure from 1925. Construction materials collected during the restoration process are also on display.

Meanwhile, Seoul Square Media Canvas, a large LED screen installed on the exterior of the Seoul Square building across from the station, screens “Bottari Truck — Migrateurs” (2007) by Kim Soo-ja. Kim is known for her video series following a truck carrying “bottari,” or tied bundles, and the work spans several European countries.

“‘Bottari Truck’ was selected to be projected as a part of ‘Countdown,’ because her artwork reflected the characteristics of Seoul Station where people depart and arrive and where travelers coexist with homeless people,” an official of Seoul Square Media Center said.

The exhibition runs through Feb. 11, 2012. Admission to Culture Station Seoul 284 is free through September and costs 2,000 won from October. The exhibition is closed Mondays. For more information, visit countdown2011.org.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Process of Making Royal Korean traditional Marriage

One day I receive an invitation from one of my Korean friends for his marriage . I am so glad to see the Korean traditional wedding. As I heard several times about the grand marriage of Korean traditional wedding. But when I attend my freinds marriage it seems so different from what I expect. Later my friends told me that in a present days people hardly follow the traditional one as things are complicated, long and too many processes.

But I was longing to see the real traditional marriage of the Koreans. Luckily I happen to encounter one of the brightest marriage ceremony which always display for the public and tourist at " The War Memorial of Korea ". It seems that they always display the royal marriage ceremony for the visitors.

The bride and the groom exchange ceremony

Here I am not going to detail all the important structures of the royal marriage and it's function as well as the definition. Rather I would love to display the beautiful pictures I have captured in my camera.

The bride and groom walking together to receive blessing and wishes from the guest, audience.

Well this ceremony is one of the rare and important ceremony to display for public's. The Korean traditional marriage seems very elegant and grand for me. And I wish if I get a chance I would definitely love to attend and be a part of the grand ceremony.

P.S : Anyone can go to the The War Memorial to view the ceremony.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Koreas rise inspires developing world

Korea’s climb from the devastation of the Korean War (1950-53) to international prominence provides an inspiring model for developing nations, the Peruvian ambassador to Seoul said Friday, underscoring the importance of strong Peru-Korea ties in a globalized world.

“Everybody in the international community is talking about Korea,” Marcela Lopez Bravo told The Korea Times at her office downtown, “because despite not having a lot of natural resources, it has developed rapidly and has a high standing in international affairs.”

The development has seen the country rise from poverty in the aftermath of the fratricidal conflict to become the host of the G20 summit of the world’s leading economies in less than 60 years.

From its export-oriented policies to its integration into the global market; its expertise in technology to its verve for education and its push for sustainable growth, Korea has become a “country worthy of admiration and recognition,” the ambassador said.

That development experience is of particular value to Peru, itself a rapidly developing nation, and the Latin American country is seeking to deepen bilateral ties in order to import more know-how from Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

On the other hand, Peru, rich in commodities such as gold, zinc and silver, is a key supplier of minerals to Korea. Experts say Korea can help secure stable supplies of energy resources by working with the South American state.

It is also seen as an important hub from which Korea can make inroads into the South American market and boost its overall competitiveness in the region.

“We are partners because we have complimentary needs,” she said. “Korea can invest in Peru, and at the same time provide capacity building for our people so we can raise the level of know-how in Peru, especially in technology.”

With strong dialogue channels up to the presidential level and a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) expected to take effect early next year, the future looks bright for the bilateral relations. But it wasn’t always so rosy for either country ­ both have had to climb up from precarious economic situations.

Peru’s rise

While Korea had to rise from the rubble of war, Peru has had its own costly struggle against rebel groups that rose up in the 1980s.
In particular, the Maoist group Shining Path used terrorist tactics in an effort to destabilize the government and replace it with a communist command.

But by bolstering the authority of the state around 1990 under President Alberto Fujimori, Peru gained the upper hand and eventually quelled the insurgencies. But the struggle had taken its toll.

“Back then, the economy was poor in trade and in terms of international affairs,” Lopez Bravo said. “That’s when we decided to pursue the open market, prioritizing policies for strong trade and to invite investment.”

The government took on a bold liberalization of interest and exchange rates as well as international capital flows and outside trade. It also facilitated a comprehensive private ownership of land and improved labor market efficiency. “We gave a new image to investors around the world,” she said.

Since the reforms, Peru’s macroeconomics have flourished - over the last decade it has been the fastest growing economy in Latin America and cut poverty by 16 percent, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Inspiration from Korea

The ambassador pointed to the important role of education in Korea’s rapid rise as a source of inspiration for Peru.

“The education boom in Korea has been at a very high level,” she said, referring to the country’s enthusiasm for learning, which has been credited with a key role in development.

For Peru, it has become a key issue in domestic politics as the country expands its economy. “If our economy rises but we don’t have education, we won’t be able to follow up in a way that improves our image in the international community,” Lopez Bravo said.

“It’s going to be an important issue for our next elections and this is a reflection of the people’s will. They have the will to push our children to be excellent in studies. Korea can be an example in this respect.”

Likewise, the low carbon, green growth initiative prioritized by the Lee Myung-bak administration is also a significant benchmark for Peru, the ambassador said, citing her country’s bid to balance development with environmental concerns such as deforestation in Amazonia.

“We have the responsibility to ensure the sustainable development of this territory,” she said, lauding Korea’s reforestation efforts under former President Park Chung-hee. “After the war, Korea was like a desert. But through a strong forestation policy, now you see that all of South Korea is now green.”

Strong bilateral ties

During the years since the two countries began high-level relations, Peru has consulted Korea on a host of issues regarding development, according to the ambassador.

“For example, we noticed that you had very strong policies to support industrial parks. So we consulted on how to improve our industrial parks using the Korean model,” she said.

Cooperation between the countries has been strong since, with nine Korean companies, including SK Energy Co., involved in resources development projects there and trade expected to jump as the countries gradually cut tariffs on goods over a ten-year period through the FTA.

Peru has signed deals with Korean entities that are helping her country benefit from Korean expertise, such as with the Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute for marine technology and Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute for peaceful use of nuclear energy.

For Lopez Bravo, the most important aspect of Korea’s development for Peru to glean through bilateral cooperation is its expertise in technology.

“We have similar issues in terms of geopolitics, trade, economy. But we don’t have the advances that Korea has in technology and science,” she said. "We need Korea’s model for technological development to help us grow.”

Projects with Korean companies engaged in Peru are underway or in planning, including entities such as SK, Daewoo and Hyundai. With the implementation of the FTA, exchanges of know-how and resource development are likely to continue at a faster pace.

But more Peruvian professionals coming here to work with Korean companies would be a major boon as well, the ambassador said.

“It would give our professionals experience with excellent conglomerates,” she said. “The people that come here and work with these companies could bring that experience back to Peru.”

Source: The Korea Times

Role of technological development in Korea

Role of technological development in Korea By Professor By Yun Mi-kyung

When we talk about industrial development, we often face the question of whether to give supremacy to the market or the government. That is, we pose the question as “market vs. the state.” The general consensus among economists is that the market is more efficient than the government in most economic activities. As an economist, I have many good things to say about the market.

Markets can efficiently allocate many different goods according to opportunity costs and preferences;
Markets are more flexible, and quickly respond to changes;
Markets enhance competition, which motivates producers to reduce costs and increase productivity;
Markets provide greater scope for dispersion of power: the actual producers who are best informed, make decisions;

The resulting economic pluralism fosters democracy and individual liberties.
But all these good things are only possible when markets are actually there and operating. The problem is that in many developing countries, this is often not the case. Many times, the market is too thin, the economy in general is not sufficiently monetized, and there are insufficient institutional mechanisms such as financial intermediaries and legal institutions that are necessary to support market operations..

Of course, apart from this “missing market” situation, there are many other kinds of market failures, even when markets are well established, where government intervention may be necessary. Markets fail, for example, when there are externalities involved, so that social costs or benefits are different from private costs and benefits, and where there is moral hazard involved as in the provision of public goods or in managing common resources. Therefore, it is always a matter of how much government is needed when, rather than trying to get rid of all government intervention completely. That is, we want to frame the question as “market + the state,” rather than “market vs. the state.”

In terms of industrial development, the following kinds of market failures may be the most important.
- Economies of scale necessary may be so large, compared to the domestic market size, so that you may have to end up with a monopoly or oligopoly, resulting in high prices.
- Market incentives may not facilitate the changes in economic structure required for development as in the case of an infant industry. Although costly at first, once established, the industry can become efficient, gain international competitiveness and become profitable over time through “learning by doing”. But private investors may be unwilling to finance the new firms because they alone cannot finance the high initial cost, and take up all high risk.
- There may also be coordination failure ­ some industries can only thrive if intermediate materials or parts industries or services (eg retail) industries are there, but these complementary or supporting industries may not develop without sufficient demand in the first place.

In these cases, to lay down the foundation of any industrial base, government role may be required in the form of e.g. temporary protective tariff against imports or initial subsidies to at first actually create the market, generating sufficient demand, removing supply constraints, even regulating entry and exit. In this case, we can view the government as a market creator. The government fills in for the missing market, and at the same time facilitates the development of markets by building institutions, enforcing property rights, generating demand and resolving supply constraints, as well as nurturing technology capability and industrial base. Therefore, when markets are not well developed or if there are pervasive market failures, governments have important roles in development.

In the case of rebuilding or building an economy in developing countries, governments are usually burdened with this task. The Korean government’s role in its economic development is a good example.

Clearly there are limits to what governments can do, and there are many instances of government failures. We have many horror stories of poorly performing countries that relied on a strong, central role for governments in the market. That is why some aspects of the Korean experience is still very controversial. Let me review the Korean experience briefly in the next section, and point out what I think is the most important aspect of that experience and may have implications for other developing countries.

Different Views on the Korean industrial development process

The controversy can be distilled into three different views on the role of industrial and trade policies on the economic development of Korea. According to the neoclassical view, Korea is the epitome of successful export-led industrial development. But this is about the policies in the 1960s, when the government turned away from a heavily import substituting industrial policy stance. The exchange rate was adjusted to market levels. Since the exchange rate did not penalize exporters, direct export subsidies were taken away. The heavily protected domestic market began to be slowly liberalized, especially with respect to capital goods. Importantly, exports and other incentive mechanisms then in place was product neutral. The entrepreneurs determined which products they wanted to produce and export.

The supporters of the neoclassical view are skeptical about the more selective and interventionist policies of the 1970s. The investment into targeted heavy and chemicals industries at subsidized interest rate had very low rates of return. When economic conditions changed unfavorably, many of the projects had to be retrenched or restructured. In effect, the excesses of the HCI program led to its abandonment at the end of the 1970s. According to this view, Korea has grown in spite of the interventionist, targeted strategic industrial policy of the 1970s.

Against this view, the revisionists argue that the policies of the 1970s provided the basis for Korea’s long term growth through industrial deepening. Korea practiced strategic industrial policy, using infant industry protection for priority industries, export subsidies, coordination of complementary investments, regulation of firm entry, exit, investments, and pricing intended to “manage competition.” They conclude that these policies, which so often turned into failures in many other developing countries was successfully implemented in Korea, because the “developmental state” was autonomous, free from various interest groups, and that the importance put on “export performance” was used as a disciplinary mechanism. Government support could be taken away when the firms did not meet the performance standards. Nor did Korea have a very liberal “import regime,” which is a corollary to free trade. Imports were carefully managed ­ while luxury consumer goods were banned, capital goods imports were encouraged. Of course the revisionists admit, that the developmental state can make mistakes and the Korean government did so. What is more important is that the Korean government was able to acknowledge mistakes and make amends. It was flexible enough revise its policies and plans along the way.

I would like to mention, that there is a third view. This view might seem to be an off-shoot of the revisionist school, but with a more neoclassical theoretical background and with a sufficiently distinct emphasis to treat it separately from others. I call this view the “technology capability school.” According to this view, Korea’s success primarily rests upon its efforts to invest in technological capability and moving up the technological ladder. The government did emphasize and intervene, selectively, as well as functionally, in the very area where large market failures and externalities are present: technological development, innovation process and education.

The government successfully promoted technical education, and appropriately mobilized private R&D. Korea had a well balanced expansion at all levels of education at an early stage. According to one study, with per capita income of $90, Korea’s educational achievements were close to that of the normal pattern of human resource development for a country with a per capital GDP of $380. Even though most of the educational spending came from the private sector and parents, the government undertook effective campaigns emphasizing the importance of science and technology in the 1970s, while establishing educational institutions to promote technical skills and sciences.

The large conglomerate firms that were born out of the heavy and chemicals industrialization drive became centers of technological learning. Technology diffused through subsidiaries and subcontractors, which were developed at first with the prodding of the government and were not so vibrant. However, later as industries developed, subcontracting relations were forged out of the firm’s own necessity of having to procure quality components, especially in industries such as automobiles. Korea at first relied heavily on foreign technology. The crisis created by the large technological gap pressured firms to expedite their learning, and the government acted to secure favorable bargaining positions for the Korean firms.

Moving up the technological ladder

From the Korean experience, we can see that the process of technological learning is not automatic, but requires conscious efforts and investment. The technological development process in developing countries is different from that in developed countries. It does not begin from innovate to product development and commercialization. In developing countries, it begins with imitation. In the beginning, the capability to learn is more important than the capability to innovate. And technological learning is only possible when there is a modicum of education and skills to be able to absorb something new. Such was the process of technological development in Korea.

**Korea’s technological learning can be divided into three stages. The assimilation of imported technology during the 1960s-1970s period, the production based innovation stage of the 1980s, and the innovative stage of the 1990s and on-wards. The first stage was a period when Korea began with what it had, and then slowly assimilated foreign technology and know-how, as well as quality management, through purposeful effort, through informal channels such as subcontracting for foreign buyers, and through formal technology transfer channels such as FDI and technology licensing. It is important to note that Korea did not stick with industries that were sun-set. It managed to enter into lower technology segments ­ starting from simple assembly activities ­ of growing and technologically dynamic industries such as electronics. It is also important that Korea was “outward oriented” in the process of acquiring new technology, but had always followed it with a process of “indigenization,” thus creating “technological capability.”

Once it had sufficient productive base, simply producing more provided learning opportunities in the second stage. Building on the technological capability accumulated throughout the 1970s, refining the imported technology, and through process innovation, including quality improvements, Korea was able to produce the later, more sophisticated models of automobiles, steel, and shipbuilding products. Then came semiconductors and IT industries such as DRAM, CDMA, TFT-LCD, DVD etc. The large sums of up-front investment into these sectors created the sectors, but running the industries would not have been possible without the supporting base of technological capability and skills resources built up throughout the 1970s and the 1980s. The innovative stage of making purposeful investment in R&D into leading technological sectors such as mobile telecom, next generation batteries, and biotechnology and so on only came very late in this long and arduous development process.

I conclude that the most distinguishing aspect of the Korean industrial policy and development has been technological learning, its ability to engage in the international division of production and R&D, starting from the low technology and low wage segment of growing, dynamic industries, moving up the technology ladder, and then growing with the world market.

Application to “Hopeland”

Let me be imaginative and apply these thoughts to another developing country. I will call this country “Hopeland.” It has a population of about 900 million people, and a GDP per capita less than $1000 (as of 2008, PPP basis). It is primarily agricultural, with rapidly falling agricultural productivity. It is landlocked and has experienced a very damaging ethnic conflict. Currently it has formidable barriers and challenges against economic development.

How might it choose strategic industries to diversify its industrial structure and promote economic development? If there is a bottleneck and coordination problem so that no industries of recognizable magnitude is taking off, it may want to choose a leading industry with high growth potential and with many backward and forward linkages with other sectors, provide a lot of initial support so that its success can stimulate other sectors and in the process the development of the private sector.

Let me demonstrate the step-by-step technological development process with respect to bio-plastics. I am not saying that this is the industry this country must pursue, but just using it as an example so that this mental exercise has some tangibility. Suppose bio-plastics is a fast growing, technologically dynamic industry, with a lot of product diversification possibilities all along the value chain, in terms of skill levels and value added of the final product.

Hopeland produces a fair amount of cassava, which is an excellent source of starch, which in turn is a primary raw material used in the bio-plastics industry. The commercialization of cassava farming to supply starch in the first instance, will stimulate agricultural productivity and development of other using industries such as food processing, animal feed, plywood, paperboard, textiles, pharmaceuticals, laundry starch, soap, detergent powders, and industrial alcohol. Bio-plastics is a relatively new industry, using patented, state of the art technology. However, Hopeland need not start with the very core of the value chain. It can start from producing simple bio-friendly products with starch such as toothpicks, candy sticks, chopsticks which do not use any state of the technology, which would only require simple molding technology with low cost of entry. However, manufacturing of these products will provide the basis of basic skills widely used in manufacturing in general.

In the next stage, Hopeland can start to supply starch to the foreign bio-plastics resin producers, and develop technological partnerships with them, receiving advices about getting the quality of the industrial starch up to specifications, resulting in informal and formal technology transfers. If Hopeland can attract FDI into resin production in the country, it can then move further upstream into molding products ­ products that are more value added than toothpicks and candy sticks such as disposable utensils, packaging materials and all kinds of other plastic substitutes. Far down the line, when overall industrial development have reached a certain stage, Hopeland can move up into even higher value added products such as medical applications (eg biodegradable suture threads).

This whole process will have large spillovers into and create synergies with other sectors. For example, although it is landlocked, it hopes to engage in transit trade between the port harboring and more inland neighbors. It is building free trade zones, still without many specific plans as to what industries will be set up there. The re-packaging of transit goods, creating demand for bio-plastic packing materials, may be an interesting synergy development in this scenario. The creation and expansion of the plastics industry by itself will bring large import substituting effect, as Hopeland currently imports all of its plastic resin. If it can establish its plastics industry to be bio-plastic from the on-set, then it would have the first mover advantage as bio-plastics begin to replace conventional plastics, with the rise of oil prices and concerns over the environment.

The development of bio-plastics in Hopeland was a mental exercise in showing how a developing country might choose and use a strategic industry with large backward and forward linkages, and therefore potentially large spillover effects. The most important thing however, is that the targeted industry must be growing, using varied levels of technology and be technologically dynamic, so that new skills are continuously needed, providing ample opportunities to enter at the low skills end, and then to move up the technological ladder in a continuous fashion. In the process, when sufficient technological capability is accumulated and with parallel institutional development such as protection of intellectual property rights, it can begin to undertake indigenous innovation, jumping up the technological ladder, creating new rungs of its own.

Of course, technological development itself is not sufficient. It is also important for the developing country to be “outward oriented,” to be a part of the international production and R&D network. Otherwise, it will lose important sources of know-how, new technology, and economies of scale.

Know How "Ppalli ppalli and familism behind Han River miracle".

This is a compilation from Hwang Hie-shin .

Only 60 years ago, there was no industry and no highly-educated people in Korea. Today the country is a leading economic powerhouse armed with world-class industries such as Samsung, LG, Hyundai and etc.

In less than 50 years since the end of the Korean War, South Korea has achieved phenomenal rapid development and transformed herself from a poor agrarian country into a leading industrial country.

Transformation that took more than a century to achieve in most nations was shortened to only half the time in Korea. This economic success story became known as the ‘Miracle on the Han River’ and has served as a role model for many developing countries.

What were the major factors behind this ‘miracle’? What are the distinctive characteristics of the Korean people which made this success? Korea’s progress can be attributed to various aspects and features.

The leadership of the president, the Korean bureaucracy and elites, the government’s plans and policies, entrepreneurs and people are all important factors in the making and development of Korea.

Among these various factors, this article particularly expounds on “ppalli ppalli” and “familism”, two important cultural traits of the Korean society which contributed to the development of the nation.

“Ppalli ppalli” can be often translated as “Hurry, hurry” or “Quickly, quickly.” The term is intensively goal oriented and connotes finding the most efficient way to reach its goal. The word also shares some common elements with flexibility.

Its positive results can also be found in government policies and provision of public services. The Five-Year Economic Plans can be mentioned as typical examples of ppalli ppalli in the public policy area.

Public services are provided much more quickly in Korea than in most other countries. City gas is provided on the very day you move to a new house. Various civil application documents are issued real time on request when you visit the civil services offices.

The cargo handling time for export declaration takes just two minutes. The average entry time for foreigners arriving at Incheon International Airport is around 17 minutes. Altogether ppalli ppalli has made Korea more efficient, energetic and dynamic.

The Korean society’s basic form is based on the family. The ideal type of organization is usually described as “a family.’’ Even the nation is perceived as some kind of extended form of family and kinship.

The Korean society is built on vertical familism. This vertical element of Korean familism was in harmony with the hierarchical Weberian bureaucracy newly introduced to the country in the 20 century.

It also provided a positive factor in the operation of the Korean bureaucracy as a unified whole brought about quick progress and national development.

Ppali ppali and familism are not the only factors in Korea’s success stories. Nor are they void of downsides. However they played their role in making Korea into an energetic industrial society.

Exhibition to honor South Korean pioneering marathoner Sohn

Rare opportunity in the field of sports,

Visitors to the upcoming Daegu World Championships in Athletics, to be held Aug. 27 to Sept. 4, will have the opportunity to learn about marathoner Sohn Kee-chung, the nation’s first Olympic champion.

The Daegu National Museum launched a two-month special exhibition Tuesday, featuring the late marathoner’s treasured possessions accumulated since he was crowned an Olympic champion on Aug. 9, 1936.

Highlights include the gold medal he earned as a member of the Japanese delegation, since Korea was at the time a colony of Japan. The medal is being exhibited for the first time to the public.

The event is organized by the Seoul-based Sohn Kee-Chung Memorial Foundation, headed by Rep. Kim Sung-tae of the ruling Grand National Party.

For Koreans who remember him, it is an occasion to relive Sohn’s triumphant yet despairing Olympic experience, as the champion was not able to represent his motherland.

“This exhibition will serve as reminder to those who have forgotten our history and will renew our respect for Sohn’s outstanding achievements,” Kim said during an opening ceremony Tuesday. The exhibition will close on Oct. 2.

Born in 1914, Sohn was a promising runner from an early age. He was educated at the Meiji University in Japan.

At the 1988 Olympics Games in Seoul, Sohn made an emotional appearance as a torch bearer at the opening ceremony.

Before his death in 2002, he authored an autobiography entitled “My Motherland and Marathon.”

Although relatively unknown, Sohn was not the only Korean to stand on the podium of the 1936 Games.

Beside him on the bronze medalist’s stand was his teammate Nam Sung-yong (1912-2001), who also had to compete for Japan. He is the first Korean Olympic bronze medalist.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

When Samulnori Meets Digital

Samulnori, which was created from Korean traditional music, Pungmul, is one of the most beloved genres of music among many Koreans and considered to harmonize the East and West and Old and New. It is one of the most dynamic music in the world and makes us thrilled with powerful sound and dynamics. Now shall we learn about Samulnori?

Sound of Korean, Samulnori is trying to be changed

Samulnori makes everyone’s heart beat faster with only four musical instruments. Kkwaengguari(small gong) symbolizes thunder, Janggu( traditional double-headed drum) symbolizes rain, Buk(drum) symbolizes cloud, and Jing(gong) symbolizes wind.

(Source: Seoul Shinmun)

Kim Duk-Soo with His Friends Touching all over the World

Samulnori is a compound word of 'Samul-percussion instruments' and 'Nori-play'. Samul refers to Kkwaengguari, Jing, Janggu and Buk. Now, we have many Samulnori performance teams, however, Samulnori was first created in 1978 by Kim Deok-Soo with His Friends- Kim Deok-Soo, Lee Kwang-Soo, Choi Jong-Sil, and Kim Yong-Bae, who started playing music since they were little. Later, they grew up as very talented performers. Kim Yong-Bae who studied at Korean Traditional Music high school is the one who contributed a lot to the first step of Samulnori.

That’s why Kim Deok-Soo and His Friends comes to our minds when speaking Samulnori. Well, they attended the World Contest of Percussion Instrument Players in 1982, World Drum Festival in Vancouver, Canada in 1984, and held a celebrating performance for the Olympic Torch in Seoul Olympics in 1988. Kim Deok-Soo and His Friends enhanced the national prestige by performing Samulnori in Japan, U.S. and so on. Last year they performed ‘Digilogue Samulnori-Blooming the Dead Tree’ scripted by Lee O-Young, the former minister of the ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Sport.

(Source: Hankook Ilbo)

They performed Digilogue Samulnori with four musical instruments. These four instruments symbolize the four directions- East, West, North and South and four seasons- Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. It shows us how deserted real world blooms, returning to Winter and again sprouts. It mixed digital and analogue, online and offline and put into one performance. They combined virtual reality and real world together and adopted four- dimensional (4D) technology, which became a turning point that traditional Korean performance can be universal. As seen the possibility of digital-Samulnori performance, Samulnori proved its rhythm compatible with any kind of genre, such as Jazz and Blues as well.

In addition, Kim Deok-Soo dramatized Arirang (Korean traditional folk music) that we can look into the past and future of Korea. It is composed of 7 chapters and played with Samulnori instruments, traditional musical instruments including Kayageum, Haegeum and so on. They also used western instruments like violin, piano and saxophone. It shocking because they mixed music instruments from Asia and the West and dramatized traditional music. It contributed a lot for Arirang becomes worldwide music.

Samulnori Tempted World with Rhythm

There are a few percussion instrument groups in Korea excluding Kim Deok-Soo and His Friends. 'Noreummachi' is one of them. It is a compound word of ' Noreum-play' and 'Machim-finish'. Noreummachi is a fusion music group that mixes Samulnori and rap music. Noreummachi had their first concert abroad last year. Kim Deok-Soo tried hard to introduce Samulnori to the world but Noreummachi tried to popularize Samulnori. Noreummachi will have concerts in four European countries until Aug 25th this year.

< Noreummachi Performing in Overseas>(Source : Maeil Business Newspaper)

Other fusion group called 'Deulsori' will have concerts in Italy, U.S. and South America from this August. Sebastian Wang is a Korean-American and he was born and grew up in the U.S. He was captivated by Samulnori and tried to popularize Samulnori in the world. He hopes Samulnori become the national brand of Korea like Samsung, LG and Taekwondo.

Let's Enjoy Samulnori

Samulnori has become popular in Korea. There is an application we can play Samulnori in the smart phone. Intangible cultural treasure students record all rhythms they play with Samul and computer musician transforms it into digital and put them in the application. It is very easy to improvise Samulnori like them.

Last December Korean movie star Jang Dong-Geon was on the Hollywood action blockbuster movie 'Warrior's Way' and this movie inserted Samulnori in it. Samulnori sounds was applied into the major action scenes and ending credit. Samulnori performance was inserted in the action scenes in the hall and it was well harmonized with gun shooting sounds. It caught attentions from all over the world and it enhanced the beauty of the image in the movie.

(Source : Kyunghyang Shinmun)

Regardless of the past and present, performers and audience, Koreans and foreigners, Samulnori keeps making progress with new interpretation and recreation of the music. We hope Korean traditional music spread into the world and become the representative brand of Korea.