국 악 Musical Traditions to Lift Your Spirit The rhythm of the gong, the melody of the zither and the heart of the Korean people Travel Ganghwado Island, Treasure Trove of Korean History Special Issue The Silk Road Festival
Musical Traditions to Lift Your Spirit
The Silk Road Festival
Actor and Filmmaker Na Woon-gyu
Traditional Lacquer Artisan Shon Dae-hyun
Let’s Go to the Stadium
My Korean Office Life
Go Player Cho Hun-hyun
President Park attends China’s war anniversary parade
Music that Brings Home
Ganghwado Island, Treasure Trove of Korean History
President’s Address to the Nation
Fly High, Drones!
Beef and Vegetable Skewers
Korean Pop Culture in the Eyes of the World
Central Asian Village
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Musical Traditions to Lift Your Spirit The rhythm of the gong, the melody of the zither and the heart of the Korean people. Written by JON DUNBAR
Traveling performance troupes, namsadang, performed music, dances and acrobatic tricks in late Joseon times (1392-1910). This genre of traditional music is alive today in the performances of folk musicians.
The Busan National Gugak Center’s production “The Queen’s Banquet” is an energetic performance based on traditional music and dance.
n 1996, the Korean traditional musician Kim Deok-su visited Switzerland for a special performance with Pierre Favre, that nation’s top percussionist. In the audience was Hendrikje Lange, a recent university graduate about to discover her life’s calling. “What I saw back then,” Lange recalls 19 years later, “was the samulnori musicians sitting on the floor.They didn’t have a conductor. They didn’t have a metronome. They didn’t need to count 1-2-3-4.” What followed was a mesmerising act, as the four Korean musicians moved and breathed in sync, tempos rising and falling as they knocked out complex rhythms, all the while sitting on stage and maintaining a relaxed method of movement that con-
nected the whole troupe together. Then she noticed the Swiss percussionist, tapping his foot on the floor and struggling to keep up. “It was such a different approach,” Lange explains. “He was working so hard to keep up with them. Whereas they seemed to be very relaxed and joyful, he was just very, very busy. The Korean approach to rhythm seemed to me more natural, and it made a great impression on me because they approached the rhythm by body movement.” Seeing the two divergent approaches opened Lange’s mind and drew her to Korea to study the organic musical rhythms produced there. She wanted to know how to play music that's so joyful and physical,
yet still so relaxed. After a few more years of study in Switzerland, she came to Korea for the first time in 1999. “I originally believed that samulnori was a really traditional thing,” she says, “It was only later that I understood that samulnori is quite a recent thing.” Her investigations into the roots of Korean rhythm sent her back centur ies into ancient times where she discovered a feisty tradition of music that still thrives today. The roots of traditional music
The dynamic rhythms of Korean traditional music have their roots in ancient agrarian communities, where villages were brought together for a variety of folk per-
for mances. Shamanism was extremely influential in pre-modern agricultural Korean society, anchored in the animistic belief that nature is imbued with spirits. Music was performed for shamanic rituals, such as the sinawi and the salpuri, and shamans frequently presided over and participated in village musical festivals during important shamanistic occasions such as the full moon of the lunar new year (daeboreum) and celebrations around the autumn harvest festival Chuseok. All the various musical styles were tied together by an array of rhythms, known as jangdan. Musicians dressed in white costumes, accented with vibrant primary colors, a dress influenced by shamanic tradition. Remote villages were visited by traveling performance troupes, known as namsadang, which were originally all male and consisted of acrobats, singers, dancers, tightrope walkers and performers. These troupes were mainly made up of members of the lowest classes of society, known as commoner s (c heonmin) and nomads (baekjeong), but many performers came from shaman families who passed on their traditions to their children, breeding innately talented musicians over generations. During Joseon times (1392-1910) when Buddhism was out of favor under the Confucianist reg ime, it was also not unusual to see monks participating in order to raise funds and to travel from village to village. These traveling performers also helped to shape other performing genres, including mask dances (talchum), epic storytelling (pansori), and far mers’ music (nongak), all of which involve similar instruments, rhythms and meaning. Farmers’ music, nongak
Nongak is a living record of the energy and vitality of this grassroots culture. It is an expression of the hardships experienced by a rural lifestyle, as well as the indomitable spirit of Korea’s agricultural communities. Originally, it was performed to motivate farmers to work hard and alleviate their fatigue. Also
A standard nongak performance includes the four percussion instruments: the small hand-held gong (kkwaenggwari), the larger gong (jing), the hourglass-shaped drum (janggu), the small drum(sogo) and the barrel drum (buk). © The National Intangible Heritage Center
known as pungmul, it can include acrobatics, religious rituals and, in modern times, even breakdancing. It kicks up quite a racket. Nongak encourages a feeling of community and local connection, inviting spectators to join in, connecting communities and creating a distinctly local experience. Performances can involve dozens of people, and may carry on for days at a time. Lange describes these protracted performances as a jogger might talk about a runner’s high. “Because they keep playing for hours and hours, it tends to get you into a different mood,” she says. “Pungmul produces a very special, joyous energy that rises very slowly. When they see us perform, most people say ‘You must be exhausted,’ but actually the opposite is true.You’re getting in high spirits and your energy is up.” Nongak is played with basic instruments capable of producing a complex, exotic sound. Performances are led by a musician playing a kkwaenggwari, a small, loud handheld gong. Accompanying musicians play an assortment of other percussion instruments. One of these is the janggu, an hourglass-shaped drum found in almost every Korean traditional musical genre, from royal court music to all the various traditional shamanic musical ceremonies. The janggu’s two differently shaped heads produce different sounds, said to represent har mony between male and female. A nongak performance may also include wind instruments, and there could be physical performances including ribbon hat acrobatics (sangmo) or the forming of threelevel human pyramids (samdonggol). To play nongak, one must balance the physical movements and instruments, and focus on posture, footsteps and breathing, all while keeping in sync with the constant motion of other players. Lange initially found the coordination between movement and music tough to master, but she eventually recognized the role her own muscle memory plays in creating the music. “Sometimes I couldn’t remember the rhythm patterns, but I had some memory
of the movements and it was helpful to recall what I had been learning with the stepping and the movement of my arms and the feeling I had in my body,” she says. “You keep playing and you feel more and more connected and the energy increases. It’s more than just a very skilful one-hour performance on stage and people sitting in the audience just clapping and admiring.” There are five main regional styles of nongak recognized today by the Cultural Heritage Administration in South Korea, known as Pyeongtaek nongak (northwest), Gangneung nongak (northeast), Jinju Samcheonpo nongak (southeast), and Iri and Imsil Pilbong nongak (both southwest). Each regional var iation has its own distinct approach toward rhythm, instruments, costume and philosophy, and government desi g n a t i o n a s s u re s t h a t t h e s e d i s t i n c t approaches will be preserved.
The National Intangible Heritage Center presented a special exhibition from Dec. 2014 to Mar. 2015 to celebrate nongak’s inscription on UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage items. © The National Intangible Heritage Center
“It shows very nicely the distinctiveness of the common people’s life back then, which was laborious and very close to nature, but joyful, with drinking makgeolli, enjoying the small things of life and being connected to those animistic and shamanic beliefs,” says Lange.The vibrant enthusiasm of nongak, far removed from the seat of political power and population centers, is evident. While history mainly focuses on the culture of the aristocracy over the folk arts including nongak, it is this ignoble and inelegant art, full of willpower and vitality, that transcends the eons and connects with the modern day. Traditional rhythms adapt to modern times
As the ages passed, Korean musical traditions, including nongak, continued to evolve. The community-driven spirit of
The Global Pungmul Institute-organized “Project Ul-ssi-gu” invites people to enjoy Korean traditional music at the Millennium Park in Chicago. 8
nongak helped it keep up with social change. During the Japanese colonization of Korea (1910-1945), nongak was suppressed. Following independence (1945) and the Korean War (1950-1953), nongak was designated as an important intangible cultural heritage item in the ‘60s, and it became symbolic of Korea's struggle for democracy, especially during the ‘70s, when the country was under heavy authoritarian dictatorship and such public performances were forbidden. In the late ‘70s, additional forces of modernization and urbanization weighed heavily on nongak and threatened to make it irrelevant in modern Korean society. Folk musicians coming from the namsadang tradition, such as Kim Deok-soo and Kim Yong-bae, sought to bring Korean traditional rhythms to the big city.They set up shop in new theaters and adapted their music to an urban audience disconnected from the lunar cycle and autumn harvests. They distilled their ensemble down to four positions encompassing the main percussion instruments of nongak: the ggwaengwari, the janggu, the jing (gong) and the buk (barrel drum).Their repertory consisted of rhythms from all regional nongak variations found across the country. Rather than a lively street performance, they sat on a stage and focused on instrumentality over physical movements. The band premiered in early 1978. This new band, a quartet, was called samulnori, literally meaning “four objects play,” and it met with huge success. Soon, upcoming musicians wanted to learn this unique modern hybrid style of music, and as the music proliferated, the Samulnori band gave way to the “samulnori” genre as now performed by countless new bands. It even inspired the non-verbal musical “Nanta,” which has met with international success. This brilliant form of musical rhythm was reconfigured and streamlined, allowing the musicians to reach audiences in a whole new venue. Samulnori bands had great suc-
Non-Korean students are learning the 12-stringed Korean traditional zither (gayageum) during a class at the National Gugak Center. © Yonhap News
There are an estimated 300 nongak groups in the U.S., and no shortage of Korean and foreign university students immersing themselves in the genre on a very cerebral level.
cess in the ‘80s and were permitted to travel the world and play in foreign countries, something the more anarchic nongak would have been incapable of doing. The birth of samulnori did not drive nongak to extinction; both genres continued to influence each other. Students enrolling in university music programs studied nongak and samulnori concurrently. Seoul is overflowing with community nongak groups connecting a metropolis of 10 million, neighborhood by neighborhood. In rural regions, where the aging population is declining, these young student pungmul performers are welcomed as a way to inject new vitality into the music. A living genre
On ar r iving in Korea, Lange received musical instruction at the Hanullim Kyoyukwon near Buyeo deep in Korea’s inter ior. Despite not understanding much Korean, she was able to participate in nongak and samulnori classes that eschewed
pansori master singer and human cultural asset, ahn sook sun
All the various folk music styles are tied together by an array of rhythms known as jangdan.
At age 19, Lee Ja-ram set a Guinness World Record as the youngest singer to master the longest pansori song, “Chungyang-ga,” in eight hours. © Yonhap News
musical notation in favor of much more organic processes. “The teacher would use a rhythmic language, ‘tung tung gung ta gung gung ta gung ta gung ta gung,’ and then you speak the rhythm,” she explains,“and by speaking the rhythm you get some idea about how to play and you memorize the rhythm and then the teacher would play and you would imitate. So you need to listen and watch and repeat after him.” Today, Lange is an instructor at the National Gugak Center in Seoul where she teaches a beginner janggu class, and she studies at Korea National University of Arts (K-ARTS), mastering the intricacies of Korean traditional rhythms. “I don’t see it as just a museum thing. I feel there are places where it is still alive and has some function in the community,” says
Lange. “Nongak must be alive, must have a purpose for the group and community, because society and communities are changing, nongak is also changing. Nongak culture is very much alive.” The preservation of Korean music is a big issue in the Korean musician community, where the conflicting forces of preservation and improvisation tug on the corners of cultural properties. Its proponents seek new ways to keep it alive and relevant. The five main regional variations of nongak retain their individual styles as identified at the time of official recognition, but elsewhere musicians are free to innovate and inject new meaning into performances. Not only has this music flourished across Korea, but it has spread worldwide. There are an estimated 300 nongak groups in the U.S., and no shortage of Korean and
foreign university students are immersing themselves in the genre on a very cerebral level. In Chicago, Illinois, the non-profit organization Global Pungmul Institute (GPI) helps promulgate the genre of Korean folk music abroad. According to Executive Artistic Director Kim Byoungsug, the GPI is not defined as a music institute because they see the nature of pungmul as extending beyond music, shifting emphasis to the process of learning pungmul rather than its product. “Lear ning pungmul is physically demanding, so players need to develop persistence,” says Kim. “Pungmul cannot be played alone. It enhances teamwork skills and discipline. Since it is Korean traditional culture, Korean traditional manners are
Young students play the gayageum.
fundamental in learning pungmul.” Kim moved to the U.S. in 2002 to pursue doctoral studies in education, bringing with him his lifelong passion for nongak. At the GPI, founded in 2013, he sees Korean-Americans connect with the rest of the population, engaging players between the ages of seven and 70.
“Here in the U.S., I believe nongak is an important aspect of Korean cultural heritage that can be a great vehicle to build a community beyond generations and even beyond ethic backg round,” he says. “Through nongak activities, we can help youth develop a sense of community as it used to be practiced in the village during times of collective work or during community ceremonies and festivals.” He sees a growing interest in nongak as interest in Korean culture grows abroad, and he has identified a great deal of interest among non-Koreans in pungmul. Still, the clattering sound of a kkwaenggwari sometimes makes non-Koreans and even many Koreans cover their ears. “Maybe we Westerners should learn something from this music,” says Lange.
Fusion samulnori troupe DudoRock performs at the Seoul Drum Festival. 11
Poetic court music, jeongak Korean traditional royal court music
it grew in popularity in late Joseon times
in 1392. It was used in banquet music,
is solemn, formal and marked by rigid
among the aristocratic seonbi scholars.
processional music, and ancestral worship
movements. It reflects the dominance of
Dangak arrived in Korea when Tang China
ceremonial music. Examples of the
the social order over the natural world
gifted leaders of Unified Silla (668-935) with
latter include Jongmyo Jeryeak, which
and a life among the elite marked by
musical instruments used in Confucian
pays respect to the spirits of Joseon and
abundance and rigid protocol. It is marked
rituals. The musical genre of dangak is
some Goryeo monarchs, and Munmyo
by sudden strokes and long silences,
a hybrid of Chinese and local Korean
Jeryeak, which venerates Confucius and
reflecting Confucian ideology. Court
influences. It was accompanied by a dance
his disciples. Both styles are still played at
music can be traced back to well before
performance, known as dangak jeongjae,
the Jongmyo Shrine in downtown Seoul
the dawn of Joseon in 1392. Originally
most commonly done at court banquets
and at the Munmyo Confucian temple
heavily influenced by Chinese ritual music,
and ceremonies, to wish for the long life of
at Sungkyunkwan University, and are of
it was primarily used in ceremonial rituals,
the king and prosperity for the nation. One
particular great interest to Chinese visitors
banquets, and military processions. The
of the most popular dangak compositions,
seeking a glimpse of their ancient cultural
three officially recognized genres of court
“Nakyangchun,” or Spring in Luoyang,” was
heritage. The accompanying dance for
music are a-ak, hyangak, and dangak.
arranged in 1962 by Korean composer
these ritual music styles is called palilmu,
Hyangak is a more native Korean genre,
Yun I-sang into an orchestral composition
the eight-line dance that incorporates
whose name literally means “native
titled “Loyang,” and the U.S. composer Lou
slow, graceful moves of 64 performers
music.” It dates back to Silla during the
Harrison created his own arrangement for it
worshipping in the ceremony.
Three Kingdoms of Korea (57 B.C.-A.D.
These styles of royal music have been
668). Performers were selected among
A-ak is directly inspired by Chinese ritual
preserved by government-sponsored
the commoners to perform in the royal
music, a genre long since extinguished in its
organizations since 1964. Due to the elite
court. It is first mentioned in poetry by
homeland, making Korea’s a-ak all the more
nature of court music, its popularity isn’t
the ninth-century scholar Choi Chi-won.
valuable. It was brought to Korea in the
as far-reaching as folk genres. A greater
Newer hyangak songs were created during
early 12 century but rose to prominence
degree of academic interest in historical
King Sejong’s reign in the 15th century and
at the start of Confucianist Joseon times
performing arts drives its preservation.
The Busan National Gugak Center presents regular performances throughout the year.
Popularizing Traditional Music So In-hwa, director of the Busan National Gugak Center, brings traditional music and dance on stage. Interviewed by yoon Se-yeon
he kings and queens of Joseon (13921910) wore ceremonial robes and dresses for major events of the royal court. The queen’s dress was especially elaborate, consisting of some 16 layers of clothing and a big, decorative wig that is embellished with gold hairpins. The elaborate dress symbolized the dignity and elegance of the queen. The Busan National Gugak Center has been presenting a performance that features the ceremonial dresses of Joseon queens at the Haeundae Grand Hotel since July. “The Queen’s Banquet” incorporates traditional music and court banquet dances, as well as a reenactment of the queen changing into her formal attire for special ceremonies. “Busan is a popular tourist destination. I had confidence that traditional music and dance could attract international tourists. The Busan National Gugak Center has been presenting different productions since 2010, and international audiences wished to see traditional performances more often. So we decided to create our performance venue at the Haeundae Grand Hotel and to
present ‘The Queen’s Banquet’,” says So. She adds that there have been many people who came to the shows several times. With the purpose of preserving and promoting traditional music and dance, the National Gugak Center has its headquarters in Seoul and its regional offices across the country, including Busan, Namwon and Jindo Island. The Busan National Gugak Center focuses on staging performances of traditional art that is native to the southeastern region of the Korean Peninsula, and many are produced in cooperation with local organizations. Every spring and fall, it performs a ritual featuring Confucian shrine music, munmyo jeryeak, at
Dongnae Hyanggyo in Busan. In October, it will participate in the opening ceremony of the 20th Busan International Film Festival. With regard to the reasons why the National Gugak Center makes its best efforts to reach out to the public, So says that,“Gugak must be made easy and enjoyable for everyone because most people think that it is difficult and it can only be enjoyed by those who understand it. I think more people will come to traditional music and dance performances if they are more exposed to them.” The Busan National Gugak Center is planning a number of things to make traditional music more approachable for the public. One of the performances is a musical theatre production set in the time of the Korean War (1950-1953). The center will also start traditional music classes for Busan residents. Every employee and artist at the Busan National Gugak Center understands that music and dance from the ancient times can still bring joy and happiness to people in today’s world.
raditional lacquerware inlaid with mother-of-pearl is called najeon chilgi. It requires natural materials, such as the inner layers of abalone or conch shells and sap from lacquer trees. This art form has been developed over hundreds of years and boasts beautiful, iridescent colors that are not seen in any other kind of art. Motherof-pearl is inlaid into the surface of a wooden item, and several coats of lacquer are applied over it to add a glossy finish and to preserve the colors of the decorations. This traditional art has been done since
ancient times on many household items, including closets, drawers, vases and jewelry boxes. Shon Dae-hyun is a practitioner of natural lacquer (otchil), Intangible Cultural Heritage Item No. 1 of the city of Seoul, and is one of the best artisans of traditional lacquerware to be found in the country. A difficult path
“I came across a tray inlaid with motherof-pearl when I was a teenager, and I was fascinated by the colors. I then visited the workshop of Master Min Jong-tae, the best
artisan of najeon chilgi at the time, and asked him to take me on as his student. I studied at his workshop for six months until I was officially made his student,” says Shon. Min saw Shon’s passion, and Shon has since honored his teacher for having had such great faith in him by not veering from his chosen path. In the 1970s and 1980s, when traditional lacquerware was particularly popular, many artisans used chemical varnish to reduce costs and to shorten the long, laborious process of applying and drying numerous coats. Shon insisted on
Traditional Lacquer Artisan Shon Dae-hyun Shon carries on a 2,000-year-old art. Written by Yoon Se-eun Photographed by Hong Ha-yan
Shon Dae-hyun creates many different kinds of artwork using traditional lacquerware techniques. 14
Shon makes lacquerware gifts for heads of state from around the world and artworks to be displayed at exhibitions. He believes it his duty to present Korean traditional lacquerware to the world.
adhering to traditional techniques that require expensive natural materials and involve up to some 30 steps to finish one item. He firmly believed that the real value of lacquerware came from his own labor, however arduous the process may be. Shon remains true to his belief in maintaining the traditional techniques. “Traditional lacquering was fully developed by the Goryeo period (918-1392). Our ancestors developed the best methods through trial and error over several centuries. For example, we first cover a wooden object with hemp cloth to prevent the wood from war ping. Red clay is then applied atop, followed by the mother-ofpearl inlay and several layers of lacquer. Only by thoroughly following these steps can one produce authentic lacquerware,” says Shon. Among the many lacquering techniques out there, Shon is best at a method of alternating coats of hemp cloth and lacquer, known as geonchil. Finishing one piece can take up to a year. Shon’s sweat and tears go into every item that he creates.Though it may not be readily apparent to the layperson, Shon’s hard work makes his lacquerware shine even more. An artisan’s responsibility
Shon works out of his workshop in Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do Province, and asserts that lacquer artists should preserve tradition while also keeping up with the latest trends. This is why he often collaborates with corporations such as BMW or Samsung, and luxury brands such as Vacheron Constantin and Balvenie.“The companies I have worked with wanted the best hand-made artworks for their products. I also strive to achieve the best in every single one of my works, so it was a great experience to work with them.The collaborations were also meaningful in that I was able to follow the latest trends and share the beauty of Korea’s traditional lacquer art with the world,” says Shon with a smile. Lacquer was traditionally used only on
Layers of lacquer accentuate the natural, iridescent colors of mother-of-pearl.
wooden items, but that is not the case today. It can be used even on reinforced plastics and metals. Shon continues to explore possibilities for applying natural lacquer to unconventional materials in the belief that it is his duty to expand the use of traditional lacquer art. In the summer of 2015, Shon participated in an exhibition of Korean traditional crafts in the U.K., organized by the Korean Cultural Centre U.K. In Paris, Shon’s works are on display at the Museum of Decorative Arts, part of a Korean craftwork exhibition in celebration of the 130 years of diplomatic relations between Seoul and Paris. “People in Europe love Korean traditional lacquerware. They say that they can’t believe that the mother-of-pearl decorations are done by human hands,” says Shon. Away from his workshop, Shon teaches traditional natural lacquer techniques at the Korea Traditional Craft and Architecture School in Seoul. His students range in age from their teens to over 70. He even has a few non-Korean students. Going forward, Shon intends to touch the world with his works so that people around the world can readily associate traditional lacquerware with Korea. Shon believes that this is his duty as an artisan.
Go Player Cho Hun-hyun He is one of the most legendary players of all time. Written by Hong Hye-won In cooperation with the influential Speaker Agency
he game of go involves two players, one taking black stones and the other taking white, who take turns placing one of their stones on a vacant point on the board. Though its true origins are unknown, the game is believed to have originated some 3,000 to 4,000 years ago in China. The most widely-accepted myth claims that the legendary Emperor Yao invented go to enlighten his son. Go is claimed to be one of the most difficult and complex games in the world because of virtually endless possibilities in every game. It is most popular in Korea, China and Japan, all of which maintain communities of professional players and hold major tournaments. Cho Hun-hyun was Korea’s long-standing national champion of the game from the 1970s through the 1990s. It is no exaggeration to say that he wrote a chapter in the history of go as he catapulted Korean go into world-class levels. Even in his 60s, Cho remains active, gallantly confronting champions in their teens and 20s. The invincible champion
Cho set many records that still stand today. In 1962, he became the world’s youngest professional go player at age 9. In 1982 he became Korea’s first nine-dan player. He has amassed 160 professional titles and 1,938 career wins, more than any player in the world. He also holds the record for the most consecutive wins and championships, as set by the Korea Guinness Association. “When I was four, I would watch old men playing go on the cor ners in my neighborhood, and I commented on the games, telling them where they should put their next stone. My father took me to a go academy in my hometown of Mokpo in Jeollanam-do Province. The old men who took classes with me gave me money to buy snacks, and I loved going to the academy. In 1963, when I was 10, I went to Japan to study go under Segoe Kensaku. I lived in his house until I returned to Korea nine years later. I was the third and last stu-
Go is a game of building and capturing the most number of ‘houses’ by placing black and white stones on the board.
dent he ever had,” recalls Cho. After coming back home in 1972, Cho began a successful career.With a witty and refined style, Cho even earned the moniker “Master of War.” In 1988, he played one of the most difficult matches of his career at the first Ing Cup, an international go tournament, against Nie Weiping of China. Cho won the cup, attracting enormous interest in himself and in the Korean go scene. The day he arrived at Gimpo Airport, the government hosted a parade for him to downtown Seoul and awarded him the silver crown of the Order of Cultural Merit. Overcoming days of frustration
Just five months after he achieved his crowning glory as a champion, the once seemingly invincible champion lost a match against his live-in 15-year-old student, Lee Chang-ho, at the 29th Choegowi
Fans greet Cho Hun-hyun as he returns home after winning the championship title at the Ing Cup in 1988. © Yonhap News
Cup in 1990. “I realized then that no one can remain a champion forever. Losing my first championship title was a very painful moment for me.The pain naturally dissipated when I decided it would be better to pass on my title to my student. I certainly could not keep it for myself forever anyway. When I was young, I was under tremendous pressure to win every match until I reached the top. Once I lost my title, I was finally able to let it go and play more comfortably,” says Cho. He spent the following decade studying and upgrading his play, re-dedicating his life to go.As a result, he made a stunning comeback in 2002, at age 50, by winning the Samsung Cup, an international event. “Unlike in the past, I now play go because I genuinely enjoy it. I realized, after tasting both the sweetness of victory and the bitterness of defeat, that winning or losing doesn’t matter much. I now know that it is much more meaningful to give my best in each and every game I play. There is no good in crying over spilled milk. I just need to live each day to the fullest,” says Cho. Cho has spent a greater part of his career keeping himself on edge. Now, he seems to have transcended to a whole new level. “It is about carefully laying stones in strategic places and being aggressive on offense and strong on defense,” says Cho, speaking of go and of his life.
Ganghwado Island, Treasure Trove of Korean History Discover the beauty and charm of an island with a rich history. Written by Yoon Se-eun Photographed by Moon Duk-gwan
Tourists enjoy the mud flats of Dongmak Beach. 18
ccording to myth, Dangun Wanggeom founded the first Korean nation, Gojoseon (2333 B.C.–108 B.C.), and ruled for some 1,500 years before he became a mountain god at the ripe old age of 1,908. He supposedly offered sacrifices to Heaven on Ganghwado Island, just west of Seoul. Some say that Ganghwado Island is the prism of Korean history. Prehistoric dolmen are scattered all over the island.The first “Korean” nation is believed to have been founded there. Also, it was the kingdom’s de facto capital during the Mongol invasions of Korea between 1231 and 1259. The woodblocks to print the Tripitaka Koreana, or the Palman Daejanggyeong, inscribed on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Items, were made on the island and the royal family took refuge there in times of crisis throughout Joseon times (13921910).Traipsing around Ganghwado Island today may feel like reading a history book. Island of fortresses
Ganghwado Island was a quick trip from the capital for the royal family and court officials in times of emergency, and the large tidal flats around the island and the strong currents of the surrounding waters did not allow easy entry for invaders. For these reasons, Ganghwado Island has served as a fortress throughout the centuries, protecting the royal family from invaders. In Goryeo times (918-1392), the capital was moved to the island from Gaeseong in what is today North Korea, as the nation fought back against the Mongols.This was also when defensive facilities were built along the island’s coastline. The island also afforded good protection for Joseon’s capital, Hanyang.This is why there are so many historic fortresses across the island. Fortified walls of various sizes, spread one to three kilometers apart from one another, served as military camps where troops could watch the enemy’s movements and attack them or defend themselves using cannons, firearms and arrows. The island has about five fortresses, seven camps and
over 50 fortifications. Each fortress or camp oversees three to five fortifications. The Gapgot Dondae Fortification greets visitors when they come to Ganghwado Island from Incheon by the Ganghwa Bridge. This set of outer castle walls was built to protect the Ganghwa Straits. They were a major stronghold for Goryeo and endured multiple invasions by the Mongols. Some of the artillery used during the ancient battles is on display at the site. South of the Gapgot Dondae Fortification, along the coastline, stands the Gwangseongbo Fortress. It witnessed the fiercest battle during the U.S. military action there in 1871. The twin tombs of General Eo Jae-Yeon and his brother Eo Jae-seon, along with tombs of unknown soldiers who died on the battlefield, are located at the fortress.
The Gwangseongbo Fortress is connected to the Gwangseong Dondae Fortification, one of the most beautiful fortifications on the island. From its highpoint, visitors can enjoy the scenery of the coastline. Further down to the south lies the Chojijin Camp, the scene of many hard-fought battles during the French military action in 1866 and the U.S. maneuvers in 1871. Bullet marks still remain on old pine trees and the fortress walls and the cannons used by the Joseon defenders are on display there. The Chamseongdan Altar
Jeondeungsa Temple is believed to have been built in 381 during the 11th year of the reign of King Sosurim of Goguryeo.
Located on the north side of Manisan Mountain, myth would have us believe that this large stone altar was built originally by Dangun Wanggeom himself, who offered sacrifices here to Heavens. The altar is believed to be over 4,000 years old. It is also
Dangun Wanggeom, the mythical founder of the Korean nation, is believed to have offered sacrifices at the Chamseongdan Altar. 20
Where to stay Largo Ville, located at Ganghwado Island’s Hupo Harbor, offers a beautiful view along the ocean front. The rooms are equipped with phytoncide green shower machines. This hotel also has rooms with kitchenettes where guests can cook their own meals. Other facilities include outdoor barbeque grills and swimming pools. For visitors who want more affordable options, the island has a number of great bed and breakfasts in Oepo-ri and near Dongmak Beach.
Dolmen, stone prehistoric tomb, are scattered across Gangwhado Island.
said that ceremonial sacrifices were offered at the Chamseongdan Altar through Joseon times. The altar remains a special place today. Every October 3, a ritual is held here in celebration of Korea’s National Foundation Day. The hike up Manisan Mountain to the altar at the peak takes about two hours. The Chamseongdan Altar is many visitors’ favorite attraction because of its panoramic view of Ganghwado Island and the surrounding smaller islands, as well as the expansive Gimpo Plain across the sea. Manisan Mountain is also home to Jeongsusa Temple, built dur ing the reign of Queen Seondeok of Silla (r. 632-647). Jeondeungsa Temple
This Buddhist temple is within the Jeongjoksanseong Fortress, which is believed to have been built by the three sons of Dangun Wanggeom. One of the oldest temples in the countr y, Jeondeungsa Temple is known for the singular beauty of its buildings. The unique statues of naked women propping up the eaves of the main hall in each corner are the most interesting features. On the rugged pillars and sidewalls of the main hall, visitors can still see what is left of the prayers that soldiers wrote for their safety and victory during the various invasions through the ages. To the rear of
the temple is the Jeongjok Sago Archive where records of Joseon’s 500-year history, including the “Annals of the Joseon Dynasty” and the “Royal Genealogy of the Joseon Dynasty” were kept. Nakjo Village and Dongmak Beach
Ganghwado Island is one of the best places in the country to watch the sunset since it is off the west coast. Nakjo Village in Janghwa-ri, which literally means “Sunset Village,” is one of them. The village has a serene trail leading to Dongmak Beach and is the ultimate location for photographers and those who simply enjoy natural glories such as sunsets. In the fall, the scenery along this trail is especially beautiful as rice fields await harvest and the cosmos flowers are at their best. A pink and orange sunset over the horizon is a sight that cannot be missed. Dongmak Beach is part sand and part mud. When the tide goes out, visitors can walk about four kilometers towards the sea on the mud flats or catch crabs and dig up various kinds of clams.The nearby Bunori Dondae Fortification is another excellent spot to appreciate the sunset. For those travelling by car, driving from Nakjo Village to Dongmak Beach along the coastal road is a great idea before viewing the sunset.
What to eat Ganghwado Island is famous for its seafood, including crabs, largeeyed herring, eels and salted and fermented shrimp. Shin Arirang (105 Sinmun-ri, Ganghwa-eup, Ganghwa-gun, Incheon; Tel. 032933-2025) serves a wonderful casserole dish with pork and an assortment of vegetables. Salted and fermented shrimp make for the perfect seasoning. Manisan Sanchae (396-1 Sagi-ri, Hwado-myeon, Ganghwa-gun, Incheon; Tel. 032-937-4293) serves excellent bibimbap with fresh herbs and vegetables collected from Manisan Mountain. The dish features one-of-a-kind ingredients, such as aster scaber, mulberry leaves and maple leaves. Getting there Ganghwado Island is part of Incheon in Gyeonggi-do Province, connected to the mainland by two bridges. By car, visitors can get to the island via the Ganghwa Bridge, which is 35 kilometers from the Haengju Bridge at the western end of Seoul. Visitors can also take buses to the island from Seoul’s Sinchon Bus Terminal. Take Bus No. 3000 and it will arrive at the Ganghwa Intercity Bus and Passenger Ferry Terminal in one hour and 30 minutes. The bus runs every 10 minutes starting at 5:40 a.m. on weekdays, and the bus fare is KRW 2,100, only about USD 1.74, per person.
Billiards Royalty Kim Ga-young and Cha Yu-ram bring skill and glamour to pool. Written by Sean Lim
Cha Yu-ram is a highly talented billiards player who is also popular on television for her good looks.
n the mid-1990s, Korean-American Jeanette Lee, the “Black Widow,” stunned international billiards players on the professional circuit with her prowess and dramatic flair. Earning a string of medals, accolades and top honor s, including Sportsperson of the Year by the Women’s Professional Billiard Association (WPBA), Lee proved that ethnically Korean women could rise to the top of the professional pool. Even back then, she also captured what now seems to be a second prerequisite of athleticism: showmanship. She acquired the moniker “Black Widow” for her beautiful and deadly game, along with
her frequent all-black attire. This also reflected her ability to captivate audiences away from the pool table through appearances on TV shows, commercials and in magazines.While Lee remains a force in the profession, two other prominent Korean pool players with similar panache have followed in her footsteps with their own distinctive charms. Kim Ga-young, the “Little Devil Girl”
Kim Ga-young’s father taught his future “Little Devil Girl” how to play three-cushion billiards when she was only ten years
old. Bor n in Seoul in 1983, the now 32-year-old professional pool player debuted on the professional circuit in 2003. Her titles include the 2004 World Championships, 2007 Carolina Women’s Billiard Classic, 2010 US Open Nine-ball Championship, 2013 Ultimate 10-Ball Championships and the 2015 China World Nine-ball Open. As a young child, she was called the “billiards fool” for spending hours on end in the pool hall. Her parents say it was tenacity and effort rather than talent that drove her to stardom. For her, all time was lost once she had her cue stick in hand.
During one memorable moment, after practicing in a pool hall for forty-eight hours straight, she collapsed from exhaustion and had to be transported to the hospital in an ambulance. The champion, who rattled veteran players right from the start of her career, says she still dedicates about 30 hours a week to practice, and displays a cheerful demeanor outside of competition. However, her vengeance against her opponents while playing earned her the nickname “Little Devil Girl.” Kim has taken her f ame to other venues as well. In 2012, she participated in season two of “Dancing with the Stars Korea” where she was commended for her work ethic, which made up for her lack of innate dancing skills. Fluent in Mandarin, she also spent some time in Taiwan as a cohost of a TV variety program and says she was well-recognized by the strong fan base of billiard players there. In Korea, however, she notes that many members of the public are still unaware of the Korean billiard champions in their midst.
After practicing in a pool hall for forty-eight hours straight, Kim Ga-young collapsed from exhaustion and had to be transported to the hospital in an ambulance.
the years that followed, however, her good looks seemed to overshadow her professional ambitions. Even her husband admitted publicly that he was first drawn to his bride’s beauty upon their first encounter. Nonetheless, Cha has always taken the position that people should focus on her skills as a pool player before anything else. That commitment to excellence first in competition is well-understood by all champion athletes, despite their outer appearance and charisma outside the field of competition. Kim Ga-young has also been able to navigate this new terrain of being a celebrity sports star. Though both women have been described as rivals, as Cha says, “Billiards is a fight mainly against oneself.” Both seem to be winning and charming everyone around them.
Cha Yu-ram, the “Goddess of Billiards”
In Cha Yu-ram, Kim has both a rival and a teammate in bringing more visibility to the sport of pool. Dubbed the “Goddess of Billiards” for her celebrity-style looks, Cha may not have as many titles and trophies under her belt as Kim, but the junior Cha has overtaken her senior Kim as the world’s number one female billiards player. Born in 1987, the now 28-year-old is coming back into the game after her marriage to best-selling author Lee Ji-sung in June this year. The two met in their book club. At the age of 8, Cha began playing tennis with a push by her father to create a pair of tennis stars with her older sister. She found the physical demands on court too much, and after three years fell into billiards and started practicing at least 10 hours a day. Still in her teens, she won a nine-ball ranking competition in Korea in 2003. In
Kim Ga-young took the crown in the 2015 China World Nine-Ball Open held in Shanghai in July.
Korean Pop Culture in the Eyes of the World Korean music, television and cuisine are attracting world-wide interest. Written by Kim Nae-on
n September 7, Time magazine posted on its website a video of the Korean pop group GFr iend. The four-minute video, filmed and uploaded on YouTube by an audience member, shows several members of this six-member band falling and picking themselves up again and again during the performance of their new hit “Me Gustas Tu.” It had rained before the show and the stage was slippery.The video has since been viewed over six million times since it was posted on September 5. The article praised the performance, as,“the girls regained their composure and carried on with their high-energy performance
like true professionals,” despite the hazards. The same video was also posted on the website of The Daily Mirror, a U.K. tabloid. Perfectly-synchronized dance moves and professional performances are often cited as the driving force behind the popularity of Korean pop artists and their music. Korean pop music in the eyes of global media
In 2011, the lifestyle magazine Monocle launched one-hour weekly news shows in partnership with Bloomberg TV titled, “Monocle on Bloomberg.” One of its episodes reported that Korean pop music is
one of the biggest contr ibutors to the country’s economy. It stated that, “In the global soft power stakes, Korea’s pop music industry is the country’s most potent weapon.” Founder and host of the show, Tyler Brûlé, gave a positive forecast on the magnitude of Korean pop artists’ influence around the world, saying,“Samsung, Hyundai and LG might be South Korea’s biggest exporters, but millions argue that the real power brands are BoA, Girls’ Generation, Epik High and Super Junior.” Four years have passed since the show was broadcast, and these artists are still very popular. According to “Monocle on
Spectators cheer on as they watch the K-pop performance at the 2015 London Korean Festival held in Trafalgar Square in August. © Yonhap News
Korean burgers and tacos are a whole new genre of American fast food. Kimchi is the new miso.” Pop culture and the country
The Guardian introduced pop stars such as Big Bang, Girls’ Generation, EXO and Super Junior in its article “K-pop: a Beginner’s Guide” on March 3, 2014.
Korean pop culture has become a major outlet through which fans can express their feelings and interests, despite language and cultural barriers. Bloomberg,” Korean pop music began gaining popularity across borders through digital media. Pop music is characterized by dynamic dance performances, and digital platforms, such as YouTube and Facebook, were instrumental in rapidly spreading numerous videos of artists’ performances. These videos also attracted wide interest to the artists’ elaborate outfits and makeup as they were shared and viewed by more and more people around the world. On August 9, 2015, the London Korean Festival was held in Trafalgar Square. The festival featured a performance by the pop group f(x) as well as traditional handicraft workshops, trade zones and screenings of Korean cartoons. In an article introducing the festival, titled “South Korean Festival hits London – Everything from K-pop to Kimchi,” The Guardian reported that the popularity of Korean pop music around the world is sparking greater interest in Korean soap operas, movies and cuisine, as well as the country’s high-tech firms, such as Samsung. According to Condé Nast Traveller’s
“2015 Food Trends Cheat Sheet,” Korean street food is the latest trend. Last year, Seriouseats.com reported the growing popularity of Korean cuisine in the U.S., saying that, “Bulgogi has entered the foodlovers' lexicon...Korean barbecues have become staples in most major cities, joining the ranks of hibachi grills and sushi bars.
The popularity of Korean entertainment in different parts of the world is also drawing greater interest in Korea as a country. This is why Korea received over 10 million international visitors in 2012. In December that year,The Telegraph reported in a travel article about Seoul that, “There is nowhere in Asia right now that is hotter than Gangnam, the gleaming district of Seoul,” referencing Psy’s hit song, “Gangnam Style.” The article also said, “South Korea has become the number one byword for cool among Asia’s youth,” as it introduced Seoul as a trendsetting metropolis. Over the years, pop music and entertainment have become Korea’s greatest exports. They have not only contributed to the economy, but have also improved the country’s image and brand, showing it as an energetic and vibrant country. Korean pop culture has become a major outlet through which fans can express their feelings and interests, despite language and cultural barriers. Many hope that, before long, the popularity of pop culture will spark more and more interest in Korean history and traditions.
At the 24th Taipei International Food Show 2014, Korea presented fried chicken and beer, a food combination that was made even more popular in Asia by the soap opera “My Love from the Star.” © Yonhap News
An eye-catching parade invites visitors to join and celebrate different cultures and traditions.
The Silk Road Festival Gyeongju hosts the World Culture Expo 2015 from August 21 through October 18. Written by Lee Min-jeong Photographed by Hong Ha-yan
he Silk Road was an ancient network of trade routes connecting Asia, North Africa and Europe. It enabled people of the East and West to interact with one another and share knowledge, technology and culture. In Korea’s ancient kingdom of Unified Silla (668-935), the old capital of Gyeongju, in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province today, bustled with merchants from other parts of the
world. Stone statues of Arabs and Persians at the Gwaereung Tomb and the Roman glass cup found in the Tomb of the Heavenly Horse are just some of the relics from the period.With Silk Road-themed events, the Gyeongju World Culture Expo 2015 hopes to shed new light on Eurasian civilizations and the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C.-A.D. 935) and to promote the city of Gyeongju as the
starting point of a modern, cultural version of the Silk Road. Exciting performances
In addition to exhibitions and parades, visitors can enjoy var ious perfor mances. “Flying: Hwarang Expedition” is a mime fantasy by Korean, Chinese and Uzbek performers, combining martial arts, gym-
nastics and breakdancing. This actionpacked performance tells the story of a hwarang, an elite warrior of Silla, who travels through time along the Silk Road to a modern-day high school to catch a goblin. Featuring cultural elements of ancient Korea, China, India and Persia, the show keeps everyone in the audience at rapt attention in their seats. “Basilla” is based on the epic Persian poem of "Kush Nama,” a stor y about Prince Abtin and his son Faridun shortly after the collapse of the Sassanid Empire. The perfor mance shows the cultural exchange between Persia, Korea and China through interesting characters, explaining how different cultures met and merged though the centuries.
At the “Silk Road, Golden Road 21” exhibit, visitors can experience the three main routes of the Silk Road through 3D effects and life-size displays.
Ancient art meets modern technology
Gandhara art is a type of Buddhist art that developed in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent when artistic influences from Greece and Rome mixed with Buddhist traditions of Afghanistan. This unique blend of East and West spread to Central Asia and from there to China, Korea and Japan. Unified Silla’s Buddhist statues and stone caves were largely influ-
Visitors can explore the cultures and traditions of over 20 different countries along the Silk Road.
enced by Gandhara art. Seokguram Grotto at Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju is the epitome of the ancient kingdom’s Buddhist art and is inscribed on UNESCO’s list of World Cultural Heritage sites. At the expo, visitors can bask in the beauty of this extraordinary cave temple in a virtual reality tour using head-mounted displays and 3-dimensional air touch technology. Light up your imagination
“Strong Africa” is a riveting, dynamic dance performance.
The highlight of the Gyeongju World Culture Expo is the “Silk Road Grand Bazaar,” a market featuring food, art and souvenirs from some 20 Silk Road countries. In addition, traditional performances and parades by participating countr ies take place throughout the day, helping visitors learn more about different cultures and societies. The “Silk Road Odyssey,” the expo’s main exhibition, takes visitors into a fantasy world by telling myths, legends and tales. It is the perfect way for children to enjoy stories from different parts of the world and to develop their imaginations. Other exciting, family-friendly events include a laser light show, a drone show and puppet shows.
Letâ€™s Go to the Stadium Sports stadiums in Korea are no longer merely places to watch games. They are places of fun and entertainment for fans of all ages. Written by CHUNG DA-YOUNG
ully equipped electric barbeque grills, colorful tents for shade under the sun, inflatable pools for kids and a small stage blaring with club music inviting young people to dance.This could be a scene at a picnic area or at an outdoor barbeque. Surprisingly, this is what you can find at a Korean baseball stadium during a game. Korean sports stadiums are one-of-a-kind in that visitors can enjoy much more than just the game. Sports such as baseball, football or soccer and basketball have been popular in Korea ever since they were first introduced to the country in the early 1900s. Most of the seats were filled by men back in the day, but after Korea hosted a number of international sporting events, including the 2002 World Cup, and new teams joined the leagues, games were more widely pro-
The Green Zone at Incheon SK Happy Dream Stadium offers a grass area for fans to enjoy the game picnic-style. ÂŠ SK Happy Dream stadium 28
moted, attracting new fans over the years. The growing interest in sports has led clubs to come up with new events and attractions to br ing people to the games. In recent years, the fun factor found at Korean sports stadiums evolved into a different form of entertainment that can be enjoyed by a wider spectrum of the public. SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
The first thing that one notices at a Korean baseball stadium is the raucous cheering in the stands. Each player has his own song that is played over the loud speakers when he comes to bat. The songs are led by an enthusiastic man who is part of the team’s cheerleading squad.The female cheerleaders dance on stage with their choreographed moves.The cheerleaders dance to hit pop songs and build energy among the fans. Lee Ji-young, an ardent LG Twins fan, likes to come to Jamsil Stadium after work with her co-workers to see a game. “I love cheering and singing the songs with the people around me. I would like my team to win, but it’s still OK if we lose. I just like shouting and blowing off steam.” A good game cannot be enjoyed without good food. Fried chicken and beer have always been favorites. A ready-to-go fried chicken and beer combination can be bought outside the stadium, and for those who come unprepared, vendor s sell chicken, beer, hotdogs and other snacks in the stands during the game. To make the game more memorable and tastier, several stadiums have stands specially equipped with barbeque grills. Spectators can grill the ingredients that are included in the price of a special ticket while enjoying the game.The Incheon SK Happy Dream Stadium, home to the SK Wyverns, built special zones in their stands during a recent renovation to accommodate different crowds. Along with a Barbeque Zone, it also has a Couple Zone and a Green Zone. Located to the left of the outfield, the
Cheerleaders at basketball games are just as popular as the players on the court. © Yonhap News
Green Zone is covered in artificial turf without any seats. It is popular among families who bring their own blankets and tents and watch baseball as if they’re having a picnic in the park. Teams are organizing various promotional events for the growing number of young baseball fans and for families with children. During the summer months, KT Champions Field in Gwangju set up an
Taeyeon from the popular girl group, Girls' Generation, throws the ceremonial first pitch. © Yonhap News
inflatable pool and water slide in the outer field so children who came with their parents could play in the water. Last season, the SK Happy Dream Stadium had a dance party every week night after a game. Music and special lights were set up on the main cheerleading stage, and fans and cheerleaders alike danced together, regardless of the outcome of the game. Basketball fans can also enjoy more than just the game courtside. Changwon LG holds Business Day events and Family Day events during home games. On Business Days, group jump rope competitions are held during half-time in which groups of visitor from the same workplace can participate. On Family Days, families can compete in hula hoop and arm wrestling contests. Winners are awarded LG home appliances. Finally, football’s 2015 K-League AllStar game that was held in Ansan on July 17 was filled with festivities for soccer fans. Pop groups CLC and AOA perfor med before the game, and players from both teams entertained the fans during half-time with a relay race around the field. Fireworks lit up the sky after the match, followed by a performance by Beast, another popular k-pop band.
President Park attends China’s war anniversary parade President Park Geun-hye visited Beijing to attend events commemorating China's 70 th anniversary of its victory in the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the end of World War II. During her visit, Park met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and discussed the two nation's strategic partnership in the longterm and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. excerpt from korea.net
President Park Geun-hye poses for a group photo with other world leaders in Beijing for China’s 70th anniversary of its victory in the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, on Sept. 3.
resident Park Geun-hye attended the celebration ceremony in honor of China’s victory in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression on Sept. 3 in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The anniversary was attended by leaders from 30 countries and other high-level officials from around the globe, as well as representatives from international organizations, including the U.N. and the WHO. The origin of the event dates back to 1945. As the Japanese government formally surrendered to all allied forces, including China, on Sept. 2 that year, the Chinese government marked the very next day, Sept. 3, as an anniversary to honor its victory in the war.
President Park Geun-hye (right) talks with Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan during a ceremonial reception luncheon in the Great Hall of the People.
Unification of Korea to contribute to peace: Korean, Chinese leaders
President Park Geun-hye and Chinese President Xi Jinping held summit talks in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sept. 2. The two leaders discussed ways to develop Korea-China cooperation and how to deepen the friendly, bilateral relationship that exists between the two nations. President Xi welcomed President Park, saying that, “I would like to thank you for coming to attend the celebration ceremony th for the 70 anniversary of the end of World War II.” In response, President Park said, "I hope for a successful hosting of this celebratory event so that it can send a message of conciliation and future-forward cooperation across the region.” She thanked the Chinese government for making efforts to preserve historic sites in China where Koreans fought for independence, such as the building used by the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in Shanghai, as this year marks the th 70 anniversary of Korean independence from Japanese colonial rule. The two leader s have shared the common understanding that the bilateral
relationship has been showing unprecedented rapid development over the past two and a half years, since the beginning of new administrations in each country. Some examples they mentioned to illustrate the progress made in their relationship include bilateral and multilateral summit meetings, meetings between foreign ministers, the launching of four strategic dialogue channels that involve top security and diplomatic officials, and the volume of annual people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, which exceeded 10 million people. Regarding cultural exchanges between Korea and China, the two leaders agreed to expand and develop joint projects to bolster bilateral ties in the humanities, which both sides have been carrying out since last year in order to broaden understanding among the two peoples. Korea and China also agreed to cooperate on the successful hosting of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018 and the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022. In regard to recent tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the two presidents
praised both Koreas for reaching an agreement to ease the tension. They hoped that the latest agreement can lead to concrete action that could accelerate the Korean Peninsula trust-building process. Both leaders agreed to strengthen communications and negotiations in regard to developments on the Korean Peninsula. They emphasized the full implementation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and the Sept. 19 Joint Statement on denuclearization, in particular, while expressing a clear objection to any kind of action that could escalate tensions. President Park and President Xi reaffirmed their stance that both countries stick to the goal of denuclearization, which has been stated many times in the past. Mentioning the recent breakthrough in nuclear talks in Iran, they said with one united voice that the meaningful six-party talks should be resumed as soon as possible. Both presidents emphasized that the peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula would contribute to peace and prosperity across the region. The two leaders shared the view that a
trilateral cooperative structure involving Korea, Japan and China should be maintained and be further developed as an important frame of cooperation for peace, stability and prosperity. In this regard, they agreed to hold a trilateral summit among the three countries in Korea sometime in late October or November this year. Korea, China to expedite ratification of FTA, establish funds
President Park Geun-hye and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang discussed bilateral cooperation, including the Korea-China free trade agreement, in Beijing on Sept. 2. President Park met with Premier Li as part of her three-day trip to Beijing to attend China's commemoration to mark th the 70 anniversary of the end of World War II. In the meeting, the president expressed her gratitude for the warm hospitality shown by the Chinese government and delivered her congratulations on Beijing being chosen as the host city for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. In return, Primer Li thanked President Park for her attendance at the commemo-
ration and said he would pay special attention to bilateral cooperation, including the successful hosting of the Winter Olympic Games in both Korea and China. President Park and Premier Li agreed to expedite the ratification of the KoreaChina free trade agreement (FTA), maximize its benefits and to cooperate on abolishing non-tariff barriers. President Park requested that China accept food inspection reports issued by Korean institutions
Both leaders agreed to strengthen communications and negotiations in regard to developments on the Korean Peninsula.
President Park Geun-hye (second from right) and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang hold bilateral talks in Beijing on Sept. 2. The two sides agreed to maximize the effects of the Korea-China FTA and make an effort toward the elimination of non-tariff barriers.
for China's imports of Korean products, finalize administrative procedures for China’s imports of Korean kimchi and quickly solve problems in relation to the quarantine and inspection of Korean rice. In response to the kimchi issue, Premier Li said new, more liberal rules concerning the inspection of incoming foods would soon come into effect. For issues regarding other non-tariff barriers, he said he would try to find solutions according to the principle of reciprocity. President Park said she has reiterated over and over that South Korea will actively aid North Korea in cooperation with the international community if the North gives up its nuclear weapons development program. In relation to that, the president suggested the establishment of a Northeast Asian Development Bank. The premier responded that he would review the suggestion with earnest. The two sides also agreed to closely cooperate on the launching and operation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The two sides also discussed jointly developing an arts and entertainment market. President Park suggested that the two nations cooperate on producing and distributing arts and entertainment programs by tapping into their deep cultural assets.The president also hoped that regulations that hindered bilateral cultural exchanges and cooperation be eased and that the two sides will soon be able to jointly produce TV programs, including animation and soap operas. As part of the bilateral meeting, the Korea Venture Investment Corp. and the China Development Bank Capital Corp. (CDBC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish a KRW 200 billion investment fund to invest in cultural content, software and consumer goods ventures. Korea and China also signed nine additional MOUs, covering cooperation on quality and quarantine inspections, standards and accreditations, and expanding private sector trade and exchanges.
Korea, China to continue strategic partnership: President
President Park Geun-hye emphasized on Sept. 4 that the Korea-China relationship needs to continuously develop so that the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia can move toward a future of peace and stability. In an interview with the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, she said, “In order to transform the various conflicts and confrontations taking place these day in Northeast Asia into peace and cooperation, we need to make a joint effort to move forward toward a new future based on a proper understanding of history. Based on such a foundation, the scars of history will be healed and cured.” “History will flow and exist forever. Those who do not admit to it are just trying to cover the sky with their bare palms, overestimating their capability,” she added. th “This year marks the 70 anniversary of victory in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the end of World War II. It is meaningful th that this year also marks the 70 year of Korea’s independence and that of the division of the Korean Peninsula.” She also emphasized the importance of a paradigm that enhances mutual cooperation based on common understanding in Northeast Asia. “In order to build a new order of trust through the practice of cooperation, Korea has been carrying out its Northeast Peace and Cooperation Initiative and is making efforts to restart the trilateral summit meetings between Korea, China and Japan,” said the president, regarding relations between the three countries. “I hope an important turning point can be made to create a more future-looking order in Northeast Asia through both this anniversary of victory in war and through the Korea-China summit,” she added. In regard to the Seoul-Beijing relationship, she said, “In order for Korea and
President Park Geun-hye (third from right) walks toward Tiananmen Square with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other world leaders who are in Beijing for China’s 70th anniversary of its victory in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, on Sept. 3.
China to make their dreams come true together, both sides need to make further developments in the long term in their strategic partnership that has been expanded to wider areas, such as politics, diplomacy and security. Both countries need to cooperate and make more efforts so that the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia can move toward a future of long-lasting peace and stability.” Meanwhile, media outlets overseas looked closely at the Korea-China summit between President Park and Chinese President Xi Jinping, as well as her attendance at th the celebration of the 70 anniversary of China’s victory in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the end of World War II. Bloomberg focused on the proposed trilateral summit among Korea, China and Japan as discussed by President Park and President Xi. The news agency said, “A three-way summit may ease tensions related to territorial disputes and invigorate talks on a free-trade deal between the countries.” Japanese media, such as the Asahi and
Yomiuri Shimbun and Kyodo News, all focused on the proposed trilateral summit meeting as well. The Asahi Shimbun reported that Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that he, “wants to discuss the concrete time and venue for the meeting through continued communication with Korea and Japan.” In regard to the Korea-Japan summit, the daily said the Japanese official, “showed willingness to accept the proposal if the other party hopes to do so.” Regarding President Park’s presence close to President Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the military parade, Japan’s Nikkei reported that, “President Xi highlighted the cordial reception and hospitality shown to both countries.” The Paper (澎湃新闻), a Chinese news outlet, said, “President Park’s presence on China’s war victory anniversary can be seen as part of the Northeast Asian Peace and Cooperation Initiative.” Regarding her position close to President Xi and President Putin, it said, “Her administration’s attendance at the event will be the first step in overcoming the ‘Asian Paradox.’”
Korea, EU to put FTA into effect The free trade agreement between Korea and the EU, signed in 2010, will be fully implemented by the end of 2015. excerpt from korea.net
President Park Geun-hye (right) and President of the European Council Donald Tusk held summit talks at Cheong Wa Dae on Sept. 15.
resident Park Geun-hye and President of the European Council Donald Tusk agreed to make sure the Korea-EU FTA takes effect this year. The agreement came at the Korea-EU summit meeting on Sept. 15 at Cheong Wa Dae. President Park and President Tusk, who was visiting Korea solely for the bilateral summit, agreed to extend bilateral cooperation by diversifying cooperation to include the industrial, scientific, technological and marine sectors.They also agreed to bolster cooperation on responding to global issues, such as climate change and issues involving the Korean Peninsula. President Park said, “We will make efforts to fully implement the Korea-EU FTA which has been tentatively effective since 2011.We will strengthen negotiations between working-level authorities in both regions in order to create measures to boost more balanced trade and to extend invest-
ments in each region.” “Korea and the EU agreed to manage in a more substantial manner the more than 30 cooperation committees that were formed since the Korea-EU summit in 2013, covering the industrial, educational and culture sectors. Both regions agreed to strengthen research cooperation in the science and technology sectors to improve innovation in such fields as nanotechnology, biotechnology, energy, information and communications technologies (ICT) and in the environmental sector.” In regard to security cooperation she said,“We are glad that security cooperation between Korea and the EU has been expanded to include blue-water security and security in cyberspace. We will continue to make efforts to increase bilateral cooperation.” Korea and the EU have been carrying out joint research projects on the safety of
nanotechnology and joint studies into how to respond effectively in the early stages of an outbreak of an infectious disease. In the energy and ICT sectors, the two regions will conduct joint research into carbon capture and storage technologies in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and from 2016 into the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing. In regard to issues involving the Korean Peninsula, the two leaders shared the view that progress on inter-Korean relations would greatly contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world, as well as to that of the Korean Peninsula. President Tusk reaffir med the EU’s support for Seoul’s Korean Peninsula trust-building process. The European Council president expressed his support for the South Korean government’s standpoint to make progress through dialogue and cooperation, and its pursuit of peaceful reunification.
orea and Jordan will expand coopera t i o n o n e n e r g y, p e o p l e - t o - p e o p l e exchanges and cultural interactions. President Park Geun-hye hosted summit talks with King Abdullah II of Jordan during his official visit to Korea on Sept. 11. In the meeting, she said, “The volume of bilateral trade between our countries exceeded USD 1 billion in 2009. Since then, it has continued to increase, despite recent regional uncertainties. I hope that the two countries can develop many joint projects in energy, construction, medicine and other sectors where both can
create synergies.” King Abdullah II said that Jordan plans to launch a state project worth USD 24 billion, hoping that Korean firms can participate in the project’s development and in the renewable energy sector. President Park responded by saying that, “Thanks to the MOU on energy cooperation signed by both countries, I hope that we can share technology and knowledge and engage in more active people-to-people exchanges and educational training sessions that can help Jordan’s energy sector develop.”
President Park told the Jordanian leader that, “People-to-people and cultural exchanges have been growing between our countries. I hope the newly signed visa exemption agreement for diplomatic passports can offer a systematic framework to vitalize people-to-people exchanges.” The Jordanian monarch mentioned cooperation in the medical sector. He said, “Jordan will build a remote medical treatment system and complete its computerization by 2016. As Korea holds state-of-the-art technology in the medical sector, I hope Korea can work with us in this sector, too.”
Korea, Jordan to extend cooperation and exchanges The two heads of state emphasize the strong bilateral relations and the need to further improve cooperation. excerpt from korea.net
First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Tae-yong (front row, right) and his Jordanian counterpart signed a visa exemption agreement for diplomatic passports, on Sept. 11 in Seoul. President Park Geun-hye and King Abdullah II of Jordan oversee the signing ceremony.
The government announced that it would pursue labor reforms to deal with excessive work hours. © Yonhap News
President’s Address to the Nation President Park emphasizes reform in four sectors to improve economic fundamentals and growth potential. Written by Julianna Chung
n August 6, 2015, President Park Geun-hye called on the nation to push for economic reforms to place the country on a long-ter m, sustainable growth path. During the 24-minute nationally-televised public address, Park emphasized the need to carry out reforms in four key sectors of the economy: the labor market, the public sector, the education system and the financial sector. President Park emphasized the importance of these reforms, saying, “To realize more economic reforms and for Korea to become an economic world
leader, we must undergo an overall transformation of the economy.” Labor market reform
Noting that youth unemployment now exceeds 10 percent, the president commented on the newly coined term – the sampo generation’- that refers to young people who have given up on dating, marr iage and having children because of uncer tainties about the future. Park emphasized the need for labor market reforms, which she said would lead to job
creation and address the dire situation faced by the younger generation. Referring to the Korean wage system where wages generally increase based on seniority rather than performance or merit, the president urged workers to accept a wage cap under which older workers would work for more year s, with an extended retirement age, at fixed salaries, regardless of their seniority, in order to provide more job openings for young people. This is in line with the extension of the retirement age to 60 next year. The presi-
dent entreated full-time and high-salaried workers to share the pain of the younger generations who continue to be unemployed, due to the lack of jobs in the market and to make concessions that would allow the country to maintain employment while also allowing young people to become confident members of society. “We can maintain employment and create more jobs only when we embrace a fair and flexible labor market,” she said, one which is determined by merit. Park stated that the government would take the lead in these reforms by implementing the peak wage system at all public organizations within the year. She stated that the new wage system would result in savings that would create 8,000 jobs for young people over the next two years. Public sector reform
President Park vowed to overhaul public companies, often denounced for their lax management and low productivity. She stated that the government came up with a
During an exam-free semester, middle school students take a special class at a local courthouse. © Yonhap News
road map to rationalize ineffective practices in the public sector and by following it as scheduled has reformed the Government Employees’ Pension and cleared the way to save KRW 497 trillion in taxes over the next seven decades. Building on the success of this first phase of reform, the president stated that she would focus on preventing wasteful spending by merging or discontinuing similar or overlapping government-subsidized projects in various ministries. In this regard, she pledged to improve fiscal man-
President Park closed her speech by pleading for cooperation from all economic agents and citizens, urging them to,“make these reforms successful in order to build a path toward a new Republic of Korea.”
A job fair is crowded with job seekers. The government emphasizes the importance of labor reform to increase youth employment. © Yonhap News
agement at public organizations and to make government fiscal information transparent, particularly through the “Open Fiscal Data” site, an online government portal that publicly displays various government fiscal statistics and the status of the government’s fiscal operations. “I hope you will visit the portal to monitor how your tax money is being spent and serve as a watchdog to correct wasteful spending,” said the president. Educational reform
There are three goals for education policy: to create an education system that effectively helps students develop their talents and reach their dreams; to realize a society based on merit and not academic background; and, to nurture talented people with the kinds of skills most needed in the modern world. President Park pointed out that, “Middle and high school students are saddled with excessive workloads and overly focused on the college entrance exam. College students only seek to acquire credentials that are largely irrelevant to their jobs. Finally, parents are indiscriminately suffering due to the hefty cost of their children’s education,” and emphasized that a dramatic improvement is needed in Korea’s education system. Financial sector reform
President Park commented on the benefit of introducing new financial models, saying, “The Korean finance industry will become much more competitive and innovative, helping individuals to start businesses and to create good jobs. That will help Korea become a strong power in terms of technology used at financial institutions.” In September, the government also began regulatory reforms to accord the financial sector greater autonomy and to hold it to a higher standard of accountability, ultimately to eradicate selfish, risk-averse behavior in the financial community and to support creativity and innovation.
Fly High, Drones! Drones are fast changing the way we live. Written by Cheong Kyu-young
n August 11, the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) conducted a successful test of its solar-powered drone, the EAV-3, flying it into the stratosphere to an altitude of 14 kilometers.At this altitude, air density is only 53 % of that at 10 kilometers, a common altitude for civilian aircraft, and the temperature is 30 degrees Celsius lower. This makes flying difficult, but the lack of cloud cover allows drones to use sunlight as an energy source.The EAV3’s wings are 20 meters long for flying at a high altitude, but the drone weighs only 53 kilograms because they are made of domestically-developed carbon fiber composite materials. KARI plans to improve the aircraft so that it can fly at an altitude of up to 20 kilometers for several days. If the solarpowered EAV-3 can fly in the stratosphere
for a longer period of time, it will be able to carry out many different tasks that complement artificial satellites, such as real-time close terrestrial observation and the relay of telecommunications, at a much lower cost. Drones change how we live
Drones are unmanned aer ial vehicles (UAVs) either controlled by “pilots” from the ground or autonomously following a pre-programmed mission. Originally developed for the military, drones are increasingly used for everyday civilian and commercial purposes. A growing number of people also fly smaller drones simply as a hobby. The dictionary definition of the word “drone” is “a low continuous humming sound,” such as that of a bee.This name was given to UAVs since they make such a
sound as they fly. The use of drones began in the mid-2000s in the U.S. military.They can deliver precision strikes without the need for more intrusive military action, and the loss of life is minimized even if they crash. In Korea, the country’s largest UAV developer, UconSystem, is developing multi-purpose integrated surveillance and reconnaissance systems, including a dronekiller, to be introduced onto the market by the end of 2015. Over 90% of all drones today are used for military purposes, but this is expected to change as the number of commercial uses for the aircraft grows by the day. Many journalists and photographers use drones to capture dramatic aer ial footage. In December 2013, Amazon announced its initiative to deliver packages to customers
New toys for ‘kidults’
in 30 minutes or less via drones, a service known as Prime Air.There are still significant legal and regulatory issues to be solved, but the company plans to begin its dronebased delivery service in the U.S. as soon as it is cleared to operate drones commercially. Global tech giants such as Google and Facebook are investing heavily in drone technologies to bring wireless Internet to remote parts of the world.
1 - A drone flies over Haeundae Beach in Busan, part of the lifeguards’ safety tools. 2 - B yrobot’s Drone Righter is designed to allow its users to simulate flight using their computers. 3 - T he Korea Aerospace Research Institute’s EAV-3 succeeded in flying into the stratosphere to an altitude of 14 kilometers.
The Korean government recently announced plans to develop the domestic drone industry by 2023, with the goal of becoming a global powerhouse in UAV technology. 3
T h e Ko r e a n g ove r n m e n t r e c e n t l y announced plans to develop the domestic drone industry by 2023. The main focus will be on utilizing small consumer drones, which are very popular among hobbyists and “kidults,”—grown-ups who hold on to the imaginative, creative spark of childhood—since they can be easily operated using smartphones or tablets. The fastestgrowing consumer drone manufacturer today is China’s DJI. Founded in 2006, the company introduced its first product just three years ago, but it now accounts for nearly 70% of the world’s consumer drone market. DJI’s total sales are expected to break the USD 1 billion mark within the year. The leading player in the domestic drone market is Byrobot. The company’s palm-sized quad-copter, dubbed the Drone Fighter, enables its users to simulate flight using a computer. Users can also fight drone battles by firing and hitting other drones with infrared signals. Junilab’s Xtrone is an affordable, easy-to-operate drone. Users can adjust their aircraft’s flying speed depending on their skills.
Central Asian Village Explore an eclectic, exotic neighborhood in the heart of Seoul. Written by Kim Hyeon-tae Photographed by hong ha-yan
trolling through the narrow alleys behind the shopping complexes of Dongdaemun in central Seoul, one can easily get lost in the small corner of the area filled with signs in Cyrillic writing. A collection of Uzbek, Kazakh and Mongolian restaurants and shops has coalesced over the years in Gwanghui-dong as more and more ethnic Koreans and migrant workers from Central Asia have moved in. Near Exit No. 5 of Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Subway Station, a colorful signpost marks the edge of the Central Asian Village. Each sign shows the direction and distance to a major Central Asian city. For instance, it is 5,126 kilometers to Samarkand, the second-largest city in Uzbekistan, and 4,649 kilometers to Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. What, then, brought the inhabitants of this neighborhood to a sprawling city so far from home? In 1990, Korea established diplomatic ties with Russia, and people from Russia and Central America began to frequently visit Seoul for business and set up shop in the Dongdaemun area. Numerous shipping companies and cargo service centers of the village ship out products from Dongdaemun Market to be sold in their home countries. Cozy re staurants and shops
The Central Asian Village does not dazzle you with intricate and extravagant structures like Incheonâ€™s Chinatown. There are no flashing neon signs or electronic panels that advertise products. In fact, the streets may seem in stark contrast to the glitz and glamour of the futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza and busy shopping malls.The non-descript exterior of the neighborhood, however, is no indication of what it A colorful signpost stands at the edge of the Central Asian Village in Seoulâ€™s Gwanghui-dong. 40
Started in the 1990s as a settlement of Russian traders, the Central Asian Village caters to a sizable community of immigrants today.
has to offer. One of the oldest and most popular restaurants in the area is Cafe Samarkand, an Uzbek establishment. Famous for its lamb dishes, it offers a number of local specialties, including manti, steamed lamb dumplings, and shashlik, chunky meat on metal skewers, as well as Russian beer. Ulaanbaatar is a lively restaurant that ser ves an ar ray of Mongolian dishes, including dumplings, stews and pastries. The Mongolian diet features primarily meat because the climate in Mongolia is so extreme. For anyone who wants to venture outside his comfort zone, horse meat would be a good choice. Other popular restaurants include Krai Rodnoi, which serves Russian home-style cuisine, and Uzbek eatery Tabassum. In addition to dining establishments, the Central Asian Village is filled with bakeries, grocery shops and home décor shops that are popular even among Koreans.
This restaurant specializes in Russian homemade meals and lamb dishes. 41
Untold history of Goryeo saram
Looking at Cyr illic signs and hear ing people speaking Russian, one might simply think that the neighborhood is no more than a cluster of businesses catering to the needs of Seoul’s Central Asian community. Upon a closer look, however, it is apparent that many look Korean. They are the descendants of ethnic Koreans, referred to as Goryeo saram, meaning “Korean people,” from the post-Soviet states.Their ancestors were forced out of the Russian Far East during Josef Stalin’s ethnic cleansings that started in the late 1930s. Stalin feared that the massive Korean population on the eastern margins of the Soviet Union might cooperate with a Japanese invasion, so he ordered them to be deported across Central Asia. There are still some 370,000 ethnic Koreans living in Central Asia today. This tragic history is also part of Seoul’s Central Asian Village.
Uzbek lamb dumplings, menti, and lamb skewers.
Actor and Filmmaker Na Woon-gyu He united the people during times of trial. Written by Kim Hyeon-tae
n October 1, 1926, the Danseongsa Theatre in the Jongno area of central Seoul was completely packed for the premiere of the movie, “Arirang.” The movie tells the stor y of Yeongjin, a young man who becomes mentally ill after being imprisoned and tortured by colonial authorities because he joined the March 1 Independence Movement for Korean independence. He returns home to live with his father and his sister,Yeonghui. While the village is preoccupied with the harvest festival, an informer for the colonial police, named Giho, attempts to rape Yeonghui. Her boyfriend, Hyeongu, fights Giho while Yeongjin watches, not understanding what is happening. Suddenly,Yeongjin picks up a
sickle and kills Giho.The sight of so much blood shocks Yeongjin and brings him back to sanity, but he is now a murderer.The film ends with the colonial police taking Yeongjin to prison as the song “Arirang” is played. Everyone in the theatre sang the song together as tears rolled down their cheeks. The Japanese police pressured the production company to immediately stop screening the movie, but the movie was such a sensation that it stayed in theatres nationwide for three years. The film won wide acclaim for its realistic portrayal of agrarian society and the filming techniques used to portray Yeongjin’s illusions.The most revolutionary aspect of the movie was its sub-
ject. The movie dealt with the independence movement while Korea was still under colonial rule, and tied that theme to the folk song “Arirang.” This sensational movie’s star, screenwriter, editor and director was Na Woon-gyu (1902-1937). Independence activist, actor
Na began acting in college. He was gentle and sensitive, yet strong and charismatic, which made him a talented actor. One day, he was taken and beaten by the colonial police for allegedly spreading anti-colonial ideas. Na fled north to Manchuria to avoid prison. At only 16 years old, Na joined the independence fighters in 1919 and participated in the March 1 Independence Move-
ment that year. He was assigned the task of detonating a bomb to cut the railway line between the cities of Hoeryeong and Cheongjin, both in North Korea today, in order to sever communications between colonial troops. Na failed to complete this mission and the colonial regime arrested and tortured him. He was subsequently imprisoned for 18 months. After being released in 1923, Na joined the Yerimhoe Play Troupe that staged performances across the country. His involvement in the troupe opened doors to the film industry, and he became a founding member of Korea’s first movie production company. He then made his film debut in Yun Baek-nam’s “Unyeongjeon” (1925) as a palanquin bearer. He had a big break later that year when he was cast as a leading actor in the movie “Simcheongjeon.” Na did not stop at acting. He decided to try his hand at directing as well. His first film,“Arirang,” was an instant hit. Newspapers and magazines raved about the movie, and even those who had not seen it knew the story inside and out. Even theatres in Japan sent request after request to have their own copies of the movie to screen.
A fallen hero becomes legend
Na’s next movie as a star, screenwriter and director, “Punguna” (1926), was another hit.With two straight successful movies, he was well on his way to the top. Unfortunately, his later works failed to show a profit. Na’s cinematic success seemed to have run its course and he lost any genuine passion for his work. Stronger censorship by the colonial regime did not help. To make matters worse, the Japanese Government-General of Korea threatened to ban Na’s movies unless he deleted all the scenes
“Arirang,” Na’s first movie as a director, perfectly captured the suffering of the Korean people during colonial times.
portraying any sort of anti-colonial sentiment. Na reluctantly deleted the scenes, which made up 15 to 20% of his films, but the stories no longer made much sense. This resulted in lower box office sales. Na eventually opted to appear in movies produced by a Japanese company to overcome his financial troubles, but this earned him harsh criticism from the public. He also tried to make a living by performing in plays in a musical theatre company. Na later landed a lead role in Lee Gyu-hwan’s 1932 film “The Ownerless Ferryboat.” His performance in the movie was highlyacclaimed, but the movie itself failed to become a hit.When more of his films were unsuccessful, Na was completely devastated. His failure to turn out another hit caused his health to suddenly deteriorate and he contracted tuberculosis. His last movie as a director was “Omongnyeo” (1937). The movie was a hit, but Na’s health had suffered so badly from tuberculosis and exhaustion that he died on August 9, 1937, aged 34. Over the 15 years of his film career, Na produced 29 movies and was the director, screenwriter and a lead actor in 15 of them. During the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and World War II in the Pacific (1941-1945), Japan confiscated all movie film, including copies of “Arirang,” to melt it down for rare metals to make military supplies and equipment. Though the original legendary “Arirang” is lost, Na and the film are still remembered in people’s hearts.
1 - Na Woon-gyu (1902-1937) was one of the greatest actors and directors of his time. 2 - N a stars in the 1932 film, “The Ownerless Ferryboat.” © Yonhap News
3 - A statue of Na stands in front of the Korea Film Council’s studios in Namyangju, Gyeonggi-do Province. © Yonhap News
hen I found out that I was going be working in Korea for Korea’s biggest company, I was thrilled. Everything began in 2014 when I applied for a mobility program back home in Guatemala. I had been working for Samsung in Guatemala for over a year and I was looking for a change. I applied for a new position at Samsung headquarters in Korea, and after a lot of hard effort, I was finally accepted into the 2015 Global Mobility Program. Receiving the acceptance e-mail was an extremely emotional moment that I will always remember. I was more than ready to embrace the challenges to come. The big day came, after more than 30 hours of flight time and layovers, and I arrived at Incheon International Airport.
On my first day of work, I was very excited and nervous, like a young student on the first day of school. I came to the office and met my new colleagues. Everyone was very nice, from kindly buying me a cup of coffee to inviting me out with their families on weekends. I felt very well-received. However, my work in Korea could not have been a success without my mentor, Sofia Park. She taught me new things every day, not just work-related but about life in Korea in general. I used to approach everything according to my own way of thinking, but she helped me widen my perspective and gain better footing in the professional work environment. This has given me a better understanding of the company’s direction and global approach to the
diverse markets around the world. AFTER WORK
Working in a Korean company is a challenge.The pressure is immense. Everything is “urgent” and important. Deadlines are always around the corner. However, no effort goes without reward, including the c o m p a ny d i n n e r s . T h ey a re a ve r y common, unique aspect of the working culture in Korea. I remember my first company dinner. It was a Thursday and my colleagues and I left the office at around 6:30 p.m.We went to a Korean BBQ restaurant for dinner. This is one of the most popular types of restaurants in Korea.You can find one in nearly every neighborhood. We got in and took our
My Korean Office Life Working at a Korean company can be a whole new cultural experience. Written by JAVIER MURUA illustrated by kim dong-jin
shoes off to sit at the tables cross-legged on the floor. I looked around and could see that the restaurant was very unlike a Western restaurant. Every table had its own grill and ventilation hood, as if we had our own private barbeque grill. We ordered two different types of meat, pork and beef tenderloin, which has become my absolute favorite, and a spicy soup.There were many different side dishes, including pickled radish, garlic, kimchi, peppers and lettuce, as well as mushrooms and onions to add to the grill with the meat. Finally, drinks were brought to the table.We had cold beer and a clear Korean liquor called soju. It was my first Korean barbeque experience, let alone my first company dinner, with my coworkers. At first, I felt overwhelmed, but
throughout the dinner I perceived great harmony among my teammates, making the atmosphere very relaxing and it was easy to talk with them. After dinner, we moved to another place nearby to get desert and called it a night. It was a great experience. I found that enjoying a good meal with my teammates outside the office helped to build trust and camaraderie. A CULTURE OF RESPECT
In a matter of weeks, my teammates had clearly adopted me as part of the group. In order to work in a Korean company I learned that you first need to understand their society and customs and must be able to adapt and understand how to interact. In my experience, respect is foundational to
Korean interactions, especially toward your supervisor and other co-workers who are senior to you. In Korea, hierarchy is very important both inside and outside the workplace. In the Korean language, there are many ways to say the same thing.Your position and your age determine how you will be addressed and, conversely, how you must address others. There is casual communication that you use among your colleagues who are at the same “level” as you and there is the honorific form that you use when talking to your supervisor or other “superior” person. Another interesting fact is that when someone calls your name, instead of just calling your name, they must add your job position and the word nim at the end. Nim is an honorific suffix. At the office, if I want to address my mentor, who is at the managerial level called gwajang, I would say, “Sofia gwajang-nim.” Another way hierarchy applies is when you send a group e-mail. The email address must be listed in declining order of position. Another case is when you sit in a conference room: the best chair position goes to the person in the “highest” position. What is the best chair position? Usually it is the one with the best view of the room, facing the door. Working in Korea has been an amazing experience, not just because I’m working at a great company, but largely due to the people with whom I’m working. I have been able to experience many different things about the Korean lifestyle, customs and society. Learning about the culture and trying to keep an open mind has led me to enjoy my work at the office and has allowed me to effectively get along with my co-workers. I think that’s the key to working anywhere in the world.
Javier Murua is a Guatemalan native who first joined Samsung Electronics in his home country. He came to Korea this year and works in the Latin American marketing team.
Music that Brings Home Members of New Sukawati, a band founded by Indonesian workers, are rock stars in the Ansan Indonesian community. Written by CHUNG DA-YOUNG Photographed by HONG HA-YAN
t the Ansan M Valley Rock Festival that took place in July, a new band made its debut to the Korean audience. Four Indonesian men collaborated with Korean musicians to play their native songs and Korean rock music. The Southeast Asian melody mixed with upbeat modern rock was a refreshing introduction to the festival, and the crowd cheered to the music. The band that made a great impression to the Korean audience was the Indonesian workers’ band, New Sukawati. MIXTURE OF ESSENCE
New Sukawati is an amateur band formed by Indonesian laborers who work in factories around Ansan City in Korea.The band was first founded in 2006 by Suharto who is now the manager of the band. Suharto first came to Korea in 2005 to work at a factory in Ansan. Suharto who is from a town called Sragen in Central Java found a small community of Indonesians in Ansan who were also from the same town. He felt kinship from the people from his hometown but missed the local music that he used to enjoy back home. “I wanted to hear and play the music from home but there was no place in Korea where I could hear it being played. So I decided to put together a band myself and enjoy it with other fellow Indonesians”, says Suharto. Members of New Sukawati meet once a month to play music or practice for an upcoming gig. 46
He created a band that played Indonesian music with five other fr iends and named it New Sukawati. Sukowati is a province in Bali near East Java. He named it after the province to remember his hometown and the roots of the music they perform. The music genre they specialized in was campursari which means “mixture of essence” in Javanese. It is a crossover of several contemporar y Indonesian music genres.The music is originated from Central Java and the surrounding areas and it is popular among the locals. Modern instruments including bass guitar, drums and keyboards are added to traditional Javanese percussion instruments called ketipung and kendang creating a modern twist to the local music.The original five members left Korea to return to Indonesia and Suharto is the only one remaining in the band. But new members came and went over the years and presently there are 15 members performing in the band, each singing or playing an instrument. All the members are also from Sragen and therefor they are familiar with campursari music.They all joined the band for their love for Indonesian music and wanting to enjoy playing it with others from their hometown. Bella is the lead singer for New Sukawati. He came to Korea two years ago right after finishing school. He first worked at a dye factory in Iksan in Jeollabuk-do Province, but soon became homesick. Bella, who always loved Indonesian music, looked for people who played campursari music and shared his passion. He found New Sukawati in Ansan, the only Indonesian band that plays this genre, and made the decision to move to Ansan to be closer to the music. “I don’t feel so lonely when I sing with my band.And when I’m on stage, I can enjoy the freedom of playing music”, he says. Bella and the other band members get together once a month during a weekend to play together or practice for an upcoming gig. Like Bella, the other members also work in factories in Ansan and nearby
industrial cities. Ansan is an industrial city in Gyeonggi-do Province south of Seoul which is largely populated by foreign workers of various nationalities who work in the city’s manufacturing industry. In Ansan, which has been designated as a multicultural area by the city government, there are different communities of different nationalities, including a large Indonesian community from Java. The band is very popular among the Indonesian community in Ansan.When there is a private gathering for a birthday party or special occasion, New Sukawati is hired to perform campursari music.
All the members joined the band for their love for Indonesian music.
“They like hearing us play the songs that they know and dance to it. We have five events booked to perform during the Chuseok holiday”, Suharto says proudly. Apart from performing for the Indonesian community, the band also plays music for audiences of different nationalities at events such as the local multicultural festivals hosted by Ansan City. Recently, the band performed on the biggest stage they have ever exper ienced. The band was invited by the CJ Culture Foundation to perform at the 2015 Ansan M Valley Rock Festival, which is one of the largest rock festivals held in Korea. Four members of the band collaborated with Korean musicians to play six songs on stage which consisted of campursari, pop and Korean songs. Indonesian music was new to the Korean audience, but it was well received with great response. “When we played “Welcome to my Paradise”, which is a popular Indonesian song, the crowd cheered and danced to the song. It was an unforgettable experience and I hope to perform for the Korean audience again”, says Bella. He then adds,“But I don’t want to perform to become popular. I sing because I love music and it reminds me of home”.
The band performed at the Ansan M Valley Rock Festival and was well received by the Korean audience. @ CJ Culture Foundation
True Colors Colorful foliage at Seoraksan Mountain shows off the beauty of fall. Written by Kim Nae-on Photographed by Moon Duk-gwan
Hikers visit Seoraksan Mountain for its beautiful autumn foliage. In 2014, the mountain received some 3.6 million visitors. 48
t 1,708 meters, Seoraksan Mountain is South Korea’s third-highest peak, after Hallasan Mountain and Jirisan Mountain. It is located at the heart of the Baekdudaegan range that runs along the spine of the Korean Peninsula and has long been considered sacred. According to ancient documents, the mountain was named “Seorak,” meaning, “a high, snowy mountain,” because snow starts to fall around the Chuseok holiday, usually in September or October, and persists until the summer solstice. Seoraksan Mountain’s long winter is surely as beautiful as the name suggests, but its autumn is no less beautiful. Perhaps it is even more precious because it is short. Majestic rock formations, jagged peaks, rivers and waterfalls together make for colorful, breathtaking scenery starting in late September. Leaves begin to change into various shades of crimson and gold atop the highest peak, Daecheongbong. The mountain’s autumn scenery climaxes in mid-October, which is, not surprisingly, the most popular time of the year for hikers.Visitors feel as if they are walking into a painting when they walk among the variety of colorful trees, including maple, oak and birch. The one trail every visitor must hike on Seoraksan Mountain is Gongnyongneungseon, or the Dinosaur Ridge trail. Named for a series of rocky peaks along the ridge, the trail affords a surreal view of autumn leaves and a sea of clouds.Visitors can also enjoy magnificent landscapes atop Daecheongbong Peak and in Cheonbuldong Valley, as different locations reveal different aspects of the overall mountain. Once there, no one will be able to deny that Seoraksan Mountain’s beauty is anything less than stunning.
Beef and Vegetable Skewers Written by CHUNG DA-YOUNG Photographed by MOON DUK-GWAN COOKED AND ST YLED BY KIM YOUNG-BIN
orean cuisine features numerous pan-fried fritter-like dishes. Thinly sliced beef, seafood and vegetables dipped in a batter of flour and eggs and pan-fried in oil is a popular party food or side dish served with rice, enjoyed all year round. Small fritters made with one or two ingredients are called jeon and larger varieties shaped like pancakes and made from a mixture of assorted ingredients are called buchimgae. A sanjeok is a type of dish in this category that is made by skewering different ingredients onto thin bamboo sticks and cooking them on a griddle. Beef, spring
onions, oyster mushrooms and carrots are cut into 5 cm-long sticks and skewered in consecutive order so the colors of the ingredients do not overlap one another. Before being assembled, the beef and mushrooms are lightly marinated in soy sauce with sugar, minced garlic and sesame oil. The skewers are pan-fried over the gr iddle until the ingredients are fully cooked.The bamboo stick is carefully taken out before serving for a clean presentation. Dipping the skewers in flour and egg before cooking is a modern variation on the traditional recipe.
A sanjeok is a typical holiday dish prepared dur ing Chuseok, the traditional holiday celebrating the autumn harvest. An assortment of jeon and sanjeok are prepared for Chuseok celebrations, and the entire family gathers together to enjoy the colorful dishes. However, there is a place in Seoul where pan-fr ied food can be enjoyed anytime of the year. The Jeon Alley near Gongdeok Subway Station is lined cheek-by-jowl with small jeon shops where dozens of different jeon, buchimgae and jeok are on display from which customers can choose.
Hangeul and Hangeul Day
한글, 한글날 Do you know when Hangeul Day is? Unlike the English alphabet or Chinese characters, Hangeul has a birthday. Every year on October 9, Korea celebrates the invention and proclamation of its unique writing system. This month, we will study Hangeul's history and principles.
Principles behind the Invention of Hangeul
Assembled Writing and Vertical Writing
Long ago, Koreans had to make use of Chinese characters to retain their records because they had no formal alphabet. However, it was not easy to create sentences due to discrepancies in grammatical structures between the two languages. The fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty, King Sejong the Great, felt pity for his people, who had difficulty using the Chinese characters. In 1443, he invented an alphabet based on phonetic symbols - Hangeul - so that anyone could easily learn and use it. After the invention of Hangeul, Sejong continued experimenting with potential phonetic devices for three years, before finally publishing a book in 1446 called Hunminjeongeum, which included an explanation of Hangeul.
Though Hangeul is phoetic alphabet that distinguishes consonants and vowels, when written it adapts a unique method of assembling consonants and vowels into syllabic units. This assembled writing in Hangeul makes it easy to read books and understand their meaning. Hangeul is generally written horizontally from left to right, but it is also possible to write it vertically, which make it possible to use margins effectively when taking notes.
> horizontal writing
ㅅ + ㅗ + ㄴ → 손 [s]
> korean consonants and vocal organs
The basic principle of the letters is the “hieroglyph,” referring to a “symbol in the form of pictures.” There are five basic consonants: ‘ㄱ[k,g],’ ‘ㄴ[n],’ ‘ㅅ[s],’ ‘ㅁ[m],’ and ‘ㅇ[ŋ].’ These are taken from the shape or position of the vocal organs, such as the tongue and lips, as in the above fi gures. Vowels were also created based on the hieroglyph. The three basic vowels- ‘ㆍ[ ],’ ‘– [ ],’ and ‘ㅣ[ i ]’- were respectively taken from the shape of the circular sky, the flat earth, and the standing human being. The other letters are created by either adding additional strokes to the basic letters or combining two letters. For instance, ‘ㅋ[kh]’ is produced by adding a stroke to ‘ㄱ [k, g]’ ; ‘ㄷ[t, d]’ comes from ‘ㄴ[n]’ ; and ‘ㅌ[th]’ comes from ‘ㄷ[t, d].’
Letters that suit the information age Hangeul was once seen as an unfavorble alphabet for mechanization because of its uniquely assembled style. This was because there were difficulties in processing Hangeul using the typewriter or computer, which had been devised for the Roman alphabet. However, it is now being reevulated thaks to recent advances in information technology (IT). It is no longer a problem to type in Hangeul using a computer. Indeed, Hangeul allows for information processing that is quite fast and accurate, and it could be argued that it is well suited to the information age. Since all letters in Hangeul are derived from the eight basic vowels and consonants, it is possible to make effective use of the keypad of a mobile phone, which has ten buttons available. In addition, it is possible to input letters quickly and esily utilizing the principle of stroke addition. > korean keypad on mobile phones
ㄱ[k, g] → ㅋ[kh] → ㅌ[t h]
→ ㄷ[t, d]
→ ㅂ[p, b] → ㅍ[ph]
→ ㅈ[ʧ, ʤ] → ㅊ[ʧ h]
> vertical writing
> assembled writing
Asia Culture Center 38 Munhwajeondang-ro 38 Munhwajeondang-ro Dong-gu Gwnagju Dong-gu Gwnagju (former Jeonnam provincial oﬃce) (former Jeonnam provincial oﬃce)
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Gwangju, the city of human rights, culture and art Gwangju, the city of human rights, culture and art the city of light invities you to be part of a global Asian the city of light invities you to be part of a global Asian art movement, beginning at the Asia Culture Center. art movement, beginning at the Asia Culture Center.
October October Programs Programs
· ACC Archive & Research · Humanities ACC ArchiveLectures(4 & Researchtimes) Humanities Lectures(4 Special project /Librarytimes) park Special project /Library park
· ACC Creation · “Interrupted ACC CreationSurvey: “Interrupted Survey: Fractured Modern Mythologies” Fractured Modern Mythologies” · ACC Theater · Asia ACC Windows(10.8~10.10) Theater Asia Windows(10.8~10.10) Our Masters(10.22~10.25) Our Masters(10.22~10.25)
· Asia Dance Company · Inaugural Asia Dance Company performance(10.13) Inaugural performance(10.13)