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Academy promises new 'traditional' hallyu

Culture Minister Choe Kwang-shik delivers congratulatory remarks during the opening ceremony Monday for the K-Arts Academy at Culture Station Seoul 284. / Yonhap

By Do Je-hae

As a historian by profession, a key policy goal for Culture Minister Choe Kwang-shik has been to promote Korea's traditional arts and alter the perception that "hallyu," or the Korean wave, is limited to K-pop and TV dramas.

Since the beginning of the year, the ministry has implemented new measures to add more depth to the Korean wave, including the opening of an ad-hoc organization within the ministry to that purpose.

The latest such measure is the K-Arts Academy, aimed at educating professionals in the entertainment and culture industry on the nation's history and traditional culture.

The ministry held an opening ceremony for the academy Monday at Culture Station Seoul 284, which concluded with a lecture by Choe on the use of traditional culture for expanding hallyu content.

"We are seeing a growing interest in traditional Korean culture as a result of the spread of hallyu," Choe said. "The hallyu phenomenon has mostly revolved around Korea's popular culture. It is time for us to actively engage our traditional culture as a foundation for hallyu."

Around 150 professionals from broadcasters and affiliated organizations of the culture ministry have signed up for the classes, the ministry said.

The K-Arts Academy will give classes on Korea's ancient architecture, art, music and food, among other themes. Leading scholars and artists in the respective fields have been invited as instructors.

Classes at the K-Art academy will continue until May 31 at the Korea Arts Management Service in Jongno, central Seoul.

The academy will be jointly organized by the National Museum of Korea, National Gugak Center, National Folk Museum of Korea, Korea Arts Management Service and the Korea Craft & Design Foundation. The ministry and the organizations signed a memorandum of understanding for the joint operation of the academy during the opening ceremony.

"Through the K-Arts Academy, we hope to provide an opportunity for the industry leader to form a deeper understanding of our own tradition," Choe said. "Their knowledge will be useful in creating a new wave of hallyu."

The ministry will also establish a ballet academy in 2013 and an art academy for gifted children in the near future. The Korean Musical Academy will open in 2013 as well.

In February, the ministry announced a series of measures to promote hallyu, including the renovation of public buildings and Korean diplomatic missions to give them a more traditional look and creating spaces within airports and major hotels to promote the nation's traditional culture.

The ministry will also set up a new promotional center for "hanbok" (traditional Korean dress) and incorporate more classes on traditional arts in the school curriculum.

It will spend 54.4 billion won this year toward the expansion of hallyu and increase the budget in the following year in cooperation with the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

For promoting overseas cultural exchanges, the number of Korean cultural centers around the world will increase from the current 24 to 36 by 2014. Additional Korean language centers, named King Sejong Institutes, will be established, from the current 60 to some 200 by 2016.

source: The Korea Times
Tags: korean wave / hallyu

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