Korea, France to launch cultural exchange programs

Korea, France to launch cultural exchange programs

Korean culture will be on display throughout France starting this September as part of a cultural exchange programme to mark the 130th anniversary of diplomatic relations between South Korea and France next year.

The first lineup of 85 Korean cultural programs were announced Tuesday by the Korean committee of the cultural exchange programme.

Programs range from concerts, performances and exhibitions of major modern and contemporary Korean artists to a retrospective of revered filmmaker Im Kwon-taek. More programs are expected to be announced before September.

A performance of UNESCO-listed royal ancestral ritual music will raise the curtain for the year-long cultural celebration for the two countries on Sept. 18 at the Chaillot National Theater in Paris.

It will continue with the Paris Autumn Festival where traditional and contemporary Korean music and performance will be introduced to people in Paris during the four-month festival.

"The cultural exchange introduces highlights of Korean culture to France. Programs will range from those performed by established artists to young artists," Choe Jun-ho, artistic director of the cultural exchange programme and drama professor at the Korea National University of Arts, said at a news conference Tuesday.

Korean visual art will be shown extensively at major exhibition spaces in Paris and other cities.

Korea has been invited to this year's France Craft Biennale from Sept. 9-13 as a guest country. Korean aesthetics will be highlighted in depth at the Museum of Decorative Arts, which will present Korean craft art, fashion and design.

Exhibitions of modern and contemporary Korean artists will be on display for the festival until next year.

Renowned photographer Bae Bien-u will also unveil his two-year photo project shooting the French Renaissance castle Chateau de Chambord. Photos will be on display at the castle from Sept. 26 to April 10.

Internationally famous Korean artists such as Lee U-fan and Lee Bul will also hold exhibitions from October to early next year in Paris.

Lee U-fan, whose monochrome paintings inspired many artists around the world, will present 100 paintings and 27 folding screen paintings that will guide viewers on the aesthetics of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

Lee Bul will present her latest installation piece at the contemporary art museum Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

French cultural programs will begin in Korea from January to December next year. The full lineup is yet to be released.

"This exchange programme aims to open cultural doors to each other. It is not confined to culture, but open to people-to-people exchanges and networks in science, education and tourism," said Daniel Ollivier, director of Institut Francais in Seoul.

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