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Culture minister-nominee to seek harmony between tradition, modernity

2011/08/31 | 170 views |  | Permalink | Source

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By Chung Ah-young

Choe Kwang-shik, minister nominee of culture, sports and tourism, said Wednesday that he will combine traditional Korean culture with tourism and other culture-related industries to globalize Korean culture.

"I've accepted the designation as my duty to extend what I have done during my term in office as the director of the National Museum of Korea and the Cultural Heritage Administration", he said in a press conference.

The 58-year-old nominee likened traditional Korean culture to "jogakbo" or patchwork, saying "it shows off unified beauty by connecting different pieces".

"Like this, I will try to pursue harmony through communication in the cultural administration", he said.
As the former director of the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA), he expressed a deep interest in balance between tradition and modernity.

In line with his pledge, Choe said that the CHA is planning to hold a heritage fashion show to mark its 50th anniversary on Oct. 2 at Gyeongbok Palace, which will present modern beauties mixing with traditional adornments.

He also said that he took an example of making the top of modern buildings as the traditional roof tiles or adopting "hangeul" (Korean alphabet) letters into the architecture designs to seek balance between tradition and modernity.
His designation came three and half years after he became the director of the National Museum of Korea in 2008 and then the director of the CHA earlier this year.

Choe will become the first culture minister to have served the two top cultural posts.

During his term as the museum head, Choe was highly appreciated for his administrative skills by successfully hosting global leaders of the G20 nations at a dinner reception at the museum when Seoul hosted the G20 summit in November last year.

Choe worked as a professor of Korean history at Korea University and has been involved in various academic activities.

He specializes in studies of ancient Korean history and is one of the founders of the Goguryeo Research Foundation, a predecessor of the present Northeast History Foundation. The foundation was launched in protest of the so-called Northeast Project, a Chinese academic program to re-examine the ancient history of its northeastern region. Choe also took the helm of the Korea University Museum (2000-2008).

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