Woo Jin-yung, director of the Korea Culture and Information Service
By Do Je-hae
The popularity of local culture, otherwise known as "hallyu", has brought along new challenges in promoting Korea to the outside world.
One of them is building online and offline database of hallyu, which the Korea Culture and Information Service (KOCIS), the state-run overseas PR agency, has started to embrace as key responsibilities.
In a recent interview with The Korea Times, KOCIS director Woo Jin-yung stressed the importance of proper records that chronicle the past, present and future of hallyu.
"It is vitally important to organize the achievements and visions of hallyu through books or other written materials, in a variety of language versions", the assistant culture minister said in the interview at his office near Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul.
KOCIS is dealing with the tasks of this critical phase in the hallyu movement, at a time when there are growing doubts from home and abroad about its longevity.
"When I met with heads of overseas Korean cultural centers earlier this year, a common concern they conveyed to me was the lack of proper written promotional materials in the language of the countries they are based in", Woo said. "A key project for us this year is to publish a book (in English and in Korean) on the history of hallyu". The tentative title is "The Korean Wave".
To make a case on the importance of promotional materials, he related to his experience as the head of the director of the Korean Cultural Center in New York from 2005 through 2007.
"In New York, I started a project with The New York Times to compile all of the newspaper's articles on Korea into a book on a yearly basis", Woo said.
The books are entirely in color, and the articles are presented in their original layout as printed in the newspaper.
"We distributed these books to universities with Korea studies program, including Harvard University, as well as libraries and research institutes. Some universities have chosen them as textbooks for introducing Korea", the former spokesman of the culture ministry said.
Rapid industrialization since the 1970s has built what is now the world's 13th largest economy, but Korea remains desperate for cultural respect worldwide that matches its economic stature.
Officials will utilize the forthcoming London Olympics as an impactful global platform for spreading the best of Korean culture.
"A recent survey by the Presidential Council on Nation Branding shows suggests the European public remain largely unaware of Korea culture, even though K-pop has started to enter the continent. Additionally, the survey suggested that our traditional arts have gained little recognition outside Korea", Woo said.
Korea's previous Olympic experiences were focus on medal counts, but in London, Korea will also be devoted to introducing its culture with a focus on a third phase of hallyu that centers around traditional arts.
"By staging a promotional campaign in London with dignity, we hope to improve our national brand".
KOCIS will organize a 100-day promotional campaign for Korea entitled "All Eyes on Korea @ London Olympics" from June 2 to Sept. 9. Renowned artists including soprano Jo Su-mi, maestro Chung Myung-whun, "pansori" singer Lee Ja-ram and fashion designer Lee Sang-bong, will highlight the event at the Southbank Center.
Source : www.koreatimes.co.kr/... ( English Korean )
[Spoiler] "Lights and Shadows" Lee Pil-mo, "No one can have her if I can't"
Cha Soo-hyeok (Lee Pil-mo) swore he will not give up on Lee Jeong-hye (Nam Sang-mi). MBC drama "L,...More
Subscribe to HanCinema Pure to remove ads (not for episodes) for US$2.99 per month (you can cancel anytime).
The first step is to sign up as a member, please click here : Sign up, then a subscribe button will show.