gnb content footer

home

News Focus

Policies

Policies

Cultural policies and trends of 2012

K-pop ranked atop the recently released 2012 Arts and Culture Trends report.

If the previous year’s report brought up the topic of smart technology as the key issue, this year’s talking point is K-pop fever sweeping across the globe and social media, the driving force behind such a widespread popularity, which fuels the current Hallyu (Korean wave) movement to reach as far as South America and the Middle East.

The report is the accumulation of a five-month-long in-depth study led by the Korea Culture & Tourism Institute (KCTI, www.kcti.re.kr), which involves research and survey input from about 100 experts, academics, and professionals in the field. The KCTI conducted the study for the second consecutive year to better assess policy needs and priorities adapted to changes in culture.

K-pop idol groups Girls' Generation (left) and 2NE1
K-pop idol groups Girls' Generation (left) and 2NE1 (photo credit: SM Entertainment & YG Entertainment; courtesy of CJ E&M enewsWorld)

According to the survey results unveiled on December 26 by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, trends in focus for the year of 2012 include “rediscovery of family leisure time” through implementation of the five-day school-week starting this year -- following the introduction of the five-day work week on July 1, 2011.

Also appearing on the list was a propensity for experimentation and cross-genre borrowing in a wide range of intercultural dialogues. The report predicted expanded multi-cultural dimensions in arts across genres, alongside reinforced corporate philanthropy and intersection between art and business.

The restorative and socially engaging roles of arts and culture were stressed in the promotion of social responsibility, social cohesion, urban regeneration, and even environmental protection.

Inside the newly renovated historic Seoul Station, an inaugural multi-genre art exhibition project, Countdown, is taking place. The official reopening of Culture Station Seoul 284 is slated for this March
Inside the newly renovated historic Seoul Station, an inaugural multi-genre art exhibition project, Countdown, is taking place. The official reopening of Culture Station Seoul 284 is slated for this March (photographed by Hwang Dana).

In 2012, the ministry will exert efforts to continue the momentum in transforming the landscapes of the country’s old industrial facilities into artsy urban spaces, following the exemplary renewal of Culture Station 284 (www.countdown2011.org).

The report prospected an acceleration of influx of the culture of marginalized populations into the mainstream in the year of 2012. Cultural diversity and intercultural understanding were considered to make an instrumental contribution to resolving the challenges the world is facing today, stimulating the renewed quest for cultural appreciation.

In light of climate change, the report also predicted the advent of more environmental-friendly art movements that awaken and develop ecological sensitivity through artistic expressions.

Overall, the outlook for 2012 report recognizes the increasingly important roles that arts and culture play in the constructive transformation of a post-industrial society striving to meet the demands of the people in a rapidly changing world, and communicates the ever-growing social impact to encourage support in both public and private sectors.

President Lee participates in the annual task report session by the Culture Ministry and shares publications for the Books for Hope event
President Lee participates in the annual task report session by the Culture Ministry and shares publications for the Books for Hope event (photo courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae).

The Culture Ministry incorporated the evaluated trends in presenting its annual task report to President Lee Myung-bak on December 29. Culture Minister Choe Kwang-shik emphasized the industrial and economic values of the Korean wave in its contribution to job creation as a rising export component. “To make the Korean Wave led by K-pop become a long-lasting cultural phenomenon beyond a momentary syndrome, the ministry will strive to diversify the sources of the Korean Wave potentially to traditional Korean culture, tourism, and sports among others,” added Choe.

Moreover, with the five-day school-week taking effect in 2012, a plan to run Saturday schools was also announced that day. The Saturday schools will offer opportunities for students to attend various cultural programs.

In this context to realize the full potential of the cultural enjoyment of the people, the Culture Ministry decided to allocate an additional budget in the execution of a cultural voucher policy -- from 53.8 billion won (for 1.26 million people) in 2011 to 73.7 billion won (for 1.71 million) in 2012 -- ultimately to benefit children and under-privileged groups.

In order to maximize the many positive social functions that arts and culture bear, the government body plans to implement welfare programs for artists on November 18, and build a relevant foundation that oversees the task. The ministry will undertake a new project to further foster social workers with cultural competence.

Besides, the ministry urged the need to set up a favorable environment for a sound cultural ecosystem that integrates social cohesion, cultural donation, and fair-trade, while also bringing up convergence and communication as key words in its objective-sharing.

Art fence installations at the construction site for the UUL National Art Museum, Seoul, next to Gyeongbok-gung Palace
Art fence installations at the construction site for the UUL National Art Museum, Seoul, next to Gyeongbok-gung Palace (photographed by Hwang Dana).

Meanwhile, the Culture Ministry will see the openings of several new cultural institutions this year, the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History (www.museumrok.go.kr) across from the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts and a hall dedicated to Taekwondo performances inside the Seoul Olympic Park’s Convention Center. February 2013 will be the opening of the Seoul annex of the National Art Museum, known as UUL (www.uul.go.kr).

By Hwang Dana
Korea.net Staff Writer

List

Department Global Communication and Contents Division , Contact Us