MOVING KOREA: Art in a Different Perspective

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As we grow up, we realize that the way we see things are not always the same as how the world views it.

Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines opened its first interactive art exhibit ‘Moving Korea’ last June 8, 2017 at the KCC Exhibit Hall.

The exhibit features 18 modern and kinetic interactive artworks of contemporary artists Na Hyoung-min, Kim Dongho, Kwon Kisoo, Vakki, Everyware, Wang Ziwon, Lee Lee-nam, Hybe, and Han Jinsoo.

KCC was given the opportunity to have Artist Na Hyoung-min in the opening ceremony last June 8. He introduced a unique method of painting –the lenticular method–which he used on his artworks displayed at the exhibit.

This method uses lenticular lenses to produce an image with an illusion of depth or the ability to change or move as the image is viewed from different angles.

Na Hyoung-min studied Oriental Painting in Seoul National University where he also earned his Master’s Degree. He is currently serving as a professor in College of Fine Arts at Kyung Hee University.

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The Artist Talk started with Mr. Na explaining the creation process of his artworks while simultaneously playing a short video. He introduced some of his creations which are currently displayed at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arts in Seoul, South Korea.

He also discussed the inspirations he had in his art. According to him, there are times when he just stare into space without thinking while looking at paintings in museums. Also, most of his artworks have a background of nature because he’s from the rural area of Seoul.

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Questions from audience were also entertained. A guest asked him when did he realized that he knew he wanted to be an artist. Na shared that he was deeply immersed with arts and paintings since his childhood that when he first drew an army war between Korea and America, his mother thought he’d be a general someday. Turns out, he became an artist like Leonardo Da Vinci and Vincent Van Gogh whom he admires.

 

OPENING CEREMONY

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A short introductory speech was given by KCC Director Lee Jin Cheol during the opening ceremony of the exhibit. He expressed his warm welcome and gratitude to the artists for their contribution to the art exhibit here in the Philippines. He wanted to inform the public of Korea’s interactive and modern art installation in the country.

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Artist Na Hyoung-min introduced his artworks “The Moon” and “The Ring Around the Moon” which was inspired by Daeboreum or the First Full Moon Holiday in South Korea.

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From Left: National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) Head of International Affairs Anne Luis; Korean Copyright Commission Director JEONG Jae Woo; Instituto Cervantes de Manila Director Carlos Madrid; Korean artist NA Hyoung-min; Kim Chun Bae; UP Professor Aldrin Lee; and KCC Director LEE Jincheol

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Students from KCC's K-Musical Class wrapped up the event with two awesome performances.

Other artworks include:

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A Song of Nature by Lee Lee Nam

The artist uses the combination of traditional painting and modern technology by bringing traditional paintings of colorful butterflies to life using a four-minute short video which allows our human imagination to capture the real-life movement of butterflies.

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Lightning Bug by Kim Dong Ho

Kim Dong Ho's hybrid project is made out of little ladybug-like electronic objects which is activated according to the spectator's movement.

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Toyrider by Everyware

Kids and kids-at-heart will surely enjoy this hybrid project of Everyware. It displays different illusions of a toy village by moving the steering wheel made of lego.
우리는 매일 마주한다 (We face each other everyday) by Vakki

Using a camera and artificial intelligence computer vision algorithms, the audiences' face, skeletal motion and positions are detected. Commensurate to the detected motion, new patterns are generated and moved (rotation and expansion).
Light Tree: Interactive Dan Flavin by HYBE

Interactive Dan Flavin pays homage to Dan Flavin, an American minimalist artist famous for creating sculptural objects and installations from commercially available fluorescent light fixtures. Hybe's work expands the logic of Flavin by reinforcing the physical property of light through interactive media. It represents an escape from traditional lighting, as light and color changes when touched by viewers. Lighting here is divided into front and back, and colors are programmed to maintain complementary colors.

Check these and other interactive artworks from Moving Korea at Korean Cultural Center Exhibit Hall, Taguig from June 8 to July 14, 2017. Admission is FREE!

For more information contact (02)555-1711 or e-mail curator@koreanculture.ph

Hyeonchung-Il (현충일): Korean Memorial Day

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The Korean Memorial Day (현충일, 顯忠日, Hyeonchung-il) is a national non-working holiday held every June 6 to honor the soldiers and civilians who sacrificed their lives for Korea. It was declared a public holiday by the Korean Government on April 19, 1956.

On this day, memorial ceremonies are held to commemorate the men and women who died while in military service during the Korean War and other significant wars or battles. The largest ceremony is held at the National Cemetery in Seoul with the President and some government officials in attendance. Officials and citizens place flowers and offerings at the graves of those who died in battle. War veterans also salute in front of the gravestone of their fellow soldiers.

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At 10 in the morning, a siren rings all over the country, and people offer silent prayers for one minute. The Korean flag (태국기, Taegukgi)  is flown at half-staff and the Memorial Day Song (현충일 노래, Hyeonchung-il Norae) is also played.  Some houses and business establishments display the Korean flag on their front doors. All of these are done to pay respect to the people who heed the call to stand up and fight for the freedom of their countrymen.

Filipinos in the Korean War

Writer’s Note: Since this article aims to honor the people who gave their lives to protect and defend their country, I would like to take this opportunity to also acknowledge the astonishing act of humanity and selflessness our fellow Filipino soldiers did during the Korean War.

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Filipino-Korean Soldier Monument. This monument of two Filipino soldiers aiding a Korean soldier is dedicated to the Filipino combat soldiers who fought with the Korean troops during the Korean War.

The Philippines was the first Asian country to send combat troops to the Korean War. Comprised of five Battalion Combat Teams (BCTs), composed of 7,150 officers and men, President Elpidio Quirino sent the Philippine Expeditionary Forces To Korea (PEFTOK) to fight in the Korean War in September 1950.

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The PEFTOK creed at the Museum of the PEFTOK Korean War Memorial Hall at Fort Bonifacio.

Overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War, the Korean War is referred to as the “Forgotten War.” Many young Filipinos today are unaware of the sacrifices our brave soldiers to help South Korea gain the freedom and democracy has today.

Most, if not all, of our history classes do not discuss this important event in our country’s past. I hope that their sacrifices will not be forgotten and that the next generation of Filipinos would continue to commemorate the heroism and gallantry of our Korean War veterans.

Credits: Wikipedia.com, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/225235/filipino-soldiers-story-of-korean-war-valor-redux,  http://www.pilipino-express.com/history-a-culture/special-features-history-a-culture/1102-filipinos-in-the-korean-war.html

Written by Krew Member Miao Canlas

Store Wars: Line vs. Kakao

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Before going to Korea, I told my family that I need to have a picture with that “Big-Brown-Teddy” in Myeong-dong. Yes, that was Brown from LINE and I won’t go home without having a picture with it. Also, I told myself that I need to buy that “Pink-Thingy” from KAKAO for my best friend. Yes, that was Apeach- (Jin Young for Agases).

I wasn’t really a “fan” of these applications, as I don’t use it and didn’t know the names of the characters. But seeing their stores in almost every place in Korea, I finally realized what I was missing out.

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LINE and KAKAO characters are both very popular in Korea. These characters have been featured in various cosmetic items, making them as covers for their hand cream, cushion and even face mask. And, it doesn’t end there!

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Coming to LINE STORE in Myeong-dong, I was in awe. The store itself looked like an amusement park, the only thing missing are the rides! Brown, the LINE bear, was in the middle of the store entrance- and people would line up just to get a picture with him!

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LINE stationary items, essentials, toys and accessories were displayed at the ground floor. There was even a LINE cafe together with it! At the second floor, more LINE characters were waiting to take a photo! They were all so cute, I had to stay there for a long time. Displayed were LINE shirts, hoodies, and various apparels.

Next, the KAKAO store.

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Coming to COEX mall, I accidentally bumped into KAKAO store. There’s actually not much difference between KAKAO and LINE store items but, regarding their “ambiance”, this particular KAKAO branch was rather a “typical” one.

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KAKAO only had one floor in COEX and it was filled with people admiring the cuteness of these characters. The cashier was also having a great time! (You know what I mean ^^)

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Majority of KAKAO’s items though were stuff toys- of the different “emotions” of their characters.

So, with this, who won the “store wars”?

Both of them!

Of course it really depends on which app are you most familiar with. But the fact that both LINE and KAKAO jumped out from that mobile application barrier, turning them into one of Korea’s most popular characters where people around the world can recognize, makes them both successful and worth visiting when you come to Korea.

Written Krew Member Maxx Chua

Sweet and cold; Korean Ice Creams and Bingsu

June is just a few days away but Summer is far from over!

In fact, the weather in the Philippines is pretty much unpredictable. It maybe rainy in the morning but extremely sunny in the afternoon. With the kind of environment we have, beating the heat is a must! What else would pop-out in your mind when asked what to eat during such situation? ….. Ice cream!

Are you craving for some ice cream now? Then I suggest that you run into the nearest Korean shop and grab some of these featured ice cream from the freezer!

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♦ Ice pops

Eating ice cream can be messy at times but that’s something you don’t have to worry about when eating ice pops. This is the modest form of iced refreshment and also the cheapest one! It is perfect for a quick break or an after meal munch. Ice pop is the Korean version of our ice candy!

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 ♦ Fish-shaped Ice cream – (Boggupang Ice cream)

This creatively designed ice cream can be frequently seen in Korean marts and other supermarkets in the Philippines. The filling is made up of vanilla ice cream and sweet red beans, while the outer layer is composed of a thick wafer.

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♦ Ice cream sandwich and on-stick ice creams

These chiffon-like sandwich vanilla ice cream and Korean ice drops are still the easiest kinds Korean ice cream to find. You can easily spot them in ice cream freezers at convenient stores and supermarkets.

Bingsu

Bingsu is the Korean counterpart of our ‘Halo-halo.’ Nowadays, the popularity of Bingsu, a Korean dessert composed of shaved ice with fresh ingredients, also conquered the rows of choices for desserts. Yes! There are lots of bingsu shops that introduce variety of flavors for K-foodie lovers! See? Koreans love desserts as much as Filipinos do.

Just to give a quick background, bingsu is one of the most popular desserts in Korea and it is highly consumed during summer. Also, this brings a nostalgic feel to Koreans since it’s a big part of their childhood.

Must try flavors:

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Injeolmi – Traditionally, injeolmi is one of the most popular types of Korean rice cake. It has a chewy texture covered with bean powder. Could you imagine the taste when paired with almond flakes and top on a shaved ice?

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** I’ve tried a fruit-patbingsu before and the combination is pretty pleasing for me.

Red Beans – Keep it traditional. Patbingsu, with pat literally meaning red beans is the most classical type of bingsu in Korea. The dessert itself is just made up of ice, red beans and milk.

Fruit – a traditional kid’s favorite! (Sometimes even topped with ice cream).

Here in the Philippines, different shops got their own takes on their bingsu menus so try to keep an eye to it!

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Chocolate – nothing can beat a good chocolate-flavored bingsu topped with chewy small cubes of chocolate brownies or chocolate corn flakes. Sometimes it comes with a scoop of ice cream!

Suddenly craving for bingsu and ice cream after reading this? There are so many bingsu shops opening around the Philippines and convenience stores offering Korean ice cream now so there’s no more excuse not to try one.

Don’t forget to try any of them before the season ends!

Written by Krew Member Mikay Javier

Window of Pain and Glory; DMZ Docs Film Fest

“How humane can we be as a human?”

Not your traditional Korean and mainstream storyline, variety of characters from the seven internationally-acclaimed documentary films opened our eyes on the sensitive issues brought by the divided peninsula of Korea. These films were screened last May 11 to 13 during the Manila leg of DMZ Docs Korean Film Festival held at the Cine Adarna UPFI Film Center Diliman.

Mrs. B., A North Korean Woman

The film ‘Mrs. B a North Korean Woman’ by director Jero Yun, who graced the opening day, rejuvenated the atmosphere of the theater as it officially kicked off the series of documentaries for the festival. Yun’s film revolved around a North Korean who escaped from her motherland, became a human trafficker in China and eventually tried to see asylum in South Korea. The film gained loads of applause as the story ended with a melodramatic tune coming from Mrs. B.

“To inform the public about Korea’s other side through film and visual arts”

After the screening, Korean Cultural Center Director Lee Jin Cheol informed the audience that the Philippine leg of DMZ International Documentary Film festival aims to display the enormous desire of Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to be remembered as a landmark of peace for the two Koreas who are currently facing political issues.

Following are remarks from UP Film Institute Director Sari Raissa Dalena who noted that the selection of films will make known how the country deals with contemporary issues governing Korea and how such films contribute in cultural exchange.

A rundown of commentaries made by Patrick Campos, Director of the Office of Research and Publication of the College of Mass Communication of the University of the Philippines (UP), remind everyone the importance of human subjects as the base of national interest.

Wrapping up the opening ceremony was a talk made by Director Yun himself who gave his best, to answer all the points of interest by the viewers. He also admitted that the story of Mrs. B whom they refer as Madame B during the shoot made a huge impact in his view as a filmmaker and encouraged him to produce a ‘better’ film and at some point made him feel more humane.

Categorically, we may answer the question “How humane can we be as a human?” by simply explaining science theories or stating the good deeds we do for others. However, films like the ones featured in DMZ International Film Festival might also prove that your thinking might be the other way around. See how suffering and survival can make one humane and how perspective could build a strong character inside as a human.

Written by Krew Member Mikai Javier

The Perks of Studying Korean

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Kamusta ka?, did you understand that phrase? If you did, then you might know Tagalog. I will assumt hat you are fluent in English by being able to read this post! You know, living in the Philippines has its advantages and it is because we are exposed to a bilingual type of environment: where people can speak two languages fluently.

In turn, it is easier for us to converse with other people. But as a Korean fan, did you know that adding Korean to our everyday language, is even better! Let me tell you how.

Asides from simply understanding what Song Joong Ki is saying in dramas and knowing what B.I was rapping about in “Rhythm Ta”, learning Korean can help us express ourselves more, increase our intellectual capacity- not to mention even decrease our chances of dementia and help us be ready for our “globalized” world.

There are some words in a certain dialect that cannot be translated. Can you please tell me how to translate, “kilig” in English? Nothing, right? You’d probably describe the feeling rather than a translating the word. How about “멍 (meong)” in Korean? I can’t think of an English word; “dumfounded“, “stare“, “Song Ji-Hyo“?

With this you get to express yourself more because you don’t need to find an equivalent meaning or explain yourself in long sentences when the word that you want to say is right in front of you! You might not notice how many times you already said “aigoo” during your stressful moments.

Another is that learning Korean can help deepen our cognitive ability. It can helps us in multi-tasking, thus expanding the capacity of our brain to work. Studies also show that learning another language helps decrease dementia because it helps our memory. What is it that we do when we learn Korean? We memorize, we recall and we adopt. That’s what exercises our brain constantly.

Lastly, learning Korean can help us as we enter a globalized world. Admit it or not, in finding a job, it would be an asset if you know three (3) languages- or more. Not just that but, if your boss finally assigns you a project in Korea, you won’t think twice because you can converse confidently in Korean!

There’s definitely a number of things you haven’t realized you’re gaining in studying Korean. Sometimes, a drama can get you a job, a song lyric can help you with your memory and a Korean word can help you express yourself!

Face it, there’s more than just understanding what Song Joong Ki said.

Written by Krew Member: Max Chua

6 Korean Travel Variety Shows to Binge-Watch This Summer

It’s summer!

For almost everyone, summer is pretty much synonymous to hitting the beach, throwing pool parties for the fam or the entire barkada, or traveling overseas to catch a cool breeze or bask under the heat of the sun even more.

But for me, a total homebody who prefers staying in the comforts of her home over posing for Insta-worthy sunny season pics, summer is all about binge-watching and catching up on TV shows I missed – that is, of course, whenever I’m not dragged to a trip by relatives or friends.

My guilty pleasure? Korean travel variety shows.

Unlike typical travel programs you see on TV that will simply sweep you across a certain city or country – throwing in facts and tips here and there as the host samples local fare or joins in some loud festival – Korean travel variety shows are not just informative but also extremely entertaining. I’m talking about wacky missions and tons of excitement topped with lots and lots of laughter here!

Indeed, watching K-Celebs exploring a new place abroad or featuring Korea’s lesser-known destinations in these incredibly addictive shows is an experience in its own, and if you’re curious enough to check out one for yourself during your free time, here are six Korean travel variety shows that will give you some good laughs and serious #TravelGoals:

One Fine Day

 photo ofd13cb_zpsyoeifoxw.pngThe survival skills of SEVENTEEN are put to a test on “One Fine Day: 13 Castaway Boys”

MBC Music’s “One Fine Day” (OFD) goes all out in treating your favorite idols to themed trips. In the earlier seasons, OFD is mainly about giving overworked idols a vacation they deserve, but now, each trip almost always comes with a catch.

Among my favorite guests of this show are the boys of SEVENTEEN. In One Fine Day, which was renamed as “13 Castaway Boys” just for them, the group’s survival skills were put to a test as they were marooned on the island of Yeoseo in the southern tip of South Korea, with nothing but a plastic bag packed with items they deemed as their “needs.” Their teamwork, funny antics, and charm in variety probably helped them score another OFD season, the currently-running SEVENTEEN’s One Fine Day in Japan.

Also check out: SHINee Surprise Vacation (Onew in Thailand, Jonghyun in Japan, Key and Minho in England, and Taemin in Switzerland), AOA’s Hainan Getaway, VIXX’s One Fine Day in Jeju, Super Junior’s One Fine Day in Switzerland, and G-Friend’s Variety Training in Cebu

Battle Trip

 photo battletrip_zpsimux3sa8.jpgSandara Park and Hyoni exploring the Philippine islands for “Battle Trip”

Some time last year, there was a fuss around my workplace in Bonifacio Global City. Apparently, Sandara Park was shooting a segment at a restaurant nearby for KBS travel show called “Battle Trip.”

Curious, I checked the show after it aired, and got hooked by its simple yet fresh concept: MCs divide into teams and go on an adventure in exciting destinations. Upon returning to Korea, they will then come together in the studio to talk about their experiences and decide on which team has had the better trip.

While Sandara and her travel buddy Kang Hyoni’s course called “Dara Tour” initially lost to actor-director Kim Min Gyo’s Pattaya, Thailand escapade, she didn’t fail in showcasing the beauty of the Philippines, even defending the country as a safe place to travel for foreigners.

1 Night 2 Days

 photo 1night2days_zpskmglosmw.jpgThe cast of “1 Night 2 Days” smile for a selcawith their special guests as they filmed the “Handsome Men Winter Camp” episode

This 10-year-old show is one of the longest-running travel-themed programs on air.

Staying true to its motto “real wild road variety”, the 1 Night 2 Days or 1N2D cast members Kim Jong-min, Cha Tae-hyun, Kim Joon-ho, Defconn, Yoon Shi-yoon, and Jung Joon-young embark on different trips throughout South Korea per episode all the while performing a slew of obscure missions to earn rewards (that will make their trip more comfortable)and avoid punishments.

Idol groups like Infinite, APink, and Twice, as well as celebrities like Park Bo Gum, Park Seo Jun, and Han Hyo Joo have graced 1N2D.

New Journey to the West

 photo newjourneytothewest_zps8e1ltym5.jpegThe original cast of “New Journey To The West”

Inspired by the classic Chinese novel “Journey to the West”, this rollicking travel-reality program follows personalities like Lee Seung-gi, Kang Ho-dong, Eun Ji-won, Lee Su-geun, Ahn Jae-hyun, Kyuhyun, and Mino on a backpacking trip across Xi’an, China.

To make things interesting, the cast portrays characters drawn from the original novel, and together, on their trip of 5 days and 4 nights, they take on a string of games that will send you into fits and fits of laughter.

Youth Over Flowers

 photo youthoverflowers_zpslxjt18te.jpgJung Sang-hoon, Jung Woo, Jo Jung Suk, and Kang ha Neul *chilling* in Iceland

Getting kidnapped has never been this fun.

In “Youth Over Flowers”, celebrities are taken to a far-flung country without prior notice, rendering them completely unprepared for the trip. Every season, the cast spends about a week or so in their destination, filling their time with a number of activities that they planned on their own or have to do for the show.

Among this program’s most notable guests are actors Park Bo Gum, Kang Ha Neul, Jo Jung Suk, and idol group B1A4’s Baro.

Exciting India

 photo flutteringindia_zpsjfgmun1u.jpgClad in traditional Indian kurtas SHINee’s Minho, Super Junior’s Kyuhyun, EXO’s Suho, Infinite’s Sunggyu, and CNBLUE’s Jonghyun pose for a photo in front of the historic Gateway of India

So, what happens when you send five of K-Pop’s biggest stars to a country where very few people know who they are? “Exciting India” has the answer.

In this 4-episode KBS World special, Super Junior’s evil maknae Kyuhyun, Infinite’s leader Sunggyu, CNBLUE’s lead guitarist Jonghyun, EXO’s leader Suho, and SHINee’s main rapper Minho are flown to India as KBS’s newsroom correspondents to create a full-length report on how K-Pop is perceived in the South Asian sub-continent.

Setting forth as men with a mission (well, they look more like university students doing a group project), they scour the city of Mumbai – from the historic Gateway of India, to the cosmopolitan shopping district, to the slums of Dharavi – immersing themselves in the rich Indian culture as they gathered facts, overcame language barrier, and learned the ups and downs of journalism.

Written by The Krew member Andy Flores