The Korea Herald


Over 8,000 enjoyed Korea’s cultural heritage: data

By Choi Si-young

Published : Dec. 30, 2023 - 16:01

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A performance showcasing forms of Korea’s intangible cultural heritage. (National Intangible Heritage Center) A performance showcasing forms of Korea’s intangible cultural heritage. (National Intangible Heritage Center)

A total of 8,171 Koreans and foreign nationals enjoyed Korea’s intangible cultural heritage performances this year, according to the National Intangible Heritage Center on Thursday.

The center, run by the Cultural Heritage Administration, said shows took place 36 times between May and December, mostly in the two halls the center operates in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, where the center has its headquarters.

The highlight of the performances was the K-Festival, which was held in Berlin on Sept. 26 to mark 140 years of relations between Germany and Korea. The show featured two individuals who hold intangible cultural heritage: Kim Jeong-ok, a “sagijang” or pottery master, and Kim Hye-sun, a “maedeupjang” or knitting master.

The festival prompted art critics to “rethink Korean craftsmanship and more broadly performances led by such masters of arts,” the center said, adding close to 900 locals attended the festival.

The shows organized by the center also introduced the cultural heritage of foreign countries. A tango performance held on Oct. 13-14 in Jeonju invited Argentinian orchestra La Orquesta Tipica Andariega, a group that prides itself on advancing a “new danceable tango based on a solid foundation of classic tango.”

In 2009, UNESCO included the tango on its Intangible Cultural Heritage list after requests from Argentina and Paraguay.

The center said separate programs were offered following the October show to engage participants looking to learn about the dance, saying 944 people attended the performance.

“We’re preparing to launch our own show there next year,” a senior official at the National Intangible Heritage Center said. “The show will be about revisiting traditional and contemporary Korean music and art, including K-pop,” the official added, declining to be identified citing protocol.

About 50 people, including performers and staff, are likely to fly to the South American country in November, according to the official.