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Building Asian peace through artArt & Asia JEJU 2015 at ICC JEJU brings together East Asia’s leading artists
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승인 2015.12.28  10:41:57
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▲ Photo courtesy World Culture Open

At a time when East Asian relations are beset by lingering historical divisions, artists from across the region gathered on Jeju Island to outline a vision of peace through the arts.

▲ Photo courtesy World Culture Open

The Art & Asia JEJU 2015 showcase was hosted by ICC JEJU from Dec 22 to 29 at ICC JEJU, Jungmun, and Korean, Chinese and Japanese art specialists were invited to the opening ceremony and conference.

In a message of support for the conference, Jeju governor Won Hee-ryong said that it was time to share a vision of how to “make the world more peaceful through arts.”

The event serves as a platform, he said, for Jeju being one of three East Asian Cities of Culture in 2016 alongside Ningbo, China, and Nara, Japan.

The Art and Asia Jeju Fair is open until Dec 29 within the ICC JEJU lobby and includes work by Kang Yo Bae (Korea), Li Jing Ge (China), Inoue Shimpei (Japan) and other leading regional artists.

Curator Han Jung-hee said the event would act as a prelude to the larger Art & Asia Jeju 2016, serving as “the foundation for cultural exchange among Asians.”

The fair also provided space for some of Jeju’s top galleries to display their work including Gallery Biotop, Yeon Gallery and Artspace-C.

▲ Photo courtesy World Culture Open

Artspace-C director Ahn Hye Kyoung said the event would help educate people about Asia’s art culture and improve understanding between East Asian nations.

“For me this is a very interesting experiment. This is the first step so maybe it is not so large now, but it can improve as we gain experience... From Jeju we can extend to the world,” said Ahn.

Son Jung Mi, CEO of ICC JEJU, added that by bringing together the voices of experts in such a showcase, a more meaningful discussion could be started “for expressing the new cultural visions of the Asian art world.”

The event was sponsored by Jeju province with support from partner organization World Culture Open (WCO).

In his speech at the opening ceremony, WCO chairman Hong Seok-hyun said that “blending and fusion” had been a feature of East Asian relations throughout history.

▲ Photo courtesy World Culture Open

“World Culture Open believes that continuous and regular communication driven by the power of art and culture will enable us to lay a foundation of common understanding [and also be] a driving force to design a new future for East Asia in a creative manner,” said Hong.

US photographer Kip Kania, whose exhibition is currently showing at Artspace-C in Jeju City, echoed Hong in stating that art can be “ahead of the norm in society.”

“Art bridges the gap between people and I think it shrinks differences between cultures dramatically... We preconceive of differences, but when we look closely there are lots of similarities whether in emotions, feelings and technique,” said Kania.

▲ Photo courtesy World Culture Open

To magnify the future influence of the event, Kania said he would like to see it organized from the grassroots level so it can “really take off.”

“I would like to see younger people running it in their 20s or 30s, artists or people involved in the art world, so that it takes on a fresher tone.”

A Japanese buyer, Hanato Sato, also welcomed the celebration of shared cultural heritage among East Asian nations and added that he looks forward to seeing more grassroots partners at future events.

“There are movements at the local level in Japan which share the motives of this event. I hope we can link them up in the future and build on this first success.”

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