중앙데일리

Full steam ahead for France Express

Oct 01,2008
Laure Coudret Laut, director of the French Cultural Center in Korea (second from left), France’s Ambassador to Korea Philippe Thiebaud (third from right), and Korean actress Ye Ji-won (second from right) introduce France Express 2008. Provided by the French Embassy
The second annual France Express cultural festival, hosted by the French Cultural Center in Korea, began its 60-day journey last Wednesday.

The French cultural festival, which began last year, is particularly meaningful this year as the French Cultural Center celebrates its 40th anniversary.

To commemorate the milestone, 40 cultural activities have been planned for the months of October and November. Festivities will last for a month longer than last year.

“France Express was launched last year in commemoration of the 120-year amity between France and South Korea. I believe this event promoting cultural exchange between the two nations will contribute to consolidating the relationship of the two countries,” French Ambassador to Korea Philippe Thiebaud said in a press conference held last Wednesday at the French Cultural Center in central Seoul.

“In particular this year, the festival is commemorating the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the French Cultural Center in Korea as well as France’s presidency of the European Union this year.

“Forty diverse cultural events will present the best of French culture ranging from traditional to contemporary creations. I also hope that France Express will mutually benefit other autumn festivals in Korea,” Thiebaud added.

The French Cultural Center, which was opened in 1968 in the heart of Seoul, is one of the oldest foreign cultural centers in the country. It was particularly popular among the Korean public for its screenings of French films at the institute’s Salle Renoir in the 1970s and 1980s, unusual in those days.

Today, it continues to play its role as a cultural mediator between France and Korea by providing people here with the opportunity to experience French culture via books, films and language training programs.

“It is my great pleasure to serve as goodwill ambassador for France Express 2008,” Korean actress Ye Ji-won said.

“I’m personally attached to France and French culture as I have often visited [the French Cultural Center] to participate in the Chanson Club and watch French films. All those cultural experiences helped me become a more sensitive actress.”

Among the 40 cultural events scheduled for France Express 2008, one that is sure to grab the public’s attention is an exclusive exhibition by the Georges Pompidou Center, a well-known French contemporary art museum in Paris.

The exhibition, titled “Arcadia: Image of Paradise,” will feature a selection of about 80 modern and contemporary masterpieces by 20th-century artists, including Picasso, Matisse and Chagall, according to Jang Min-hwan, chief curator at the Seoul Museum of Art.

The exhibition will take place at the Seoul Museum of Art from Nov. 21 through March next year.

The other eye-catcher is a production of “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” directed by Olivier Py and presented by the Odeon-European Theater, a world-famous theatrical company, for the first time in Korea. It will feature the Grimm brothers’ famous fairy tales interpreted from a new perspective, Shin Sun-hi, president of the National Theater of Korea, said.

The play will run for three days starting Oct. 9 at the National Theater of Korea.

“A variety of festivities will be held through the next two months in Seoul and neighboring cities, including concerts, exhibitions, plays, movie screenings and outdoor performances,” Laure Coudret Laut, director of the French Cultural Center, said.

Some 160 artists from all over the world will participate in the French cultural festival in Seoul, including Nah Youn-sun, a famous Korean jazz singer who is particularly popular among French audiences and calls France her second home, along with leading French jazz musicians.

For more information about France Express 2008, visit the French Cultural Center’s Web site at www.france.or.kr.



By Park Sun-young Staff Reporter [spark0320@joongang.co.kr]


dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장