[ON STAGE]Culture gains a new platform

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[ON STAGE]Culture gains a new platform

Over the last few years, Korean artists have been descending into Seoul's subway stations to display their creations. The trend really took off two years ago when an international art show, Media City, arranged a major exhibition spread out among a number of subway stations. Big name artists showed their works on the walls between which thousands of commuters rush every day.

A few months later, a group of visual artists boarded the trains to set up a mobile exhibition, "Digital Travels." The trains they worked on were transformed into galleries, but kept on bearing commuters to work.

Another underground show, Subway Theater, begun two years ago, will kick off the official opening of its third show this Saturday. The event will begin at noon at the Euljiro 1-ga subway station on line No. 2, the first stop east of the City Hall station. Euljiro 1-ga is the subterranean spot that seems to have the most appeal for artists and performers.

Some 23 production companies will participate in the event and put on more than 600 performances, including dances, popular music concerts, mimes and classical music recitals. The performers include both young unknowns and established artists.

A couple of preliminary performances will be held Friday: one at 4 p.m. at Gyeongbokgung Station by the singer and pianist Jeong In-hyuk, and another at 6 p.m. at Euljiro 1-ga by the soprano Kim Sung-eun.

After the official opening ceremonies, on Saturday at noon at Euljiro 1-ga, the traditional percussion group Gilgut will fill the station with thundering rhythms. Next will be an ocarina performance by the local group Euulim.

Also part of the official kick-off party will be a special appearance by a group of young, radical musicians who are students at an alternative arts school for teenagers, the Haja Center. They will be playing throughout the afternoon at Euljiro 1-ga.

Up north at Hyehwa Station on line No. 4, the a cappella group Exceptone will perform at 4 p.m.

On Sunday at 5 p.m., another a cappella performance will be given at Hyehwa by Major Seven, followed by a trumpet and accordion recital by the group Silvertrio. Also at 5 p.m. on Sunday, a hip-hop group, Gaero, will show off its moves at Euljiro 1-ga.

For more information and schedules, call 02-766-5210. All shows are free.

by Park Soo-mee

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