Yumin Awards honor 3 for creativity

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Yumin Awards honor 3 for creativity

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JoongAng Ilbo Chairman Hong Seok-hyun, front right, and Yumin Culture Foundation board chairman Lee Hong-koo, front left, pose next to a sculpture of former chairman Hong Jin-ki at the Yumin Awards yesterday. Behind them, from left, are this year’s three award winners - Park Gi-tae, Kim Young-joon, and Hong Byung-hee - and their wives. By Kim Seong-ryong


The first-ever Yumin Awards ceremony, commemorating JoongAng Ilbo co-founder and former chairman Hong Jin-ki (1917-1986), took place yesterday. Awards in the fields of science, culture and society will be given every May to persons or groups whose creativity has led to success.

Yumin is an honorary title for the late chairman.

“The Yumin Awards differ from other awards in that even if an achievement is still in the works, the focus [for award winners] will be on whether creativity and a future-oriented direction is present,” said Lee Hong-koo, chairman of the board of the Yumin Culture Foundation and senior advisor at JoongAng Ilbo, during his opening speech. “When he was alive, Hong put a lot of effort into cultivating human resources with the idea of preparing for a creative future.”

Hong’s son, Hong Seok-hyun, the current JoongAng Ilbo chairman, said that he is delighted that such a great award was created so that he could carry out his duty as the former chairman’s son. “We have agreed to give the award to those in their 30s and 40s, as a good reflection of my father’s life,” the chairman said during the ceremony yesterday at the JoongAng Ilbo building in Sunhwa-dong, central Seoul. “I hope that the award winners go on to win bigger awards, including the Nobel Prize, and contribute to society in a greater way.”

Hong Byung-hee, a chemistry professor at Sungkyunkwan University, was the science division winner of the Yumin Award; Park Gi-tae, head of the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea, won the society award; and architect Kim Young-joon won the culture award. Each was awarded a 50 million won ($44,700) prize.

At yesterday’s ceremony, distinguished guests including former justice minister Kim Doo-hee and former president of Sookmyung Women’s University Kim Ok-yul were present. The late chairman’s family members, including his son, his wife, Kim Yun-nam, and his daughter, former Leeum Art Museum director Ra Hee Hong Lee, among others, attended.


By Cho Jae-eun [jainnie@joongang.co.kr]

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