Park names ‘Flourishing Culture’ committee

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Park names ‘Flourishing Culture’ committee

The Blue House announced yesterday the high-profile members of a so-called Flourishing Culture Committee, whose job is to direct the culture industry to make Koreans’ lives happier with rich cultural content.

The committee, which will work directly under President Park Geun-hye, will be led by Kim Dong-ho, a former culture vice minister and the honorary chairman of the executive committee of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF).

Kim, 76, made the BIFF one of the most-recognized noncompetitive film festivals in the world, which also helped advance Korea’s film industry over the past couple of decades.

He is also well-versed with culture-related administrative affairs, having held such positions as the president of Korean Film Council, Seoul Arts Center and Korea Performance Ethics Committee.

The committee, which reflects President Park’s keen interest in the culture sector, will be tasked with setting up culture-related policies; seeking cooperation between government and civic organizations; and spreading the importance of culture.

“Flourishing culture” was one of the key policy goals Park announced in her inauguration in February.

Lee Jung-hyun, senior presidential secretary for public affairs, told reporters, “Civilian members [of the committee] will be advising on the basic direction, strategic policies and regulation improvements.”

The committee’s civilian or nongovernmental members included some of the biggest names in the culture scene in Korea as well as abroad.

They included veteran actor Ahn Sung-ki, cellist Chung Kyung-wha, YG Entertainment CEO Yang Min-suk, Kim Seong-nyeo, artistic director of the National Changgeuk Company, cartoonist and professor of visual design at Duksung Women’s University Rhie Won-bok, Han Bok-ryeo, chairman of the Institute of Korean Royal Cuisine and Song Seung-hwan, a noted producer, chairman of the PMC Production and professor at Sungshin Women’s University. Peter Bartholomew, vice president of the consulting company IRC, is the only foreign member of the committee. Bartholomew is a former president of the Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch and an outspoken fan of hanok, traditional Korean housing.

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