Gwangju plays cultural host to Asean nations

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Gwangju plays cultural host to Asean nations

The city of Gwangju may be one step closer to becoming the hub for Asian culture that it hopes to be.

Come next month, a string of cultural events organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will take place in the city located south of Seoul, the ministry announced yesterday.

It will include the meeting of culture ministers of Korea and 10 Southeast Asian countries like Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos and Malaysia slated to be held on Sept. 6. They will be discussing ways to strengthen cultural exchanges among themselves as well as promote their cultures in the international arena ahead of the completion of the Asian Culture Complex in Gwangju late next year.

The construction of the complex, which will consist of theaters, exhibition halls, a research center and a culture academy, is 61 percent complete as of yesterday, the ministry said. The complex is the core of the project to make Gwangju “The Hub City of Asian Culture (HCAC),” a project that began in 2004.

“The meeting will be the place to discuss how the countries will cooperate and run the Asian Culture Complex, which will be the hub facility for exchanges in Asian culture and arts,” said Kim Jong-yul, the assistant minister who is leading the executing body for the HCAC project.

On the sidelines of the meeting, the culture ministers will also visit the Gwangju Design Biennale, which kicks off its two month-run on Sept. 6. In addition to the meeting of culture ministers, “One Day, Maybe Someday,” a performance inspired by the May 18 Gwangju democracy uprising in 1980, will be held between Sept. 3 and 15. On Sept. 5, the Asia Traditional Orchestra, which consists of traditional musical artists from Korea and the ten Southeast Asian nations, will give a concert.

And for two days from Sept. 6, the Gwangju World Music Festival, which is in its fourth year, will take place. Attendees can enjoy music from Korea, China, Japan, France, the Netherlands and Zimbabwe.

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