Craftsmen congregate to introduce past customs

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Craftsmen congregate to introduce past customs

People who are curious about Korea’s intangible traditions - such as music or craft-making - should hurry over to Samseong-dong, southern Seoul, this week.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of a local system that designates “Important Intangible Cultural Properties,” which aims to hand down the country’s customs to the next generation, the Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation is gathering its traditional masters in one place.

For “2014 Summer, Find the True Craftsmanship,” which runs from Wednesday to July 28, 21 masters of dance, royal rituals or craftsmanship will present what they have learned from former generations. To prevent rarely practiced traditions from being forgotten, these mavens have worked for the past 50 years to successfully hand down their artistry.

Currently, there are 127 different skills designated under the system, which was founded in 1964 with a mere seven techniques.

During the six-day event, the masters will give examples of 20 different traditional skills.

“It is a good chance to take a look at Korea’s major intangible cultural assets that are rarely seen or practiced in everyday life,” said the foundation in a press release. “It is a festival where these masters celebrate with local citizens to provide a chance to experience the country’s traditions.”

The foundation will present the results of the masters’ work, as well as show the process of how they create it. But the most important and entertaining element people can experience at the event is learning how to make the items themselves.

The masters of four skills, including weaving ramie, making pottery, and producing hanji, or traditional Korean paper. People will also get to see how metal stamps are made and how ancestors printed letters onto paper.

“To have more people pay attention to the major intangible cultural properties, we have prepared a chance for them to practice such skills in person,” said the foundation.

Interested parties have to reserve a spot for the hands-on experiences through calling the foundation or taking a look at its website. The programs are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

BY Lee Sun-min [summerlee@joongang.co.kr ]



The performance and exhibition “2014 Summer, Find the True Craftsmanship” runs from Wednesday until July 28 at the Training Center for Important Intangible Cultural Properties in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul.

The event is open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. For a more detailed schedule of the performances, call (02) 3011-2176, or go to www.chf.or.kr.




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