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City of Art, Gwangju

Gwangju is the leading city of the Honam region, with the entire country within a day's reach. The emerging importance of Korea's western coastline and the government's effort to balance growth across the nation have triggered large-scale urban development projects such as the construction of the Gwangju hi-tech industrial complex, transformation of Gwangju into a center of production, and improvement of housing and leisure facilities. Such support will boost Gwangju's status as the hub of southwest region of Korea.

City of Culture and the Art

Gwangju has long been regarded as a city rich in culture and the arts. It has produced numerous scholars renowned for their scholarship and virtue. Gwangju is also a place where the Southern School of Chinese Painting, or Namjonghwa, as well as Pansori, a traditional Korean singing genre, were originated. The level of artistic sophistication is higher than most any other regions, with a large proportion of the population involved in the arts field. The humble nature of the people who do not pursue worldly gain has enabled a legion of people to enjoy art, dance and music over the years. The Gwangju Biennale, an international arts festival first held in 1995 and taking place every two years, has expanded Gwangju's worldwide reputation as a city of art.


The Festival of Art for the Global Village

Gwangju Biennale / Since 1995
Gwangju Biennale was designed to honor the 50th anniversary of Restoration of Independence and ' the Year of Art ' prepare a foundation for promotion of Korean art culture and sublime Gwangju's democratic movement that begins to be internationally recognized and its artistic tradition into new cultural value.

Biennale Event Gwangju Biennale consists of festivals and appended events such as special exhibitions, international academic seminars and international and domestic festivals, centering on the International Contemporary Art Competition. It is held for three months every second year. The exhibitions are divided into main exhibitions which express current and future art trends as specific themes and special exhibitions that main interests and current tasks are combined according to themes. Festivals deal with tradition and modernism, oriental and western countries, cultural areas and races, various dances and songs, and musical performance.
*More information: http://www.gb.or.kr

Gwangju Kimchi Festival
Gwangju hosts a Kimchi Festival, which is filled with authentic flavor ofKorean traditional Kimchi. It lasts for a few days and you can enjoy various events and performances of Korean traditional music band, Korean Folk ballet troupe, etc. You can also participate to make Kimchi and enjoy the live musical performances at cafes at night. In 2007, the festival was held from 17th October to 21th October.

Im Bang-ul Korean Classical Music Festival
The nationally acclaimed vocalist born in Gwangju, Im Bang-ul was an unprecedented singer in history, created his own unique way of singing. He sang the sorrow and grief of the Korean people under Japanese Invasions during Joseon Dynasty(1392-1910) in a country marketplace or a sandy plain rather than on a splendid stage. In order to commemorate and transmit his accomplishments and thus, for his deploring voice to echo in the hearts of Koreans everlastingly, we hold an annual Im Bang-ul Korean classical music festival. The festival is a representative national music festival held in order to inherit the tradition of art town, to find out and bring up promising ypung national musicians, and to establish the authority as a national music home through the popularization of Korean national classical music.
* More information: http://www.gwangju.go.kr

VANK and Gwangju Office of Education cooperate to diffuse the VANK international program to the schools in Gwangju and provide various ways to promote Gwangju to the world.