MCST Policy Briefing to President Yoon Suk Yeol

Date Aug 05, 2022


Presenting the Master Blueprint for the Blue House as a Cultural and Artistic Landmark and Leading the Korean Economy with K-Content


(Master Blueprint for the Blue House as a cultural complex) Presenting the plan of the Blue House, the former presidential compound, into a high-quality cultural complex that embraces culture, art, nature, and history

(K-Content) Supplying KRW 4.8 trillion in funding over 5 years, including the launch of public valuation-based guarantee scheme, and 6 classes of funds

(Creative Environment) Providing support for young artists for the first time in their life and support for fine arts, classics, and literature as sources of K-Culture

(Fair Opportunity) Creating standard performance/exhibition halls for the disabled, first master plan to support artists with disabilities

(Regional Balance) Creating premium cultural cities and cultural, tourism, and sports hubs, and promoting the introduction of a national travel installment savings plan

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (Minister PARK Bo Gyoon, MCST) presented five key initiatives on July 21 (Thur) consisting of (1) Blue House as a vibrant place to enjoy culture and art, (2) A Korean Economic Boom led by K-Content, (3) Fostering a creative environment that overflows with the value of freedom and creativity, (4) Ensuring fair access to culture, and (5) An era of regional balance ushered in by culture, and the implementation plan for the new government to build a “world-class culturally attractive nation with the people” to President YOON Suk Yeol.


Blue House as a Vibrant place to enjoy culture and art

As part of the first initiative, the Blue House, which has returned to the arms of the people, will be created as a vibrant place by converging art and culture under the principle of preserving its original form. The best parts of turning the Blue House includes the footprints and traces of past presidents,  artworks of more than 600 pieces, more than 50,000 trees in the area, and cultural propertieis such as Chimryugak (Building in the early 1900s with the roof similar to the shape of an eight (八) in Chinese character), and Owunjeong pavilion. All these will be branded in a sophisticated manner as the foremost symbolic asset of Korea.

First, the main building and the official residence are to be preserved in their original form, and at the same time recreated as spaces that coexist with artworks. The main building is to be used as an exhibition hall, with previous works created by being adapted to their given space without modification. Artworks are to be installed centering in the living room of the official residence and the dining room of the annex, and the grand garden will be used to host various performance art stages such as traditional Korean, classical, or popular pop music for major occasions, such as the first anniversary of the opening of the venue to the public.

The Yeongbingwan (State Guest House) will be turned into a premier exhibition hall of modern and contemporary art. The Yeongbingwan is a work of architecture with a post-modernist design that succeeds in harmonizing Eastern and Western elements, with an interior hall area of 496㎡ and floor height of 10m, which makes it suitable for high-quality exhibitions. The building will exhibit the best works from home and abroad, including the special exhibition of the Blue House collection and the Lee Kun-hee Collection.

The outdoor spaces, including the Nokjiwon (presidential garden), will be turned into a sculpture park, while hosting special annual event exhibitions such as the Pavilion Project. The briefing room on the second floor of Chunchugwan (Used as Press Center) will be used as a special exhibition hall to be leased for private use. The Culture and Art Festival for the Disabled (A+ Festival) will be held (the end of Aug) as the first exhibition event, to act as a venue for people with or without disability to communicate and empathize with one another.


② Korean Economic Boom, Led by K-Content

In 2020, K-Content became a major export earner for Korea, recording exports of USD 11.9 billion, which surpassed those of home appliances (USD 7.3 billion) and display panels (USD 4.1 billion). Korea ranked 11th on the Global Soft Power Index 2021, moving up 3 steps from a year ago (released by the UK’s Brand Finance). As it continues to gain more global attention, Korean culture will be utilized as a national brand to lead the nation’s economy, backed by a content policy led by the private sector and supported by the government, to ensure the sustainability of the K-Content ecosystem.

A majority of the support will be provided to the new growth pillars of the content sector, including movies, over-the-top (OTT) media service, and K-Pop. Tax benefits will apply to movie tickets and video content productions, while the movie promotion fund will be expanded to build the foundation for the movie market to reactivate consumption and investment. To concentrate on the development of global OTT content, a KRW 40 billion Drama Fund will be created with enhanced production facilities, such as the launching of filming studios[1]. MCST will also support the development of immersive music performances and local demo performances (showcases) to assist with the successful entry of young K-Pop singers onto the global stage.

The Ministry plans to expand its policy financing to foster companies that hold global intellectual properties (IPs), in a manner akin to Disney. Breaking away from mere physical collateral valuations, new public guarantee schemes linked to content valuation will be introduced, with a supply of KRW 4.8 trillion in funding over a period of 5 years, to lead efforts in resolving investment blind spots within the content sector. This amounts to roughly three times that of the policy financing provided to the content sector over the last 5 years (2017 ~ 2021), which is expected to serve as a catalyst for small content businesses to grow.

A total of six classes of funds of funds[2] will also be created that correspond to the various policy initiatives of the content companies, including funds with the necessary conditions to secure IPs and funds for the underprivileged genres. In addition, improvements will be made in policies to strengthen the accountability of the asset management companies to increase the efficiency of the culture accounts of the funds of funds.

New technologies, including the launch of K-Metaworld and virtual museums, will be used to reproduce the Korean Wave within the virtual world (metaverse). MCST will also nurture 10,000 individuals in diverse fields across content convergence over three years, including experts in content planning and production with high-tech capabilities and experts in content exports. Furthermore, a content and media consultative body will be formed to support mutual collaboration between new content and platforms and to improve their global edge, while proactively promoting regulatory innovation.


③ Reshaping the creative environment that supports the value of freedom and creativity

Based on the value of freedom and the principle of support but do not interfere, MCST will build a creative environment that can deliver originality, bold breakthroughs and innovations in cultural arts. The support programs will be expanded from single-year projects to multi-year supports to ensure stability in artistic creations and to identify and nurture flagship projects. Young artists who have not received any previous benefits from literary or art funds will be offered first time support[3], and supporting career interrupted period programs[4] are to be introduced for artists who have not been active for three or more years.

The support for basic arts, including fine arts, classics, and literature, which are the wellsprings of K-culture, will also be increased. The Ministry will engage in the enactment of the Art Promotion Act to reinforce the foundation of the fine arts ecosystem and continue to expand the base of Korean fine art both at home and abroad by jointly hosting a fine art exhibition (Art Fair Frieze Seoul, 2022~2026) between KIAF (Korea International Art Fair), the largest art exhibition (art fair) in Korea, and one of the world’s top 3 art fair brands, Frieze.

The foundation of K-Classics will be improved by enhancing the talent development program of the Korea National Institute for the Gifted in Arts, a cradle for new K-Classic talent run by the Korea National University of Arts, and by maximizing the skills of conductors and performing artists with the advancement of the academy via collaboration with national institutions. Moreover, a professional translation degree program will be established to support the globalization of Korean literature, which will also support local translations and publications.

The Ministry plans to build the Art Korea Incubator (tentative name), a holistic platform that supports the creation and production of artworks through cooperation between artists and art companies and their distribution (2023) and launch dedicated performance halls that serve the characteristics of the classical, dance, and musical fields. The cultural space in Seogye-dong (Seoul) is to be transformed into an open cultural complex centering on theatrical performance for the general public by 2026.


④ Ensuring fair access to culture

Access to culture will be improved to ensure that anyone, including persons with disabilities or seniors, can fully enjoy culture fairly and without discrimination.

The accessibility of all national and public cultural facilities will be surveyed and the accessibility of all cultural facilities nationwide will be improved in phases based on the survey results. Moreover, the first-ever Master Plan on Supporting Artists with Disabilities will be established to present the policy direction of President YOON’s administration on art policy for the disabled. The plan will also include details on the creation of standard performance and exhibition halls, which will serve as the standard for cultural facilities that can be universally used by all people without any inconviences and discrimination. A parallel corpus, the source data for the development of interpretation and translation programs among Korean, Braille, and Korean Sign Language will also be built with one million word segments per year.

The Ministry will also introduce barrier-free tourism cities and nurture workforces to provide support for travelers, ultimately creating an environment where people with disabilities can easily travel. There will also be more opportunities for people with and without disabilities to come together to enjoy sports, such as by holding the National Eoullim (Together) Everyday Sports Competition in September this year.

Other projects will also continue, such as seniors’ culture programs, where seniors become creators to produce and enjoy culture in tandem with youth, such as Story Granny and Silver Mic.”. Also, Dream Orchestra and Dance Team are projects where children and teenagers can grow to become members of society by playing instruments and dancing.


⑤ An era of regional balance, ushered in by culture

Premier cultural cities will be created by fully encompassing cultural arts, tourism, industry, and urban planning of each unique region. Regional hubs of culture, tourism, and sports will also be introduced to successfully represent the characteristics of each region, such as a musical complex (Daegu) and Yeongnam and Honam Leisure Tourism Zones (Gwangju, Jeongnam, Busan, Ulsan, and Gyeongju), which will be leveraged as unique resources in each region for their own branding.

Regional economies will be revitalized with local tourism that allows for frequent visits and longer stays. Various travel programs, including Travel-friendly working, Live and Travel, Night Tourism, and Traveling with pets will be promoted to increase the lengths of stays. A National Travel Installment Savings (Tentative name) program will be introduced to alleviate the economic burden on people, where travel expenses can be accumulated as rewards and redeemed for domestic trips with consolidated benefits offered by the central and local governments and businesses. Discussions will take place with related ministries to normalize inbound travel conditions, such as allowing visa-free entry and increasing the number of international flights, and tourism in Korea will be quickly restored and expanded through the Visit Korea Year program.


Lastly, MCST will primarily drive for regulatory innovations that remove limits on the growth of new businesses, such as by introducing self-grading systems to OTT service providers. Regulations on the use of created content is to be improved when implementing AI-based learning or big data analysis to resolve inconveniences when making use of such works.

As part of the deregulation on the tourism industry to help overcome the impact of COVID-19, the requirement on the designation of international conference complexes and the facility standards are to be improved, and the standards on the designation of tourism and pension business will be relaxed. The verification process for artistic activities will also be simplified to help resolve difficulties onsite.


MCST Minister PARK commented that The YOON administration aims to make Korea a culturally attractive nation that captures the hearts of the world rather than a powerful nation that overwhelms with only military or economic power. An era of cultural prosperity has arrived where the world pays attention to Korean content and desires to learn about Korean know-how. These will become the basis for K-Content with a focus on movies, OTT content, and K-Pop to become the main driver of the Korean economy. He also added that the Ministry will remain fully committed to elaborately transform the Blue House, which was returned to the arms of the people by the determination of President YOON, to become a premier brand of Korea with high-quality cultural arts landmark that Koreans and the world desire to visit.

[1] Construction of the floating marine filming site for Studio Cube (2023) and the Busan Filming Studio Complex (2026)

[2] Six classes of customized funds of funds) (1) Generic Culture Fund, (2) Content IP Fund, (3) M&A Fund, (4) Unicorn (Venture investment) Fund, (5) Value (Valuation-linked) Fund, (6) Underprivileged Genre Fund

[3] Available to young artists aged 39 or younger, support for expenses required for preparing, researching, and presenting works

[4] Additional points given to artists with career interruptions when carrying out or evaluating public cultural arts projects (2023~)