The National Theater of Korea was opened in 1950 as the first national theater in Asia. The theater is the base of operations for four performance groups: the National Drama Company, the National Changgeuk Company, the National Dance Company, and the National Orchestra Company. By supporting these performance troupes, the National Theater strives to globalize Korean traditional arts, modifying select pieces to reach a larger audience.
The Seoul Arts Center is the representative art complex of Korea. It is comprised of the Opera House, the Concert Hall, the Art Gallery, the Art Morgue, the Calligraphy Hall and the Performance Theater which is exclusively for plays. You can enjoy various performances and exhibitions at this one site.
One of the prominent aspects of the Seoul Arts Center is that it was built to the quality of the world's ten best art centers. The Opera House that stands in the middle of the complex, represents the Gat - a traditional Korean hat made of bamboo. You will notice that the roof of the building is the shape of the Gat. Since it is the only place in the world that has a well-preserved collection of written Chinese Characters, the Calligraphy Hall is a nice place for foreigners to visit. You can watch movies and videos at the Art Morgue.
The plot of this complex is approximately 276,800 square yards. Even if you do not enter the buildings of the complex, you will be surprised at the facilities. The outdoor space is fit for the citizens of Seoul and tourists to rest and relax. Behind the complex you will see the mountains. Follow the trail up the mountains and you will reach Daesungsa Temple, a Buddhist temple in the mountains.
The Seoul Arts Center is famous for its free, relaxing outdoor space. At the 'Jangteo' (meaning 'market') there are many events and shows. There is an outdoor theater, which has a half-moon shaped stage along with a square where many performances are held. You can also rest by Umyeonji, the Korean-style pond. You can find further information about the Seoul Art Center, the programs and events held there, on its online English homepage.
Beginning with Unam Hall in 1961, the Sejong Center opened on April 14, 1978 in succession to the Civil Hall, which had been destroyed by fire.
Sejong Center was the gateway for the Korean performing arts and the only venue for international performing art as one of the world’s ten best performance stages. Throughout the 1970s ~1980s, the center was the cradle of Korean pure art.
As a live history of Korean performing arts and a space of memory for art-loving people as well as a culture and art institute representing Korea, the Sejong Center, which has maintained its reputation over the past 20 years started as a form of foundation in 1999 to take an another leap toward the 21st century.
The launch of the Sejong Center is a sign of the activation of private culture and art emphasized by creativity and self-reliance and, concurrently, the first step toward the globalization of Korean culture and arts.