A Blueprint for the Future of Korea-Russia Cultural Exchange

Date Dec 04, 2020


- Korea-Russia Cultural Exchange Forum to look back on cultural exchange between the two nations for the last 30 years and predict the future -


The ROK Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (hereinafter MCST; Park Yang-woo, Minister), together with the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange (KOFICE; Kim Yong-rak, President), will hold a contactless “Korea-Russia Cultural Exchanges Forum” at 3 pm on Friday, December 4 as part of the commemorative programs for the 2020-2021 Years of Korea-Russia Cultural Exchange to celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations. The forum can be viewed on the YouTube channel for the “2020-2021 Korea-Russia Year of Cultural Exchanges”(www.youtube.com/korrusculture).


Themed on “new waves in the Korean and Russian cultures and prospects for cultural exchange,” the forum will comprise three sessions: “Korea-Russia Cultural Exchange Thus Far” to look back on the trends in Korea-Russia cultural exchange over the last 30 years; New Waves in the Korean and Russian Cultures” to present recent Korea-Russia collaborations in art and culture and content creation such as YouTube videos; ③ “Trends in the Korean and Russian Cultures and Prospects for Exchange” to look at the environment for post-COVID-19 bilateral cultural exchange and predict the direction of cultural exchange through big data, etc.

The first session will commence with a thematic presentation by Mr. Yuri Abramovich Bashmet, an internationally-acclaimed Russian violist, conductor, and artistic director for the Winter International Arts Festival in Sochi. Under the theme of “imagination that opens a new era,” Mr. Bashmet will offer new possibilities and deliver a message on cultural exchange at a time altered by the pandemic. He will be followed by Mr. Kim Ki-min, the first Asian male dancer with the prestigious Mariinsky Ballet, who will talk about “Korea-Russia exchanges as seen by an artist.”


During the second session, Lee Sung-soo, leader of Korea’s hard-rock band, “HarryBigButton,” which collaborated with the Russian band, “The Starkillers,” to perform pieces by Viktor Choi, Russia’s rock legend of Korean descent, will present “musical collaborations between Korea and Russia.” Mr. Ilya Belyakov, a Russian who has been active in various Korean media will tell an interesting story about “Korea in Russia and Russia in Korea,” together with Ms. Min Kyung-ha, a very popular YouTuber in Russia who introduces, in Russian, various aspects of Korea including its culture, history, fashion, and language, and is hence regarded as a citizen diplomat for Korea.


In the third session, Mr. Song Gil-young, vice president of VAIV Company, a domestic big data analysis firm, and Ms. Elena Viacheslavovna Khalipova, a professor at Moscow State University, will analyze the two nations’ recent cultural consumption trends under the themes, “trends in Korean culture as read through big data” and “changes in the consumption of Russian music in the pandemic era.” Afterwards, a panel discussion will be held to converse in depth on the prospects for post-COVID-19 Korean-Russian cultural exchange. The discussion will be moderated by Mr. Lee Dae-sik, director of the Future Consensus Institute’s Research Planning Department, who authored Zoom-in Russia, a book that takes an extensive look at Russian arts, culture, history, economy, and more, while the panel will include Mr. Song, Ms. Khalipova, and Mr. Kim Young-dae, a music critic.


The forum will also include celebratory performances by Korean and Russian artists. Classic accordionist Ms. Jeon Yu-jeong and Symmetrio, a Russian accordion trio, will perform together. Also presented will be a joint ballet performance by choreographer Mr. Cha Jin-yeop, the former principal dancer for the Korean National Ballet Ms. Kim Ji-young, and principal dancer for the Universal Ballet Mr. Konstantin Novoselov.


Mr. O Yeong-u, 1st Vice Minister of the MCST said, “While Russia’s classical arts and culture have been introduced to Korea in the past without exchange, now Korea’s Hallyu culture is becoming popular in Russia, allowing for reciprocal, interactive cultural exchange.” He added, “Korea will continue to expand its cultural exchange with Russia, an important presence in Korea’s New Northern Policy, through a variety of events, including this forum, which analyzes post-COVID-19 cultural trends in Korea and Russia and predicts new aspects of cultural exchange.”