[Cultural Policy Bulletin Vol.4] How to Promote and Share GyeongGi Millennium


Kim Sunghwan, General Manager of Policy Office, GyeongGi Cultural Foundation


Kim, Seong Myeong, Director of GyeongGi Institute of Cultural Properties, GyeongGi Cultural Foundation

Shin An-Sik, The Catholic University of Korea

Lee Jee-hun, Center Manager of the Center for GyeongGi Studies, GyeongGi Cultural Foundation

Kim Jin-Hyung, Dept. of Digital Cultural Contents Lecturer at Hanshin University

Kim Sunghwan So far, we have had three presentations. First, I would like to have Lee Jee-hun, center manager of the Center for GyeongGi Studies’ view on these presentations.

Lee Jee-hun GyeongGi-do Province has a long history but its perspective of the present is very important, considering its unique structure and the rapid changes that it has gone through since Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonization. In other words, it would be the memories and sentiment shared by today’s local residents in the province were rather formed in modern times. Such memories and sentiment come not from their historical pride or identity but from the process and results of changes. There may be local residents who were born in the province and who emphasize local history and tradition but they are more likely to feel that they belong to certain cities or countries but not to GyeongGi-do Province.

A great majority of keywords of the changes that today’s GyeongGi-do Province has gone through have negative meanings: war, refuge, poverty, subordination, restriction and discrimination. The province should have shared these negative keywords earlier in order to do away with them and to develop into something new.

However, GyeongGi-do Province failed to plan this development process in a comprehensive way so it had no choice but limiting its GyeongGi Millennium project to the cultural field. GyeongGi Cultural Foundation, which specializes in the arts and culture, came to take on this project finally. What should then the province promote and share this occasion of its Millennium? Just enumerating and conducting cultural projects isn’t enough to arouse local residents’ interest and to encourage their participation. It is thus necessary to come up with big issues that could appeal to them.

For example, how about declaring a cultural vision? As I mentioned before, GyeongGi-do Province is weaker than Seoul in terms of not only on the socioeconomic front but also on the cultural front. The province is actually subordinate to the capital. Large-scale concerts don’t take place often in GyeongGi-do Province. That is because Seoul absorbs the province’s cultural demand like a black hole. If the province declares its “cultural future” based on its own characteristics in order to be free from such discrimination and inconvenience, it could draw even slight attention. As Prof. Park explained, the province needs to draw not only on the tradition of Goryeo and Joseon characterized by open-mindedness, integration and tolerance but also on the province’s current experiments, challenges and diversity encompassing the past Realist School of Confucianism and today’s cutting-edge industries.

The details of the province’s cultural vision could include the following: 1. provide fresh and experimental opportunities to enjoy the arts and culture, 2. train young activists, 3. create unique cultural space differentiated from that in Seoul and 4. to provide special cultural benefits only for the province’s local residents.

GyeongGi-do Province could also consider collaborating with Incheon City which belonged to the province for a long time. In addition, the province could come up with a declaration or resolution that could be shared by all the residents of the province and its cities, as they all live in the Seoul Capital Area. Cooperation with Incheon means not only conducting academic projects together but also sharing GyeongGi’s future vision regarding the GyeongGi Millennium at the metropolitan level, in the form of the GyeongGi declaration, for example.

We cannot say that GyeongGi-do Province doesn’t have any identity; the province is just reluctant to mention it. According to Mr. Gim Jong-gil, the province doesn’t have any identity so we should rather strengthen the identity of each of the province’s city and county in order to replace the province’s identity with their identity. I’m sorry but I don’t agree with you. Although GyeongGi-do Province had its own characteristics during the periods of Goryeo and Joseon, the province has completely changed its demographic structure or roles since Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonization. Today, one of the major characteristics of GyeongGi-do Province’s identity is “social status.” In GyeongGi-do Province, a ceratin area’s connection to Seoul and geographical location are important. Consequently, where you work in GyeongGi-do Province and what you do are very important. That is why I believe that the residents of GyeongGi-do Province have a sense of their economic status. Such characteristics don’t contribute to the immediate development of the province and to its community spirit. Thus, the province is trying to ignore them. We need to discuss these facts actively in order 56 / 57 to start solving the province’s problems. When carrying out the GyeongGi Millennium project we should reflect such facts to some degree in order to have the province’s future outlook.

Lastly, GyeongGi-do Province is surrounding Seoul so the province serves both as the center of Korea and Seoul’s periphery, just like two sides of the same coin. If we emphasize the province’s status as the country’s center, we won’t be able to consider the fact that the province’s residents have gone through discrimination because of the province’s distorted image as Seoul’s periphery since the country’s liberation from Japanese colonization. We won’t be able to change the big framework of the GyeongGi Millennium project at this point but we need to keep these facts in mind as well.

Kim Sunghwan I believe that you mentioned a cultural vision in the context of the GyeongGi Millennium project. It would also be great for the Center for GyeongGi Studies to prepare a special symposium under this theme to discuss it in details. The next topic concerns how to organize and utilize the results of the GyeongGi Millennium project

Kim Seong Myeong The purpose of today’s Cultural Policy Forum is to form a theoretical basis for the GyeongGi Millennium project run by GyeongGi Cultural Foundation, to promote relevant cultural events, organize diverse projects related to GyeongGi’s culture successfully to widen the meaning of GyeongGi Millennium and to generate the value of this special occasion. The successful organization of the GyeongGi Millennium project requires us to consider our the province’s time and space, its process of changes and its current characteristics as a living space.

The GyeongGi Millennium project has two areas that need some improvements. First, it seems that the project doesn’t do enough to clarify the province’s local identity and its historical and cultural context on the basis of its cultural heritage dating from the Goryeo period. Second, the project doesn’t seem to draw on the province’s internal structure, human resources and facilities actively to run the project. For example, General Choi Young’s tomb is located in Yangju and that of Jeong Mong-ju, in Yongin. Moreover, Yi Gyu-bo, one of Joseon’s representative writers temporarily stayed in Suwon. These historic figures and GyeongGi-do Province’s remaining cultural heritage could be used as cultural content in order to raise the value of GyeonGi’s cultural heritage and to reflect on the meaning of GyeongGi Millennium.

I would like to suggest that we draw on outside resources to strengthen our internal capacity. The GyeongGi Millennium goes back to the Goryeo Period. We tend to focus on think from today’s perspective to discuss the province’s future. Meanwhile, GyeongGi-do Province’s 31 cities and counties have cultural heritage dating from the Goryeo Period: the tombs of Jeong Mong-ju (Yongin), General Choi Young, General Seo Hui and General Gang Gam-chan.

The GyeongGi Millennium project actually started with the Goryeo period. Indeed, the period’s cultural heritage sites, which are geographically close to each other, are spread all over the province. In addition, GyeongGi Cultural Foundation has numerous facilities such as museums, art museums and research centers. Thus, what is regrettable is the fact that the GyeongGi Millennium project hasn’t made the best use of such local cultural heritage and the Foundation’s internal assets. The kingdom of Goryeo is inseparable from the launch of the GyeongGi Millnnium project. Therefore, I suggest that the project make use of the province’s historic sites, relics and assets and that it transform them into content to make something new.

Meanwhile, cultural heritage that remains in Goryeo’s capital Gaeseong led the late Go Yu-seop and his students the late Choi Sun-woo, the late Jin Hong-seop and the late Hwang-su-yeong to study Korea’s art history. As a result, Gaeseong came to serve as the root of research on Korea’s art history. Furthermore, there are also notable case of those who accumulated great assets in the spirit of Gaeseong’s merchants, collected cultural heritage with these assets and established museums and cultural foundations or donated relics: the late Lee Hong-geun (donator of relics for the National Museum of Korea), the late Yun Jang-seop (founder of Horim Museum and Seongbo Cultural Foundation), the late Lee Hoe-rim (founder of Songam Art Museum and donator of relics for Incheon Municipal Museum). It is thus necessary to consider what local cultural heritage means to the members of the local community.

Kim Sunghwan Especially, the Director of GyeongGi Institute of Cultural Properties(Kim Seong Myeong) emphasized the interpretation and use of Goryeo’s Cultural Heritage, one of the most important parts of GyeongGi Millennium. Next, I would like to ask the view of Dr. Kim Jin-Hyung for the use aspect of GyeongGi Millennium project.

Kim Jin-Hyung Reading Prof. Park’s paper, I was able to better understand the organizer's systematic process of preparing the project and its content reflecting local residents’ opinions. This gave me an opportunity to understand the GyeongGi Millennium project and to study a precious paper.

The six keywords: “future”,“unification”,“people,” “space”,“culture” and “heritage” to which local residents already agree are actually “discussion keywords” shared by the provincial government of GyeongGi, GyeongGi Cultural Foundation and the province’s local residents. I’m aware that these keywords serve as a basis for coming up with diverse project ideas. In this regard, the last page of his paper specifies the project’s five themes: sharing with local residents, archives, raising awareness, new millennium and cultural identity. The problem is that they are close to “functions” that the each of the project’s programs are supposed to perform. In other words, the entire project requires empathy with local residents, value for archiving, raising awareness, preparation for the new millennium and achievement of a cultural identity. I hope that the GyeongGi Millennium project serves as the first step to realize the cultural democracy of the province’s local residents. I would like to express my sincere willingness to support GyeongGi-do Province and GyeongGi Cultural Foundation that make great efforts for this.

Sul Won Gi The GyeongGi Millennium project, which has been planned and run by the Cultural Innovation Team, doesn’t seem to do enough to play its historical role. In my view, the GyeongGi Millennium project is meaningful in several ways

First, the project definitely needs to shed new light on the history of Korea. This is an important part of the project. Second, the project should also illustrate what GyeongGi-do Province looks like in modern days, whether its look is positive or negative. If not, we won’t be able to plan our future properly. Third, the project needs to imagine and head toward the future. You said that Goryeo serves as the basis of the GyeongGi Millennium project. What is then the basis of Goryeo? There may some important historical facts but those regarding the kingdom’s turning points could be more important than the others. As Goryeo unified the Korean Peninsula, the kingdom moved its center of governance to the midwest. This new center then became the origin of Korean culture and GyeongGi Cultural Foundation is also located in this area.

Comparing the Goryeo period and today, we are also facing a turning point. What is the most important is the province’s system. You mentioned social changes and the province is also going through a turning point regarding social changes. The director of the GyeongGi Institute of Cultural Properties mentioned the importance of history. He is right because today’s look of the province is the result of the accumulated historical events. Cultural democracy, which is currently pursued by the Cultural Innovation Team, is an example of our turning point. As Korea has discussed a great variety of topics including the fourth Industrial Revolution, the Basic Culture Act and Regional Culture Promotion Act, the country’s sports scene has attempted to combine elite sports and sport for all. Such attempts constitute individual democratic movements in the postmodern era. These movements will be seen not only in politics but also in the future that will be revealed by the fourth Industrial Revolution.

Meanwhile, we have reflected on the cultural meaningfulness of the province’s turning point. In this context, some of our cultural projects involve local residents. Around October 18, the province will hold a big festival and meaningful events. The festival and the events themselves are not important. In other words, whether the events will be successful or not doesn’t matter. Instead, what is essential for the Foundation is to clarify its historical perspective through the events, to shed new light on Korea’s modern history and to prepare for a new system in the province. That would be the Foundation’s role heading for the future. When it comes to changing the province’s system, the Foundation’s most important task regarding cultural democracy is to network. To be more specific, the Foundation needs to network with the province’s cultural planners and cultural activists. The Foundation is actually making use of the GyeongGi Millennium project to form a basis for such networking. That is why the Foundation’s role is important.

Kim Sunghwan Next, I am going to ask Shin An Sik, who is a renowned scholar of history of Goryeo. Could you share insights with today’s presentations?

Shin An Sik Research on Korea’s GyeongGi administration system hasn’t been conducted for a long time but it is true that the research has led to a quite a few results. Such research efforts would have led to today’s reflection on the meaning of GyeongGi Millennium and the attempt to publicly discuss the future of the province. In that sense, this forum plays a very important role.

First, Prof. Park summarized the meaningfulness of the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of Goryeo as open-mindedness, dynamism, integration and tolerance. These keywords could be also understood as a “system of controling social conflict,” which helped Goreyo last for 500 years. Second, the kingdom of Goryeo had several capitals such as Seogyeong, Donggyeong and Namgyeong in addition to Gaegyeong. Over time, this GyeongGi administration system changed to a double capital system (Gaegyeong and Seogyeong), triple capital system (Gaegyeong, Dongyeong and Namgyeong) and multiple capital system. This stands in contrast to Joseon’s capital area focused only on its capital Hanyang. I believe that each of the single capital and multiple capitals has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Third, in his paper, Prof. Park explains that Gye-ongGi Millennium means the renaissance of the Goryeo dynasty, center of the early Goryeo period’s political leaders and emergence of those from the area around GyeongGi as political leaders. Meanwhile, the kingdom’s GyeongGi administration system was established to protect the capital. The central government thus set the boundaries of GyeongGi in a unilateral way. Consequently, the countries and prefectures belonging to GyeongGi would have had both restrictions or benefits regarding the administration of the capital. Today’s GyeongGi-do Province also has a similar status (area surrounding the capital, satellite cities and capital area). Fourth, Explaining the challenges of GyeongGi Millennium, Prof. Park asks the province to make the best use of its political and social and cultural aspects. In particular, it would be necessary to improve the province’s status in the era of unification. The fact that the province is located between Seoul and Pyeongyang would means the province’s potential to play an important role.

Kim Sunghwan Mr. Chae Woong-seok is studying the pluralist society of the Goryeo period. Could you please elaborate on which points you are focusing for the GyeongGi Millennium project?

Chae Woong-seok There are two questions about the discussion on the GyeongGi Millennium project. First, should the project emphasize the everlasting, 1,000-year-old province? Second, should the project try to solve the province’s current problems on this occasion of its millennium? The project needs to address both questions. If such a millennium project doesn’t have any historical or cultural aspect, to be more specific, if the project becomes something that doesn’t have to be organized on this 1,000’th anniversary, the project will significantly lose its meaningfulness. The province’s current problems include not only the historical fact that the former province was divided into the north and south but also the communication between the northern and southern parts of the province and the issue of migrant workers with the increasing number of plants and businesses around the province. I thus suggest that we sufficiently discuss how to make the use of the province’s 1,000-year history in order to solve these problems. All of this ends up in how to utilize the province’s history and culture. In that sense, the center manager of the Center for GyeongGi Studies and the director of the Institute of Cultural Properties could help us resolve many of these issues along with the Korean Medieval History Society. I look forward to your work.

Kim Sunghwan Thank you very much for great presentations and comments. We will conclude today’s forum.

#Bulletin #Bulletin Vol.4 #Cultural Policy #Policy Forum

@Kim Sunghwan @Kim @Seong Myeong @Shin An-Sik @Lee Jee-hun @Kim Jin-Hyung

    • Facilitator/ Kim Sunghwan, General Manager of Policy Office, GyeongGi Cultural Foundation

    • Participants/ Kim, Seong Myeong, Director of GyeongGi Institute of Cultural Properties, GyeongGi Cultural Foundation

      / Shin An-Sik, The Catholic University of Korea

      / L ee Jee-hun, Center Manager of the Center for GyeongGi Studies, GyeongGi Cultural Foundation

      / Kim Jin-Hyung, Dept. of Digital Cultural Contents Lecturer at Hanshin University

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    Writer/ GyeongGi Cultural Foundation

    About/ Everything about the GyeongGi arts and culture, GGCF

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