[Cultural Policy Bulletin Vol.4] Full text of The 4th Cultural Policy Forum
About the GyeongGi Cultural Forum
1. The province’s name GyeongGi and GyeongGi Millennium originates from the combination of twelve prefectures including Gaeseong-bu in 1018 (9th year of King Hyeonjong), 100 years after the founding of Goryeo in 918.
At that time, the kingdom’s capital area was confined to the north of the Han River around Gaeseong. In 1414 (reign of King Taejong), Joseon launched its administrative system of eight provinces. The south of the Han River (Gwangju, Suwon, Yeoju, Anseong, etc.) was then integrated to GyeongGi-do Province to look almost the same as today’s province.
2. 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, successfully organize diverse projects related to GyeongGi’s culture, 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.
3. A good tradition branches out into a good new culture. Meanwhile, GyeongGi-do Province has a rather weak cultural identity due to its several characteristics: a wide area with 31 cities and counties, dense population, wide gap between its north and south, its functions as the capital area and satellite cities and administrative division between Incheon and Ganghwa. That is why the GyeongGi Millennium project requires us to consider a great number of issues.1) Therefore, the project needs to reflect GyeongGi’s following aspects: its historical functions and context as the suburban area of the capital in Goryeo and Joseon and its political, economic, social and cultural characteristics coming from its geographical features and its location in relation to the capital.
4. Considering unified Goryeo’s tradition of open-mindedness, diversity, integration and tolerance, the kingdom’s society focused on the capital Gaeseong, GyeongGi-do Province’s historical aspects and local characteristics and the Korean Peninsula’s division, GyeongGi-do Province needs to come up with its own diverse cultural projects or cultural heritage-related projects in preparation for unified Korea.
1. Prof. Park Jong-ki made clear that Korean historians would take the lead in running diverse projects in 2018, on the occasion of celebrating the 1,100 anniversary of the founding of Goryeo. The Korean Archaeological Society is also planning a variety of projects and events including symposiums, focusing on archaeological documents on the Goryeo period. Korea’s public museums in its 13 areas, which include the National Museum of Korea, are also preparing various special exhibitions under the theme of the Goryeo period. A few years ago, Mr. Kim Sunghwan, General Manager of the Policy Office, suggested projects such as an inter-Korean cultural exchange project, research on the DMZ’s historic sites and restoration of Korea’s religious ceremony called Palgwanhwe. In this context, I would like to ask you what projects need to be conducted by GyeongGi Cultural Foundation or GyeongGi tute of Cultural Properties Institute.
2. The GyeongGi Millennium Project has two areas that need some improvements. First, it seems that the 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.
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.
1) GyeongGi-do Province reaches the West Sea at the heart of the Korean Peninsula (between 126 and 127 degrees east longitude and between 36 and 38 degrees north latitude) and the province’s area is 10,184㎢. Its eastern part is high while its western part is low. The Han River, Imjin Rivre, Hantan River and Anseong Stream flow to the GyeongGi Harbor. The province also has great plains. It currently has 31 cities and counties (28 cities and 3 counties) and a population of 13,216,321 (12,841,321 Korean citizens and 375,400 foreigners, as of the end of October 2017). The province ranks first among Korea’s 15 metropolitan cities and provinces in terms of the population, economic scale and number of employees. Its GRDP of 2015 was 351 trillion won (345 trillion won for Seoul).
Discussion on “The 1,100th Anniversary of the Founding of Goryeo and GyeongGi Millennium”
Prof. Park Jong-ki’s paper reflects on the 1,000-year history of GyeongGi and suggests a future outlook of the province. This short paper is very meaningful in terms of the province’s future policy vision. 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. Prof. Park’s paper explains the historical meanings and character of GyeongGi in Korean history. It also elaborates on how the province will meet its current challenges and improve its status in the era of unification. Agreeing with your explanation of the challenges faced by the province, I would like to ask you to provide more details for some parts of his paper that need to be specified.
1. You 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 Goryeo last for 500years. Could you please explain what message could the kingdom of Goryeo give to today’s Korean society in a more detailed way?
2. 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. Moreover, Goryeo’s territory administration was composed of GyeongGi (the area surrounding the capital Gaegyeong), five circuits in the south and two boundary regions in the north. This is also different from Joseon’s administrative system focused on the capital Hanyang and composed of eight provinces. Such characteristics of Goryeo’s local administration is linked to the kingdom’s plural society. I believe that each of the single capital and mutiple capitals has its own advantages and disadvantages. Could you elaborate on this more?
3. In your paper, you explain that GyeongGi 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). Therefore, the relationship between the center of the capital area (large cities) and the suburban area (satellite cities) would have had great influences on urban development. Could you explain the degree of such influences?
4. Explaining the challenges of GyeongGi Millennium, you ask 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. Korea’s potential unified territory linking the capital Seoul, administrative city Sejong and Pyeongyang would not be formed without considering GyeongGi-do Province. Korea’s new vision would be at the heart of unification. In this context, could you explain how Korea could combine South Korea’s Seoul and Sejong and North Korea’s Pyeongyang and how it could strike a balance between them?
Writer Shin AN Sik, Researcher of Institute of
Goryeo Pluralistic, the Catholic University in Korea
GyeongGi Millennium and the Province’s Dilemma
The year 2018 marks the GyeongGi Millennium of naming GyeongGi-do Province. Under these circumstances, the province is preparing a project celebrating this occasion. However, the theme “GyeongGi Millennium” hasn’t drawn great attention even in GyeongGi-do Province. In fact, as it can be seen in its long history of 1,000 years, the meaning of GyeongGi, which literally means an area around the capital, isn’t something that could go unnoticed in Korean history. Nevertheless, there may be some reasons why there hasn’t been any boom in the celebration of GyeongGi Millennium. It is in this context that I would like to lead today’s discussion.
To which degree are GyeongGi’s local residents aware of their province?
During the Goryeo period, Goryeo adopted its GyeongGi administration system for the first time. At that time, the kingdom’s capital was Gaegyeong. After the founding of Joseon, the kingdom transferred its capital to Hanyang and restructured its capital area which almost looked the same as today’s GyeongGi-do Province. In other words, the name GyeongGi first appeared a thousand years ago but today’s GyeongGi-do area was defined six hundred years ago. Moreover, unlike other areas that were created on the basis of geographical and cultural features, GyeongGi-do Province was formed in consideration of its distance with the capital Seoul or for political and administrative reasons. This is proven by the fact that during the Korean Empire period, the country had 23 administrative units of which four units became the GyeongGi area.
In addition, during the Japanese colonial era, Korea went through industrialization focused on Seoul. Naturally, the population moved to the capital. After the country’s liberation and the Korean War, GyeongGi-do province’s population rapidly increased with an influx of those returning to the country, refugees and those coming from North Korea. The province’s population growth reached the climax during the period of industrialization after the 1960’s. As some of the Seoul’s population also moved to the GyeongGi area after the construction of new towns after the 1990’s, the province came to have the largest population in Korea, with its population of 13.2 million as of the end of October 2017.
To summarize, GyeongGi-do Province is a unique area characterized by a large influx of the outside population and by its cities and counties with different cultures. The province’s local residents also live there for a variety of reasons.1)
Although the province’s 31 cities and counties are the members of GyeongGi-do Province, their priority is their relationship with the capital Seoul. Consequently, the province came to have a structure where independent areas surround the capital Seoul. Naturally, it is not an exaggeration to say that there is almost no identity for GyeongGi’s local residents as one community sharing the same root.
Does GyeongGi-do Province have a future vision?
Prof. Park Jong-ki pointed out the province’s need to have a “vision of securing its status as a new center in the Republic of Korea” as a challenge to be met by GyeongGi Millennium. I agree with the professor. Nevertheless, are we doing enough to prepare this vision?
The year 2018 marks not only the 1,000th anniversary of GyeongGi but also the 1,000th anniversary of the launch of Jeolla-do Province. Here, the “launch of the province” actually means the first appearance of the name Jeolla-do in Korean history, as in the case of GyeongGi-do Province. North Jeolla-do Province is taking the lead in preparing the project celebrating this occasion, in cooperation with South Jeolla-do Province and Gwangju City.2) The goal of this project is to “restore the status of Jeolla-do province which has been daunted and suffered disgrace in today’s industrialized Korea.” To be more specific, some Koreans disapprove of Jeolla-do Province calling its residents “thornback ray” (often eaten by them) or “Jeolladians” Under these circumstances, the province is willing to overcome such a negative image and to restore its glorious cultural status. Such a goal has naturally led to clear action plans and to a variety of concrete projects.
Compared to Jeolla-do Province, GyeongGi-do Province doesn’t have such a clear goal. In fact, Jeolla-do Province’s local government honestly acknowledges the province’s negative situation and searches for ways to overcome it. That is why their project looks creative. On the other hand, GyeongGi-do Province has sacrificed itself for Seoul or Korea in the process of industrialization after Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonization. In particular, the province had to undergo countless cases of damage and discrimination due to overlapping regulations, satellite cities and unbalanced local development. It is true that the situation slightly improved after Korea’s launch of its autonomous local government system but GyeongGi-do Province is still not free from the restrictions set by Seoul and the central government.3) During the controversy of the transfer of the capital in 2004, GyeongGi-do Province suffered reverse discrimination as the capital area. It is such reverse discrimination that acted against the transfer of Korea’s capital to GyeongGi-do Province.
Traffic Administration Policy in GyeongGi-do Province seems to be focused solely on transportation and transfer.4) However, such development of the transport system also led to some side effects: collapse of the business zones in the GyeongGi-area and weakening of the province’s culture. Focused on the capital Seoul, the GyeongGi area isn’t forming a united
community due to the absence of an internal network and lack of a centripetal force. That is also why people continue to suggest the administrative division of North and South GyeongGi-do Provinces.
Under these circumstances, what could be the future outlook of GyeongGi-do Province? Is there any clear vision for the province?
What to do then?
GyeongGi-do Province is attempting to draw a picture of its 1,000 years by focusing on its future life rather on restoring its history or establishing its identity. However, the province’s future can be unique and appealing when its past, present and local residents’ main interests harmonize with each other.
As I mentioned before, 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.5) 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.6) 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.
To summarize, GyeongGi-do Province needs to share its current situation and conditions with its local residents and to suggest concrete alternatives in order to arouse their interest and to encourage their participation. If the province just enumerates the positive meanings of GyeongGi Millennium and just says “Let us be proud of our province to head for a bright future”, all of this is likely to ring hollow. Instead, the province needs to make efforts to find even small elements with which local residents could empathize and to apply such elements.
1) Due to their living conditions, GyeongGi-do Province’s residents always prefer a location which provides easy access to Seoul. Even those who moved from Seoul to GyeongGi-do Province often engage in work, social activities in consumption in Seoul.
2) The project celebrating the GyeongGi Millennium of the launch of Jeolla-do Province is run by the Policy Council of the Honam Area, which belongs to the local government (March 2017).
3) Examples of this include the issues of building unpleasant facilities (e.g. landfill) and restricting the access of GyeongGi’s buses to Seoul.
4) When asked about GyeongGi-do Province’s urgent tasks to carry out, most of the province’s local residents mention public transport which concerns the most and second most urgent tasks. The recent issue of making GyeongGi’s buses semipublic actually consists in how to have easy and fast access to Seoul.
5) In 2016, the Gyeonggi Provincial Assembly conducted a survey on observing a special day for local residents. A majority of them preferred a special day emphasizing the province’s current status rather than its history. To be more specific, they wanted to observed the day on which the province’s population reached 10 million rather than the day of naming the province GyeongGi, that of implementing the rice taxation law and that of transferring the seat of the provincial government.
6) It is true that the province has also experienced positive changes such as (industrial) development. However, it has been less than 20 years since the province came to achieve planned, systematic and balanced development. In fact, the province is still not free from the damage that was caused by the unbalanced development during the period of industrialization.
Writer Lee Jee-hun,
Center Manager of the Center for GyeongGi Studies
Discussion on “GyeongGi-do Province’s GyeongGi Millennium Project”
The GyeongGi Millennium Project is mostly carried out on the basis of “listening to the wide variety of views from GyeongGi-do Province’s residents.” I believe that this is the project’s strength that differentiates it from the existing cultural projects. In order to gather their views, the project has established three kinds of platforms: mobile, offline and online platforms. It seems that these platforms have achieved notable results so far. Reading your 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. I came to have some questions about some elements of the paper that I would like to know more in detail. Here are my questions.
First, I would like to know what “focus projects” you are planning from the second half this year to next year’s GyeongGi Millennium. In general, the successful completion of focus projects forms a both material and psychological basis for the main project. It is in this context that I’m asking you what focus projects you are planning inside the GyeongGi Millennium Project.
Second, is the GyeongGi Millennium Platform temporary or permanent? If it is temporary, it may be helpful for the acceleration of the project but not for the development of local residents’ cultural democracy. In contrast, if it is permanent, it may slow down the project but it would greatly contribute to the development of their cultural democracy. If you have any particular plan regarding this, could you please share it with us?
Third, when it comes to planning the GyeongGi Millennium Project, do you have any plan to reflect views from the poor, unemployed, jobless, persons with disabilities, sexual minorities and North Korean defectors? I’m asking you this question because your paper doesn’t specify the types of local residents whose opinions will be reflected for the project. The types of residents that I just mentioned are those who are suffering from social and cultural discrimination. It is true that GyeongGi Cultural Foundation has made great achievements from projects targeting disadvantaged groups. That is why I would like to listen to what you think of the types of local residents who will share their views with you in order to generate a desirable discourse of cultural democracy on this occasion of celebrating the GyeongGi Millennium.
Fourth, for the project’s keywords, how about choosing “future”,“unification,”,“people”,“space”, “culture” and “heritage” to which locla residents already agree? These six keywords 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 your 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 future 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.
Writer Kim Jin-Hyung, Dept. of Digital Cultural
Contents Lecturer at Hanshin University
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