TEHRAN –(Iranart) Iran and South Korea are awaiting a great variety of bilateral cultural events as they have called 2017 the year of cultural exchange, South Korean Ambassador Kim Seung-ho has said.
“To celebrate the 55th anniversary of Iran-Korea diplomatic relations, a number of programs acknowledging the years of cultural exchange between Iran and Korea have been arranged,” the ambassador told Tehran Times in an interview on Tuesday.
“During the second half of the year we will select some young Iranian artists and let them draw large paintings together. This would be either Iranian artists visiting Korea or Korean artists visiting Tehran,” the ambassador said about the future series of the cultural programs.
“And our national museum will have an exhibition of ancient treasures in the National Museum of Iran in October for one month,” he informed.
“We are also discussing an exhibition of Iranian handicrafts in Seoul with the Iranian authorities who are due to send Iranian handicrafts to Seoul,” he remarked.
A festival featuring a wider range of Korean films is also slated among the future programs for this year, he noted and later talked about other Iranian cultural programs that Koreans would find interesting.
“Persian literature is quite famous in Korea and we are going to have a kind of literary forum between Iranian and Korean writers in the coming months,” he asserted.
The Milad Tower in Tehran is currently hosting the Korean cultural festival, showcasing a collection of calligraphy works and traditional handicrafts of Korea.
“The calligraphy exhibition features 50 works, 25 works by masters of Korean calligraphy and 25 by Iranian master calligraphers provided by the Iranian Calligraphers Society,” the ambassador said.
“We are also have some tables at the exhibit so that visitors can experience inscribing Iranian and Korean calligraphy (with the help of Korean calligraphers present at the exhibit),” he said.
The ambassador next explained about the differences and the commonalities between Iranian and Korean calligraphy styles.
“The way of inscription is totally different. The tools and the techniques are also different. But what we share is the value of calligraphy as an art.
“If our mind is not calm enough and is disturbed, we cannot inscribe, and as a calligrapher one has to learn to control him/herself, and this deep point is the same in calligraphy,” he explained.
The other part of the exhibition is displaying a selection of traditional artifacts such as embroidery.
“We have organized some hands-on events. We have set up some tables so that visitors can learn how to make these embroideries with the help of the artists, and the idea has been warmly received,” he said.
The National Orchestra of Korea is scheduled to perform Arirang Fantasy, a Korean folk song, at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall on July 8.
“Arirang is widely known to all Korean people and nobody knows who composed the fantasy. It narrates a special story and varies in different regions; basically it is not a joyful song and it is somewhat sad. It is due to be performed with traditional musical instruments,” he added.
Moreover, during the past months the ambassador has organized two exhibits by Iranian artists at his residence in Tehran: one, an exhibition of Persian calligraphy works by Iranian artist Javad Bakhtiari and the other, an exhibit of paintings by Masih Mirhosseini.
The residence would continue to host more exhibits, he said.
“I have found a Korean artist who can do good quality Iranian moarraq (intarsia). Now we are organizing a joint exhibition of intarsia, including works by the Korean lady along with two or three famous Iranian artisans, at my resident,” he concluded.
Last autumn, Tehran had an exceptional opportunity to become acquainted with Korean art and culture at a festival, which focused on cultural, sports, academic and even economic events.