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Korea Craft Week 2022 includes craft for visually impaired to touch Updated: 2022-05-26 17:11:08 KST

It is Thursday, and with just one more day to go until the weekend, we have our usual arts and culture segment.
Our Kim Bo-kyoung is here in the studio with us.
Bo-kyoung, what do you have for us today?

Mok-yeon, I am sure lots of people are looking for some cultural events to enjoy this weekend.
Well, I'd like to recommend a craft exhibition in Jung-gu District, in central Seoul.
It's free of charge, and visitors can look and even touch some of the things on display.
There'll also be a variety of craftworks that were previously on display in Milan as well as some that are for the visually impaired.
Let me give you a peek.

Alchemy using glass, wood and stainless steel.
Korea Craft Week welcomes those interested in making something magical with their hands.
The ten-day event has been held annually since 2018.
This year, over six-hundred craft studios and galleries are holding around 14-hundred events, letting craft-lovers enjoy craft to its fullest.
The festival's centerpiece is at Culture Station Seoul 284 in Seoul's Jung-gu District.
The venue showcases the exquisite beauty of Korean craftsmanship, which has been featured at the Milan Design Week the world's largest design and craftwork fair.

"We are seeing works that have been exhibited at the Milan Design Week. Are there any special features?"

"Exhibits that show Korea's own traditional beauty in a modern way are being displayed.
This artist, for example, has used mother-of-pearl to cover the whole furniture."

It also features wooden craftwork by the artist who designed all the furniture of the wealthy Park family house in the film "Parasite."
But seeing isn't everything in this festival.

"Unlike other types of art that are usually just for people to look at, craft is for people to use, to touch and feel. This exhibition room highlights that aspect of craftwork.
It presents a graduation book made for students with impaired vision so they can touch, feel and remember their friends."

Each face is a student or faculty member from Daegu Kwangmyung School, a special education school for the blind.
Students' faces have been carved using 3D technology, and the button below each student's profile plays their own recorded voice.
History can also be seen with your hands.

"The visually impaired have fewer chances to learn and enjoy culture and cannot easily go on trips. With an education tool offering small artifacts from Gyeongbokgung Palace, they can learn history."

Decorative and beautiful.
But functional and useful even for those with visual disabilities.
The craft fair letting visitors actually touch objects, runs until 29th.

Not far from Culture Seoul Station 284, is Seoul Plaza in front of City Hall.
I heard there is an outdoor festival being held right now, what is it?

That would be the "open library" that Seoul Metropolitan Government set up last month following the lifting of social distancing rules.
It is literally an OPEN library where you can read books while sitting comfortably on bean bags or lying on picnic mats out on the lawn.
There are around three-thousand books, and according to the city government, 20-thousand people have already visited the spot to do some reading.
The library is open every Friday and Saturday from 11AM to 4PM until late October, although it will be closed during July and August the annual monsoon season.

I remember there was a temporary COVID-19 testing center there,
So the center has been removed?

That's right.
The testing center, which was first installed in front of City Hall last July, had done a total of over 250-thousand COVID-19 tests, but as the number of tests conducted went down to around 100 a day, the government moved the center and came up with the outdoor book-reading program.

Alright, it is definitely great to see how a testing center changed into a cultural venue.
speaking of books, we have a big event coming up don't we?

Yes, and that would be the announcement of the winner of the 2022 International Booker Prize scheduled to take place on May 26th UK local time.
It's one of the three biggest literary awards in the world, and South Korean novelist Bora Chung, along with the translator Anton Hur, was shortlisted for the prize in April.
The "Cursed Bunny" team are up against five other novelists, including Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk who won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature, and Geetanjali Shree who wrote "Tomb of Sand" the first Hindi-language novel to be shortlisted in the 17-year history of this category.
Bora Chung and Anton Hur both went to London on May 19th, and participated in a reading session at the Southbank Center on the 22nd.
It was an event where the finalists read a passage from their work and have a Q&A session with the host.

As far as I know, novelist Han Kang had also won the award a few years ago, right?

Yes, she was the winner in 2016 with her novel "Vegetarian", and so if Chung gets the prize, it would be the second Booker win for Korean literature in six years.

Alright, let's have our fingers crossed for the "Cursed Bunny" then
Thank you Bo-kyoung for sharing those updates from the arts and culture sector.
I will see you next week.

Thank you.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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