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Before You Visit Cheongwadae: Noteworthy Historical Spots and Cultural Events to Enjo Updated: 2022-05-19 17:08:25 KST

It's Thursday, and that means our regular segment "Arts & Culture" is ready for us today with our Kim Bo-kyoung here in the studio as always.
Bo-kyoung, what is the latest in the arts and culture sector?

Mok-yeon, it has already been over a week since the Blue House opened up its secretive sites.
And because so many people were highly interested in seeing the spots that had remained under a veil for more than 70 years, it has been decided that it will stay open until June 11th, 21 days more than the originally scheduled closing date of May 22nd.
For those who are looking forward to visiting the place, I have some guidance in terms of what cultural heritage attractions people should see and noteworthy celebratory events that will go on until the 22nd.
Let's take a peek.

From a secluded place only for the President, to an area where the public can freely roam around.
Ever since opening on May 10th, around 250-thousand people have quenched their thirst to have a peek of the Blue House as of this Tuesday.

"Just standing on the site of the former presidential office and residence which recently opened for the first time in 74 years could be considered a day to remember.
However, to enjoy the site better, here are some noteworthy items of cultural heritage and cultural events one should take a look at."

Out of 61 cultural assets and historic sites, four are must-visits: the Stone Buddha Seated on a Square Pedestal from Gyeongju, the Chilgung Shrine, Chimnyugak and Ounjeong Pavilions.
The ninth-century stone Buddha designated as a national treasure in 2018, is an outstanding example of the refined Buddhist sculptures of the Unified Silla period.

"This statue is significant as it has not been damaged much. Statues in Gyeongju are mostly damaged - either having no arm or hand, but this one is very much well-preserved."

Once part of Gyeongbokgung Palace's rear garden are Chimnyugak Pavilion, built in the early 1900s to enjoy the arts, and Ounjeong Pavilion, that literally means a view of five-colored clouds where the heavenly gods play.
Chilgung is a shrine for the ancestral tablets of the seven royal concubines the seven mothers' of Joseon kings,. built by King Yeongjo in commemoration of his mother.
Examples of natural heritage are also visible within the compound.

"At Sugungteo where soldiers once defended royal palaces in the Joseon-era, a 744-year-old rigid-branch yew tree stands, showing its persistent vitality."

Static cultural sites are enough to add joy to the tour, but to spruce the liveliness up even more, celebratory events are going on until May 22nd.
Among them are the Joseon-era warrior appointment ceremony held at Yeongbingwan the state guest house, and jeongak a performance of classical court or ceremonial music at Chilgung Shrine.
The program includes even more events.

"There are tents in front of Chunchugwan building where people can enjoy tightrope walking performances while taking a rest. At Nokjiwon, regarded as the most beautiful garden in the Cheong Wa Dae where there are pine trees, fusion music performances take place too."

Embracing history and culture while taking a memorable break.
With the backdrop of Bukaksan mountain, the historic picturesque scene offers wonders for all visitors.

Wow, it must have been a great experience Bo-kyung I should pay a visit too~
now, moving on to the movies, the 75th Cannes Film Festival kicked off on Tuesday, right?

Yes it sure did, getting back to its traditional calendar after three years.
All films are worth looking forward to, but of course, most Koreans are anxiously waiting on whether a Korean film will be awarded the glorious Palme d'Or.
A total of 21 films have been invited to compete for the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes, and among them are two Korean films "Broker" and the "Decision To Leave."
"Decision to Leave", starring Tang Wei and Park Hae-il, is a mystery film directed by Park Chan-wook, who previously won the Jury Prize in 2009 with his film "Thirst" and Grand Prize with the 2003 film “Oldboy”.
This is his his fourth time to be in contention for the prize after a six-year hiatus since “The Handmaiden."
Another film, "Broker" is directed by Japanese auteur Hirokazu Koreeda who previously won the Palme d’Or with 2018’s "Shoplifters”.
The film tells of a journey to find a new family for a baby who was found in a so-called "baby box.

Well, let's keep our fingers crossed to see a repeat of the "Parasite syndrome" at this year's Cannes. When will the movies have their premiers?

Both films will have world premiers at the Lumiere Grand Theater, "Decision to Leave" on the 23rd and "Broker" on the 26th.

And, it's not just movies, but Korean literature too is attracting global attention.
Bo-kyoung, what can you tell us about that?

You're absolutely right, a wide range of translated Korean literary works have managed to gain international recognition.
According to one of Korea's leading online booksellers Yes24, sales of books translated into English that were originally published in Korean for the domestic market have increased over the last three years.
And since 2020, sales have increased every year, with this year's figure 1.5-7 times higher than 2019's.

This comes at a time when Korean literature has been winning awards, too.
Lee Suzy became the first Korean illustrator to win the distinguished Hans Christian Andersen Award in March, while Sohn Won-pyung took home the annual Japan Bookseller's Award again this year with "Counterattack at Thirty."
His coming-of-age story "Almond" won in 2020.

It sure is great to hear about all these accomplishments and the global attention the Korean arts and culture sector is receiving.
Alright Bo-kyoung, thank you for sharing these updates, I will see you next week.

See you then.
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