• Event
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Korean Classics Event in Vendôme, France

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  • Period
    07/27/2017 to 07/29/2017


The Literature Translation Institute of Korea (LTI Korea, President: Kim Seong-Kon, professor Emeritus at Seoul National University) took part in the annual EPOS Oral Literature Festival in Vendôme, France, hosting a Korean classics event. The event was held to celebrate the May publication of <Sukhyangjeon Sukyeongnangjajeon (The Story of Sukhyang and the Story of Lady Sukyeong)> by French publisher Editions Imago, and highlighted the uniqueness of Korean classics.


The EPOS Oral Literature Festival is held annually every summer, and was started in 2006 by the Conservatoire contemporain de Littérature Orale (CLiO) for the purpose of raising awareness about oral traditions and heritage while promoting the modern succession of the genre. LTI Korea and its local partner, the K-Vox Festival Planning Committee, hosted a pansori conference, workshop, and a well-received performance of <Sukyeongnangjaga (Song of Lady Sukyeong)>. In addition, the Korean classics and pansori that have been translated and published in France sold out completely at the festival book salon.


The pansori conference on July 27 gave participants the chance to learn about the art, its history, and its characteristics. Conference tickets were sold out in spite of an entrance fee and the active participation of the audience showed locals’ passion for and interest in pansori.


On July 28, pansori master Min Hye-seong and drummer Kwon Eun-kyeong gave a performance of <Sukyeongnangjaga (Song of Lady Sukyeong)>. French-language subtitles by professional translators Han Yumi and Hervé Péjaudier were provided. Over 200 seats were filled with audience members who took an active part by giving traditional responses like ‘Eolssigu’ and ‘Jotta’ during the performance. Notably, Pascal Mabut from the government of the Republic and Canton of Geneva expressed interest in hosting a Korean pansori performance group at the 2018 Geneva Book and Press Fair.


July 29 featured both a pansori workshop and a book salon. The workshop involved lessons on the basic notes of pansori, followed by an attempt at the Ganggangsullae song, an Intangible Cultural Property of Korea and a UNESCO-designated Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Participant interest in Korean culture was fanned by the traditional song, leading to a sellout of Korean classics at the book fair, demonstrating local participants’ enthusiastic response to the event.


The festival ended on July 29 with an event titled ‘Storyteller Night, where storytellers who participated at the festival would take turns telling stories for about 10 minutes each from 9PM to 5AM, with audiences listening to the stories while seated or lying down.


Proclaimed a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, pansori is receiving a great deal of attention in France with translations of works such as <Yeollyeochunhyangsujeolga (Song of Chun-hyang, the Virtuous Wife)> and <Sugungga (Song of the Water Palace)> being released by local publishers to critical acclaim. LTI Korea plans to provide translation and publication support grants for five works of pansori in the next five to six years, using the momentum from the positive response in France to further share the energy and allure of Korean classics with the world.


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