Korean Cultural Office in Sydney

Written by on June 23, 2011 in Worldwide Korea Bloggers

* This post is written by Octo Tini, one of the Korea Blog’s Worldwide Korea Bloggers.

Address:

Ground Floor, 255 Elizabeth St
Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
Phone: +61-2-8267-3400
Fax: +61-2- 8267-3401
Email: info@koreanculture.org.au

On Tuesday 5 April 2011, the Korean Cultural Office (KCO) was opened opposite Hyde Park as a gateway to all things Korean in Sydney.

The KCO will act as a cultural ambassador, offering contemporary and traditional cultural content, in hopes of strengthening the bonds between the two countries. The office, in Elizabeth Street, Sydney, has been designed by Korean interior decorators, is fitted with top-of-the-line products from Korean powerhouses Samsung and LG Electronics, and decorated with the Korean alphabet (Hangeul).

Cultural activities and education programmes are featured at the office, such as the Kind Sejong Institute (Korean language classes), Cinema on the Park (free Korean film night), and Korean cooking classes. The whole family can enjoy the school excursions and gallery tours offered at the KCO. There’s also an open-to-the-public library, home to a range of books about Korean history, politics, traditional art, novels and more.

My first meeting with the Director of the Korean Cultural Office in Sydney

Few weeks ago I visited the newly-opened Korean Cultural Office (KCO) in Sydney. At first, I just wanted to sneak in quietly to KCO library to chill out after my exam but Kieran, KCO Marketing and Festival Manager (who is also a WKB like me) caught me there. He then invited me to visit the KCO Director.

Kieran, KCO Marketing and Festival Manager (who is also a WKB)

Kieran, KCO Marketing and Festival Manager (who is also a WKB)

KCO Director Young-soo Kim

KCO Director Young-soo Kim

This is a gift from the Director to me. Actually, I planned to give him a small gift too but I did not expect to see him so soon because I was going to have a dinner with him and other Worldwide Korea Bloggers later (this month perhaps). The gift wrapper is so cute that I do not want to open because I am scared of ruining it T_T

a gift from the Director

a gift from the Director

a gift from the Director

a gift from the Director

Bé Ỉn wonders what is inside, but she thinks that if a gift box is this beautiful then it must contain delicious food.

*Excited* Ỉn sucks her thumb to satiate her hunger first

Beautiful black box with Korean words in gold colour and business cards from the Director and Kieran.

Beautiful black box with Korean words in gold colour and business cards from the Director and Kieran.

Too beautiful!!!! I have always been fascinated by Korean traditional crafts such as:

♥ 매듭 (Maedeup – Korean Knots)

Traditional knots in Korea (Maedup, 매듭) has been used for various purposes like hunting tools, decoration, clothes and so on throughout Korean history. Its usage was first only limited to the royal families and later spread to common people. Korean knot is different from Chinese knots in history and form. In modern Korea, there are much effort trying to apply traditional knots to modern art.

Korean Knots are defined as a form of traditional Korean handicraft made using one or two thread. Its characteristic is that the completed knot has the same shape front and back, has bilateral symmetry and starts and ends at the middle of the knot not matter how complicated the it is.

Can you see that beautiful knot? I really want to learn how to do it too

♥ 나전칠기 (Najeon Chilgi)

Najeon Chilgi (나전칠기) is the unique Korean art of lacquered mother-of-pearl inlay designs.  While other countries, notably China and Japan, have their own methods and designs, the Korean school is distinctive for several reasons.  First, Korean artisans use the specific shells exclusively (notably abalone, pearl oyster, and conch), while other traditions use a much wider variety of shells.  Moreover, the Korean technique utilizes almost impossibly thin strips of the material which results in an intricacy in design not found anywhere else.  Perhaps most notable is the use of highly iridescent pieces of mother-of-pearl which create the opalescent, glittering sheen that is used to contrast against gleaming white pieces, creating depth and shimmer from any angle.

HahoiTal: Korean traditional masks

‘Hahoe-Byolshin-Gut’ is one of the famous ‘Korean traditional Masked Dance Dramas’ handed down from generation to generation in Hahoi, Andong, Kyeoungbuk province, Korea. The masks, HahoiTal is the oldest mask for masked dance dramas in Korea and they have been designated as a national treasure (ID No. 121)

YangbanTal (Nobleman’s mask from HahoiTal) This is the typical mask among all others of HahoiTal, Korean traditional masks. Many modern artists including foreigners have been praised this full expressive mask as one of the culmination of the mask-art.

BuneTal (Fickle woman’s mask from HahoiTal) This mask has the features of a beautiful woman of the past Korean society, an oval face, crescent eyebrows, a definite nose and small lips.

Mother-of-Pearl Phone Charm and USB Flash Drive featuring 하회탈 (HahoiTal - Korean traditional masks)

Mother-of-Pearl Phone Charm and USB Flash Drive featuring 하회탈 (HahoiTal – Korean traditional masks)

It is such an awesome gift because I wanted to buy something similar to this for a long time.

The back of the USB Flash Drive is very beautiful too. Look at the laser engraving~ it is just too gorgeous.

The back of the USB Flash Drive is very beautiful too. Look at the laser engraving~ it is just too gorgeous.

He also asked me to be an intern for KCO and of course I was very thrilled to accept it because I love working in a fun and cool place like KCO. I’ll blog more about my internship experiences at KCO next time.

* The original piece can be read at HERE

* Visit KOREAN CULTURAL OFFICE OF AUSTRALIA and its FACEBOOK PAGE

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WKB

The Worldwide Korea Bloggers (WKB) is a gathering of people from different parts of the world, all having affection for Korea. Currently, there are 50 bloggers from 17 different countries and they share their own precious experiences with Korea and its culture on Korea Blog.