I am proud to announce the official opening of the fifth annual “Festive Korea.” When we launched this festival in 2011, it featured fewer than 10 events. Now there are almost 30. Through collaboration with various institutions in Hong Kong, Festive Korea has become a significant platform not only for the introduction of Korean culture to the people of Hong Kong, but also for cultural exchange between Hong Kong and Korea.
This year’s lineup is richer and more exciting than ever! Along with many other wonderful events, there is a new creative opera performance—a special collaboration between the Korea National Opera and the Hong Kong Philharmonic; a joint fashion show featuring the work of emerging designers from both Korea and Hong Kong; and a concert in which Korean classical musicians will appear alongside some of Hong Kong’s most promising performers.
As Asia’s World City, Hong Kong is one of the top tourist destinations for Koreans, and it is the number one foreign venue for Korean artists. In recent years, active economic and business cooperation have brought Korea and Hong Kong much closer. At the same time, the two sides are expanding cultural exchanges. With a combined total of 1.8 million tourists traveling to Korea from Hong Kong and vice versa as of last year, both partners are truly indispensible to one another.
Since I assumed my current post in April, I have met many political and business leaders in Hong Kong who spoke very highly of Korean culture and the success of Korea’s cultural industry through the Korean Wave or Hallyu.” My next goal is to accelerate economic cooperation between the creative industries of Korea and Hong Kong—to spark a Renaissance of proactive cultural exchange.
In closing, I would like to express my gratitude to the government of Hong Kong and all the government-affiliated institutions that have given generous support for the successful launch of this year’s Festive Korea, and to all those who love Korean culture.
Kim Kwang Dong
Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Hong Kong