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Title Fusion of Korean Traditional Music & Contemporary Music Enraptures Foreigners
No 144 Inquiry 405 Date 2018.10.17

□ Korean fusion bands SsingSsing, Kim Ju-hong and Noreum Machi, and Coreyah heated up famous
concert venues in London, Bangkok, and Hong Kong in September and October by participating in
the Traveling Korean Arts program sponsored by the Korean Foundation for International Cultural
Exchange (KOFICE; President Kim Yongrak) and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
(Minister Do Jong-hwan). Although their performances were all based on Korean traditional music,
they were highly acclaimed by both the mass media and experts in each city.


□ SsingSsing presented a performance combining Korean traditional music with rock music at the
PizzaExpress Jazz Club in Soho, London, on September 30, and another performance on October 2 at
the Southbank Centre Purcell Room. PizzaExpress Jazz Club opened in 1976 and hosted acts such as
Ella Fitzgerald, Nora Jones, and Sting before they rose to worldwide stardom. The Southbank Centre
is one of the largest arts centers across the world. Both shows recorded sold-out audiences. Robin
Denselow, The Guardian’s world critic, was present at both concerts and said, “I have never seen the
same performances twice before, but this is an exception.” In a review in The Guardian dated October
4, Denselow gave SsingSsing a high rating of four out of five stars.


□ Kim Ju-hong and Noreum Machi, who specialize in percussion music, had a joint performance with
Gorilla Crew, a top Korean B-boying group, at GMM Live House in Bangkok, Thailand, on October
6. GMM Live House has previously hosted popular Korean idol groups including Apink, B.A.P, and
GFriend. It is owned by GMM Grammy, Thailand’s largest entertainment media company. The
performance was part of Culture_Connected in Thailand, a cultural exchange project commemorating
the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between Korea and Thailand. GMM Live House
was packed with more than 2,000 people, and PBS TV, the Thai public broadcasting service,
interviewed the performers before they took to the stage, proving the great interest of local fans.


□ Noted for presenting exquisite world music harmonizing Korean traditional and contemporary
music, Coreyah gave concerts at Fringe Club, a non-profit arts organization in Hong Kong, on
October 7–8. Built in 1892, the club is located in Lan Kwai Fong, the small square of streets in
Central Hong Kong, a key tourist attraction where clubs are clustered. Coreyah’s concert took place at
Fringe Dairy in Fringe Club. The venue was full of local and foreign fans who were attentive to the
sound of music from Korean traditional instruments, even though they may have been unable to
understand the Korean lyrics. Ian Leung, program manager of the Hong Kong Arts Centre, expressed
admiration for the performance and said, “I would like to promote collaboration between artists of
Korea and Hong Kong.”


□ Traveling Korean Arts was launched by KOFICE to enhance communication between Korea and
the rest of the world through diverse exhibitions and performances in cooperation with Korean
Cultural Centers abroad and culture and arts institutions in each country. Korean art groups will
perform at famous venues in foreign countries until the end of this year. ArtStage San, specializing in
puppet shows, will present the Dallae Story at Teatro India Roma in Rome, Italy, on December 1–2.
The percussion group Tago will give a performance at the outdoor stage of V&A Waterfront, the
famous tourist spot in Cape Town, South Africa, on December 1. SsingSsing will take to stage at
Emerson Dorsch Gallery in Miami on December 7 in time for the Art Basel Miami, one of the world’s
three great art fairs to be held on Miami Beach on December 6–9. SsingSsing will then move to New
York and perform at Brooklyn Bowl, the popular bowling alley and live music club, on December 9.