South Korea’s culture minister aims to increase Korean culture funding

From the Korea Times, an interesting interview with Yu In-chon, the Republic of Korea’s Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sports.

South Korean culture minister Yu In-Chon

South Korean culture minister Yu In-Chon

Like Australia’s culture minister Peter Garrett, a former rock singer, Yu is also a former artist – in his case, an actor.

An actor-turned-minister, Yu began by explaining how he wants to retain existing edifices while looking to expand venues for creative arts.


Yu’s goals are clear. Rather than build anew, he wants to preserve. Rather than unilaterally export Korean culture, he wants to exchange and infuse.

His aims are also high in terms of budget: He hopes to raise the total cultural budget to account for 1.5 percent of the national budget by 2012.

Yet, he wants the benefits of culture to seep into the nooks and crannies of Korea, so that grandmothers in the smallest villages can enjoy performances with their grandchildren.

The article also adds that “the minister seems intent on revamping national art organizations. After taking office, he has replaced eight chiefs of national art organizations, saying repeatedly it is time they live up to their names.”

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