By Kang Gahui and Hahm Hee-eun
Photos = Kang Gahui
Taierzhuang District, Zaozhuang City, Shandong Province, China | Sept. 17, 2018
The Korea-China Cultural Exchange Forum, which promotes cultural exchanges between Korea and China, was held in the Taierzhuang Ancient Town in Zaozhuang City, Shandong Province, China, on Sept. 13.At this year’s forum, the main theme was a phrase by Confucius: “Cooperating but not imitating each other without standards” (和而不同, 화이부동). Major cultural figures from Korea and China gathered at the forum to discuss cultural developments between the two neighbors.
The forum is a follow-up project after the sixth episode of the TV show “Cultural Canvas” where they travelled to Korea, and which was also co-hosted by Arirang TV and China’s Phoenix TV and sponsored by the Korea Culture and Information Service.
Wang Luxiang, a presenter on Phoenix TV, hosted the forum. Cultural figures from Korea and China sat on the panels, including Chung Yangmo, former head of the National Museum of Korea, Chang Namwon, head of the Ewha Womans University Museum, Bai Ming, a professor at Tsinghua University, Wang Shi, chairman of the Chinese Culture Promotion Society, Lee Kwangho, a former professor in the Philosophy Department at Yonsei University, and Wang Shouchang, president of the Academy of Chinese Culture.
The panelists talked about the ways in which ancient Korean artists applied porcelain techniques that they got from their Chinese interlocutors and then developed it into their own, unique style to create Goryeo celadon (고려청자) and moon jars (달항아리 백자), two types of traditional Korean white porcelain. Also, Confucianism, though originating in China, has gone through many independent transformations to suit the daily needs of the people in Korea who have adopted it.
Regarding cultural problems faced by today’s society, Lee Kwangho, a former professor in the Philosophy Department at Yonsei University, said, “Different societies have become standardized in disharmony (同而不和, 동이부화).” To turn Korean and Chinese cultural developments in the proper direction, Professor Lee said that, “Admitting each other’s uniqueness, within the same cultural sphere, is an essential task that is needed for people in both Korea and China.”
In addition to the forum, the panelists from Korea also visited the Palace Museum in Beijing, and the Taierzhuang Ancient Town in Zaozhuang City during their three-night four-day visit. A TV show documenting the visit by these major Korean figures will be aired as a special episode of the show “Cultural Canvas” on Phoenix TV, and it will be broadcast across all of China.