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2021 ASEAN-ROK Culture Innovation Summit: Technology, Cultural Exchanges, and Art

ASEAN-ROK Culture Innovation Summit 2021 encourages people from ASEAN and the Republic of Korea (ROK) for more cultural exchanges! 

Last September 3, the summit went live for an online livestream on Youtube. Panelists from ASEAN and Korea joined the summit to share discourses in three sessions. The event is hosted by Hyerim. 

The event kicked off with welcome and congratulatory remarks from the Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Korea, Hwang Hee. Minister Hwang Hee talked about the importance of cultural exchange to boost technology innovation.

Hwang Hee at ASEAN-ROK Culture Innovation Summit
Hwang Hee, Korea’s Minister of Culture, Sports, and Travel for Korea

The Minister highlighted how cultural exchanges can help ASEAN nations and ROK develop new art with the help of technology.

Phoeurng Sackona at the ASEAN-ROK Culture Innovation Summit
Phoeurng Sackona, Cambodia’s Minister of Culture and Fine Arts

Minister of Culture and Fine Arts from Cambodia, Phoeurng Sackona, shared some congratulatory remarks as well. Cambodia is this year’s guest of honor.

ASEAN-ROK Culture Innovation Summit Keynote Speech – Lee Sung Ho

Lee Sung Ho is the CEO of d’strict Seoul. His speech focused on how his company became successful by combining culture and technology. 

ASEAN-ROK Culture Innovation Summit Keynote Speaker - d'strict CEO Lee Sung Ho
Lee Sung Ho, CEO of d’strict Seoul

Their company initiate a public media art project, “WAVE” which was launched in 2020. It gained a lot of attention, due to its unique 3D art exhibition. Therefore, the project WAVE is a success in introducing a new form of public art. Aside from WAVE, d’strict also opened the ARTE MUSEUM in Jeju. 

Both projects aimed to highlight culture and technology to further innovate new forms of art in the public spaces. It is a good initiative from d’strict, as they were globally recognized, having their project, WAVE displayed in New York. 

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When Culture and Art meet Technology

For the summit’s first session, speakers from Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia shared their thoughts. 

The first speaker is Le Than Tung, also known as, Crazy Monkey, a digital artist from Vietnam. His session mainly points how technology opened the doors for traditional artists. He wanted to preserve the cultural values in his country through his digital works. 

Crazy Monkey’s works were primarily illustrations. Throughout the growth of technology, he can explore a new form of art through digital illustrations.

Thailand’s Pawimol Samsen is a representative from 27 JUNE Studio. Samsen talked about technology being a good tool in helping artists create something new. With the help of technology, new forms of art are born with a touch of cultural influences. 

As per Samsen, “Sometimes we would like to create something that seems very magical, and technology gets rid of any limitations and can help us achieve what we want.” Which we highly agree with! Technology today challenges us to create something new every day.

Sound and Visual artist, Saphy Vong of CHINABOT, talks about his aim to fully present the undiscovered Asian sound globally. Vong provided a platform for fellow Asian musicians to showcase their music with a clear representation of their culture. 

Saphy Vong from Vietnam at the ASEAN-ROK Culture Innovation Summit

Vong’s experimentation of traditional music with modern ones is a good introduction to how technology can allow someone to create unique and refreshing sounds. 

When Culture and Art meets Technology

The second session focuses on the results of art and culture when an influence of technology is added. Speakers from Laos, the Philippines, and Indonesia joins this session.

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Lionel Chok from Singapore talked about the future of culture and art through Virtual Realities (VR). The use of VRs that are easily accessible through media platforms as filters and other forms of effects. This approach is actually great to introduce cultural art and allow people to showcase it online. 

Philippines’ Chris Fussner followed as he talks about the first Metaverse Art Fair that was held in the Philippines. The art fair primarily introduces NFT (non-fungible token) art, a type of art emerging from the Cryptocurrency world. Through this digital art fair, it allowed the people to become more exposed to the unique side of technology: art discoveries that features culture.

Chris Fussner at this year's ASEAN-ROK Culture Innovation Summit

Lastly, Indonesia’s Daniel Surya, the executive chairman of WIR Group promoted the future of Augmented Reality (AR). AR is a powerful form of technology and art to connect people of all races. He presented some of his company’s projects that featured AR. One of those was actually a collaboration with a popular Indonesian e-commerce platform that worked with them for BTS AR booths.

The Present and Future of ASEAN-ROK Cultural Exchanges

As for the last session, the ASEAN-ROK Culture Innovation Joint Project was presented. The video is a touching one! As people from ASEAN-ROK have come together to share their vision as to why cultural exchanges are important. Three statements that struck us the most were from Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines.

“Respect and understanding. It is important for each other and every one of us to respect and understand different cultures.”

Singapore

“It’s the power that moves the world and unites us as one. Is there anything more powerful than cultural exchange?”

Thailand

“It’s about recognizing the attractiveness of other countries. They may be unfamiliar at first, but if we deepen our understanding, then we’ll become more attracted to it.”

The Philippines

Directors and producers involved in this project had a sit-down conversation wherein they shared their thoughts about the project.

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Concluding Thoughts

Throughout the whole session, the audiences were in for some treats as a VR 3D art performance was presented. ASEAN participants and Korea’s Acapella group, NARIN also performed a lovely celebratory performance.

The ASEAN-ROK Culture Innovation Summit this year is a great step to encourage participating countries and Korea to build connections and cultural exchanges outside of their comfort zones. The power of technology plays a big part in these exchanges to help every nation build a cultural connection with each other. 

Through the help of technology today has become a huge step in creating new forms of art that can be preserved for the future. 

We thank ASEAN-ROK Culture Innovation Summit for inviting us! Also, you can visit their website here for more information.

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