UK/Korea 2017–18
Creative Futures

An unparalleled year-long cultural celebration

UK/Korea 2017–18 Creative Futures celebrated the positive relationship in the arts and creative sectors between the United Kingdom and Korea. Nearly 1.2 million people participated through 184 events delivered in 17 cities across Korea. Knowledge was exchanged and networks were broadened.

Over 800 artists and arts professionals participated, generating creative collaborations whilst presenting and showcasing their work. Creative Futures provoked questions about how the arts responds and contributes to building a more open, diverse, creative and inclusive societies in both countries.

Arts for a more diverse and
inclusive society

공·空·Zero: Restriction, Body and Time © Susan Hay

UK Focus at Seoul Pride Film Festival 2017

Seoul Pride Film Festival devoted a special section of their programme 50LGBT to six LGBT feature films from the UK, including the premiere of Against the Law in Korea, in partnership with BFI Flare. Brian Robinson visited to share what the United Kingdom has learnt in the past 50 years with Korea.

Festival Arts and Disability: Beautiful Differences

Beautiful Differences closed the UK/Korea 2017–18 year exploring the role the arts can play for a more inclusive and diverse society. It focused on innovative approaches to arts and disability.

Good Morning Everybody by Eun-Me Ahn and Candoco Dance Company and 공·空·Zero: Restriction, Body and Time by Marc Brew and Bora Kim premiered as part of 2018 PyeongChang Cultural Olympiad.

Disabled artist and activist Jo Verrent giving a talk in Seoul.

Disabled artist and activist Jo Verrent giving a talk in Seoul.

Creative Ageing

The Creative Ageing Conference 2017 provided a platform for knowledge exchanges, networking and for collaboration. It looked at the role of arts within fast-ageing societies in partnership with the Baring Foundation, Korea Culture & Arts Education Service (KACES) and Seoul 50 Plus Foundation.

The conference drew a great deal of interest from specialists and from the general public, and reflects the fast changing demographics of Korea.

Arts in a fast changing city

Chorus by Ray Lee

Factory at Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale

The 2017 Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale (GICB) honoured its 2015 prize winner, British artist Neil Brownsword, with a special exhibition, Factory. Factory raises awareness of the increasingly threatened cultural heritage that has supported North Staffordshire’s local economy for nearly 300 years.

Connected City

Rapid urban shifts impact on the daily life of the people who live in the city of Seoul. Connected City stimulated conversations around key issues such as gentrification and manufacturing, the role culture plays in regeneration, and how public arts brings people together.

Inspired by these themes, the Connected City programme provided a way for communities to explore, re-imagine and re-connect with the city they live in. Over 200,000 people engaged with Connected City through Musicity, Playable City, Maker City, Performing City, Storytelling City and the City Conference in Seoul.

Busan-Sheffield Intercity Arts Project

The project connects two industrial cities, Busan and Sheffield through artistic intervention and exchanges. Three UK-based artists with ties to Sheffield received commissions to produce an array of site-specific artworks in Busan. Following research trips to Korea, the artists produced sprawling street art murals, coastal light installations and a graphic novel.

In return, three Korean artists presented their works in response to the environment of Sheffield as part of the City of Ideas in March 2018. The project has won the Play category of the GREAT Innovation in Action Awards 2018 awarded by the Department for International Trade of the UK Government.

Creative learning, arts and science

Artience Daejeon 17: UK Focus

The project aimed to create opportunities for UK artists and arts institutions to collaborate with scientists in Daejeon's science hub and develop sustainable partnerships in arts and science.

Artience Lab Tour welcomed experts from the UK representing the Wellcome Trust, Science Gallery London and FACT Liverpool (Foundation of Art and Creative Technology). The Wellcome Trust presented Silent Signal – a group exhibition of new animated works that explores the science of genetics, cell biology, immunology and epidemiology. 30 artists, students and professionals participated in Creation Challenge 30 x 30 and explored ways in which arts and science can work together.

UK-Korea Creative Education

This joint project between the Royal Society of Arts and Korea Culture & Arts Education Service (KACES) focused on policy and implementation for creative education in the UK and Korea. The two countries exchanged delegations for research and discussions to improve their understanding of the current context in each other’s countries and to examine ways to develop creative practices.

Thanks to this exchange research papers on creative learning will be published in May 2018.

Long lasting partnerships
“Korea is a fantastic country for us to partner with. We are keen both to learn from Korea and to share UK expertise in practice, performance, digital technology, and audience engagement."

Rt Hon Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (2016-2018)

A strong partnership with 180 UK and Korean organisations and sponsors sits at the heart of UK/Korea 2017–18.

The intention is that many of these partnerships grow beyond 2018.

With thanks to these partners:

With thanks to these sponsors:

Find out more

Learn about upcoming cultural, educational and business exchanges between our two countries by visiting the website of the British Council in Korea.