Thanks to David Kilburn for sending me the occasional update on his campaign to prevent Kahoi-dong, an area of traditional housing in Seoul, from being buried under mountains of concrete. He recently put on his own arts festival in his home, including two intangible cultural assets, and got the Korea Times to send along a reporter to cover the event.
Cast your imagination to a world where man was more intimately connected to the natural world than he his today. Reflect on how, for centuries, Koreans used to build their homes so that they nestled into the natural landscape without unduly disturbing it. In this almost forgotten world, music, vocal arts, dance, and calligraphy could all be acts of communion with the many planes of a mysterious and natural world and help people navigate their own lives in harmony with the cosmos.
And so, the festival was also designed as an act of prayer. A prayer that the traditional values should not be wholly eclipsed in the modern world; that there would still be an opportunity for the hanoks of Kahoi-dong to survive.