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UK/Korea Creative Futures is launched

Here is the official announcement from the British Council of the collaboration with Korea over the next two years:

British Council announces UK/KOREA Creative Futures 2017

UK-Korea-Creative-Futures graphic

London, 20 February 2017. The British Council today officially launched UK/KOREA Creative Futures 2017, a year-long celebration of the long-standing relationship between the UK and Korea which will see cultural events, exhibitions and activities taking place in both countries throughout 2017. Audiences will have the chance to experience innovative and exciting creative work from some of the best UK and Korean artists and institutions.

The United Kingdom and Korea are closer today than they have been for many years. Success in creativity and innovation will define both the UK’s and Korea’s futures. Throughout UK/Korea 2017-18 we will present ways to forge futures for both emerging artists and new audiences in the arts and creative industries of the UK and Korea. For this reason the slogan of UK/Korea 2017−18 is “Creative Futures”.

Speaking ahead of the opening of the year, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley said:

“Our world famous creative industries are the glittering jewel in the crown of British industry, and I’m delighted that the Korean public will now be able to experience the brilliance of the UK’s creativity and innovation first hand.

“Nurturing, supporting and developing creative talent is a priority for the UK, and our international programme of events are instrumental in showcasing a more global Britain to the world.”

Martin Fryer, Director Korea, British Council said:

“We hope the joint year will stimulate and encourage more creative collaboration between the art organisations and artists in the UK and Korea. This will bring increased mobility and innovation in arts and creative sectors for both countries.”

The London Symphony Orchestra will open the season with a concert on 20 February. The year will bring the best examples of UK dance, theatre, film, visual arts, literature, music, architecture, design and fashion to Korea from February 2017 to March 2018 in multiple cities including Seoul, Busan, Cheongju, Jeonju and Tongyeong.

Some highlights of the UK/Korea 2017-18 programme include:

  • London Symphony Orchestra Concert (20 February)
  • The Golden Dragon by Music Theatre Wales (31 March – 2 April)
  • British Film Director Michael Winterbottom’s Retrospective and Special Talks at the Jeonju International Film Festival (27 April – 7 May)
  • Atomos by Random Dance Company (26 – 27 May)
  • Intercity Arts Project: Busan – Sheffield (September – October)
  • Richard Hamilton Exhibition (3 November 2017 to 21 January 2018)
  • Candoco Dance Company’s new work (March 2018)

The year also aims to further boost the UK business, education and science in Korea and facilitate long-term and sustainable partnerships through market development, new networks and increased mobility.

UK/Korea 2017-18 will encompass arts, education, science and business, with a focus on the following five themes:


As a city develops its cultural identity, interaction with its artists and communities grows. By connecting cities from Korea and the UK, the development of arts and culture for both people and their cities will be sustained. This theme explores the role of arts and culture in reshaping cities and examines how to connect communities by creating arts and cultural-led practices in the process of building a creative city, smart city and urban regeneration projects in Korea.

Transformation and Innovation through Digital Technology

In Korea, both artists and the general public are constantly and rapidly employing digital technology. In this theme, we will explore digital innovation in a range of art forms, while a diverse group of artists working within communities will examine digitally-supported artistic practices in the expansion of digital culture in our daily lives.

Diversity and Inclusion

We will create new opportunities in three different pillars: arts and disability, arts and ageing society, and gender equality and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights. Korean and UK arts professionals, together with policy makers, will be tackling inclusivity as part of the cultural agenda with a view to develop new audiences and expression of the arts in Korea.

Creative Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship in the creative sectors is much needed for sustained support to artists in the sector and within the community. Entrepreneurship also creates an avenue to facilitate a dialogue and connections between the government and individual artists and makers through a network of government-led and independent creative hubs.

Creative Learning

There is a high demand for capacity building of artists and arts professionals for new artistic developments. A wider audience group is to be developed through engagements with artists. The Arts are also utilised as a new approach to learning creativity.


The British Council is leading UK/Korea 2017-18 in association with a host of partners in the UK and Korea. UK partners include the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), British Embassy Seoul, the Department for International Trade, Scottish Government, Arts Council England, Wales Arts International, Creative Scotland and a range of arts organisations. Korean counterparts and partners include the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Korean Cultural Centre UK, city authorities and diverse arts and culture organisations and festivals.


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