CICI Forum: Guy Sorman considers the move by the presidency “positive”

SEOUL, August 25 (Yonhap) – Guy Sorman, an internationally renowned French intellectual, on Thursday expressed a very positive opinion on the decision of the Yoon Suk-yeol government to move the presidential office to Yongsan and open the former Cheong presidential complex. Wa. Give to the public.

“This is a very good choice,” Sorman said in a keynote speech delivered by New York via video at the Cultural Communication Forum (CCF) hosted in Seoul by the Korea Image Communications Institute (CICI). “In all democracies the presidential office is in the center of the city, as in Paris, Washington, Berlin and London”, he noted, also underlining the symbolic value of what he did with the former presidential office Cheong Wa Dae which he described as an “imitation of a Chinese palace”.

Under the theme “Space and cultural communication”, the 13th edition of this annual conference brought together both online and in person great masters of space and cultural communication experts such as Sorman, Jean-Louis Cohen, the French architect and historian of architecture. David- Pierre Jalicon, also a French architect at the head of DPJ & Partners, Architecture, Yoo Hyun-joon, professor of architecture at Hongik University, and Katrina Sedgwick, director and CEO of Melbourne Arts Precinct Corporation.

It was an opportunity to reflect on the influence of space, real and virtual, in cultural communication, a theme at the center of a great debate in the country at the moment while South Korea is now studying how to transform Cheong Wa Dae. Since opening to the public on May 10, the complex, which housed the president’s office and residence for 74 years, has become one of Seoul’s most popular tourist attractions with over 1.4 million visitors.

Regarding Cheong Wa Dae’s future, architect Jalicon said that it is its location that is important and not the building itself because its location has a “history”. It was the courtyard of the royal palace of Gyeongbok and a link to Mount Bukhan, he recalled before suggesting to “connect Gyeongbok Palace to Mount Bukhan” and to keep the place as a “bet in the abyss of modern Korean society”, where people can reflect on their history and the value of this place.

Professor Yoo, on the other hand, proposed making it a future-oriented place where new content would be created, such as a shared office where young people could create new companies, and Lee from Designhouse expressed his hope. a metaverse, a space that young people could build.

Sorman also repeatedly stressed the importance of “linking past and present” and “linking contemporary Seoul to the past” to ensure “continuity from century to century”, citing the Cheonggye River restoration project led by Sorman as one of the best examples. ‘former president Lee Myung-bak (2008-2013) when he was mayor of the capital (2002-2006). “Seoul’s transformation as a space is not just about architecture, but also about connecting with history,” he said.

For him, the new Seoul City Hall was another successful project as it ties Korean civilization to its tradition through its completely transparent appearance being a symbol of South Korea’s democratization and since it has preserved the Japanese building that was built. in colonial times but is part of the history of Korea despite the controversy it created as a symbol of colonization and imperialism.

The forum also looked at the changes the new coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) has brought about in our relationship with space. On the one hand it accelerated the digital transition with the emergence of new forms of space such as the metaverse and on the other hand it highlighted the importance of real space in our sensory and cultural experiences.

Contrary to the prediction of many observers that the pandemic will cause cinemas, theaters, museums and libraries to disappear or become obsolete, we can observe the “return to space” and the “newly discovered dimension of space in our culture and communication”, remarked Jean-Louis Cohen.

To cite examples illustrating this return of cultural consumers or participants of culture to real space, the architect and historian spoke about the great success of the Morozov Collection exhibition which attracted one of the most large numbers of visitors among the contemporary or modern art exhibitions held in Paris, as well as unprecedented numbers of tourists in Europe and North America reflecting “people’s desire to have a real relationship with cities and landscapes and not that through the screen”.

The best digital image seen through screens or electronic devices cannot provide the artistic “textual enjoyment” that a real painting offers with all its rich textures and colors, Cohen noted, adding that the architectural walk cannot be reproduced even with the best of glasses. 3D or any other reality as it involves “the movement of the body which is as important as the movement of the eyes”.

“Space in short provides a multisensory experience, an experience of scale, distance, culture, sound and smell that cannot be matched by other means. Space allows for communication and interaction between human beings, as well as the discovery of diversity, the diversity of classes, races, sexes, nations “, she concluded.

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