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  Arts & Living
"France Express 2008" Goes On
Largest French Cultural Event Runs Till Nov. 11
By Ted Gim
Staff Reporter
French Amb. Philippe Thiebaud (3rd from right) speaks during "France Express" press conference held in French Cultural Center in Seoul on Sept. 24, 2008. To his right is Ms. Yae Ji-Won, a local actress , who is a goodwill ambassador for France; Shin Sun-Hi, president of the National Theater of Korea (far left); Laure Coudret-laut, cultural counselor of the French Embassy (2nd from left); and Mr. Jang Min-Hwan, curator of the Seoul Museum of Art (right).

The largest French cultural seven "France Express 2008" has kicked off as of Sept. 24, 2008.

In a press conference held on the day at the French Cultural Center in Seoul's Bongrae-dong near Seoul Station, French Ambassador to Seoul Philippe Thiebaud announced the start of the major French cultural festival — a series of French cultural events.

To be unfolded are some 40 France-related events in seven areas of the French culture — dances, plays, music, visual arts, films, literature, and street performances.

A total of 160 artists from France are participating in the event. As many as 15 both global and local businesses are sponsoring the festival.

Amb. Thiebaud (left) with a local actress Yae Ji-Won (center) and Mr. Jang Min-Hwan, curator of the Seoul Museum of Art

A street performance "Bivouac" by Generik Vapeur
is now being held at three places — Gwacheon, Goyang, and Seongnam, satellite cities of Seoul. It runs until Oct. 12, 2008.

As for the exhibition some 80 masterpieces of such prominent artists as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Marc Chagall are being displayed at several places.

The great works of art are all directly from Georges Pompidou Center in France.

Also available is "Grimm's Fables" by members of National Threater L'Odeon - Union of the Theatres of Europe.

The main poster of the "France Express 2008"

World-famous French chanson-jazz vocalist Nah Youn-Sun will also perform. She was educated in France.

The festival is being held from Sept. 24 to Nov. 22, 2008. "Arts and culture should be available for anybody and everybody,"

said Amb. Thiebaud referring to the characteristic of the event. "Anybody should be able to participate in this festival."

He introduced to the local journalists the history of the French Cultural Center in Seoul which dates all the way back to 1960. The center is the oldest one in Asia.

The French envoy hoped to further foster the cultural ties between Paris and Seoul through this annual cultural event — "France Express."

"France Express 2008" was planned in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the French Cultural Center's opening in South Korea.

The press conference was attended by Cultural Counselor Laure Coudret-laut of the French Embassy, a local actress Yae Ji-Won, who is a goodwill ambassador for France, President Shin Sun-Hi of the National Theater of Korea, and Mr. Jang Min-Hwan, curator of the Seoul Museum of Art.

For details or inquires please contact the French Embassy in Seoul at 02-3149-4333 or the French Cultural Center in Seoul at 02-317-8567.

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Ted Gim serves as staff reporter of The Seoul Times. He studied tourism management at a S. Korean university. He spent three years in England and Ireland, studying and living there. He studied tourism at an English college for two years. He covers tourism industry as well as diplomatic community in Seoul.






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