THE ACTOR IS PRESENT EXHIBITION NEWYORK and SEOUL
- Writerby hellen Park
KOREAN ACTORS GOING TO GLOBAL
KOREAN ACTORS 200 project is expanded to a new global stage. The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) together with the Korean Cultural Center New York New York is open to present THE ACTOR IS PRESENT, an unprecedented exhibition featuring photographs of 200 Korean actors representative of the past, present, and future of Korean films, including YOUN Yuhjung (Minari, The Housemaid), CHO Yeojung (Parasite), and LEE Byunghun (Masquerade, A Bittersweet Life). Renowned Korean photographers KIM Jungman and AHN Sungjin, who have shaped the contemporary photography industry of Korea, have participated in this major campaign to capture the iconic images of the actors. The exhibition is on view at the Gallery Korea at the Korean Cultural Center New York from September 8th to October 6th, 2021.
A new chapter in the 100-year history of Korean cinema has opened, catalyzed by Director Bong Joonho's Parasite win of the Palme d'Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, followed by four awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture in February 2020. In April 2021, Youn Yuhjung became the first Korean female actor to win Best Supporting Actress at the U.S. Academy Awards. These splendid achievements are the fruit of the history that Korean films have built over the past 102 years and a signal that foretells a significant wave of change in the global film industry in the 21st century.
Attention from all over the world was focused on Korean films and Korean actors, and the Korean film industry was also preparing for a big leap forward. Unfortunately, however, the COVID-19 Pandemic shut down theaters around the world and put the film industry in jeopardy of a standstill.
First launched in 2020 during the global pause in the global film industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the KOREAN ACTORS 200 campaign was a direct response to the rising interest in Korean actors, but a lack of archival materials to adequately introduce Korean actors to the world. The campaign, available for all to view online, drew explosive responses from Korean film fans all over the world, affirming that Korean films are center stage in shaping the global cultural landscape in the 21st century.
In order to further maximize the impact of the Korean film industry following this unprecedented global interest, the Korean Film Council together with the Korean Cultural Center New York is open THE ACTOR IS PRESENT, the first global exhibition of its kind.
This exhibition is a bold declaration that each Korean actor is here and present. Through a single photo, celebrated photographers KIM Jungman and AHN Sungjin have captured the soul and essence of each actor, each image becoming a movie in itself.
“We expect that this campaign will increase the level of recognition Korean actors are enjoying abroad and also support those who aim to gain further international opportunities,” KIM Young-jin, Chairperson of the Korean Film Council added. “This is just another starting line for the future of Korean films.”
“A concurrent exhibition held in New York City and Seoul is a powerful signifier of the impact that Korean film is having on the global stage,” said JO Yun Jeung, Executive Director of the Korean Cultural Center New York. “The range of actors presented here represents not only their caliber, but the achievements that Korean film has made for over a century.”
Starting with New York, this exhibition will be held as a relay in Seoul and Busan. In accordance with Korea's COVID-19 quarantine guidelines, the Seoul and Busan exhibition schedule and location will be announced at a later date.
Casting Book THE ACTOR IS PRESENT will be published in September
In addition, the English book ‘THE ACTOR IS PRESENT’ in the form of a casting book, which will give you deeper impressions of the Korean actors for a longer time, will be published in September 2021. This book will be distributed directly to major film festivals, global filmmakers and distributors, key agency officials, and global representative media worldwide.
Casting Book ‘THE ACTOR IS PRESENT’ is one of the finished products of the campaign. The cover story contains an important message from a Korean actors. It is impossible to express 200 actors in one color. However, the key to the impossible mission came from the aura of Korean actors.
The book cover expressed the energy that catches the eyes of Korean male actors in yellow, the color of the hottest flame, while the spectrum of Korean female actors in purple that hot and cold feelings coexist. Yellow and purple are completely different, but they make each other stand out just like male and female actors support each other.
And The covers of the two books complete the meaning of ‘Actor’ when they are side by side, and the title ‘THE ACTOR IS PRESENT’ becomes whole when they stand side by side. Just like ‘Extremely Exquisite’ Korean male actors and ‘Incredibly Vigorous’ Korean female actors become perfect when they are together. In addition, the two books have imprinted the names of 200 Korean actors.
The casting book 'THE ACTOR IS PRESENT' of the KOFIC is expected to increase the international recognition of Korean actors and ultimately play a role in focusing attention on Korean films.