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Title Epilogue of October 15th Korea CQ Forum - Oman's Culture & Korean Costume
Posted by webmaster Hit 492 Date 2019.10.18
Dear Korea CQ Members,
On October 15, the Korea CQ forum was held at the Oman Embassy.

H.E. Mohamed Alharthy, Azza Alharthy, H.E. Chafik Rachadi, Leila Rachadi, H.E. Andrey Kulik, Marina Suanova, H.E. Adel Mohammed Adaileh, Nabih El Abed, H.E. Malika Khadhri El Abed, H.E. Mohammed Ahmad Al-Hayki, Mukund Santhanam, Francois Belin, Sylvie Belin, Francoise Lewalle, David-Pierre Jalicon, Keysook Geum, Byeong Eon Lee, Hye Kyung Kim, Hae-won Park, Youn Jung Park, So Yoon Park, James Park, Hoo-ran Kim, Vivian Han, Jackie Son, Young-Jin Oh, Sun Hwa Dong, Lisa Tay, Jung-mi Cho, Jong-do Kim, Hyun-do Park, Ik-ran Eum, Sung-ok Lee, Kyu-young Jung, Yoon-tae Kim, Eun-sil Kim, Jung-teak Park, Ongin Lee, Youn-jung Kim, Choi Jungwha, Didier Beltoise, and Hyojin Chung attended the forum.

The evening kicked off with the welcoming speeches by Choi Jungwha, president of CICI, and H.E. Mohamed Alharthy, Omani Ambassador.

Followed by his warm welcoming speech, Ambassador Alharthy gave the talk ‘Oman: The Land of Frankincense and Sinbad’, and introduced Omani history and culture. He explained how Omani culture is ‘hospitality’, and showed an incense burner with smoking frankincense, which is a symbol of Omani hospitality. The Oman Embassy holds ‘Open House Programs’ to introduce not just Omani culture, but Arabic culture as a whole, inviting people of all ages to the Embassy to experience the culture.
Please see the end of the epilogue for further notes on Ambassador Alharthy’s introduction of Oman.

Members moved to the ‘Sinbad Hall’ on the 6th floor, where a delicious buffet was prepared. Members enjoyed delicious hummus, falafel sandwiches, shawarma, halwa and more.
After dinner, members watched a video on the past and upcoming activities of CICI in 2019, and professor Choi Jungwha shared the good news of our CICI members.

Keysook Geum, co-Director of the YOOGEUM Museum of Roof-End Tile, then started her lecture ‘The Aesthetics of Korean Costume : Now and Then’, where members learned about the history of Hanbok – Korean traditional costume – as well as the story behind the scenes of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics where she was the costume director for the opening and closing ceremonies. Please see the lecture notes at the end of the epilogue for further details.
After the lecture, we had time for the lucky draw. Congratulations to everyone who won!

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude do H.E. Mohamed Alharthy and Mrs. Azza Alharthy for making it a memorable night with their warm hospitality and wonderful gifts for all participants. We would also like to thank director Keysook Geum for her interesting and informative lecture.
Last but not least, we would like to thank all members who attended the forum, and Hyo Jin Chung for her interpretation help.
Thank you.
Korea CQ Heejae Shin
Please click on the link below to see more photos ↓


<Oman: The Land of Frankincense and Sinbad>
By Mohamed Alharthy, Omani Ambassador
Oman is located southeast of the Arabian Peninsula, and shares land borders with the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast. The official language is Arabic, and official religion Islam.
Oman boasts more than 5,000 years of history. The country is strategically located in the middle of the globe, between the East and West, and has very easy and fast access to all parts of the world. It is also known as a sea-faring and trading nation, and played major role in trade and silk-road historically and now.
Omani culture originates from Islamic culture and has a unique cultural heritage. If described in one world, the culture can be called ‘hospitality’. In Oman, guests are welcomed with the scent of frankincense, and treated to dates, Omani coffee, and halwa – a traditional dessert. In the past, frankincense was the gift of Kings, and nowadays frankincense is used in many remedies and cures.
Oman is also known as the country of Sinbad. Many cities in the middle-East claim a connection with the story of Sinbad, and one is Sohar in Oman. Sohar port was the center of the Oman economy in the past; the Oman merchants and traders then traveled to India, China, and even Korea in the Silla period.
Oman’s strategic position is a key factor in trade and openness. Many people around the world have settled in Oman, and the country is now a peaceful nation that tolerates and understands various cultures, folks, and religions.
Oman is a country with many attractive tourist destinations. In Oman you can see mountains, deserts, wadis, palm trees and oasis. In addition to its natural heritage, you can also enjoy scuba diving, hiking, golfing, and camel riding in the desert.
The Oman economy depends mainly on oil, gas, and mineral resources, and through 'Vision 2020', it promotes economic diversification through non-oil development and further encourages civilian participation in the development of the private sector. The Oman government is also preparing for ‘Vision 2040’.
The relations between Oman and Korea dates back to the Silla period. Korea now imports oil and natural gas from Oman and Oman imports automobiles, ships and electronics from Korea. The Omani-Korean Joint-Committee is discussing bilateral investment, partnership and cooperation in various fields. We run a variety of cultural events and student exchange programs between our two countries, and we look forward to further development of Oman-Korea relations in the future.
<The Aesthetics of Korean Costume: Now and Then>
By Keysook Geum, co-Director of the YOOGEUM Museum of Roof-End Tile
As with Oman’s history, Korea also has a history of over 5,000 years. Korea, China and Japan are geographically close and have many things in common.
The Korean costumes of the early, mid, and late Joseon Dynasty are all different. So why is hanbok beautiful? To answer this question, I have studied the lines and shape, silhouette styling, colors, patterns, and accessories.
Line / Shape
The famous drawing ‘Portrait of a Beauty (미인도)’ is a good example that shows Korea’s natural beauty and ‘beauty of space’ – it shows both beauties through curves and silhouettes. The vest also shows this with the delicate curves, collar line, etc.
The Gold Cap and Court Attire, which gives a visually strong color contrast, symbolizes authority and status, and is a dignified dress that emphasizes delicate lines in white.
There was a time when the jeogori, the upper garment in hanbok, became larger, and the bottom of the skirt became shorter. Interacting with each other like organisms, the silhouette changed with time.
In order to inflate the skirt to give it, a variety of underwear was worn. Leg-underwear, under-underwear, pant-underwear, underskirt, etc – layers and layers were worn below the skirt. Unlike in the West where the puffed out shape of the skirt was achieved with a petticoat, since many layers of undergarments were worn, the silhouette of the puffed-out skirt was more natural. It also showed the natural line of the person’s body when the wind blowed, making it seem sensual.
Hanbok changed with the times, as can be seen by the changes in the silhouette.
In the Joseon Dynasty, Confucianism prevailed, and one of the ideas in Confucianism was that boys and girls should not sit together after they have reached the age of seven. Thus the Yangban(noblemen) and women of high class wore long hoods and hats when they went outside. This was a symbol of status, a wall that separated class in society.
If you see the drawing ‘Two Lovers Under Moonlight (월하정인)’, you can see that the woman is covered from head to toe, but she is holing up her skirt, showing the legs of her under-pants. This can be interpreted as an expression of sensual beauty while revealing femininity.
The Korean people are also known as the “white-clad race”. Why did Koreans wear white clothing? First, the Korean people loved the color white which complimented them well, and so wore it often for aesthetics.
Other interpretations say that in countries that worship the sun, there is a record of worshipping the color white, which is why Koreans wore white. In my studies, I found that Korean people in the past liked the white color very much and it complimented them, so I believe this is the right interpretation.
Korean people in the past usually wore white clothes, but the Gisaeng (female entertainers) were allowed to wear primary colors. Another characteristic of Korean costume is that people wore clothes with color when something good happens, such as a celebration takes place etc, and wore calm white colored clothing usually.
Green and red was used in the palace when using primary colors. On the outside, it is a calm green color, but when the wind blows and the clothing flutters, it shows the red which was stylish.
Gold leafs were added on the side of the clothing, under the armpit – the location shows that they were conscious of the movement affecting the clothes. Dragon patterns, phoenix patterns, etc. symbolized status. These patterns were not usually used, but when they were used, they tended to fill up the entire space.
One of the characteristics of hanbok is that there is a lot of movement and trembling. Japanese clothes are fit to the body, without much movement, and the silhouette is very much with straight lines. In Korean clothes, there is much movement with the skirt, the tie-strings, accessories and more. A prime example is the bride’s headpiece in a traditional Korean wedding. While the headpiece is normally still, when worn, even if the person is staying still and not moving, the headpiece with slightly tremble. This is because of the very slight movement people make breathing, so this trembling signifies energy, vitality, and nature as well.
Today, hanbok can be thought of as Korean identity, pride of Korean culture, practicality, fashion, and artistic inspiration. People love hanbok on another level. Hanbok is won at the President's inauguration, APEC Summit, international conferences, weddings, first birthdays, New Year, and also worn by K-pop Idols as performance costumes.
When I was working as the costume director of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, I tried to make clothes with a focus on “harmony” in traditional culture and “fusion” in modern culture. In addition, I wanted to express this as art because I think Korea is usually known for ‘high-technology’ and ‘science’. To show Korean identity, “Hangul (Korean alphabet)” letters were used to create snowflake patterns.
When creating the clothing for the placecard bearers, my goal was to have the TV viewers concentrate on the screen for an hour.
So, the silhouette, colors, materials, and details for the costume were all proposed in different designs. Also, to make it unique and different from the previous Sochi Olympics, and also from the upcoming Tokyo and Beijing Olympics, I proposed to make the clothing with beads, which is my specialty. So I made clothes with beads that artistically sublimated what can be seen as the most Korean, and what I wanted to show at the Pyeongchang Olympics was rhythm and natural beauty, one of the characteristics of Hanbok.
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