This year marks the 7th anniversary of Seoul Photo Festival jointly hosted by Seoul Metropolitan City and Seoul Museum of Art.
<Seoul New 新 Arirang- Like Thousand Miles of Rivers> is a title which represents the modern diaspora of a multicultural society brought on by voluntary emigration through Arirang, a folksong which embodies the sorrow of Koreans. The subtitle of the exhibition “Like Thousand Miles of Rivers” was quoted from the congratulatory remark by Lee O-young (former Korean Minister of Culture) at 2013 Seoul Arirang Festival. The phrase was quoted in order to express that ‘Arirang’, which transcends regions and national borders and connects the past to the present ‘flows like thousand miles of rivers”.
Seoul, which is a highly advanced city with 2000 years of history and diverse life, has gone through a compressed economic growth and modernization over the past half a century, and evolved into a truly international city with strong dignity. However, changes in itself and its characteristics are also continuously taking place such as the changes in urban landscapes and structures, identity of citizens, mixture of complex and heterogeneous components of cities, and new networking activities between citizens resulting from migration. Accordingly, by selecting ‘globalization’ and ‘diaspora’ as the theme of the festival, we aspire to fill it with photographs attempting at social, cultural, and philosophical approaches to spaces and urban structures of Seoul. Moreover, through such social, cultural, and philosophical approaches to space and urban structures of Seoul, we seek to capture the times of Seoul in which the past, present and future coexist.
Art Director Lee Ilwoo
2016 Seoul Photo Festival was scaled up from the previous photo festivals which were centered around the main exhibition in order to make it become the entire city’s photo festival in which more citizens can participate in and relate to. Therefore, multifarious and exciting programs have been prepared through the cooperation between relevant organizations of Seoul Metropolitan City and art spaces with diverse characteristics so please don’t hesitate to join. I would like to extend my gratitude to participating artists who have submitted artworks for the photo festival, and everyone who have put in a lot of effort in many respects to make the exhibitions possible.