The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Presenter Interview
Serving as the “control tower” for the international outflow of Korean culture, Korea Arts Management Service (KAMS)
Serving as the “control tower” for the international outflow of Korean culture, Korea Arts Management Service (KAMS)
APAP (Association of Performing Arts Presenters)
At the 2008 APAP (Association of Performing Arts Presenters) conference (USA)
KAMS booths at international arts markets and music markets provide comprehensive introductions to Korean performing arts.
WOMEX (World Music Expo)
At the Asia-Pacific Network Meeting at the 2008/Spain WOMEX (World Music Expo)
At the WOMEX expo in Spain, representatives from South Korea’s KAMS, the New Zealand Arts Council and the Australia Arts Council launched a “Asia-Pacific World Music Network Meeting” to discuss activities for introducing Asian music in the world music markets.
Dulsori participating in a showcase at the Global Festa in the USA/2009
This Korean percussion group has recently drawn particular acclaim among the Korean performing arts companies touring internationally. This performance was covered by The New York Times.
The 2009 Performing Arts Market in Seoul (PAMS) was certainly a big success. There were many more overseas participants than in previous years and clearly seems to have emerged as one of Asia’s leading arts markets.
We have been told that after five years our efforts finally brought results. In the years before, we had not gotten very good reviews. I believe that our active participation in overseas arts markets and the networking we did there finally paid off in substantial results.
 We have three aims in organizing PAMS. One is to help Korean artists expand their activities overseas. Through our PAMS Choice showcase we select 15 or 16 works in theater, dance, music and multimedia to present each year. For these PAMS Choice works from 2006 through 2009 we have succeeded in arranging a total of 106 overseas performances for 28 works. For 2010 alone, negotiations are now in progress for 85 performances by 31 companies. When works selected for our PAMS Choice showcase have overseas performances, we automatically provide them with airfare for one performance trip (or tour) a year for a three-year period. I believe this to be a big help for groups who are expanding their activities overseas.
 The second aim is to promote South Korea and Korean arts worldwide by raising the profile and quality of PAMS as one of Asia’s leading arts markets.
 The third aim is strengthen our networks in the various regions of the world as a means to build platforms for overseas expansion of Korean arts. Presently PAMS is a member of 12 organizations in four regions of the world where we have conducted promotions by participating in their conferences, arts markets and festivals. At the same time we have actively invited the producers and directors who are the important figures of these organizations to PAMS. In PAMS 2009 we had 146 such participants from 44 countries, which represents twice the number of countries and 1.6 time the number of overseas participants we had in 2005.

What other international exchange programs do you have besides PAMS?
We are currently developing programs in cooperation with overseas organizations. In 2009 we had five companies performing in Brazil in a “Korean Dance Feature.” We also had workshops as part of that program and it appears that we will be seeing collaborative works coming from the dancers that participated in the workshops. There has also been exchange in the magazine media involving dance critics from the two countries who took part in the symposium that was held as part of the program. This is the kind of multifaceted approaches that exchanges should involve.
 Also, from 2010 we have launched the information website The Apro with the aim of strengthening international business. In addition to providing information about trends in countries around the world, the Korean side of the site offers information relevant to expanding activities overseas, while the English side gives information about the performing arts market in South Korea. In the future I hope to see The Apro become a platform for increased online exchange.

You have a wide range of activities overseas. Do you have overseas offices?
No, we don’t have any overseas offices. Instead, we have worked strategically from early on to develop platforms for our artists to take their works overseas. This has involved drawing up accords with four organizations and festivals in North America (Asian Society, Japan Society, the Under the Radar Festival and Lincoln Center) and two in South America (Santiago A Mil Festival, Social Service of Commerce), one in Asia (Tokyo Performing Arts Market: TPAM), one in Australia (Australian Arts Council) and two in Europe (Edinburgh Fringe, Tanzmesse), and when our artists take their works abroad through these organizations we provide support in the form of airfare, pre-departure support in the form of consulting and advertising and then the necessary promotions, etc., for the actual performances in the foreign countries involved. In addition, we have cooperative mutual relationships with 18 organizations around the world and are participating members of 12 organizations.

How have you gone about building your networks?
First of all, we have divided the world up into five major regions, Asia, North America, South America, Europe and Australia, and then we decide which areas to develop in each of these regions. Once the regions have been decided, we do thorough research to find out what routes are available and what kind of network we should build to be most effective, and then we draw up proposals. When doing this regional research, we made much use of the resources of your Performing Arts Network Japan (laughs).
 Let me cite last year’s “Korean Dance Feature” project in Brazil as an example. When planning this project as a step toward building ourselves a base of operation in South America and entering the Brazilian market, we began our research in 2007 and in 2008 we made a focus on South America at PAMS with symposiums and seminars. At the same time, we invited the key person for the Brazil project to PAMS as a special presenter. After working for two years in this way to build the necessary network and cooperative relationship, the actual performances were held in Brazil in 2009. By making effective us of PAMS in this way we have been able to build networks in Asia in 2006, Europe in 2007, South America in 2008 and North America in 2009. For 2010, our focus region for overseas expansion will be Scandinavia. Through these overseas networks we have been able to send 24 companies abroad to perform in 2009 alone.

This indeed seems to be a strategically effective way to enter foreign markets.
This may be a result of my own work experience. After university I got a job in an advertising agency, and in that job I learned the skills of working according to project plans and strategies. Also, the fact that we are able to work strategically owes much to the young personnel who work with me in our International Exchange Dept. They are working constantly to develop new regions in creative new ways, and all I have to do is analyze and make judgments about what they come up with. It may be primarily this kind of teamwork that enables us to work strategically.
| 1 | 2 | 3 |