MADRID -- With the flourishing popularity of Korean culture, now is the time to contemplate its sustainability and expansion, according to the newly appointed director of the Korean Cultural Center in Madrid.
Shin Jae-kwang, who took on the role in September, sat down with The Korea Herald for an interview at the Korean Cultural Center in Madrid on Oct. 19.
He expressed his hope to not only extend the influence of K-pop and K-drama, but also to broaden the scope of Hallyu to encompass various cultural facets, create a platform for visitor participation and ultimately establish a signature event that people can enjoy each year.
“Many of my colleagues who have been and are working overseas said that cultural centers are like merchants promoting Korean culture,” he explained.
Under the Korean Culture and Information Service, an agency affiliated with the Culture Ministry, there are now 35 overseas Korean Cultural Centers in 30 countries. The Korean Cultural Center in Madrid opened in 2011 and is approaching 12 full years of operation.
Speaking of its central location in the Spanish capital, Shin said, "The center is located in Madrid, but we travel to every corner of the country and cities.”
Recently, the center hosted the Korean Contemporary Dance Festival and introduced Korean contemporary dance in cities like Malaga and Cordoba. The center also invited the traditional Korean music ensemble team Groove& to perform in Burgos, Guadalajara and Madrid last week.
"I had always wanted to have a chance to work in Spain. Before joining the cultural center, I mainly had experience in planning cultural events and promoting them, so I've been involved in many tasks that are essential for the centers. I am grateful for this wonderful opportunity."