The Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture (SFAC) announced that it would hold the Seoul Street Arts Festival 2017 in downtown Seoul including Seoul Plaza in front of the City Hall and the Sejong-daero street for four days from October 5 through 8, 2017.
This year’s festival is prepared with the theme of “pleasant consolation” to send a message of support to the citizens who went through pains and aches, and delight and impression of political turmoil last year.
Directed by Professor Jongseok Kim at Yongin University, the annual street arts festival invites international performance teams from the UK, Spain and Argentina. It will offer a total of 145 rounds of 47 street arts performances during the festival.
Main programs include “Muaré Experience,” an aerial performance presented by Duchamp Pilot from the UK and VOALA from Spain and Argentina with Lee Seung-Hwan Band of Korea as the opening performance, and “Su A Feu+ Transforming Seoul,” a fireworks show by Deabru Beltzak of Spain, HWARANG art pyrotechnics and Asian Shot of Korea as the closing event. 16 international performances and 31 Korean ones in total will delight Seoul citizens and visitors alike during the festival. Besides, performances where citizens are allowed to participate, citizens’ parade and other exciting programs are expected to take place.
Art Director Jongseok Kim said, “Last year, we changed the title of the festival from Hi Seoul Festival to Seoul Street Arts Festival to fortify its identity. This year, we prepare new programs that will raise public awareness of the festival and increase citizens’ opportunities to participate.” He added, “Especially we developed timely theme and programs to approach much friendlier to the citizens.”
SFAC also presents diverse events to bring all walks of life together. For family audiences who look for enjoyable events for their “Chuseok” (Korean Thanksgiving) holidays, entertainment-added events, or ARTainments, are introduced – for example, Gandini Juggling’s “Smashed,” Circus Group Bongnjoule’s “I, Bongnjoule,” AH-HAE Project’s “Camping Theatre; the Spaceman,” and Teamclown’s “Gyeongsang Bubble.”
Also in “Let’s play with Gildongee,” citizens can participate in the performance and have hands-on experiences. “Gildongee” is the name of the festival’s voluntary guide who leads the event autonomously. Around 370 Gildongees are expected to help citizens enjoy the festival. Gildongee is named after Gildong Hong who is the main figure of Korean comic story book.
Meanwhile, traffic will be shut down in the 500-meter street of Sejong-daero from Gwanghawmun Intersection to Daehanmum Gate from 9am to 10pm on the last day of the festival (Oct. 8).
During the festival, the Mapo Cultural Storage Site where was opened to the public as of September 1, 2017, the newly opened pedestrian floating road Seoullo 7017, and Mugyo Regeneration Space will also become places for street arts performances.
In addition, Seoul Street Arts Creation Center will run a container vehicle for Street Arts Exhibition Tour where visitors can learn about the history and types of street arts performances. SFAC will stage an arts support campaign and provide a variety of first-hand experience programs at Seoul Plaza.
For more information on the festival, please call the SFAC’s Festival Organizing Committee (82-2-3290-7090) or visit its official Website at www.festivalseoul.or.kr.