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  • Nov 24, 2017

Hwang Hyun-san Appointed As Chairman Of Korea Arts Council

Art critic, educator and previously blacklisted culture figure Hwang Hyun-san is now chairman of the Arts Council Korea. Photo via

On November 27, Hwang Hyun-san took up his position as the new chairman of the Arts Council Korea (ARKO), beginning a three-year term as one of the nation's key arts-related public officials. His inauguration ceremony will be held on December 1.

Hwang is an honorary professor at Korea University in Seoul, and was one of 9,500 culture figures who were blacklisted during the presidency of Park Geun-hye, who was impeached before she faced corruption charges in April. After the announcement of his appointment by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Hwang declared that uncovering the blacklist will be a priority under his chairmanship: “This blacklist is a fire in our own backyard, which we must resolve to move on […] I aim to restore stability at the Arts Council Korea and not let this matter be buried or remain unresolved.”

ARKO is the nation’s largest state-funded arts organization. It administers an annual budget of over KRW 200 billion (USD 184 million). Under Hwang’s predecessor, Park Myung-jin, the organization excluded the blackballed artists and culture figures from government support and added a layer of notoriety to ex-president Park’s corruption scandal, which led to her impeachment trial in December 2016.

Hwang is a long-standing literary critic. He was previously a professor at Kyungnam University and Kangwon National University, and taught in the department of French language and literature at Korea University until 2010.

Julee WJ Chung is the assistant editor of ArtAsiaPacific.

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