An interview with Gimo Yi, the curator in Asia Culture Institute (part 2)


What is the analysis of visitors in ACI?

We have numerous Asian visitors, and there is a wide range of ages. But, the highest visiting population is under twelve children and their parents for children museum. However, most local community residents are elders, they still remember clearly on May 18th democracy movement.  The exhibition center is used to an old city hall, also the center of the democracy movement. So, several elders come to visit the exhibition center to recall their past experience. Also, for those who lost their kids in the democracy movement, they want to live near the exhibition center to memorize the child. It’s the reason why the democracy movement also called the mother of May 18th. So, we make a program for them like a conversation program, we publish it, and research with them. We try to let them involve our program, make content, listen to their advice, and make a good relationship with them. But, when we first established the program of the Mother of May 18th, some residents did not like it. Because they considered the old city hall as their kids, they did not want anyone to change it. At that time, we were struggling to communicate with them. Now, we are gathering, and our relationship is getting closer by our effort.

What is ACI’s public relations and marketing strategy?

ACI is in Gwangju, I used to work in  Seoul for a long time. Majority of people which I think almost 50% Korean live in Seoul. In Gwangju, air is fresh, living expense is cheap, food is delicious, everything is really good. But I realize there is the certain culture in Gwangju which is valuable. Every city has a different distinct culture, except Seoul, because Seoul is an economic center and international city. People who move from different cities and have different cultural background, so it is hard to distinguish. Gwangju, Busan and other cities, they have their own cultures. I think doing an international project, I need to observe and concentrate the deep history culture, and analyze different culture relationships. Many people who live in Gwangju profoundly connect with the May 18 Democratic Uprising. We try to feel them and collect their memory. It is difficult when we want to take care of local residents, collaborate the historically local culture and bring into the international platform, so we need many departments to cooperate together to deal with it.

How does ACI develop community engagement and educational project?

There are abundant programs in our organization. On the educational program, they have lectures for children, students, and common people, and they invite some lecturers from outside of Korean. Also, our forum is the famous one, because I always make some merchandises, such as eco-bags, notebooks, pens etc. Especially, we have distinct EI colors (black, white, and pink) on our merchandises. I always invite different designers and discuss the idea with them to make our merchandises. This year, we decide the eco-friendly to produce all merchandises.

What are the collaboration modalities between ACI and government, artists and other organizations?

Every department collaborates in ACI and ACC, for example, I introduce NTUCCA to our education department, and eventually, they develop MOU. Also, the education department and I discuss the future program and share the ideas which I want to do in this international exchange department. This year, I suggest that we are going to two places which prepare for next year project. One is Southwest Asia, such as Turkey, Syria, Africa and so on. Another is Southeast Asia, such as Vietnam, Singapore. So, this idea came from last year, and the education department makes it come true. Furthermore, our research department holds tattoo exhibition this year, they investigate the tattoo culture of East Asian countries. Also, they collaborate with other institution for tattoo culture where in Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand. So, our collaboration activate tremendously.