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Winners of CICI's New Korea Ideas competition revealed

June 25, 2024 - 17:08 By Lee Jung-youn
This rendering shows calligrapher Kang Byung-in's proposal for a Hangeul-shaped sculpture that won the Grand Award at the New Korea Ideas Contest, organized by Corea Image Communication Institute. (CICI)

A proposal inspired by the aesthetic beauty of Hangeul won the top prize in a competition of new ideas to represent Korea, organized by the Corea Image Communication Institute as part of its 15th Culture Communication Forum, held at the Grand Hyatt Seoul, Monday.

Also at the event, an AI-generated image of a Korean person wearing a blend of traditional and modern clothing won the grand prize in the Korea Image Created by AI Contest.

The winners were selected through online voting by the forum participants.

"Korea will become a place where the culture of the future comes for an audition," said CICI President Choi Jung-hwa in the opening speech.

Song Seung-whan, artistic director of PMC Production, echoed this sentiment in his congratulatory remarks, saying, “There was a time when the national brand and image were low, when products made in Korea had to be sold for less than full price, but now, through the power of culture and the arts, Korea is synonymous with premium quality."

Five entries for the New Korea Ideas Contest and 10 submissions for the Korea Image Created by AI Contest were selected from a total of 254 submitted works for final voting on Monday.

The New Korea Ideas Contest aimed to present a new image of the Korean Wave, moving beyond existing cliches.

Acclaimed Hangeul calligrapher Kang Byung-in's idea to install a sculpture showcasing the beauty of Hangeul resonated with many, winning him the Grand Award.

Hsieh Chihmao, associate professor of entrepreneurship at SUNY Korea, who proposed developing hand gestures unique to Korea through a campaign, received the Excellence Award. Team Jung Chae-rin and Jeon Seong-woo, who suggested globalizing photo booths, received the Incentive Award.

In the Korea Image Created by AI Contest, Kwon Hye-in won the Grand Award for her image titled “Harmony of Traditional Hanbok and Modernity,” depicting a figure wearing an outfit reminiscent of hanbok, paired with headphones and sneakers.

The Excellence Award went to Yang Se-yeon, who submitted an image evoking traditional Korean lacquerware inlaid with mother of pearl. The Incentive Award went to Hong Seung-yeon for a work harmoniously blending a character from the Netflix hit series “Squid Game” with a Seoul landscape.

The event was attended by 10 ambassadors to Korea, including: French Ambassador Philippe Bertoux, UAE Ambassador Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi and Philippine Ambassador Maria Theresa B. Dizon-DeVega. Around 60 business and cultural leaders also joined, including CJ Chairman Sohn Kyung-shik and Ahn Ho-sang, president of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts.

CICI is a foundation established on June 3, 2003 to promote Korea's image worldwide. It is registered under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Korea.

Clockwise from left top: Flitto CEO Lee Jung-soo, UAE Ambassador Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi, Qatar Ambassador Khalid Al-Hamar, Czech Ambassador Ivan Jancarek, Hyungji Group Vice President Choi Jun-ho, Artistic Director of PMC Production Song Seung-whan, French Ambassador Philippe Bertoux, CICI President Choi Jung-hwa, CJ Chairman Sohn Kyung-shik, Luxembourg Ambassador Jacques Flies, Philippine Ambassador Maria Theresa B. Dizon-DeVega, Ambassador Hotel Group Chairman Seo Jung-ho, CS CEO Didier Beltoise, Hsieh Chihmao, Kang Byung-in, Yang Se-yeon, Hong Seung-yeon, Jung Chae-rin, and Jeon Seung-woo pose for a photo during the CCF 2024 held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Monday. (CICI)