First lady Kim Keon Hee on Friday met renowned architect Tadao Ando, with whom she had worked before her husband's presidency, in Tokyo.
During their meeting, Kim asked the Japanese architect to consider a collaboration with Korean architecture, such as building an art museum in Korea, stressing the need to promote cultural exchanges between the two countries.
Responding to her suggestion, Ando said Korea has "many characterful buildings" and that he hopes to see Korea and Japan becoming closer not only in a cultural setting, but also in various sectors.
Kim, a former enterpreneur, first met Ando when she organized a special session dedicated to the architect's work as part of the French Architect Le Corbusier Exhibition, according to a presidential office statement, which did not elaborate when and where. They exchanged New Year's greetings through letters in January, it added.
In addition to the meeting with Ando, Kim also visited the Japan Folk Crafts Museum, which was established by Muneyoshi Yanagi, an advocate of the Mingei folk craft movement. The museum collects and exhibits crafts from Japan and other Asian countries, including over 3,000 Joseon works collected by Yanagi.