A center for urban regeneration called “Sinchon, Parang Kore” opened in the college town of Sinchon on May 29. The opening ceremony was held at Parang Kore stage where performances for celebration and the commemorative speech were made. The facility’s objective is to foster the exchange of youth culture and promote active interaction between communities of the Seodaemun district. A variety of performances produced by youths and lecture sessions and these activities and programs are expected to revitalize the area.
The facility was named after the resemblance of its entrance to the mouth of a whale and also the liveliness of youths related to the color blue, which is referred to as blue whale, “Parang Kore” in Korean. It was selected through a name contest which went through evaluation by experts.
Sinchon, Parang Kore is comprised of a variety of places for youth culture exchange. There is the Ocean Studio on the ground floor where people can practice performances and hold small workshops. On the second floor there is Welcome Lounge and Parang Kore Lounge for networking parties, small lectures, and place for relaxation. Lastly, the third floor has rooms for forums, seminar, exhibitions and performances which is called the Dream Hall.
Sinchon, Parang Kore strives to create a cultural hub to facilitate communication between college students of Sinchon and other youths and to execute, plan and present connection enterprises of the region. The facility has two objectives: presenting an environment for youths to come up with creative activities and supporting those activities to construct cultural commercial sphere.
For instance, the youth and college student culture planning team called “Millennium Operation,” held four seminars. They dealt with investigating city restoration and broadening perspectives regarding cultural planning.
There were also various programs such as “Youth Talk Talk,” which is a college and youth panel discussion. The discussion was about branding a new image of youth’s culture with social experts.
The lecture “Youth Issue” was held on March 23 to share ideas on the challenges youth confront while residing in the district. Through discussions, they came up with resolutions on how to facilitate active communication between the youth and dealt about how there was little space for them to create cultural programs.
In addition, to celebrate the opening of the facility, diverse open lectures about arts were held every Friday from last April 26 until May 17, reflecting the rise of interests in cultural urban restoration and the understanding of the region on arts. With the title “Arts, a New Chronicle of Exploration,” different topics about new form of arts were held. Last April 26, musician Sung Ki-wan shared his stories about challenges of creating new types of music during his life. On May 17, media artist and an affiliated professor of Sogang University named Kwon Byung-jun, visited the facility and discussed the background on his unique art of performance as well.
Park Myung-seop, the executive manager of Sinchon, Parang Kore, explained how the facility is differentiated to others.
“The facility supports the community with residents of the region due to the provision of cultural exchange programs where everyone can gather and cooperate with each other,” Park said. “It also manages shaping an environment for creating culture and arts and youth networks where citizens play a leading role”
The Head Chief of Seodaemun-gu Office, Mun Seok-jin, also commented on the prospect of Sinchon, Parang Kore.
“I hope that the facility will provide a foothold for youths to initiate and challenge one’s dream,” Mun said. “I also expect that it will bring about a virtuous cycle in terms reinforcing to create a cultural region restoration.”