Korea-Belarus Cultural Exchange Exhibition held in Insa-dong from July 3-8

To mark the 32nd anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Korea and Belarus

By Diplomacy Journal Lee Kap-soo


To commemorate the 32nd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and Belarus, the Diplomatic Journal co-hosted a cultural exchange exhibition with the Embassy of Belarus in Seoul from July 3-8 at the Maru Art Center in Insa-dong, Seoul.  



The Korea-Belarus cultural exchange exhibition featured 11 works by Belarusian color magician Marc Chagall, 20 beautiful tourist photographs of Belarus, and 37 works by Korean Minwha (folk painting) artists. 


More than 60 foreign ambassadors, domestic artists and other guests, including Amb. Nurgali Arystanov of Kazakhstan; Amb. Aida Ismailova of the Kyrgyz Republic; Amb. Georgy Zinoviev of Russia; Amb. Nabeel Munir of Pakistan; Amb. Begench Durdyyev of Turkmenistan; and Charge d’Affaires Emin Teymurov of Azerbaizan, participated in the opening ceremony of the exhibition held on July 3.



Delivering welcoming remarks, H.E. Andrew Chernetsky, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to the Republic of Korea, said, “Today we have the opportunity to touch the authentic elements of folk art of Belarus and Korea. Belarusian art is represented by several reproductions of the world-famous artist Marc Chagall.”


Noting that the main theme of Marc Chagall's paintings is life itself, in its simplicity or hidden complexity, Amb. Chernetsky said, “The great artist depicts places, people and objects from his own life. Combining aspects of modernism with his unique artistic language and bright colors, he created masterpieces of world painting. An inexhaustible source of creative inspiration for Marc Chagall, in his own words, was his childhood spent in a Belarusian provincial town.”



He said, “Today's exhibition also contains a small section of photos, where a number of natural landscapes of Belarus and unique objects of Belarusian architecture are presented to your attention. For some, these photographs will help to find common features between Belarus and Korea.”


Amb. Chernetsky added, “This would be the best bridge of mutual understanding between the peoples of Belarus and Korea. Bridges of friendship created by artists are stronger and more durable than bridges built by engineers and constructors.”



In welcoming remarks, Chairman Lee Jon-young of the Diplomacy Journal said, “I have seen peace shining in the hearts and joy on the faces of those who participated in the cultural exchange exhibition between Korea and Belarus, and since only people can create good or bad things in this world, I hope to instill peace in the hearts of many people through this cultural exchange exhibition.”


Commenting that the exhibition was organized by the Ambassador of Belarus to Korea, Andrew Chernetsky, Chairman Lee said, “It was an opportunity for the two countries to not only appreciate the beauty of art, but also to communicate peaceful feelings. I hope that people's interest in peaceful relations with all human beings as members of one big family called the global village will be shared.”



Chairman Lee continued to say, “I hope that such cultural exchange exhibitions will continue to be held not only in Korea but also in other parts of the world, and that the dynamic artistic works between allied countries through culture and art will serve as an opportunity for people of both countries to communicate with each other, as well as to visit each other with interest and affection in the tourism industry.”



Marc Chagall is a French expressionist painter who is called “the magician of colors”. 


Marc Chagall (1887-1985) was an artist known for his distinctive and colorful style, which combined elements of Cubism, Fauvism and surrealism. He was born in Liozno (Belarus). Chagall's early years and his Jewish heritage had a profound impact on his work. His childhood spent in Vitebsk (Belarus) became a part of his work, and Vitebsk scenery can be seen in his most famous paintings like “Over the City”, “Blue House”, “Walk”. 


He is known for his fabulous paintings, which often feature fantastic images such as floating figures, animals, and village scenes reflecting themes of love, nostalgia, and Jewish folklore.



Chagall's works were executed in various genres, including paintings, stained glass, ceramics and stage decorations. Some of his most famous works, including “Me and the Village”, “The Violinist”, can now be seen on the ceiling of the Paris Opera. 


His use of vibrant colors and original compositions made him an important figure in 20th century art, and his legacy continues to be celebrated around the world.



Korean folk painting

The paintings of the Korean Minhwa style are worthy of no less admiration. Originating in the Joseon era, Minhwa has become a traditional art form closely associated with the lives of the Korean people. 



It perfectly embodies the customs, traditions and sentiments of the Korean people. Paintings of Minhwa style are said to have magical properties and protect the owner and his family from evil forces. 



Minhwa colorfully presents perspectives, religions, symbols of daily life and desires, folk mythologies of ancient times. Minhwa's brilliant style and unconventionality make it aesthetically significant and a strong expression of the daily life of Koreans. 



The variety of types of Minhwa style paintings best reflect the stunning diversity and grandeur of Korean culture, reflecting important elements of the life of the Korean people.



In addition, the Damwha Media Group will co-host a cultural exchange exhibition commemorating the 61st anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Peru and the 2024 APEC Chairmanship from September 4 to 10, and an exchange exhibition commemorating the 32nd anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Kazakhstan from September 24 to October 1. 

Following the Belarusian cultural exchange exhibition, the Peruvian and Kazakh cultural exchange exhibitions will feature 30 works of art and photography from each country, and 30 folk paintings from the Korean side.