South Korea’s Canada trade relations and ancestry connection. How Korean Canadian identity is captured in art.
“Diplomacy is a strange business. All you do is eat,” says South Korean Consul General in Vancouver, Kim Gunn. “But when you eat, it’s the most vulnerable time, that’s why there are state lunches and dinners.
It’s a time when you make friends and share your inner thoughts,” adds the amicable Gunn.
Gunn was speaking at the Republic of Korea National Day celebration and the opening of In/Flux: Art of Korean Diaspora exhibition. The event was held at the Museum of Vancouver on September 27, 2018.
It was also Gunn’s last day in Vancouver prior to assuming a new position in South Korea.
Canada – Korea Free Trade Agreement
B.C. Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston says Gunn has really developed and helped to continue the strong friendship between British Columbia (B.C.), Canada and Korea.
2018 has been a momentous year for the Korean Peninsula with “sometimes vertigo inducing developments” (North Korea’s nuclear threat), the successful Olympic and Paralympic Games, adds Ralston.
“Korea is a very important export destination, and business flows back and forth. With the Canada – Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA), there will be more business.”
CKFTA is Canada’s first free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region. The goal is to provide Canadian businesses and workers with new access to Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
Ralston points out, while prosperity is very important, it’s the human dimension of trade that’s essential for success.
Behind a successful business relationship is a strong personal relationship, he adds. He quoted Gunn as a Consul General with a light touch and a very good sense of humour.
“Canada and Korea have a very special relationship. This year is the 130th year anniversary of Canadian missionaries who first went to Korea,” says Senator Yonah Martin.
Martin adds that the connection of the Inuit people of the North and the Korean people dates back 12,000 years.
She continues to explain how the In/Flux: Art of Korean Diaspora exhibition is “truly the past and present connecting us to see the future”.
Acclaimed artist Jin-me Yoon’s work says Martin, reflects who we are and what we can be as Korean Canadians.
She also praises the work of calligrapher, Jin Hwa Kim and calls Korean celadon pottery master Junghong Kim, “a champion for Canada, B.C., and Korea”.
Museum of Vancouver CEO Mauro Vescera says the exhibition was put together in six months. He thanked Gunn, the artists and Korean community for their substantial contributions.
Vescera also acknowledged the hard work of his team. The exhibition runs from September 28, 2018 through January 6, 2019.