05.10.2005 / Presse
Buddy Bears from both Koreas gather at United Buddy Bear Exhibition
Colorful big Buddy Bears, 125 in all, will bring their world tour to Seoul for an exhibition at the Peace Square of Olympic Park from Saturday (Oct. 8) until Nov.9.
|The United Buddy Bear Exhibition was initiated in 2002 by German Couple Dr. Klaus Herlitz and Eva, who thought that as a universal animal, the bear could be a symbol for understanding and tolerance among different nations.
Artists from different countries painted on two-meter-long white bears made of special glass fiber sent by Buddy Bear Berlin Culture Foundation so that the design of each Buddy Bear is unique.
Buddy Bears all stand hand-in-hand and shoulder-to-shoulder, conveying a message of love, peace and solidarity and fosterong public arts, showing the public how we can incorporate art into our daily lives, said Lee Hyun-ju, public relations manager for the exhibition.
In the Seoul exhibition, Buddy Bears from North Korea will join for the first time. Currently, North Korean painters Lim Chang-bok and Kim Ik-hyun are working on completing the bear in Germany and it will stand beside South Korean Buddy Bear from Oct.15.
Exhibition of the Buddy Bears by artists from both Koreas will be a historic event and a chance to announce to the world both Koreas' firm will to work together for reunification and reconciliation, said Lee.
A Buddy Bear from the South is the work of an artist Sa Sok-won, who is renowned for animal paintings.
By painting a blue jacket and scarlet skirt with acryl paint on the bear, Sa represented the myth character Woongnyo from a legend about Korea's founding, a bear-turned-woman who marries the son of God and gives birth to Tangun who becomes the first ancestor of Koreans. A tiger, the symbol of courage and power in Korea, is drawn on the skirt.
I tried to create an atmosphere of a traditional folk tale by using strong colors, said Sa.
In June, the Korean Organizing Committee for the exhibition sent a one-meter-long bear by the artist Sa to the North to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration of the inter-Korean summit in 2000.
Started in Berlin 2002, the exhibition has been to Austria, Hong Kong, Turkey and Japan, becoming an important international event.
The bears will stay in Seoul until Nov. 9 and will then head for Sydney, Australia. During the World Cup period of next year, the display will revisit Berlin and then head for Pyongyang in late 2006.
Another important aim of the exhibition is to help needy children around the world. On completion of the world tour, these Buddy Bears will be sold by auction in Berlin and the funds raised will be donated to the UNICEF.