I grew up in the culturally declined area far from Seoul, Korea. When I first became a student at the University of Leeds I was overwhelmed by the various cultural events that took place in my school and across the university. I was determined to work in the field of culture which led me to join a related extra-curricular club where I was more active than anyone. I was involved in a range of cultural events, participating in each stage of art management, which has led me to work in the cultural sector after graduation.
Why I chose Leeds?
In my home town of Seoul I witnessed a nearby farming village dramatically transform with a consistent cultural concept and as a result I wished to study even more and take part in that process. I once researched the processes of cities in England that transformed culturally as cases of ‘urban regeneration through culture and the arts’, and I marvelled at the progressive nature of it all. I recognised my decision to choose Leeds has been incomparably great due to the richness of culture in the city.
Areas of research
I intend to study further with a research title of ‘Cultural regeneration, local context and sustainability: the urban regeneration case of South Korea’. The revitalisation of a city has been desperately called for in the face of this crisis of community, where the sense of community has been destroyed and relationships have disappeared. In response to the challenging socio-economic demands of the contemporary world, the various initiatives for the revitalisation of a city are currently underway in different cities around Korea. My research explores what attempts can be made to invigorate their cultural provision for economic, environmental and social ends by investigating how culture is used and connected with the local context.
Understanding the nature of social relationships in urban cultural projects is important in analysing the process of how social capital is formed, evolved, remade and used as resources. Specifically, based on the Korean situation, social capital is deployed as a basic framework to explain partnership working in the urban regeneration from the grassroots, and the multiple dimensions of social capital that support and sustain partnership are examined under the lens of collaborative governance framework.
My experience so far…
In my short career following graduation I have had many intense and varied experiences. First, I took part in producing performances and experienced all stages of planning and promotion. Although not every single production was a success, it was thanks to the failures that I was able to gain a vision for the future in the field I was working in. Based on such practical work experiences, I began to wish for more fundamental work where I could understand the large structure of the arts academy.
Since then, based on my desire, I began working for a research company in the cultural sector. I worked as an art management team leader and my main responsibilities included management consultations of newly built cultural venues, and consultations for cultural renewal/regeneration strategies of local cities.
At the moment I’m working on….
As a PhD candidate, I have just finished the fieldwork research for my thesis and concentrating on analysing it. Through the fieldwork carried out in Korea, I have met and listened to a range of people who get involved in the urban projects. So I hope, at the moment, my thesis will be able to capture what they said and thought and contribute to the future research.
As a researcher, I would like to widely share what I have studied and researched here at Leeds with Korean researchers as well as other global researchers. Most of all, I hope my experiences can inspire students who are considering studying abroad or further study.