South Korea/ 7. Public institutions in cultural infrastructure  

7.1 Cultural infrastructure: tendencies & strategies

Expanding cultural facilities has been one of the important cultural policy objectives since 1970s. At first there was a tendency to establish huge scale, multi-purpose cultural centres. Gradually voices grew that neighboring appropriate facilities serve the clientele better and facilities modeling after ‘Maison de la Culture’ prevailed for a while. Preserving local traditional culture has been important objective for the public sector and thus ‘local cultural centres’ have been established in almost every basic administrative unit.

Whereas in the past thirty years there has been an emphasis on establishing traditional types of cultural facilities, from the beginning of the 21st century central as well as local governments have established ‘media centres’ for amateurs to produce new media products. Several local governments have invested heavily to induce cultural content industry with expectation to produce jobs for younger generation. Recently there has been greater demand for public venues for big scale popular music performance. It is now being contested whether or not it is appropriate for the government to subsidize commercially oriented popular art forms despite fast growing audiences.

Chapter published: 29-11-2013