High stakes of Korea's Human Treasures


How far would you go to become a ‘Human Treasure’? In South Korea, the system of appointing Human Treasures in the traditional performing arts scene has led to cut-throat competition. Offering bribes, adopting a new religion, and even plastic surgery are among the measures many young students are currently taking to seek the favour of their patron. The costs are serious: one of the current Human Treasures for “Folksongs of Kyŏnggi Province” has revealed that her peer Kim Okshim actually died from depression after having been passed over by the committee in charge of appointments.

Dr Roald Maliangkay

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Updated:  24 April, 2017/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team