By Yang Eui-sig

The Republic of Korea faces a demographic problem, as it has proven to be the No. 1 country in terms of low birthrate in 2022 among the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which is an essential issue that the government must solve as a high priority. The government is rushing to reform the system and prepare a budget to establish a new immigration agency in the future to solve this problem.

However, in proportion to the government's efforts, there are also growing voices concerned about the potential social problems due to economic, social and cultural conflicts.

At the root of such public opinion lies the reluctance to accept large numbers of people with entirely different historical and cultural backgrounds from that of Koreans, as well as languages and customs. In particular, ingrained biases toward other Asians are a significant barrier to the government's immigration policy.

This situation suggests an urgent need for campaigns to raise public awareness of Asia, in addition to establishing effective policies to encourage childbirth, such as childcare support, and successful immigrant settlement policies, such as foreign workers' employment and marriage immigration.

Then what is the best answer? The Asian Model Festival, now in its 17th year, has been raising its status as a cultural silk road connecting Korea and Asian countries since 2006.

My debut as a model was in 1984. Since then, I have worked as a model and taught students as a professor in the department of modeling, thinking a lot about the realities of Korean models and related industries. To model is to express content via the body, facilitating global communication and exchange more than any other pop culture. I wanted to create a festival where models could show everything in the fashion and beauty industry and where star models participate in the festival to create a path for junior models.

In 2006, I became the president of the Korea Model Association and was given the opportunity to make this a reality. This is how the Asian Model Festival began, and now has a history of 17 years.

Asia Model Festival has announced winners with nationalities from Myanmar, Indonesia, Mongolia, Vietnam, Tuva, Kyrgyzstan, Thailand, Malaysia and China in the "Face of Asia," which selects the best models in Asia. It signals the possibility of raising world-class models regardless of the country's national strength. Also, it created a venue for Asian fashion, beauty and related industries through "Asia Open Collection" and has held the Asia Model Awards, an award ceremony for top Asian models and famous stars.

As such, the Asian Model Festival took the lead in promoting exchanges between Asian countries and informing them to recognize and harmonize each nation's cultural excellence, not discriminating or holding prejudice against any one country due to differences in education levels or economic power.

The COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak from September to November 2020. At that time, the total number of views of the 800 videos uploaded by Asian models exceeded 10 million views (10,888,048), and the number of votes in the voting App (AMF VOTE) during the same period exceeded 100 million votes (126,287,537), proving its influence among Asians.

As such, the Asia Model Festival is a form of cultural content that has eliminated the cultural and psychological discrimination prevalent in Asian countries and instilled Asian values. In addition, it is an interactive cultural platform that covers Asia as a whole, with a length of 9,700 km east-west, 8,690 km north-south, and an area of 43,976,000 square kilometers from Japan to India.

Our society still regards immigration policy as a future problem despite its importance.

Now is the time to make Korea an integrated and advanced country co-created by the people and Asians for Korea's future competitiveness and permanence.

The Asia Model Festival is the largest model event in the world. It is a cultural brand that can serve as a platform to accept the industries and cultures of different countries and serve as a cultural cushion to reduce conflicts in a multicultural era.

Therefore, I strongly believe that the "Asia is One" Asia Model Festival will be a solution to lead harmony and respect for cultural diversity in Asia. The Asia Model Festival, which has the function of this cultural convergence, aims to become an influential global cultural platform as a cultural road where Asia can make its way toward "Asia & World," as well as "World going toward Asia" ― both through Korea.


Yang Eui-sig is the chairman of the Asia Model Festival Organizing Committee


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Asia Model Festival becomes 'One Asia' cultural platform

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05.12.2022

By Yang Eui-sig

The Republic of Korea faces a demographic problem, as it has proven to be the No. 1 country in terms of low birthrate in 2022 among the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which is an essential issue that the government must solve as a high priority. The government is rushing to reform the system and prepare a budget to establish a new immigration agency in the future to solve this problem.

However, in proportion to the government's efforts, there are also growing voices concerned about the potential social problems due to economic, social and cultural conflicts.

At the root of such public opinion lies the reluctance to accept large numbers of people with entirely different historical and cultural backgrounds from that of Koreans, as well as languages and customs. In particular, ingrained biases toward other Asians are a significant barrier to the government's immigration policy.

This situation suggests an urgent need for campaigns to raise public awareness of Asia, in addition to establishing effective policies to encourage childbirth, such as childcare support, and successful immigrant settlement........

© The Korea Times


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