World Convention of the Korean Language 2021

Aemin (Love for his People)

Yoo Jaeeon

[Theme] Sejong the Great and Hangeul [Purpose] The song is intended to show to the current generation King Sejong’s endless toil and genuine love for his people. [Description] I wrote the song from the perspective of Sejong the Great, so the song does not convey my personal thoughts about the king. Verse 1 describes King Sejong lost in thoughts late into the night after witnessing ordinary peasants reeling from poverty and even dying an undeserved death due to their illiteracy. Verse 2 illustrates King Sejong struggling to create Hangeul day after day, driven by love and compassion for his people. I imagined King Sejong finally completing Hangeul after years of grueling work and taking a rare stroll outside on a sunny day. Looking around, he finds that a bunch of flowers had already bloomed, but also that his eyes had dimmed significantly. In the chorus, I sought to deliver the voice of the king who wanted to spread the beautiful Hangeul, born out of his love for the people, with a great pride. I added a bit of fun to the chorus by ending the lyrics with Korean consonants, i.e. Ga, Na, Da and Ra.

"Creative Songs (Rap in Korean)"

I am Korean

Park Jin-oh

I wrote ‘I am Korean,’ a hip-hop song, to illustrate how much pride Koreans have in their national identity, and what Koreans should do for the future. The melody and the rap are beautifully blended together to make the Korean lyrics stand out even more!

"Beautiful Writing (Calligraphy)"

Hangul flowers

Lee Kang Mi

"Flowers will bloom profusely in October. Let me send you the overflowing beauty of Hangeul’s consonant flowers and vowel flowers.” This phrase was written into calligraphy as if the letters were flowers carefully placed into a vase. The month of October was particularly mentioned to highlight the fact that Hangeul Proclamation Day falls in October. On both sides of the main work, the Hangeul consonants and vowels were designed to conjure up the image of flying petals, which are colorfully adorned so that they look like real flowers. The vase has the curvature of a white moon jar to emphasize elegant simplicity, and the calligraphed characters were given a modern touch by breaking away from the traditional form of panbon handwriting. The characters, while clearly legible, are also aesthetically pleasing. Thank you.

"Creative Songs (Rap in Korean)"

In Korean, please

Lee In-jae

Korea is home to my life and memories, not anywhere else in the world. I have never lived abroad, but I have always spoken and written the Korean language, and lived in Korea with my friends and family. And that’s why I have been rivetted by music written in the Korean language. When I started my musical career, I decided to minimize the use of foreign languages in my music. I participated in this hip-hop competition in the World Convention of the Korean Language in belief that it could be a wonderful opportunity to express my fascination with Hangeul. The song that I created for the competition, titled “In Korean, please,” is basically a message for myself, although it can also be a message for the current generation of Korean hip hop artists or pop artists. It explains my motivation for writing my songs and making my music only in Korean, and that Hangeul is the best medium for me to depict my life, which thus holds me back from chasing the sycophantic fad of foreign language lyrics, prevalent in the Korean hip hop scene.

"Just wanted to introduce Jeju Island"

Lee Yoon-seok

I am a Jeju Island resident. I believed this competition could be an opportunity to recount many things I like about Jeju. The Jeju folk song “Neoyoung Nayoung” was sampled as the hook of this song. Also, elements that can pique curiosity about the native horses and Mother Nature of Jeju Island were delicately built into the lyrics and the video. Everything about my lyrics, instrumental accompaniment and video, conveys the hallmarks of Jeju. It is my sincere hope that anyone who comes across my work gets interested in the tradition & various cultural elements of Korea.

To Korea with Hangeul

Han Chang-min

To Korea with Hangeul' is a song about the excellence of the Korean language, Hangeul and Korean culture. It portrays a man who receives a letter from an unknown sender, who asks him about the Korean language, Hangeul and Korean culture, and the man starts to travel Korea’s historic and cultural sites. The song was inspired by National Hangeul Museum, founded to reveal the brilliance of Hangeul, and Korea’s traditional houses as well as Samcheongdong, which offers exciting cultural experiences. The lyrics consists of Korean consonants, i.e. Ga, Na, Da, Ra, Ma, Ba, Sa, Ah, Ja, Cha, Ka, Ta, Pa and Ha in the form of a 14-line poem, expressing my personal impressions of Hangeul and Korea, and things about Korea that I’d love to tell.

"Beautiful Writing (Calligraphy)"

Spring in my hometown

Lee Seo-young

I wrote the lyrics of the well-known Korean children’s song “Spring in My Hometown” into calligraphy. The calligraphy conveys the beauty of Hangeul words contained in the lyrics, and the innocence of children, as the song is written for children.

Like a flower

Jeong Yoon-hee

Flowers have a special meaning in Hangeul, and I tried to illustrate the depth of its meaning with the calligraphy.

Emptying & learning

Kim Young-won

1. The calligraphy signifies that if you want to learn anything, you need to empty your cup first. 2. [Purpose & description] If you wish to learn anything, you need to empty your cup and humble yourself first. If you stay in your comfort zone and stick to your biases, you will not be able to learn anything at all. When you empty your thoughts, open up your mind and approach humbly, the path to new learnings will then be revealed. Emptying is learning. The calligraphy illustrates the Korean pun of ‘emptying (bee-um)’ and ‘learning (bae-um)’ to point out the right the attitude to learning. A bowl was drawn to represent the emptied mind to effectively deliver the message of the calligraphy.

"Creative Songs (Rap in Korean)"

Hale and hearty sons of Korea

Yoo Jong-hyun

I combined hip hop with Pansori, a genre of narrative song of Korea, to create Korean traditional hip hop, so the theme of my song is Pansori. The song is punctuated with the unique sounds of various Korean traditional musical instruments, such as Korean drums and traditional Korean plucked zither Gayageum. And the narrative uttered by the Pansori singer becomes the rap! As hip hop has caught on in Korea, this song is intended to be a timely statement that we can create interesting and stylish rap songs not only in English but also in Korean, and that we can take pride in rapping in Korean. If you look at the Korean hip-hop scene, the lyrics are bombarded with English words. It’s understandable, as the genre comes from the US, but I used only the Korean language in this rap song to debunk the myth that hip-hop music will sound cool only when performed in English. The lyrics shows pride and respect in the language, culture, history and heroes of Korea, to stress that Korean is a fantastic language and that it is possible to create a stylish rap in Korean. I made an all-out effort to make this song and I hope you enjoy it. Thank you!

"Slowly but surely: the Korean people"

Hwang Hye-jung

The Korean literature is made up of tightly intertwined sentences of delicate, detailed descriptions and expressions. But should this be translated into a foreign language (e.g. English, Spanish), the elements within cannot be properly communicated in their entirety. For example, it is difficult to translate Korean words like Han (deep resentment and sorrow) and Eol (soul & spirit) into foreign languages. As an aficionado of literature and the Korean language, I hope to promote the Korean literature to the international audience as indicated in verse 4. I’m also learning foreign languages to promote the Korean literature, as well as my homeland Korea. More than anything else, I’m proud of my name. It’s incredible that parents can instill good fortune or wishes for their child in just three syllabuses. In fact, I became even more emotionally attached to my name and its meaning after conducting an elementary school assignment on finding the meaning of one’s name, which is revealed in verse 5-8. As the world is changing fast, so is the language. There are positive and negative changes to a language, but what I find most interesting is the Korean pun. For example, “Seune Soeye,” and “Honjaopseoye” in my lyrics are puns using homophones. Making such puns is also possible in foreign languages, but I believe it gets even more fun with the Korean language. The middle part of the song is about slangs. Due to explosive growth in the use of social media, even elementary school kids use slangs without knowing their seriousness. In my experience however, the more I used slangs, the more ashamed I felt later on, as I felt that I was abusing the language. I have translated these thoughts into this song, which stresses the beauty and value of the Korean language. I have put the rest of the description in the Youtube section. Feel free to contact me if there are any issues. Thank you.

Taryeong, traditional Korean ballad

Kim Jee-myung

The lyrics, which describes the hallmarks, history, heroes and the culture of Korea, including traditional legends, will pull at heartstrings of the audience. Styled as Korean classical music, the song cites the famous line from Korean folk song Arirang, “Your feet will be sore before you go ten ri,” as well as quotes of renowned Korean female artist Shin Saimdang.

Hangeul

Yoo Sang-hyun

The song, titled “Hangeul,” is a cheerful hip-hop song with upbeat guitar sounds. I wanted to represent the trend of the times through the music. I don’t think sticking to old norms is always a wise thing to do. With the change of the times, languages also change and evolve. Instead of taking a negative stance on such changes, I believe that it would be better to think about how to cope with them. People talk about what is wrong and what is right in the periodic change of Hangeul, and this causes linguistic conflicts between different generations, as well as unchecked verbal abuse. However, I believe these challenges can be fundamentally addressed by observing the root of the language. In other words, if we see where Hangeul came from and how it has evolved, we may be able to tackle current linguistic challenges. Hangeul has changed along with the times. Hangeul used in 2021 is different from the old Hangeul. This is not wrong. We should pay respect to Hangeul and be deeply grateful for its continued usage and development. Therefore, I think we should acknowledge and appreciate the periodic changes of Hangeul. However, as emphasized earlier, the ‘root’ is more important than anything else. New additions will not always qualify as Hangeul. They will qualify as Hangeul only when they retain the traditional Hangeul system and structure, and this is the message embodied in my song ‘Hangeul.’ I wrote & arranged the song, made the lyrics and filmed the video by myself. I hope you all enjoy and think over its underlying message.

Uprightness

Kim Sung-yoon

The song highlights that we should all understand and appreciate Hangeul, invented by Sejong the Great, more profoundly than we do now. Verse 1 suggests that we appreciate the hard work of Sejong the Great in making the Korean alphabet, and that we respect the integrity of Hangeul. Verse 2 deals a blow to those who dismiss the value of Hangeul, which was borne out of toilsome work of King Sejong to improve the life of the common people. In conclusion, we need to have a better understanding and admiration for Hangeul and pay more respect to King Sejong, the inventor of Hangeul.

"Beautiful Writing (Calligraphy)"

A wonderful day

Park Chan-hyun

I chose a stable composition and smooth-looking, balanced characters to elicit a sense of comfort so that readers can easily grasp the message of the calligraphy at a single glance.

Like a butterfly

An Soo-kyung

Hangeul letters are calligraphed in the shape of butterflies that are sitting softly and gently.

Flowerlike Hangeul

Kim Song-yi

“Flowerlike Hangeul” is a calligraphy work that evokes the exquisite beauty of Hangeul in the shape of a lovely flower pot. Abstract lines are matched with certain colors so that the characters appear as flowers. The phrase reads, “Flowerlike Hangeul, embodying King Sejong’s compassion for his people.” Hangeul is made from mercy and sympathy of King Sejong, who promoted literacy among the common people, and the unique creativity of Hangeul design inspired the abovementioned phase. To convey the beauty of Hangeul, I drew several 3-layered petals and wrote “flowerlike Hangeul, embodying King Sejong’s compassion for his people” inside the petals, one syllabus for one set of petals. I also wrote “Hangeul” on the flower pot, and drew a flower inside the Hangeul consonant ‘ㅎ’ to show that Hangeul characters are flowerlike characters. Lastly, I drew Korean consonants in the soil of the plant, and filled the space between the flowerlike characters with flower/heart drawings to highlight the message of the calligraphy.

Let's walk only on the flowery road (pray for only good things to happen)

Hwang Eun-young

I wanted to share a beautiful Hangeul phrase “let’s walk only on the flowery road” in the midst of the COVID-19, in hopes that we will some day overcome the pandemic, return to normalcy and regain the freedom we used to enjoy, and that only good things will happen to us going forward, with a sense of cheerfulness and carefreeness.

Bloom with Hangul flowers

Hwang Joo-hee

As flower scents travel thousands of miles with the wind, I hope that the beauty of Hangeul captivates as many people as possible across the world.