The 20th International Congress of Aesthetics

Event: The 20th International Congress of Aesthetics
Date: 09:30, July 25 (Mon), 2016
Venue: Auditorium, University Cultural Center

Welcome everyone. I am Sung, Nak-In, President of Seoul National University. It is my sincere pleasure to have the opportunity to be with you at the 2016 International Congress of Aesthetics. I wholeheartedly welcome Gao Jianping, President of the International Association for Aesthetics and every one of you from all over the world.

I believe it is not a coincidence that the 20th International Congress of Aesthetics, with its worldwide reputation and long history, is being held for the third time in Asia and first in Korea, here in Seoul, the six hundred year-long capital of Korea, and one of the cultural and economic centers of Asia and the world. In particular, the fact that Seoul National University is hosting this congress in the year of the 70th anniversary of the university's foundation, fills me, as President, with great happiness and deep pride.

Seoul National University is, without a doubt, Korea's most prestigious university, composed of 15 colleges and 12 graduate schools, with approximately 3,000 professors and 28,000 students. The university is also unique for having an Aesthetics institution not merely as an academic discipline but also as one of the seventeen departments in the college of humanities. For the past 70 years, the college of humanities and the department of Aesthetics have provided Seoul National University students with exceptional educational opportunities and incomparable intellectual richness.

The department of Aesthetics was established at the foundation of the university in 1946, as one of the departments in the college of arts and science. In 1953, it briefly belonged to the college of fine-arts, before returning to the college of arts and science in 1960. When Seoul National University was relocated to the current campus under Gwan-Ak Mountain, the Department of Aesthetics became a part of the college of humanities.

Over the past 70 years, Korean society has witnessed the department of Aesthetics produce numerous scholars in the field of Aesthetics as well as outstanding leading figures especially in diverse areas of culture. I have faith that the department will play an even more pivotal role in the coming ‘cultural age.’

The Korean Society of Aesthetics, which is the chief organizer of this congress, was founded in 1968 by the faculty members of the department of Aesthetics, Seoul National University. The society publishes a quarterly academic journal in the field of Aesthetics, titled in Korean, and holds two academic conferences every year in addition to diverse academic events.

The influence and significance of mass culture has been rapidly increasing day by day. On this ground, I strongly believe that the main theme of this Congress, 'Aesthetics and Mass Culture,' cannot be more relevant. Moreover, presentations and discussions by you, renowned scholars and promising students from all around the world, will make this year's congress an extraordinary academic festival as well as an important turning point in the study of Aesthetics.

I hope that this congress brings about academically productive discussions and insights, and that after the end of the congress, all of you leave with fond memories of Seoul National University, Seoul, and Korea. I would like to celebrate the opening of the International Congress of Aesthetics at Seoul National University once again, and thank professor Oh Chong-hwan, the president of the organizing committee, and everyone whose determined efforts made this Congress possible.

Thank you.