Representing Independent Arts in KoreaSeoul Fringe Festival
Seoul Fringe Festival originated from ‘Indie Arts Festival’ held at Daehak-ro in 1998. ‘Indie Arts Festival’ was founded by young artists in their 20s who wanted to break free from the conventions of artists community at the time. In the midst of the polarized arts and cultural industry where the authoritative fine arts and the commercial pop culture were at opposite ends, the festival staged alternative views and shared unique work with the public. Since the, the festival took place every year until it was renamed in 2002 as ‘Seoul Fringe Festival.’
Indie artists from various fields-such as theatre, dance, music, performance, visual arts, and film-participate in Seoul Fringe Festival. Unlike other art festivals, Fringe artists and their works do not have to go through a process of competition or selection: any artist is given a chance to participate. As such, Fringe encourages artists to break conventions, experiment with space, and cross genres and forms. We advocate creative attempts, unique challenges, and freedom of artistic expressions.
Seoul Fringe Network, the host of the festival, continually supports creative activities of young artists even before and after the festival. We are a social enterprise in the arts and culture - which means that we raise funds from cultural events, arts education, and venue management and use them to support artists and their work. We build a platform for discussion about arts in the community by closely working with the indie art webzine ‘Indienbob’ in research and critique. Furthermore, through various post-festival projects such as ‘Post Fringe’ and ‘Fringe Artists’ Collaborative Group’, the Network endeavors to connect the arts community and the general public all-year-round.
Seoul Fringe Network believes that arts connect people. Support us in our effort to connect artists and citizens, so that more artists can create and more people can enjoy art. When you support Fringe, you advocate freedom of expression. With your stories and support, Fringe can grow to become a greater collaborative stage for the arts in its purest form.