InKo Centre and Arts Council Korea (ARKO) are delighted to support Korean novelist, Manav Kaul at the Toji Cultural Centre in Korea from 1-30 September 2011. The residency is an annual programme and every year, an Indian writer is selected from amongst Sangam House alumnus. Each year, for a period of 4-weeks, a Korean writer is in residence at Sangam House.

Manav Kaul writes in Hindi and founded the theatre group Aranya in 2004. He has written and directed several plays, including Shakkar ke Paanch Daane (translated into English as Five Grains of Sugar), Peele Scooterwala Aadmi, Bali Aur Shambhu, Ilhaam, Aisa Kehte Hain, Shabd Sangeet and Park (also translated into English under the same name). He has also adapted and directed Sartre’s No Exit into Hindi as Antaheen as well as Vijay Tendulkar’s Ashi Pakhare Yeti into Kannada. He is currently directing a play called Red Sparrow.

The Toji Cultural Centre, founded by one of the most famous Korean writers, Pak Kyong Ni, is situated in the small farming village of Hoechon. This village lies in a valley nestled in hills and mountains filled with old pine trees. It is near the city of Wonju in Gangwon province.

The Center provides a quiet place to work, as well as numerous walking trails to explore. Around 15 writers, artists, and scholars stay and work here at any given time, and there are countless opportunities for daily interaction. The primary language used is Korean, but communication in English is also prevalent, as the Centre hosts individuals from various countries.

The most famous mountain in Wonju is Mt. Chiaksan in the Chiaksan National Park, and it has some important temples, such as the Guryongsa Temple, built in AD 666. The Hanji Museum (Korean Paper Museum) and the Lacquer Ware Craft Center, which is located on the way to Guryongsa Temple.

In Wonju City, there are shops and markets that sell traditional Korean food, art and crafts, as well as an interesting municipal museum. The former residence of Pak Kyong Ni is also open to the public. This house, situated inside Toji Literary Park, is where Pak wrote the last two parts of her epic novel Toji (Land). Wonju City has also embarked on a project to preserve the literary heritage of Pak, its most famous writer.

About Sangam House

Sangam House is an international writer's residency program that brings together writers from across the world to live and work among their peers in a safe, supportive and nurturing space.Every winter the Sangam House invites approximately twenty writers to live and work at an arts institution in southern India. Each year, half the invited writers come from the South Asian subcontinent (India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka) and half from other countries around the world. Sangam House is open to writers in all languages and disciplines - fiction and non-fiction writers, poets, translators, playwrights and screenwriters. The Sangam House season usually runs for about 10 weeks between January and March. Individual residence periods are determined by writers' needs and available resources (though we recommend a residency period of no less than 2 weeks). A Sangam House invitation means that board and lodge are covered for the duration of the writer's stay with us.

Sangam House is located at Nrityagram, 40kms outside the southern city of Bangalore. Nrityagram (which means ‘a dance village’) is home to an Odissi gurukul, a teaching school for one of the classical dance forms of the sub-continent. Additionally, it is home to a dance repertory company that perfoms all over India as well as in other parts of the world. Sangam House writers will have their own space within this community, at ArtsLab, a seperate 8-roomed housing unit with a large common area and garden.

About Arts Council Korea (ARKO)

Arts Council Korea was established to promote creativity and enjoyment of the arts by supporting diverse arts and cultural activities in Korea. The Council consists of eleven dedicated professionals of the cultural and arts sector in Korea. The Arts Council also places emphasis on the establishment of arts infrastructure. It facilitates the rise of practice-oriented policy implementation in line with the increasingly sophisticated cultural environment of Korea.

The following writers have, to date, visited India and Korea for the Writing Residencies at Sangam House and at the Toji Cultural Centre, respectively:

Mr Son Honggyu 4 to 30 January 2009 Sangam House, Adi Shakti, India
Ms Mridula Koshy 7 to 30 September 2009 Toji Cultural Centre, Korea
Mr Ham Seong Ho 10 to 31 January 2010 Sangam House, Adi Shakti, India
Perumal Murugan 1 to 30 September 2010 Toji Cultural Centre, Korea
Mr Park Kyoung su 12 December 2010 to 8 January 2011 Sangam House, Nrityagram

10 September 2011, Toji Cultural Centre, Korea
For further information contact InKo Centre T: 044 2436 1224; E: enquiries@inkocentre.org