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S. Korea-ASEAN culture connection: Malaysian 'elephant' illustrator Updated: 2019-07-26 16:28:27 KST

Children and their parents are drawing elephants of different shapes and sizes.
Once they finish, they bring it up to this professional illustrator and "elephant expert" from Malaysia, who then whips out his crayon to sketch an elephant of his own.

"It's interesting. Looking at all those elephant drawings was fun. I think I tried to copy the instructor's elephants, but he drew them from his imagination."

This cultural exchange program, called "Easy Access Malaysia," was organized by South Korea's ASEAN Culture House.
The guest this time is the famous Malay illustrator ( )Yusof Gajah, who is a winner of one of the three most prestigious international awards for children's books and is well-known for his colorful and abstract elephants.
Gajah hopes to send a message to the kids in the program through the elephants he's been drawing to raise awareness about the risk of them going extinct.

"They will know me first as a man, as a foreigner who loves to draw elephants, and hopefully my books and my story will stimulate them to a better understanding of the fate of the elephant."

Friday's art class is just one of South Korea's many cultural exchanges with the countries of ASEAN as it looks to strengthen and expand its cultural ties with Southeast Asia.

"Here at the ASEAN Culture House, we are carrying out cultural, academic and personnel exchange programs with countries in Southeast Asia. Through these different programs, we hope South Korean people can get to know the region's culture in a more friendly way."

Since its establishment in 2017, South Korea's ASEAN Culture House has played a major role in building cultural ties and closer relationships with the ten countries of ASEAN under the government's so-called New Southern Policy.
Kan Hyeong-woo, Arirang News
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