Student Success Story

Graduate school, an opportunity to meet a ‘genuine teacher’

Buheon Choi, an Alumnus, a professor at Howon University

Last March, we met Prof. Buheon Choi who was appointed as a full-time professor at Howon University after completing the Ph.D. course of Interdisciplinary Program in Studies of Art. He said that he bears a heavy responsibility, being appointed as professor at Howon University in difficult conditions and said “Howon University is a university that is competitive in practical music, K-pop, performance media, etc. and stands out in Korea’s leading audition programs. In the crisis of local universities, I have high expectations for the newly established Creative New Media major to prepare for the non-contact performance after COVID situation, and I have a greater pressure than the joy of being in charge of this major.”

◆ Unfamiliar world, convergence, and new challenge

I entered a general graduate school at a late age, but I thought I could learn ‘cultural convergence’ which is necessary to a new changing world and was convinced that I could combine this into our society or performing arts in the future. As I studied with my colleagues who entered the school together, I was able to reflect discussions and serious concerns on the site where I worked, which resulted in rewarding and fruitful results.

The field I’m highly interested in is ‘Silver-tainment,’ a combination of senior and entertainment. Now that the importance of senior contents is emerging in our society as a super-aged society, we have been able to create good opportunities.

◆ ‘My own path’ combining literature, copy, and contents

I entered college with passion and dream of literature since high school and majored in modern literature. However, what I chose was an office worker, a copywriter at an advertising company. In the advertising company, I have developed an “eye for catching trend” for “advertisements that move consumers’ mind to open their wallets” and produced a successful advertising campaign based on it. In addition to the domestic advertising agency, I have developed a global sense at Leo Burnett, the No. 1 advertising company in the U.S.

Experience has been building up day by day, but the desire for literature and art has always led to a new path for the performance producer. Thus, I gained know-how as a producer and planning various cultural and artistic events as well as musicals and plays in the performance market, which is in difficult circumstances. I believe that my dream and passion to take a new path, and my challenge and effort to achieve things on a difficult path will bring different results.

◆ An opportunity to meet a ‘genuine teacher’ at graduate school

It wasn’t easy to study and work at the same time. Prof. Hae-Ryong Song (former dean of the Graduate School of Media and Culture) is the one who encouraged me whenever I was in need. I was able to complete my master’s and doctorate degrees because of Prof. Song. He helped me control my mind and warmed my heart.

In particular, he set the direction of my Ph.D.’s research topic, “Smart Senior’s Immersive Contents” by saying that it will be an important field for our society in the future. And it is actually reflected in related research and field.

◆ A ‘New Path’ that SKKU created

When I was studying at Sungkyunkwan University, I moved a lot a week. I went to Gyeongnam and Gunsan to lecture, took classes at SKKU, and worked at the performance arena. At that time, I carried a big bag and I was often misunderstood as a merchant. Maybe my colleagues and professors felt bad for me and made things more convenient for me. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them again.

- A “worthwhile way” to create a cornerstone for “convergence talent”

Currently, the boundaries between industries are rapidly breaking down in our society and traditional boundaries such as politics, culture, technology, and finance have become meaningless. A brand of Korea has been admired by the people all over the world as a name of Korean Wave. The fourth industry, including contents with our own stories, our own creative Information and Communication (ICT), and bio that would lead the future, is a crisis as well as an opportunity for us. In the era of convergence industry, where disparate fields meet each other and create new values, I think I, who majored in cultural convergence and new media, was employed at the Howon University to create a ‘convergence talent’ who is the main actor of this era.

◆ Full-time professor in School of Performance and Media, majored in planning and directing

I am teaching subjects related to new media performance and fields such as planning/directing and creative new media, planning performances, designing story-telling, promotion marketing, planning digital performances, and presentation techniques.

- My major

After the baby boom, we study about the new generation of smart seniors who have been experienced industrialization, democratization and informatization in our society. Especially, it is a new field that applies immersive contents of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and extended reality (XR) to smart seniors, and is focusing on research for health and fun old age.

◆ Meet a new audience with a new performance

Last month, we had our performance at Daehak-ro. It was designed to look back on our true self and past during the period of frustration and transformation caused by the COVID-19, and the response was very positive. So, I am planning for a local performance as well. I hope that the COVID-19 ends soon so that actors and audiences can closely interact with each other. I will spend the current time to prepare for a great show so that I can satisfy the thirst of audiences for performance.