Relevant units announced on Friday that they completed displaying a sculpture gifted by Namyangju City in the northwest South Korean province of Gyeonggi in Hue City of Thua Thien-Hue, central Vietnam.
The statue called ‘Greeting Man’ was presented by Namyangju governor Cho Kwang Han in 2019 in honor of the friendship and cooperation established between the two cities but it only arrived in Hue recently.
‘Greeting Man’ is an aluminum statue of a blue, naked man bowing in a typically Asian greeting gesture.
A naked figure represents no prejudice, and blue means no racial discrimination, while the statue as a whole embodies the values of meeting, honoring, admiring, reconciling, and fostering peace.
Compared to the original design by 52-year-old South Korean sculptor Yoo Young-ho, the sculpture was shortened from six meters tall to two meters to meet the Hue side’s request of protecting the cityscape from a too tall object.
After prolonged discussions, administrators in Hue decided to install the statue in 3-2 Park on the south bank of the city's iconic Huong (Perfume) River, where several buildings constructed with South Korean support are located.
Vietnam is not the first country outside South Korea that the modern sculpture project ‘Greeting Man’ has been placed.
In October 2012, a ‘Greeting Man’ statue was unveiled in the neighborhood of Buceo, Montevideo, Uruguay, as part of a planned world series in multiple locations.
Another statue was erected in Panama City, Panama in January 2016, marking the second to be unveiled in Latin America.
In March 2018, South Korea went on to gift Mérida City in Mexico, where a community of about 2,000 South Korean citizens is living, another ‘Greeting Man.’
Another statue was built in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico in March 2021.
At home, a ‘Greeting Man’ was introduced in October 2013, near the Korean Demilitarized Zone, in Haean, Yanggu County, in the northeast province of Gangwon.