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29 août 2012 3 29 /08 /août /2012 05:09

LA COREE DANS L'ART TOTAL

Ahn Soo - Gil. Auteur coréen, observateur et illustrateur particulièrement remarquable, il a voué sa vie et son travail au tigre. Auteur, à partir des années 2000, de livres consacrés à l'animal (mangas, documentaires, albums), il a mis l'accent sur le tigre de Corée, officiellement disparu depuis des décennies dans le sud de la péninsule, absence pour lui incompréhensible,  et dont il espérait ardemment le retour. Ses illustrations sont proprement merveilleuses, avec un sens peu commun du détail et du mouvement. Il y a du Delacroix chez Ahn Soo - Gil. J'ai pu admirer son ouvrage "Panthera tigris" dont la version française est parue le mois dernier aux Editions Clair de Lune (version originale 2004), non seulement magnifique mais passionnant, évoquant des faits peu connus, dans une tonalité générale fort éloignée des ouvrages "de référence" habituellement publiés. Ses oeuvres de fiction font aussi l'objet d'une traduction. L'une d'entre elles, "Histoire de tigres", en deux tomes,  qui relate l'affrontement entre un tigre de Corée et un tigre géant septentrional, est déjà parue. Les autres le seront cette fin d'année et l'année prochaine. Ahn Soo Gil était particulièrement apprécié au Japon. Il est mort le 15 Novembre 2005, à l'âge de 42 ans.

 

tigre01

 

Lim Sun - Nam. Directeur de l'Institut de recherche sur les tigres sauvages coréens, il a effectué, notamment, des recherches sur la présence éventuelle du tigre dans la DMZ (zone démilitarisée entre Corée du Sud et Corée du Nord), publiées en 2010. Il avait aussi filmé, en 2000, un tigre qui grimpait dans un arbre à plus de dix mètres de hauteur. Il connaissait bien Ahn Soo - Gil, à qui il a apporté sa caution scientifique et son éclairage particulier sur l'histoire et les perspectives pour le tigre en Corée. Rappelant notamment que le tigre et l'homme cohabitent en Corée depuis près de 40 000 ans, que  l'actuel "Extrême Orient russe" et toute la Mandchourie furent coréens pendant 1000 ans, il démontre l'intensité unique au monde de la culture coréenne du tigre, et du degré hallucinant de présence de l'animal partout dans la péninsule jusqu'au début du XXème siècle, y compris à Seoul (tout comme les léopards). Les tigres, bons nageurs, étaient même présents dans les îles de l'extr^me sud ouest de la péninsule (voir détail en fin de page*).

2012 constitue assurément pour lui un tournant historique. La Corée a lancé un plan de réintroduction des tigres sauvages dans le Sud de la péninsule. Un couple sera lâché en 2014, l'objectif à terme étant la constitution d'une population d'une trentaine d'individus (voir l'article de Kim Rahn dans le Korea Times du 16 mars dernier reproduit ci dessous). Une collaboration russo coréenne a été décidée pour ce projet le 18 juillet dernier.

 

A couple of Siberian tigers will be released on a mountain range in Bonghwa, North Gyeongsang Province, in 2014 following the opening of an arboretum there.

The Korea Forest Service announced the plan to free the tigers into the wild there during a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for the National Baekdu-daegan Arboretum.

The Siberian tiger, also called a Mt. Baekdu tiger, will roam the Baekdu-daegan, which is a mountain range stretching from Mt. Baekdu in North Korea to Mt. Jiri in the South, referred to as the spine of the Korean Peninsula.

“We aim to free the Siberian tigers as a symbolic animal in Baekdu-daegan and preserve the species,” an official for the forest agency said.

Wild tigers are believed to be extinct on the Korean Peninsula.

A 6,000-square-meter “tiger forest” will be formed in the arboretum on Mt. Munsu at about 1,205 meters above sea level, in a thickly-wooded area with pines and other trees, according to the agency.

The two animals — five-year-old tiger Geumgang and six-year-old tigress Geumsong — were donated by China’s State Forestry Administration last October in gratitude for its Korean counterpart’s anti-desertification efforts there.

They are currently at Daejeon O World and will be moved to the forest in the latter half of 2014.

For people’s safety, the habitat will be encircled with 5 to 6 meters of electric wire fences, a height tigers cannot jump over. Visitors will be able to view the tigers from observatories to be set up around the area.

“In the long term, we plan to increase the population to 30 through breeding and expand the forest to 10 times the current size,” the agent said.

Besides the tiger forest, the 51-square-kilometer arboretum will have a facility to store forest plant seeds, a botanical garden with climate indicator plants and research centers for mountain flora.

It will be committed to preserving plants, preserving and restoring the forest ecosystem in Baekdu-daegan and providing education on forests.


 

Siberian Tiger Quest
Sooyong Park Biography

park-bioAfter graduating from Seoul National University in 1990, Sooyong Park worked as a nature documentary Producer and Director for EBS(Educational Broadcasting System) in South Korea from 1991 to 2010. His programs have always focused on the wild Siberian tiger ‘Panthera tigris altaica’.

As a researcher and documentary film-maker, he has studied Siberian tigers for the past twenty years. His filming projects have covered areas such as the Maritime Province of Russia, Manchuria in China, the North Korean border with China, and Taebaek Mountains range in South Korea.

Sooyong Park has spent many months tracking Siberian tigers but also many months incarcerated in a hide, hoping to catch a glimpse of a tiger. Totally alone in the forests of far-eastern Russia, he has endured temperatures of -30 degrees Celsius and the most basic conditions, in an effort to capture this most elusive tiger on film.

Sooyong Park has recorded every moment of his search on film and shot over 1000 hours of material.

He has recently written a book ‘The Great Soul of Siberia’ about the Siberian tiger and has established his own small non-profit organisation, The Siberian Tiger Protection Society, whose main goal is to protect and conserve the remaining populations of Siberian tiger in far-eastern Russia, Manchuria and the Korean peninsula.

Sooyong Park hopes that his continuing research into tracking and studying these wild populations will give him the evidence he needs to gain greater support and protection for the small population of wild Siberian tigers that still exist.

Film credits:
“The Endangered Emperors of Siberia”
“The Elusive Siberian Tiger”
“The Wild Ussury Tiger”
“The Vanishing Amur Leopard”
“In the Tracks of the Korean Tiger”
“Tigers and Humans in China”
“Udeghe and the tiger, The Silence Trackers”
“Blood Exchange Project of the Isolated Wild Tiger”

Awards:
Du Public, Jules Verns Film Festival, 2006, France
Excellence Prize, The 9th Tokyo Global Environmental Film Festival
The 11th ‘Best Producer of This Year’ in Korea
The Grand Prix, 26th Korean Broadcasting Awards
The Grand Prix, 32th Paek Sang Arts Awards
The Grand Prix, 1st Samsung Media Awards

 

 

LE JAPON, UNE AUTRE CULTURE COREENNE

Japon, Corée et tigre sont intimement liés par l'Histoire. Les Japonais actuels sont d'origine coréenne. Les tigres présents au Sud du Japon et disparus à la fin du Pleistocène appartenaient à la souche méridionale, également présente, à la même époque, en Indonésie, à Bornéo et sur l'archipel philippin des Palawan. Mais la culture historique du tigre au Japon est en rapport avec les tigres du Nord, coréens, chinois, mandchous, et de Sakhaline.

Les premières représentations japonaises de tigres (probablement chinois) remontent au 7ème siècle avant notre ère. Le tigre deviendra l'animal référent des samouraïs (il ne s'agit pas de l'animal lui même "Tora" mais de l'esprit du tigre blanc "Bakkio", gardien de l'Occident pour les Chinois, coréens et japonais).

En 1592 - 1594, le Shogun Hiyedoshi envahit la Corée. Il y passe beaucoup de temps à tuer des tigres. Il parvient à en capturer un qu'il ramène vivant à la cour de l'Empereur à Kyoto.

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Tigre gardien du temple Kuruma, à Kyoto.

 

De 1679 à 1875, les japonais occupent le sud de Sakhaline, où vivent des tigres de Sibérie.

Entre 1917 et 1942, les forces d'occupation japonaise abattent une centaine de tigres en Corée. Un dénommé Yamamoto est chargé des expéditions de chasse. A cette époque, il ne reste qu'une trentaine de tigres dans l'Orient russe, alors qu'un millier sont encore présents en Mandchourie et au Bohaï. Il est vraisemblable que ces derniers seront victimes d'abord  des japonais dans le Mandchoukouo à partir de 1931, puis des américains et des chinois entre 1948 et 1952, lors de la guerre de Corée, qui ne laissa pas pierre sur pierre au Nord de la péninsule.

 

4 CULTURES POUR UN GEANT

Le temps n'est plus aux massacres, comme autrefois. Les orientations prises lors du forum de Vladivostok de Juillet dernier pour l'expansion des zones de protection du tigre en Russie, Chine et Corée sont encourageantes. La synergie des approches sibérienne, chinoise, coréenne et japonaise,  sont la clef du réépanouissement futur des populations de tigres dans la région Asie Pacifique sans exclusive géographique, à même de reconstruire une typologie animale aujourd'hui disparue. En effet, si le tigre du Nord existe encore aujourd'hui à l'état sauvage, il y a bien longtemps qu'ont disparu des animaux tels que les décrit Nicolas Baïkov au début du siècle dernier, comparables en taille et en puissance aux félins géants préhistoriques. Le dernier fut semble t-il abattu en 1950 dans la cordillère de Sikhote Aline. Il pesait 400 kgs. Ahn Soo - Gil illustre cet évènement saisissant sur une double page dans l'ouvrage que j'ai pu consulter. 

Pour un réalisme prospectif, il faut toujours voir grand...

 

*Densité des tigres en Corée au début du siècle dernier. Le cas de lîle de Jindo (Chin - Do).

 

“Even on the southern remote islands of the Korean Peninsula were filled with lots of Siberian tigers a century or so ago”, argued Prof. Lee Hang of the Seoul National University in a press release on Feb. 19, 2012.

Prof. Lee heads the Fund for Korean Tigers Conservation.

He showed to the local Korean press two photos of Korean tigers (Siberian or Amur tigers) caught by the hunters as evidences.

The tiger photos were from the article “The Manchurian Tiger” authored by Ford G. Barclay, which were written in a book ”The Big Game of Asia and North America: The Gun at Home and Abroad”.

The book was co-authored by Ford G. Barclay and was published in London in 1915.

“The Manchurian Tiger” shows the details on how the Siberian tigers were populated on the Korean Peninsula and on how they were hunted in early 20th century.

Prof. Lee said that the book showed that there were four tigers on Jindo Island some 500 meters off the south western tip of the Korean Peninsula.

Now, the island is connected to the mainland by the Jindo Bridge.

An English sportsman Ford G. Barclay poses with his local Korean hunters in front of a tiger hunted by them in Mokpo in South Korea’s South Jeolla Province.This undated fild photo was taken in 1903.

 

“This means that Korean tigers were populated in the peninsula and even on the corners of the isolated islands only a century ago”, Prof. Lee said. “Also this proves that tigers are good swimmers”

According to the book, an adult male and female tigers were hunted by the local hunters on Jindo Island.

Mr. Barclay and the local hunters chased the other two tigers on the island for about 10 days but failed to find them.

On the beach they only found the footsteps of the tigers which were printed toward the mainland.

They thought the tigers fled to the land by crossing the sea, but three weeks later they found the tigers’ footsteps again.

Mr. Barclay’s records also say that legends also depict the popular existence of the tigers on the island and other islands south of the Korean Peninsula some 100 years ago.

Another Seoul National University professor, Kim Dong-Jin, who is a member of the fund, said that tigers were common even in the coastal areas and many islands of Korea.

“History books records a number of cases in which people were attacked by the tigers in the past”, Prof. Kim said.

He said that many national farms had to be moved from the mainland to the island to avoid the danger of tiger attack, but even on the islands tigers appeared frequently.

He argued that the national troops were mobilized
for the tiger hunts on the islands.

In South Korea tigers are extinct. Heavily fortified walls of barbed wires in 4-km-wide demilitarized zone (DMZ) block all wild animals from travelling between South and North Korea.

It was 1922 that the last tiger was seen and hunted on Mt. Daedeuk in Gyeongju, South Korea’s North Gyeongsang Province.

Currently, there remain about 400 Siberian tigers (Koreans call them Korean tigers) mainly in Far Eastern parts of Russia. The Siberian tigers are also called Amur tigers.

Recently, a research team of the Seoul National University released a report saying that Korean tigers have the same DNA with the Siberian tigers.

The Fund for Korean Tigers Conservation (http://koreatiger.org/), established by civilians in 2004, supports Russia’s Phoenix Fund (http://www.phoenix.vl.ru/)

 

The following story is part of “The Manchurian Tiger” authored by Ford G. Barclay.

My own most successful hunts have been inthe island of Chindo, some thirty miles as the crow flies south-east of the open port of Mokpo, situated at the south-west corner of Korea. It is separated from the mainland by a channel between two and three miles wide, through which the current rushes at such a rate that it is only possible to cross in a large boat for thirty minutes or so at each turn of the tide, and yet tiger most readily face this fierce tide pretty frequently.

The island is about the size of The Isle of Wight, and there being very little cover on it when snow is on the villager that authentic news of fresh tiger tracks will be liberally rewarded. On one visit I was greeted with the intelligence that four tigers were there, a male and female of fair size, and two three-year-old females.

The first two I secured a day or two later, the other two broke back through the beaters in a drive some twelve miles from the nearest part of the channel. The next morning their tracks were reported in the tidal mud, heading across the straits for the mainland, but being still skeptical as to tiger facing such a swim in the depth of winter I continued my hunt for ten days, during which no freshtracks were seen.

Three weeks later news of another pair in the island led me back, but though we jumped one I never actually saw more than the footprints. A week later these two were also tracked over the mud towards the straits and mainland. Early this year (1914) the body of a tiger was washed up on.

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  • : Le retour du tigre en Europe: le blog d'Alain Sennepin
  • : Les tigres et autres grands félins sauvages ont vécu en Europe pendant la période historique.Leur retour prochain est une nécessité politique et civilisationnelle.
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