Robert E Buswell, Jr: The Zen Monastic Experience – Buddhist Practice in Contemporary Korea Princeton University Press, 1992, 259pp A curious tourist visiting one of the popular Korean temples will admire the architecture of the buildings; will poke their nose into the main shrine, nervously wondering whether they’re allowed in and if so what is […]

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Edinburgh Fringe visit: two Korean monodramas and one Korean American

by Philip Gowman 18 August 2014
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Korean acts coming to the Fringe have often majored on the non-verbal: percussion, taekwondo, comedy, physical theatre, music and dance. Last year, with Othello – Two Men, we discovered that more traditional theatre, heavy on text, can work well despite the language barrier – provided surtitles are visible. This year the Korean contingent was bolder […]

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Edinburgh Fringe visit: A Walk in the Dust

by Philip Gowman 16 August 2014
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When a play is put on for only one performance at the Fringe, you wonder what is going on. When it’s a Korean performance, and the date chosen is August 15th, National Liberation Day, the day on which Korea was freed from Japanese rule in 1945, the choice of “one day only” makes more sense. […]

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Kim Jieun: Talk to me Darling, at Mokspace

by Philip Gowman 14 August 2014
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News of the latest exhibition at Mokspace: Talk to me, Darling Jieun Kim aka The Drawing Hand 14th August – 6th September 2014 Mokspace | 33 Museum Street | London | WC1A 1LH | www.mokspace.com Monday – Saturday 11am – 6pm | Sunday by appointment. We are delighted to invite you to Jieun Kim’s second […]

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If aliens landed in Gyeongnam, would they think Koreans worshipped the turtle?

by Philip Gowman 10 August 2014
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Looking back at some of my travel photos, I can’t help but notice the prominence of turtles in the south of the peninsula. The symbolism of the turtle is explained briefly in the Life in Korea website as follows: While the dragon was considered the ruler of all animals, the turtle ruled over the insects. […]

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Leodo: Paradise Lost — Norian Maro returns to the Fringe

by Philip Gowman 6 August 2014
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Here’s the official press release for Norian Maro’s 2014 Edinburgh Fringe production Leodo: Paradise Lost. The show has developed out of last year’s production, Pudasi, which LKL reviewed here. The Stage has already given this year’s upgraded version a four-star review: “The talented seven-member ensemble never flags in energy, choreographic skill or audience engagement” The […]

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Im Kwon-taek: In search of perfection

by Philip Gowman 5 August 2014
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As the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon approach, LKL is finally spurred to write up some archive notes of interviews and Q&A’s with the director of their Opening Ceremony… “Why are you torturing me?” was Im Kwon-taek’s heartfelt cry when attending a screening of one of his films from the 1960s at a 70-film retrospective […]

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The Seoul Philharmonic at the BBC Proms – with a Proms Plus intro

by Philip Gowman 4 August 2014
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The Seoul Philharmonic will be at the BBC Proms under their music director Myung-Whun Chung on 27 August. The programme includes work by Korean composer Unsuk Chin. The Prom is preceded by a free talk in the Royal College of Music, 5:45pm-6:30pm, hosted by BBC Radio 3 presenter Petroc Trelawny, focusing on the orchestra and […]

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Je Baak: Ritual – Media – Karma, at HADA Contemporary

by Philip Gowman 3 August 2014
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News of HADA Contemporary’s late summer show: Je Baak: Ritua – Media – Karma 14 August – 26 September 2014 HADA Contemporary | 21 Vyner Street | London | E2 9DG | www.hadacontemporary.com Wednesday – Friday: 11am – 6pm | Saturday – Sunday: 11am – 4pm HADA Contemporary is delighted to present the second solo […]

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K-pop world festival 2014

by Philip Gowman 3 August 2014
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I’m sure you’ve all heard about this from sources more K-pop focused than LKL, but just in case… Deadline for entries is 20 August. K-pop World Festival 2014 The chance to perform on stage to tens of thousands, shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the best idols in K-Pop, could all be yours with the KBS K-Pop […]

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Exhibition visit: Lee Seung-taek at Mot International

by Philip Gowman 2 August 2014
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Lee Seung-taek’s solo show at Mot International continues until 23 August. Lee was born in 1932 and the works on show at the exhibition come from the years 1957 – 1971. His work has been collected by the Tate: a 1958 version of the 1957 Godret Stone that on show here. Lee is still active […]

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August events

by Philip Gowman 1 August 2014
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It’s the month for festivals, though it’s looking like the annual Kingston Korean festival may not be happening this year. If anyone knows any different, please let me know. In compsensation, the Korean Artists Association’s annual residence at the KCC is longer this year, starting 12 August. Edinburgh The Edinburgh Fringe is under way, with […]

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Korea Chronicles: the 2014 KAA Summer Residency at the KCC

by Philip Gowman 31 July 2014
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This year’s Korean Artists Association residency at the KCC runs from 12 – 30 August this year. It’s nice that they’ve got nearly two weeks this time – fully deserved on the basis of the quality of past residencies. The opening evening – for which registration is essential (via koreanartuk@gmail.com) – this time contains a […]

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The experience of North Koreans in New Malden

by Philip Gowman 30 July 2014
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A panel session about the experiences of North Korean defectors in New Malden is at first sight a strange event to promote as part of an arts festival. But the 7th New Malden Arts Festival overlaps with Malden Fortnight, a celebration of New Malden’s varied community, of which Koreans are of course a significant part. […]

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Jaeho Park: Obsession, at Mokspace

by Philip Gowman 29 July 2014
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New’s of the latest exhibition at Mokspace: Jaeho Park: Obsession 29th July – 9th August 2014 Mokspace | 33 Museum Street | London | WC1A 1LH | www.mokspace.com Monday – Saturday 11am – 6pm | Sunday by appointment. MOKSPACE warmly invites you to indulge in ‘Obsession,’ an exposition by Korean artist and photographer Jaeho Park. […]

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Edinburgh Fringe Preview: Brush – a charming piece of theatre for children

by Philip Gowman 29 July 2014
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Last year at the Fringe we had Climb a Willow to the Sea God’s Palace, a lovely 45-minute performance from Kkumdongi Puppet Theatre telling a Korean fable using puppetry and painting geared towards a younger audience. This year for the younger festival-goers we will have Theatre Haddangse performing Brush. The company gave a special preview […]

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Report from the KCC Artist Talk: Shakespeare interpretations in East Asia

by Shouvik Datta 28 July 2014
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I hadn’t been to any of the events for Seoul in the City, part of this year’s City of London festival. The symposium at London’s Korean Cultural Centre for Shakespeare’s plays in contemporary East Asian languages seemed particularly interesting to me. My previous experience of Shakespeare in East Asia was confined to Ran, Akira Kurosawa’s […]

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