The KCCUK’s fifth birthday celebrations

by Philip Gowman on 2 February, 2013

in About LKL | Event reports and reviews | KCCUK

The staff of the KCCUK

The staff of the KCCUK receive the applause at their celebratory dinner: Mrs Jeon Hye-jung, Director Kim Gab-su, Kim Seong-jin, Katherine Kim, Hong Ji-hye, Roh Byung-hyun and Paul Wadey
(Photo: Jeon Sung-min)

It really should be us thanking the KCCUK, not the other way round. But on the occasion of its fifth birthday the KCCUK has been characteristically generous in its expressions of gratitude to its supporters.

Last Saturday at Cadogan Hall saw a free concert with Pansori Master Song Soon-seop, plus Pansori singer Lee Jaram, pianist Kim Sunwook and tenor Park Ji-min. And on the 5th anniversary itself, after a two-hour discussion of the presentation of Korean Culture in the UK held at the KCCUK itself, a celebratory dinner was held at the Corinthia Hotel, just down the road from the KCCUK, where a lot of the their visiting VIPs are put up.

The dining room at the Corinthia

The dining room at the Corinthia (photo: LKL)

To mark the occasion, several individuals and organisations were presented with a Korean Ministry of Culture Special Award to mark their assistance in furthering the KCCUK’s work:

  • Jan Stuart (Keeper of the Asian Collection at the British Museum)
  • Beth McKillop (Deputy Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum who was instrumental in establishing the Samsung Gallery
  • Ralph Rugoff (Director of the Hayward Gallery)
  • Jonathan Mills (Director of the Edinburgh international Festival)
  • Adrian Evans (Director of the Mayor’s Thames Festival)
  • Brigadier Brian Parritt, author of Chinese Hordes and Human Waves, who has supported the KCCUK with talks about the Korean War.
Accepting the award for London Korean Links

Accepting the award for London Korean Links
(Photo: Jeon Sung-min)

London Korean Links was also very honoured to have been included in this august company. Coincidentally, LKL went online on in early 2006, which is also when the search for the KCC’s London premises started, and when full-time staff started working on the organisation of various cultural programmes (including the first of the KCC-organised London Korean Film Festivals.)

The seven honoured guests were privileged to receive replicas of Korea’s National Treasure Number 287 – the 7th-century Baekje Gilt-Bronze Incense Burner. [1] It was a struggle to get it home, but it is now sitting in pride of place in a display cabinet.

Chef Kim explains his menu to the guests

Chef Kim explains his menu to the guests (Photo: LKL)

The Corinthia had prepared a special menu for us – devised by one of their chefs, who happens to be Korean. Chef Kim had cunningly assembled an ingenious collection of dishes, all of which contained authentic Korean flavours but which eschewed the use of chili and other hot spices which sometimes don’t go down too well with the less adventurous palettes. The results were something which I hope could be see more of on western tables. It was all beautifully presented too.

Three of the five dishes at the dinner

Roasted rice cake with beef, wild mushrooms and soy sauce; Roast fillet of cod with Saengseon Jeongol; and Korean pear tart with barley and sugunga ice cream – the second, third and fifth courses at the celebration dinner. I was so eager to tuck in that I forgot to take photos of the first and fourth courses, Pumpkin Soup with pine nuts and Fresh persimmon with plum wine granate. (Photo: LKL)

A wonderful celebration to mark the first five action-packed years. Thank you again, KCCUK.

Thanks also to Jeon Sung-min of the Euro Journal Korean newspaper for two of the photos.

  1. The Gilt-bronze Incense Burner of Baekje, presumed to have been made at the end of the 7th Century CE, was excavated in Neungsan-ri, Chuncheongnam-do, in October 1993 and designated as National Treasure No 287. It is 64cm in height, and composed of a base with a carving of a dragon raising its head, a body containing various animals on a blossoming lotus, a lid containing various figures surmounted by a Chinese phoenix spreading its wings energetically. [back]

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

matthew weathers May 7, 2013 at 4:54 am

Dear Sir/Madam just recently my mother was out shopping and came across this figure of a gilt bronze incense burner of Baekje in a charity shop,i know it is a replica as the original is in a museum. What can you tell me about the one she has? What is it made from and how many where made. The other thing is that on the bottom of it is the writing korean museum and also is the korean langusge. Should this replica be in a museum or has it been stolen? Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Thankyou for your time
M.Weathers

Philip Gowman May 7, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Don’t know how many replicas have been made, but they’re not rare. I’ve seen a brochure which gives the different sizes available. They are made by Bokwang Pewter Co Ltd based in Bucheon, Gyeonggido, South Korea, and are described as being made of tin alloy (presumably pewter?) and either bronze- or gold-plated. The brochure seems to suggest that the company has the authorisation of the National Museum of Korea, who I’m guessing have the original.

matthew weathers May 8, 2013 at 3:19 am

Dear Sir the one my mother has is exactly the same size,weight as the original one supposed to be in the museum in Korea,but has korean museum engraved on the bottem in English and the korean language,do the others have the same? Please let me know many thanks..M Weathers

Philip Gowman May 8, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Most of the different variants have a pediment/stand with a plaque. The only one I have seen has the plaque inscribed in English and in Chinese script.

matthew weathers May 10, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Dear Philip the one’s presented to the V.I.P’S were made from what? Do you know or is it a secret?The one my parents have would it be worth anything? Or do you suggest we have it tested,any advice would be appreciated. Many thanks again for your help.
M.Weathers
P.S this has no stand only enscription on the base and its very heavy.

Philip Gowman May 12, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Your mother’s version is different to the ones handed out on this occasion. The original is 64cm high. The replicas presented in January were 28cm. As mentioned above the range of replicas produced by this company are made of plated pewter.

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