Event reports and reviews

The National Maritime Museum, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Maritime Greenwich, played host to an exhibition featuring South Korea’s latest inclusion in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. Life-size photographs of Jeju’s famous diving women were dotted around a building which began life in 1807 as a school for the children of British seafarers. […]

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An evening with Michael Breen and The New Koreans

by Philip Gowman 13 June 2017
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When going to a book talk, it is all too common to find that the moderator has little knowledge of the book or its subject matter, and asks the author embarrassingly shallow questions leaving the audience and author short-changed. No such risks last night at the KCC, where the British Korean Society’s Chris Hollands conversed […]

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Young In Hong’s 5100: Pentagon

by Philip Gowman 10 June 2017
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Here are a few photos and a video from the two performances of Young In Hong’s work 5100: Pentagon on 4 June 2017 in the courtyard of the Royal Academy of Arts in Piccadilly. The performers were all volunteers, of whom fewer turned up than expected because of the terrorist incident in the London bridge […]

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Love X Stereo at the Windmill – both intimate and euphoric

by Philip Gowman 17 May 2017
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Many thanks to Annie Ko and Toby Hwang for a fantastic gig down in Brixton on Monday night. Featuring tracks from their recently-released album 37A – the first fruits of their crowdfunded project for 2017 in which they aim to release 37 songs during the course of the year – as well as earlier albums, […]

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Look forward, not back: how best to work with North Korean exiles

by Philip Gowman 15 May 2017
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If I had been given a fiver every time a journalist or PhD student asked to be put in touch with North Korean refugees in the London area I wouldn’t be exactly rich, but there would be a few more books overflowing from my already full bookcase. Whether it be for reaction to the latest […]

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Exhibition visit: Chosun Paintings — Beyond Borders, Beauty.

by Philip Gowman 4 April 2017
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When going along to an exhibition of work by North Korean artists you’re not quite sure what to expect. David Heather’s collection that was exhibited at La Galleria in 2007 had something for all tastes, including propaganda posters; a genre, influenced by western painting styles, that might be dismissed as Juche kitsch; and Chosonwha, which […]

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Exhibition visit: Suh Do-ho — Passage/s

by Philip Gowman 19 March 2017
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Visiting the Suh Do-ho solo show at Victoria Miro gallery is a very British experience. You queue to get in the front door, queue in the back yard to get to the second exhibition space and, once admitted to this gallery you queue again to get up close to the main exhibit. In the dozen […]

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Gallery: Yeji Kim – Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things

by Philip Gowman 18 March 2017
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Yeji Kim’s exhibition was the first to be held in the KCCUK’s refashioned space. Gone is the Multi-Purpose Space, demolished and reclaimed as an enhanced exhibition area. Screenings and lectures are now downstairs in the library, and one wonders how the KCC will cope with theatrical presentations in the future. Anyway, the larger space works […]

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Gallery: Korean Artists at London Art Fair 2017

by Philip Gowman 20 February 2017
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A quick post to upload some of the photos of the various galleries exhibiting Korean art at this year’s London Art Fair (plus one gallery that I missed). Hanmi Gallery Jaye Moon Jaye Moon’s work had been getting a fair amount of attention – guerrilla-style installations of Lego dotted around the Business Design Centre and […]

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LKL’s evening with Zion.T in Kentish Town

by Philip Gowman 19 February 2017
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On the very rare occasions when I go to a big popular music concert I usually end up wondering why. A couple of years ago I queued for ages to get into the cheap seats (£77) for Big Bang’s gig in Wembley Arena. At least they didn’t have a support act, and worked hard to […]

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Exhibition visit: KAA residency — I, Kid

by Philip Gowman 19 February 2017
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For their January 2017 exhibition and performance at the KCC, the Korean Artists Association chose nostalgia for childhood as their theme. The text which follows is from the exhibition catalogue, with installation shots mainly by LKL. I, Kid. 우리어릴적 Childhood memories are special to all of us. They do not disappear, but are planted in […]

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Festival Film review: Spirit’s Homecoming

by Philip Gowman 27 December 2016
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With the signing of the Comfort Women “deal” between Japan and South Korea in December 2015 – a deal signed without consulting the victims themselves – the issue of the wartime sex slaves once again came to the fore. While the inter-governmental negotiators were reaching the final stages of their deal-making, Cho Jung-rae’s long-term project […]

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K-music review: Darkness Poomba at The Place, Euston

by Philip Gowman 22 December 2016
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For the final event of K-Music 2016 we were introduced to the first UK visit of Modern Table headed by the multi-talented Kim Jae-duk, who choreographed the work as well as being an integral member of the dance troupe, though much of the time he was also front of stage singing or playing various wind […]

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Gig review: Asian Chairshot + Danpyunsun and the Sailors @ RichMix

by 앤서방 20 December 2016
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앤서방 reviews the second of 2016’s K-music festival gigs at Rich Mix  Each year I look forward to visits from Korean indie musicians to the UK. Starting with ska-punk rabble rousers Crying Nut’s thrilling London show in 2006, over the years we have been treated to some of the most interesting, exciting and original acts: […]

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In praise of Sancho and Flat Three

by Philip Gowman 5 December 2016
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When you tuck into your bowl of warming chueotang muddy loach soup, with its tangle of green vegetables, shoots and mysterious fishy bits suspended in a tangy reddish-green-brown broth, the condiment you reach for to give it that extra taste sensation is a liberal sprinkling of sancho powder. The pungent, fragrant taste rounds out a […]

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Festival film review: Yourself and Yours

by Robert Cottingham 18 November 2016
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Hong Sang-soo (홍상수) Yourself and Yours (당신 자신과 당신의 것, 2016) Review by Robert Cottingham. You can tell from the opening titles exactly the kind of film this is going to be. Black Korean calligraphy on a white background suggests an intelligent and possibly artistic film and the lively classical music hints at a sophisticated comedy on […]

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BFI Festival Film Review: Na Hong-jin’s The Wailing

by Philip Gowman 16 November 2016
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Na Hong-jin can sure put you through a mental wringer. Mysterious and very bloody murders, extremely nasty skin conditions: who or what is to blame? The choice seems to be between a mind-altering magic mushroom concoction and a strange Japanese guy who lives in the forest, fishing and living off the land. And what of […]

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