Event reports and reviews

LKL reports from two events involving Hwang Sun-mi at the London Book Fair in Earls Court. So you think Hwang Sun-mi’s bestselling book The hen who dreamed she could fly is all about maternal sacrifice? Think again. It could be that you’ve been influenced by the film adaptation Leafie, a hen into the wild. During […]

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Exhibition visit: Jeung Hyun — Jardins Croisés, at Mokspace

by Philip Gowman 19 April 2014
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Jeung Hyun’s current exhibition at Mokspace lives up to expectations. Her last solo show at Mokspace was back in the summer of 2012, when she presented woodblock prints of gingkos, peonies, persimmons, jasmine and apples. This time, while retaining some beautifully autumnal gingkos in luminous golds she has introduced several works involving the fragile poppy. […]

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Podcast: Kim Hyesoon reads at the Poetry Library

by Philip Gowman 19 April 2014
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For those who decided to go to see Shin Kyung-sook and Krys Lee at Asia House rather than Kim Hyesoon at the Poetry Library, MPT Magazine has kindly recorded the latter event and put it on Soundcloud. “They’re poems that really change your life … completely visceral,” says the moderator, among other things. The event […]

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Exhibition visit: Chun Kwang-young’s Mulberry Mindscapes at Bernard Jacobson Gallery

by Philip Gowman 15 April 2014
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Somehow, the recent acquisition at the V&A of Chun Kwang-young’s Aggregation10-SE032RED, placed as it is in a glass display case, lacks the impact of the new works by the distinguished artist currently on at Bernard Jacobson Gallery in Cork Street. Because of the glass, you can’t get right up close; and because of the compactness […]

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Kim Young-ha rounds off the Korea Market Focus events in London

by Philip Gowman 12 April 2014
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The final event of the Korea Market Focus of London Book Fair 2014 took place last night at the London Review Bookshop near the British Museum – a fascinating and engaging conversation between Kim Young-ha and young British writer, editor and translator Daniel Hahn. Kim is off to Brasilia this weekend for another book event […]

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London Book Fair, day 3 – looking forward, looking back

by Philip Gowman 11 April 2014
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The London Book Fair is over now, but the collaboration with Korea continues, for which a huge thank-you is due to the British Council and the Literature Translation Institute of Korea. One thing I forgot to mention yesterday is that Britain (or was it the UK?) is invited as guest country at the Seoul Book […]

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London Book Fair, day 2

by Philip Gowman 10 April 2014
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Day 2 of the London Book Fair, in which:  Han Kang said very nice things about her translator (Deborah Smith) and Shin Kyung-sook called hers her “twin soul”; We discovered that Kim Young-ha was about to start writing a historical novel set in the Joseon dynasty, only to find out that Kim Insuk had already […]

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London Book Fair, day 1

by Philip Gowman 8 April 2014
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Hwang Sok-yong, Kim Young-ha, Lee Seung-u, Kim Hyesoon, Shin Kyoung-sook, Yi Mun-yol, Krys Lee… and those were just the Korean literary figures that we got to see today. There were plenty more talks – mainly focusing on the Korean publishing industry – that we didn’t get to, thanks to unfortunate scheduling clashes, and writers from […]

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Exhibition visit: Kim Jihee — Between the Lines, at cueB Gallery

by Philip Gowman 4 April 2014
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In quick succession, London has had three exhibitions by Korean artists who use books as a medium. All three artists destroy the book: Kwon Jukhee shreds the pages into tiny strips to transform the books into sculptures in which the paper cascades like a waterfall; Chun Kwang-young tears pages out of the books and uses […]

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Exhibition visit: Tak Ki-young — Loyalty, at Mokspace

by Philip Gowman 2 April 2014
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Tak Ki-young is Senior Director of Photography at the Hankyoreh newspaper. He lives in Northeast Seoul near Mount Cho An (초안산), where there is the site of graves of Joseon dynasty court officials. The site is now overgrown, and nestling amidst the woodland are solitary statues which acted as sentinels for the tombs. Tak is […]

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Exhibition visit: Leonard Johansson — Confessions of an Opium Eater, at Hanmi Gallery

by Philip Gowman 31 March 2014
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Hanmi Gallery’s latest exhibition – on for a month, which is twice as long as most of their previous shows – features Leonard Johansson, who is based is London and of Swedish and Korean parents. Johansson takes his inspiration from Thomas De Quincey’s account of his quest for heightened experiences through substance abuse. In the […]

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Exhibition visit: Ha Young Kim’s Modern Soup at 43 Inverness Street

by Philip Gowman 25 March 2014
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The first exhibition of 2014 at 43 Inverness Street drew to a close last weekend: their second solo show by Ha Young Kim. Gallery director Suzie Lee talks about the work and its reception in the below video: The opening of the exhibition was a festive affair, with daegeum player Hyelim Kim performing behind Ha […]

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Beyond Taegŭm: Jason Verney’s film of the evening at Asia House

by Philip Gowman 16 March 2014
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Those who were unable to make it to Asia House last year to see Kim Hyelim’s lecture-recital on the broad range of capabilities of the Korean Taegŭm can now enjoy a full-length film of the evening by Jason Verney / Native Nomad Pictures, with added extras: View more of Jason’s films on his Vimeo account.

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A belated tour of March’s First Thursday openings

by Philip Gowman 14 March 2014
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It was always going to be difficult to get round the three openings last Thursday: Bethnal Green, Bloomsbury and Mayfair are not easy to squeeze in on the way home after work. And as it happened I got to none of them, instead entertaining an overseas work colleague at the Old Justice, which I think […]

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Exhibition visit: K-Fashion Odyssey at the KCC

by Philip Gowman 12 March 2014
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The K-Fashion Odyssey now in its last week marks a return by the KCC to London Fashion Week’s International Fashion Showcase event. Their participation in 2012 – A New Space Around the Body (LKL review here) – won the British Council’s and British Fashion Council’s Emerging Talent Award. This year’s participation, which has just as […]

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A brief tour of the Korean galleries at Art 14

by Philip Gowman 5 March 2014
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Korean artists and galleries put on a good show at Art14, and got plenty of attention from the press. Time Out spotted (they were hard to miss) Choi Jeong-hwa’s huge collection of colourful pieces which looked like giant hubble-bubbles, installed at Hong Kong’s Pearl Lam Galleries. Also recommended in the same article was 43 Inverness […]

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No medals for the BBC’s Sochi closing ceremony coverage

by Philip Gowman 24 February 2014
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As the Olympic flag was passed from Sochi to the mayor of Pyeongchang, it was time for a brief preview of the 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony. The BBC voiceover was done by sports commentator Hazel Irvine, who had been handed a press briefing but no more. Helpfully, she identified that the bird characters on […]

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