Interviews and features

Kwak Kyung-taek is July’s featured director at the KCC. This gives us the opportunity to resurrect from the archives Saharial’s transcription of a Q&A with the director following the UK premiere of his movie Typhoon, at the first of the KCCUK’s London Korean Film Festivals back in September 2006. Q: What drew you to the […]

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2015 Travel Diary day 11: a visit to Studio MWP

by Philip Gowman 8 June 2015
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Daehakro, Seoul, Monday 8 June. This year’s trip to Korea had been full of pleasant surprises: people I had not expected to meet, things I had not been expecting to see. But the most pleasant surprise of all had been an invitation to visit Studio Meditation with a Pencil, creators of my favourite Korean animated […]

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An interview with Sora Kim-Russell, translator of Hwang Sok-yong’s Princess Bari

by Philip Gowman 12 February 2015
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Those of you who came along to the London Book Fair last year and were tantalised by seeing a translation of a passage from Hwang Sok-yong’s Princess Bari – at the time unpublished in English, and with no indication even that any more of the book had been translated – will be delighted by this […]

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LKFF 2014: the conversations

by Philip Gowman 23 November 2014
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The London Korean Film Festival is not just about getting acquainted with the latest in Korean movies. It is also an opportunity to meet some of the people behind those movies – actors, directors and producers. Opportunities for engaging with these film professionals vary: for an ever-growing group of aficionados there is the offer of round-table […]

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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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LBF sketch: Shin Kyung-sook on what modernity makes us forget

by Philip Gowman 11 May 2014
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Shin Kyung-sook attended three London events during the this year’s London Book Fair: a conversation with Arifa Akbar on 8 April, a panel session with Han Kang on Families, Relationships and Society on 9 April, and a panel entitled Separations with Krys Lee and Quaisra Shahraz at Asia House on 10 April. The below  is a digest […]

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LBF sketch: Yi Mun-yol on fable and allegory in his work

by Philip Gowman 10 May 2014
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Yi Mun-yol spoke at three London Book Fair events: on Korean Literature Past and Present at the British Library on 8 April; on Allegory and the Literary Imagination on 9 April; and in conversation with Claire Armitstead on 10 April. The below is a digest of those appearances. Grace Koh: Yi Mun-yol’s debut was Son […]

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LBF sketch: Hwang Sok-yong and the burden of history

by Philip Gowman 6 May 2014
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Like many of his fellow authors at the London Book Fair, Hwang Sok-yong was put to work in at least three events: first at the Free Word Centre on 7 April with author Adam Foulds; then on the first day of the Fair itself he appeared with Pakistani author Kamila Shamsie in a panel session […]

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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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A visit to the British Museum’s Samsung Digital Discovery Centre

by Shouvik Datta 3 March 2014
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“There are few museums in the world who are doing work with young people on the scale we are doing:” Shouvik Datta discovers how Samsung is helping the British Museum to engage with a younger audience. I was recently checking the website of the British Museum, when I came across with interest and surprise the […]

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The Timbre of Moonlight: Won Il on bringing traditional instruments to a modern audience

by Philip Gowman 14 June 2013
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I meet Won Il (원일, 元一) in the reception area of an apartment hotel near the Barbican. He’s hanging out with some of the members of the National Orchestra of Korea, chatting. All 60 orchestra members managed to get booked into the same hotel within easy walking distance of the concert hall where they would […]

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Aashish Gadhvi assesses Korea’s poor performance against Croatia with the help of Ki Sung-yueng

by Aashish Gadhvi 5 March 2013
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South Korea were back in rainy old London Town to have their now annual friendly against Croatia at Craven Cottage, the home of Fulham FC. After previous visits to London to play Greece, Serbia and Ivory Coast, Korea has now made London a decent stop in their international calendar. Although some cynics would see these […]

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Korea’s training day, and interview with Lee Chung-yong

by Aashish Gadhvi 12 February 2013
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When I first found out Korea were again coming to London to play a friendly against Croatia I was determined to report the match for LKL in the way I had done for their previous friendlies. This also reminded me of the training session the team had prior to the Ivory Coast friendly which I […]

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Rachmaninov, Flamenco and Han: LKL meets pianist HJ Lim

by Philip Gowman 12 July 2012
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LKL is surprised four times in the space of a twenty minute interview with Korean pianist HJ Lim, and ends up an even bigger fan than before. Having enthusiastically listened to HJ Lim’s industry debut at Abbey Road Studios in May, and having purchased her boxed set of the complete Beethoven piano sonatas, we’re really […]

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A visit to Min Young-ki

by Philip Gowman 29 June 2012
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When I visited Sancheong for the first time in 2010 one of the items on my agenda was a visit to Sancheong’s finest potter – and indeed Korea’s most renowned tea-bowl maker – Min Young-ki (민영기). Unfortunately owning to a diary mixup Min Senior was not there, and instead I had a very pleasant meeting […]

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Fasting for North Korea: Okhwan Yoon’s hunger strike in Parliament Square

by Darren Southcott 6 August 2011
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As I crouched on the concrete slabs ringing Parliament Square outside the Mother of Parliaments, it was difficult to truly comprehend the scale of Okhwan Yoon’s journey, as the South Korean lay confined to his tent, motionless and gaunt. “I have cycled through 191 of the world’s nations since 2001 on my quest for peace. […]

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Saharial’s Guide to Kpop – part 1

by Saharial 10 June 2011
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Saharial commences a journey through the many attractions of Kpop, which will lead her wherever you want her to go Introduction I’ve been following the Korean music scene since late 2004, after a small detour from the Hong Kong and Taiwanese pop scene turned into one giant change of direction in my interests in Asian […]

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