Life & Leisure

Cho Yong-min has been an active supporter of and participant in the cultural scene over the past few years. He choreographed the dance performance at 오방색 O Bang Saek – the UK Korean Artists’ Association 2012 residency at the KCC, and more recently gave a performance at the University of Brighton’s exhibition Mobility of the […]

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Book review: The Hairy Bikers’ Asian Adventure

by Philip Gowman 17 March 2014
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Si King and Dave Myers: The Hairy Bikers’ Asian Adventure BBC / Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2014, 319 pp There are plenty of Asian cookery books out there, but I can’t think of a western recipe book that focuses on Korean cuisine. The Korean cookery books that are in my own library are written by Koreans. […]

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The Hairy Bikers come to Korea

by Philip Gowman 17 March 2014
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Coming up this Thursday (20 March) on BBC2 at 8pm, the Hairy Bikers’ Asian Adventure finally brings them to Seoul. It will be on iPlayer thereafter, but I suspect viewers overseas may need one of those browser plugins which fool websites into thinking you’re logged in from a different country. The Bikers’ programmes are always […]

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So apparently Korean spiced chicken is Great British Pub Food

by Philip Gowman 16 March 2014
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A menu spotted outside a Bloomsbury pub recently. With Jubo doing well in the Hoxton area with their Korean spiced chicken wings, it looks like other pubs are trying to get in on the act.

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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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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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Yuna is still Queen

by Philip Gowman 23 February 2014
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Regardless of the controversy, Kim Yuna bowed out with dignity: “The judges give points and I can’t do anything about that,” she is reported as saying. “I did all I wanted to do, like I wanted to do it. … I’m just glad it’s over.” A few relevant links: The Change.org petition: Open Transparent Scores […]

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At this rate, by 2025 soju will be weaker than wine

by Philip Gowman 19 February 2014
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The JoongAng Daily reports that your bog standard soju now has 18% alcohol content, down from 23% 15 years ago. You can even find some below 17%. If trends continue, with wines getting stronger (you can get extreme wines at around 15%) it won’t be long before your everyday soju is weaker than your everyday […]

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Kimjang gets a UNESCO listing

by Philip Gowman 11 December 2013
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Kimjang, the making and sharing of kimchi in the Republic of Korea, was admitted to the UNESCO register of intangible cultural heritage on 5 December 2013. Note that, like the listing of Arirang, this pan-Korean cultural item has been registered by South Korea. Links: Kimjang page at UNESCO Update 13 December: The South China Morning […]

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A reason to go to Gangnam?

by Philip Gowman 5 December 2013
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LKL has never been a particular fan of South of the Han. Most things we want to do and see tend to be North of the river. But like it or not, it’s where the money is. Reflecting the opulent demographic, in September this year Diageo opened Johnnie Walker House Seoul in Cheongdam-dong, its third […]

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The Flavours of Korea at the Intercontinental

by Philip Gowman 21 November 2013
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The Intercontinental in Park Lane has shipped over Executive Chef Bae from its sister hotel in Seoul for a week of showcasing Korean food in its Cookbook Cafe: Flavours of Korea 22nd – 30th November 2013 While many Londoners are discovering the delights of Kimchee and BBQ, Executive Chef Bae of Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas, […]

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Hwang Jihae’s Hanging Garden of Billingsgate

by Philip Gowman 11 November 2013
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One of the most prominent exhibits at the Korea Brand and Entertainment Expo at Billingsgate was not a hologram of Psy or an animated cartoon character, but a garden that was a full 22 metres long, dominating the space behind the main stage’s seating area. In an event designed to demonstrate the range of Korean […]

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The Guardian hikes the Baekdu-daegan

by Philip Gowman 27 October 2013
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There’s a nice piece in The Guardian this week about hiking the Baekdu-daegan. The author starts at Cheonwangbong peak, Jirisan, in Sancheong County (Gyeongsangnam-do) and walks north, ending his hike in the Deogyusan national park in Muju County, Jeollabuk-do. Koreans have long believed that a current of life-energy, or gi, runs between [Jirisan in the […]

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The pillow of eternal youth

by Philip Gowman 13 October 2013
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At Korean expos, the emphasis is not on the looking. It is on the experiencing. You have to immerse yourself, to touch, to feel, to try something out. At the Sancheong International Traditional Medicine Fair and Festival, then, it was no surprise when the organisers, who had come across a charming little tale from ancient […]

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The Gi at the heart of the Sancheong World Traditional Medicine Expo

by Philip Gowman 7 October 2013
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Sancheong, 6-12 September 2013. The Sancheong World Traditional Medicine Expo is set in a 109 hectare (269 acre) site dominated by the dramatic peaks of Pilbongsan (pencil-peak mountain) and Wangsan (the King’s mountain). The natural slopes of these mountains establish the geography for the site, known as the Donguibogam Village after Heo Jun’s ground-breaking medical […]

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Kiejo’s cookery classes in September

by Philip Gowman 25 August 2013
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Kiejo Sarsfield will be resuming her relaxed and friendly K-cookery classes in September after her usual summer break. Dates for September are Saturday 14th, 21st and 28th. For more details contain kiejosarsfield [at] hotmail [dot] co [dot] uk. Links: Kiejo’s blog

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Design a flag for the joint Olympic team for the two Koreas

by Philip Gowman 20 July 2013
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This is your chance to design a Unification Flag for Korea, for the Gwangju Design Biennale 2013. Who knows, it could be the flag used by a joint Korean team in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Korean-style, there’s not much time before the submission deadline. And the instructions aren’t very clear. Make of it what […]

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