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Korea is rightly proud of some of its heritage, much of which has been given official recognition by UNESCO. For those of you who like lists, here are the various items of Korea’s tangible and intangible heritage which have been so listed. Also included below are links to any LKL articles on these treasures. (1) […]

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Saharial’s guide to Korean TV Drama

by Saharial 4 August 2009
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There are currently 20 dramas airing on Korean TV, all vying for recognition, ratings and cult status. Some are filmed in advance, some are still being filmed even as they are starting to be aired, all having press conferences, on-set interviews, and mass produced replicas of special items from the story, not to mention the […]

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The Shining Fortress part 1: its construction

by Matthew Jackson 28 July 2009
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by Matthew Jackson The official report by the advisors to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee concluded that the Suwon Hwaseong Fortress “represents the pinnacle of 18th century military architecture, incorporating the best of that from Europe and from the Far East. As such it has a unique historical importance”. What makes Hwaseong special? Following the editor’s […]

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Natural City: are stunning visuals enough?

by Saharial 18 July 2009
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Saharial reviews Natural City, a film which has had a mixed reaction from critics. Set in the distant future after a great war has ravaged the city, R (Yu Ji-Tae) attempts to find a cure for his dying lover, Ria (Seo Rin), a dancer cyborg who is close to expiration. R however is also a […]

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Fallen heroes – two contrasting Korean war films

by Philip Gowman 2 July 2009
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June last year at the KCC saw the screening of two contrasting Korean War films from the 21st century. This year we saw two contrasting films from the last century, with very different perspectives. Lee Man-hee’s The Marines who Never returned takes a heroic look at the South Korean forces as the allied troops move […]

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Distinctively Korean sales at Christie’s

by Philip Gowman 28 June 2009
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Coinciding with the interest in Korean art being generated by the Korean Eye: Moon Generation exhibition in the Saatchi gallery, Christie’s are holding an auction of contemporary photography on 1 July, in a sale which includes several Koreans who have featured on the pages of LKL. Probably the most eminent of the photographers represented is […]

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Max Hastings: The Korean War

by Philip Gowman 25 June 2009
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Pan Macmillan, 1987 There are so many books on the Korean War, which commenced 59 years ago today, that it’s difficult to know where to start. One history which has stood the test of time is by Max Hastings. Clocking in at 35% fewer pages than David Halberstam’s recent well-received account, Max Hastings’s The Korean […]

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London salerooms get Korean bug

by Philip Gowman 24 June 2009
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Two of London’s main art dealers and auction houses are majoring in Korean art at the moment. Phillips de Pury, tucked in behind the old Army & Navy store in Victoria, has an exhibition and sale of major contemporary artists which it hopes will become an annual event, while Christie’s is preparing for an auction […]

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A scientific look at ancient Korean art

by Jennifer Barclay 22 June 2009
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Jennifer Barclay reports on the Anglo-Korean Society evening at the Korean Cultural Centre, 16 June 2009 Short documentaries on some of Korea’s ancient cultural artefacts were shown at the Korean Cultural Centre on 16 June, presented by members of the non-profit Korean Spirit and Cultural Promotion Project. Matthew Jackson and Hang-Jin Chang, who graduated together […]

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Global Korea Lecture: When whisky could buy you a jeep

by Philip Gowman 21 June 2009
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Two days before the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1874, the second of the Global Korea lectures at the Cultural Centre looked at another time, nearly 60 years ago, when the Korean Peninsula was at the top of the UN’s agenda. It was a shame that a transport strike resulted in a reduced turnout […]

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Yoon Bok-hee: a Korean Kitten in Kingston

by Philip Gowman 17 June 2009
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“Aigoo!” grumbled veteran pop diva Yoon Bok-hee as she bent down to untangle a kink in the microphone cable. Her back didn’t seem to be giving her any problems though. She told us twice, to much applause, that she is now 63 years old, and very sprightly she is too. This was all part of […]

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David Halberstam’s Korean War

by Philip Gowman 10 June 2009
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David Halberstam The Coldest Winter – America and the Korean War 718pp, Hyperion, 2007 The subtitle of David Halberstam’s magnum opus, The Coldest Winter – America and the Korean War, at first seems a bit unimaginative. But it is to the point. After all, without Truman’s decision to commit US ground forces, the whole Korean […]

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Tomi Kita – In Dreamz

by Saharial 4 June 2009
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Review by Saharial Tomi Kita: In Dreamz Pony Canyon Records, 2008 Having seen them perform at ‘The Peel’ and the Dano festival last year I succumbed to the temptation of buying the one album available at Yesasia.com. ‘In Dreamz’, released in February 2008, is Tomi Kita’s third album and consists of 14 tracks all composed […]

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Map the Soul – a revolution for the music industry

by Saharial 27 May 2009
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Saharial shows her appreciation for the way in which hip-hop group Epik High’s new album is marketed: international fans are included, and even welcomed.

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Ragnarok – one of Korea’s top manhwa

by Philip Gowman 20 May 2009
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Manhwa in Korea was born 100 years ago. From their beginnings as cartoons in the newspapers, they have grown into long-running graphic novel serials with spin-offs in online games and big screen adaptations. Among the most celebrated of modern Manhwa series are Priest (Hyung Min-woo) and Ragnarok (Lee Myung-jin). Both of these have been translated […]

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Korea’s least-known best films?

by Mark Morris 13 May 2009
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Mark Morris from Cambridge University’s Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies discusses two films shown at the Barbican on Sunday. The International Buddhist Film Festival (IBFF) chose the Barbican Centre for its venue between 7-17 May. Two remarkable Korean films stood out among an eclectic mix of documentary and narrative films. The 1949 Hometown […]

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Review: Youn Sun Nah and Ulf Wakenius at the Vortex

by Philip Gowman 11 May 2009
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There weren’t many people who knew what to expect at the Vortex on Sunday night. Time Out had given a useful taster in their listings column, while one or two Korean fans (including the ambassador’s wife) knew Youn Sun Nah’s music well. Probably most of the audience were there because they are Vortex regulars – […]

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