The Kimjang Project launched yesterday in New Malden with congratulatory messages from the Mayor of Kingston Thay Thayalan and the local MP Sir Ed Davey among others. The project celebrates the various aspects of kimjang, for example the communal character of kimchi-making and its health-giving properties. New Malden, sometimes known as New Mal-dong (뉴몰동), as […]

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Byungchan Kim is runner-up in HIX Award 2018

by Philip Gowman 4 February 2019
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Quite by chance last week I happened to be visiting the offices of one of the sponsors of the HIX Award – though I didn’t know this connection in advance. The HIX Award is open to current art students and graduates of the last two years and is aimed at helping with the transition between […]

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It’s the Korean Music Awards time of year again…

by Philip Gowman 3 February 2019
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This is the time of year that I realise how behind I am with the music scene in Korea. The Korean Music Awards make me guilty that I’ve missed out on so much great music, but also grateful that they bring it together in one place so that I know what it is that I […]

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February events

by Philip Gowman 1 February 2019
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The big series of events this month is the season of colonial era Korean film at the BFI Southbank and KCC. Also this month is the official launch of the Heritage Lottery Fund supported Kimjang project. Seollal is on 5 February. Art The KCC’s current exhibition, curated jointly with Delfina Foundation, and at both locations, […]

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Book Review: Pyun Hye-young — The Hole

by Philip Gowman 29 January 2019
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Pyun Hye-young: The Hole Translated by Sora Kim-Russell Arcade Publishing, 2017, 208pp Originally published as 홀 by 문학과지성사, 2016 Sterne(8,g) In the collection of short stories entitled Evening Proposal, Pyun Hye-young introduces us to a series of different very ordinary people trapped in humdrum lives, examining what happens when they are placed in unusual situations. […]

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Kia wins Car of the Year award

by Philip Gowman 25 January 2019
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Congratulations to Kia for being the first Korean manufacturer to win Car of the Year award from the UK’s What Car? magazine. According to the magazine, “the e-Niro beats its rivals via knockout rather than on points, because it’s the first sensibly priced electric car that can fit into most people’s lives.” The company’s press […]

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Book review: Min Kym — Gone

by Philip Gowman 21 January 2019
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Min Jin Kym: Gone — A Girl, a Violin, a Life Unstrung Viking, 2017, 256pp When Min Jin Kym’s Gone came out, I mentally heaved a sigh of relief. Here’s one Korea-related book, I thought, among the dozens that will be published this year, that I don’t need to read. The story of how her […]

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Korean Englishman team wins cultural ambassador award

by Philip Gowman 12 January 2019
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Congratulations to the Korean Englishman team Josh Carrott and Ollie Kendal for their “Korea Image Stepping Stone Bridge Award” from the Corea Image Communication Institute (CICI). The award ceremony was held two days ago. Josh and Ollie run the 영국남자 Korean Englishman and JOLLY YouTube channels, which between them have over 4 million subscribers. Links: Corea Image […]

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Sokeel Park awarded MBE

by Philip Gowman 11 January 2019
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Congratulations to Sokeel Park for being awarded an MBE in the 2019 New Year’s Honours list, published on 28 December. The official citation in the Foreign Secretary’s Diplomatic Service and Overseas List reads: Sokeel John PARK, Country Director, Liberty in North Korea. For services to UK/Korea relations … though you suspect that Mr Park is […]

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New and upcoming non-fiction titles for 2019

by Philip Gowman 7 January 2019
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Unlike my list that attempts to compile upcoming literature and fiction titles, here I’ve had to be selective in what to include, otherwise the length of this post would be unmanageable. Nevertheless I’ve almost certainly missed out some titles that I’d want to have on my bookshelf. I’ve divided the list into seven sections: Literature […]

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A look back at some of the films of 2018

by Philip Gowman 4 January 2019
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A wide variety of genres was presented to the London audience this year, from the return of the romantic melodrama (Be With You) to big budget fantasy (Along with the Gods). We also saw #MeToo beginning to have an impact, not just in the themes of movies such as Land of Seonghye and Testimony but […]

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Upcoming literature and fiction titles for 2019

by Philip Gowman 3 January 2019
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Here’s my first attempt at compiling a list of fiction and poetry titles coming up in 2019. Let me know what I’ve missed. Unlike my separate list of non-fiction I have not exercised any editorial control here: this is everything I have been able to find. The list is in four parts: Modern and contemporary […]

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January events 2019

by Philip Gowman 2 January 2019
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A new year, and thankfully not too busy an agenda for January, but there are some good things here. Don’t forget to submit your panel / paper proposals for the Joint East Asian Studies Conference by the end of the month. Film The KCCUK starts its film screenings with a season of three early movies […]

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Colette Balmain’s top 10 Kpop music videos of 2018

by Colette Balmain 1 January 2019
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My top 10 Kpop videos of 2018, chosen on the basis of their visuals, storytelling, songwriting and musicality: 10. #Cookie Jar (Red Velvet) Red Velvet are one of the few girl groups to successfully switch between the girl crush and cute concepts. #Cookie Jar, their single from their first Japanese EP, combines the sweet & […]

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Kim Jong Un’s 2019 New Year Address

by Philip Gowman 1 January 2019
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The following is the text of Kim Jong Un’s 2019 New Year Address, sourced from Rodong Sinmun: New Year Address of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un for 2019 Respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un made the New Year Address for 2019. The full text of the New Year Address reads: Dear people and service personnel […]

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A look back at the 2018 literary year

by Philip Gowman 1 January 2019
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A look back at the books and literary events of the year – and a summary of my reading diary. Literature in translation In translated fiction, my reading this year has not managed anywhere near to keep pace with the amount of translations being published. I know I said the same in respect of 2017 […]

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A review of the London Korean cultural year 2018

by Philip Gowman 28 December 2018
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Every year at this stage in the year, I look back on the cultural highlights, whether they be live performances, exhibitions, movies or books that I have encountered over the past twelve months. Every year I lament that I’ve been unable to cover everything, that I’m getting slower and that there’s been even more to […]

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