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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Season’s greetings to all our readers

by Philip Gowman 24 December 2018
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Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to all of LKL’s readers, friends and contributors. Have a peaceful break. As in previous years, thanks are due to Jieun Kim aka The Drawing Hand for the London Korean Christmas design which adorns the cards that some of you will have received. Keywords: Artists: Kim Ji-eun […]

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President Moon’s 2019 New Year Message

by Philip Gowman 21 December 2018
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President Moon’s New Year Message for this year was delivered by video hologram. The below is an unofficial transcript: My fellow Koreans, I wish you a happy New Year and good health. Are you surprised? Reflecting my wish to meet each and every one of you personally, I’m sending greetings as a hologram this year. […]

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An adoptee returns to her home town

by Bella Frey 17 December 2018
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Bella Frey, who recently reviewed The Return – the closing film of LKFF 2018 – tells us about her own personal return earlier this year. A tale of the unexpected… My head is still swimming from my recent trip to Korea. It was in part planned to be a personal pilgrimage to re-visit places from […]

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2018 travel diary 2 – Chollipo revisited

by Philip Gowman 10 December 2018
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10 November 2018. In Chollipo’s famous Arboretum the best of the Autumn colour had finished, but there were still some good reds, oranges and yellows to be found, and the grasses were particularly fine. In October last year this new statue of Carl Ferris Miller, Chollipo’s founder, was installed in this secluded area in the […]

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It will pass, someday: Gothic ethereality and introspection in RM’s Mono

by Colette Balmain 6 December 2018
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RM’s second mixtape, Mono, dropped on 23 October 2018 almost two and a half years after the self-titled RM, which was released on 20 March 2015. Mono was accompanied by a music video for the final track “Forever Rain” with lyric videos released for “Seoul” and “Moonchild” on 23 and 24 October respectively. It followed J-Hope’s earlier […]

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Festival Film Review: The Return

by Bella Frey 4 December 2018
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I was as delighted as I was surprised when I saw that the London Korean Film Festival had selected The Return for its closing gala screening. The huge numbers of overseas adoptions from Korea is often a sidelined subject and understandably wouldn’t be a natural choice when showcasing Korean culture and arts. But the 2018 […]

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