Shin Kyung-sook: The Girl Who Wrote Loneliness Translated by Jung Ha-yun Pegasus Book, New York, 2015, 369pp Originally published as 외딴방, Munhakdongne, 1995 When reading Ahn Jung-hyo’s White Badge, I found myself wondering why, despite what I thought was my general antipathy to novels with listless central characters who can’t seem to find their way […]

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Trajectories of Meaning in “Singularity” – the BTS Comeback Trailer: Love Yourself 轉 Tear

by Colette Balmain 14 May 2018
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Dr Colette Balmain analyses the comeback trailer for BTS’s third studio album: From Serendipity to Singularity: A Universe of Meaning “Singularity” is the comeback trailer for BTS’ third studio or full length album, Love Yourself: Tear which will be released on 18th May 2018. This follows up the mini album or EP, Love Yourself: Her […]

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UK gets its first elected Korean councillors

by Philip Gowman 5 May 2018
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Congratulations to Ha Jaesung and Kwon Bora, who have become the first Koreans to be elected councillors in the UK following the local elections on 3 May. Ha was elected to the Kingston Council for the Lib Dems, while Kwon was elected to Hammersmith and Fulham for Labour. He stood for the first time in […]

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May events 2018

by Philip Gowman 1 May 2018
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May is always a busy month for music, as various indie bands tour the festivals. This year, we have literature and dance to look forward to as well. For me, the highlight of the month is likely to be Cha Jin-yeob and others in the festival of dance at the Place. And block your diaries […]

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Text of the Panmunjeom Declaration

by Philip Gowman 27 April 2018
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I’m wondering why a text as significant as this one is not prominently displayed on the Chongwadae or Ministry of Unification websites. The following is the unofficial translation you can find in the English-language newspapers. If there’s a materially different official version that subsequently comes to light I’ll repost. Update 12 May 2018 – I’ve […]

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Book review: Lee Yil – Dynamics of Expansion and Reduction

by Philip Gowman 25 April 2018
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Lee Yil: Dynamics of Expansion and Reduction Selected Writings on Korean Contemporary Art, 1970 – 1996 Initial draft translations: Chung Yeon-shim, Park Eun-ah, Park Sung-ji Final translations: Paul O’Kane, Song Bada Published by AICA (International Association of Art Critics) / Les Presses du Réel, Dijon, France, 2018, 212pp How often do you read the learned […]

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Connect: North Korea launches community centre crowdfunding campaign

by Philip Gowman 25 April 2018
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LKL is happy to pass on this press release from Connect: North Korea: In 2003, the first North Korean refugee arrived in the UK. Today, nearly 700 North Korean refugees live in New Malden, Surrey. Upon arriving in the UK, North Korean refugees are ill-equipped to integrate and settle into British society and few services […]

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Book Review: Ahn Jung-hyo – White Badge

by Philip Gowman 20 April 2018
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Ahn Jung-hyo: White Badge Soho Press, NY, 1989, 337pp Originally published as 하얀전쟁, 1983 Translated by the author If I saw Jeong Ji-young’s White Badge (1992) when it screened in London eight years ago, I do not remember it. I cannot imagine having a similar lapse of memory concerning Ahn Jung-hyo’s Vietnam war novel on […]

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Brief exhibition visit: Fragmentality

by 앤서방 14 April 2018
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Fragmentality, at Arthill Gallery in North End Road, is a show featuring two RCA students. Minhee Kim’s works are delicate constructions made from layered paper or hair, using the ‘comfort women’ issue as her theme: Taeho Kim’s works include light and sound installations, as well as works on paper, employing intricate geometric patterns. Keywords: Artists: […]

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Film review: Yu Hyun-mok’s Descendants of Cain

by Philip Gowman 13 April 2018
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I had looked forward to the first movie in the KCC’s Korean Novels on Screen series – Kim Ki-young’s adaptation of Yi Kwang-su’s The Soil – and had been disappointed. Conversely, not being a particular fan of Yu Hyun-mok’s depressing movies, I was regarding the second in the series – his adaptation of Hwang Sun-won’s 1954 […]

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27 years of translation: Brother Anthony’s poetry talks in London

by Philip Gowman 6 April 2018
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Brother Anthony’s brief pre-Easter trip to the UK included four talks – in St Andrews, London and Oxford – on themes of poetry translation. Of the two London appearances, one was a detailed hands-on workshop wrestling with a poem by Kim Seung-hee; and the other a wide-ranging talk encompassing the history of the translation of […]

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Film review: The Propaganda Game

by Philip Gowman 4 April 2018
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The SOAS North Korea Society recently hosted a screening of Álvaro Longoria’s The Propaganda Game. The documentary is not going to tell you anything new about North Korea, its on-location original footage being the product of a fully-chaperoned three-day tour in Pyongyang and the DMZ. What it does do, however, is hinted at in its […]

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Brief review: Kim Ki-young – The Soil

by Philip Gowman 2 April 2018
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I’m not sure quite how to assess Kim Ki-young’s adaptation of Yi Kwang-su’s 500-page serial novel The Soil (흙, 1932-3). At 125 minutes, it doesn’t sound particularly long. But as we got up from our seats at the KCC last Thursday at around 9:15pm, it felt much later – maybe around 10:30pm. And that wasn’t […]

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April events 2018

by Philip Gowman 1 April 2018
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Exhibitions In Exeter, Young In Hong’s The Moon’s Trick continues until 22 April; In Nottingham, The Real DMZ closes on 15 April; Han Collection’s exhibition of crafts from the boudoir, Gyubang, continues all month; In Durham, the photography exhibition entitled The Hills are High continues all month; Made in North Korea: Everyday Graphics from the […]

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Exhibition visit: Juree Kim in Exhibit A, at Anise Gallery

by Philip Gowman 31 March 2018
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Kim Juree’s latest work, London Terraced House, was unveiled at the opening of the current exhibition, Exhibit A, at Anise gallery in Shad Thames. As for her 2017 participation in the British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke, Kim chose a subject relevant to the location of the exhibition: this time a group of typical early Victorian […]

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Haemin Sunim shortlisted for British Book Award

by Philip Gowman 30 March 2018
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The Things You Can Only See When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim (tr. Chi-Young Kim) has been shortlisted for The British Book Awards in Non-Fiction: Lifestyle category. The full shortlist in the category is as follows: 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver (Michael Jospeh) The Things You Can Only See When You Slow Down: How […]

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Book review: Yi Kwang-su — The Soil

by Philip Gowman 26 March 2018
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Yi Kwang-su: The Soil Translated by Hwang Sun-ae and Horace Jeffrey Hodges Dalkey Archive, 2013, 512pp Originally published as 흙, 1932-3 Yi Kwang-su’s The Soil, at over 500 pages long, is not a book that immediately entices you to read it. But with a screening of Kim Ki-young’s adaptation of the novel coming up shortly […]

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