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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On the Bab brings you On the Dak

by Philip Gowman 24 March 2018
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Walking from SOAS to the KCC yesterday to mark the book launch of Lee Yil’s selected writings I came across a new venture from the Korean street food chain On the Bab. At 1 Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, is their new foray into KFC, On the Dak, bringing different flavours of fried chicken with kimchi […]

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Exhibition visit – Collect 2018

by Philip Gowman 19 March 2018
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For the fifth year, the Korean Craft and Design Foundation put on a splendid show at Collect. As in previous years, the stall showcased a range of crafts – from jewellery and lacquer to ceramics and more – with this year the theme being “Meditative Art”. The dramatic ceramic piece entitled Sea by Lee Eun […]

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Yi Han-eung remembered at BKS Seollal celebration

by Philip Gowman 17 March 2018
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The British Korean Society gathered on the newly refurbished top floor of the South Korean embassy yesterday for a belated celebration of Seollal, courtesy of the Deputy Head of Mission, Minister Sun Nahmkook. Apart from the generous buffet, a splendid selection of innovative cocktails and the opportunity to socialise, the highlight of the evening was […]

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Lee Ufan’s Relatum – Stage, by the Serpentine

by Philip Gowman 12 March 2018
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“It is our dream come true to work with Lee Ufan in London” enthused Hans Ulrich Obrist at the KCCUK talk which marked the installation of Lee’s Relatum – Stage outside the Serpentine Gallery on 6 February. After Lee’s hugely high-profile project at Versailles in 2014, with such a dramatic backdrop, the siting in a […]

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Korea Future Initiative publishes #UsToo report on North Korea

by Philip Gowman 11 March 2018
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The #MeToo campaign is generating so much news in South Korea that it could be easy to forget that the same issues exist, to a greater degree, north of the border. Korea Future Initiative is a London-based organisation that rescues vulnerable North Koreans, reports and investigates human rights violations, and provides redress for exiles through […]

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Peggy Gou’s busy couple of weeks in London

by Philip Gowman 11 March 2018
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Berlin-based Korean DJ Peggy Gou seems to be everywhere right now: on the March cover of British music magazine Mixmag… …where she provides this month’s cover mix; …on BBC Radio 1, where she made her Essential Mix debut in the small hours of yesterday morning, with the BBC’s Pete Tong introducing her as ‘arguably the […]

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Exhibition visit: Kim Minjung – The Memory of Process

by Philip Gowman 6 March 2018
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Looking at the image which publicises Kim Minjung’s solo exhibition The Memory of Process at White Cube, you wonder how it is that she came to be branded as a Dansaekhwa artist. The busy, multicoloured concentric circles, like patterns made by raindrops in a psychedelic puddle, are miles away from the austere, minimalist calm that […]

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