Rendered Reality: an interview with Joonhong Min and Shinuk Suh

New contributor Federica Ionta meets the artists behind Rendered Reality, the exhibition currently in suspended animation at the KCCUK. Thinking of Korean art, one might recall, for instance, pottery of exquisite quality, such as the iconic moon jars, or beautiful ink paintings. However, not all Korean artists stick to traditional shapes, materials and techniques. Artists […]

June 2020 online activities

Here are some of the new things to enjoy online in June. Many of the items from my May and April posts still remain relevant. Let me know what I’ve missed. Online performance The KCC’s Home Theatre series moves from piano music to chamber music. On 4 June the Sejong Soloists play Mendelssohn’s Octet. Screenings […]

Sky Castle: would you believe, the first K-drama I’ve ever watched. And what fun it is!

People might find it strange that, despite the fact that I’ve been following Korean culture for 20 years now, I’ve never watched a complete TV Drama series. There have been several reasons for this, but basically it boils down to lack of time, and the prohibitive cost of the DVD boxed sets. I made the […]

Gwangju, 40 years on

Brother Anthony is using the time of social distancing to good effect, updating his website with many valuable materials. In readiness for the 40th anniversary of the Gwangju uprising, he has “translated some poems about the victims in Gwangju, written by a poet whose work nobody dares publish” any more. You can find these on […]

May 2020 activities

Live events are going to be pretty few and far between in the coming weeks and maybe months. So make sure you get on the RASKB and Korea Economic Institute of America mailing lists for news of their online events. Here are the talks I’m aware of this month, along with other online opportunities in […]

Mi-ae Seo: The Only Child

Seo Miae’s The Only Child is the latest thriller to come out of Korea, following on the heels of Jeong You-jeong’s Good Son and Kim Un-su’s The Plotters. Seo debuted in 1994 with the short story 30 Ways to Kill Your Husband and won the GrandPrize for Korean detective fiction with the Dolls Garden. She […]

Christopher Lovins: King Chŏngjo, an Enlightened Despot in Early Modern Korea

Thus far this year I’ve been focusing on literature in translation. As I wait for the next major wave of publications to hit the shops, I’ve turned my attention to non-fiction. And the first title I reached for was Christopher Lovins’s King Chŏngjo: An Enlightened Despot in Early Modern Korea, which came out in paperback […]

LKL during lockdown

Everyone is having to get used to a new routine as we hunker down at home until the authorities tell us it’s safe to come out. The enforced time at home is a mixed blessing, with probably more pros than cons. On the plus side, I don’t have my daily commute. But on the minus […]

April 2020 home-bound activities

Hmmm, well I think probably not much will be happening this month out in the public spaces. So your home entertainment and researches can include any of the following: On screen Catch up on all those classic Korean films that you’ve been meaning to watch for ages. I’ve compiled an index of the free-to-view Korean […]

Review: Kim Yideum – Blood Sisters

Kim Yideum: Blood Sisters Translated by Jiyoon Lee Deep Vellum, 2019, 202pp Originally published as 블러드 시스터즈 by Munhakdongne, 2011 I seem to be on a roll with translated fiction this year. Two disappointments (Marilyn and Me and Kim Jiyoung), but now seven that are highly recommendable. I picked this novel off the reading pile […]

The Korean Film Archive Youtube Channel

Continuing some suggestions of what to do when you’re stuck at home… Many of you will already be aware that the Korean Film Archive has a wonderful YouTube Channel with loads of classic Korean movies, with English subtitles, available for free. Thing is, I’ve never found an index of the channel. So, over the years […]