Congratulations to Choi Kyuhak and all at the Korean Cultural Centre UK on the opening of their very splendid new premises off Trafalgar Square. The formal opening ceremony took place on 30 January – a report is coming soon from Jennifer – and there was another party last night to launch their first cultural event, Good Morning, Mr Nam June Paik, an exhibition featuring works by Korea’s best known video artist together with work by other established and emerging Korean artists.
It was impossible in the crowds to enjoy the art work (artist Kang Seunghee was understandably concerned about her vulnerably-placed screen, shown last year at Gallery Yujiro), but downstairs it was quieter. Also taking refuge down there was the designer of the Centre’s interior space, Choi Jeong Hwa.
Also downstairs was the newly-appointed librarian, Eunjeong Shin (ì‹ ì€ì •), who agreed to pose in front of the bookshelves, in the process of being stocked.
Ms Shin lost no time in trying to recruit me for weekly Korean language classes starting in the Autumn.
I browsed the initial collection of books, somehow missing the rather large fluffy toy on the shelves (can anyone identify what it is?), and it looks promising. Some volumes which are on my Amazon wishlist I can now read without forking out hard cash. J Scott Burgeson will be happy to know that there are no fewer than five copies of his entertaining Korea Bug available for people to borrow. Korea Bug contains an interview with Choi Jeong Hwa, so I immediately spotted an opportunity for a celebrity photo endorsement:
As I suspected, the builders had struggled to get everything done on time and there seemed to be some finishing touches which remain outstanding, but on the way out I bumped in to someone from the Japanese cultural centre who was – rightly – rather envious of Mr Choi’s new space.
The Korean Cultural Centre UK is open Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 5:30pm. Its address is Ground Floor, Grand Buildings, 1 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5EJ.
More news soon.