Two nights running last week, the Korean Cultural Centre hosted events which were triumphant successes.
Wednesday night saw the launch of their second major art show (a selection of work from the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Korea – a report will be forthcoming once I or, with luck, Beccy have had a chance to digest it better), while on Thursday the KCC hosted their second film screening (Matthew Jackson’s report will be here tomorrow).
Both events were well attended, and seemed to exceed the KCC’s own expectations: the buffet at the art show opening lasted well, but the number of plates didn’t quite match the number of people there and had to be topped up. Perhaps that was due to the fact that there seemed to be some passing trade – one or two visitors seemed to have been in the area by chance and saw that there was a fun event going on. Hopefully they will return for future events. And at the film screening on Thursday the official seating was filled to capacity, with an overflow onto some temporary seating at the side of the hall – and indeed some went downstairs to see the film played on a pair of LCD screens in the library.
What was particularly encouraging at both events was that it was not just Koreans there: significant numbers of westerners were present as well. I’d estimate that for the film screening non-Koreans were a significant majority. And the age profile was very diverse, too. So while I have in the past been critical of the publicity for many Korean cultural events, I can confirm that, for the KCC, whatever they are doing seems to be working.
Their publicity consists of a combination of press releases (sent to the local Korean newspapers and other outlets – including, I hope, this one), targeted emails to a growing collection of distribution lists, and the KCCUK website itself. The website has had some teething problems (but then so has Heathrow Terminal 5), but seems to be running smoothly now, and events are prominently advertised in pop-up windows whenever you visit the site.
The day after the film screening last week I – and presumably everyone else who registered for the screening – received a nice email from the KCC thanking me for coming and telling me about the next screening in two weeks’ time. A nice touch, and hopefully one which will retain the existing audience while word of mouth and other publicity channels brings in new visitors.
Apologies to googlers who have landed at this article hoping for news of a screening of the TV drama series featuring Rain and Song Hye-kyo. Maybe that would be an idea for a future event, but Full House would take up rather a lot of evenings.