Kaesong: ancient book-keepers, modern traders

It was a very tantalising lecture. Dr Lewis and his co-authors had been given jpeg images of 18th-century accounting records from Kaesong by a shadowy intermediary. The agent hoped that having seen some quality goods, representing a very small portion of a set of books and records, the academics would fork out hard cash for […]

Lecture – Korean Crafts: Ancient & Modern

To coincide with the current exhibition at the KCC, Korean Painting and Craft Art: Creations from Tradition, there’s a special lecture on 2 December. We are delighted to invite you our special lecture, “Korean Crafts: Ancient & Modern”, on 2nd of December 2008. The lecturer, Professor Pak Youngsook received PhD from Heidelberg University and taught […]

A meeting with Yeongene

By Anna Lindgren If you’re into Korean music and have a thing for cute pop you are probably already familiar with Linus’ Blanket (left). And if you are, you are probably well aware that the name of the band’s adorable vocalist is Yeongene (연진) (right). It has been a few years since Linus’ Blanket last […]

Capitalism in old Kaesong

As the North threatens to take steps to shut down its capitalist venture with the South in the Kaesong industrial complex, there’s a timely historical seminar at SOAS this Friday, 28 November. Oxford’s Dr James B Lewis looks at evidence of pre-modern capitalism in old Kaesong. The official title of the seminar: “Korean merchant double-entry […]

Barking Dogs screens at the KCC

The Korean Cultural Centre completes its retrospective of Bong Joon-ho’s works this month with his first feature, the entertaining Barking Dogs Never Bite (플란다스의 개) (2000), starring Lee Seong-jae and Bae Doo-na. As with Bong’s subsequent films, there’s plenty of humour amid the drama, and this one is well worth checking out, particularly for the […]

100 years of the Salvation Army in Korea

By Michael Rank London isn’t exactly full of reminders of Korea, so I was surprised to discover in Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington, a newly placed plaque in memory of the man who brought the Salvation Army to Korea. The black marble plaque describes in English and Korean how “With Marching Orders from [Salvation Army […]

LKL Celeb of the month #4: Won Bin

Won Bin (원빈) was born Kim Do Jin (김도진) on 10 November 1977 in Gangwon province. His 1996 TV debut was little noticed, but then he hit the big time in the hit drama Autumn Fairy Tale (2000), the first part of the Endless Love seasonal series which includes Winter Sonata. Alongside Won Bin appeared […]

The Tripitaka Koreana part 2 – the Depository Buildings

Matthew Jackson continues his series of articles on the important treasures from Korea’s past The depository buildings which house the Tripitaka Koreana library are unique in almost every sense. Officially the largest wooden storage complex in the world, they are registered together with the Tripitaka itself as part of the UNESCO World Heritage (http://whc.unesco.org/). The […]

May 18 – surprise hit of the LKFF

A modern historical drama about Korea’s Tiananmen Square incident might not sound like the most gripping of scenarios for a film, but May 18 certainly draws you in as a cinematic experience. One member of the audience had already seen the film twice on the internet, but came along to see it on the big […]

Aimless bullet, scary housemaid and Korea’s modern history

Two classic films from Korean cinema’s golden age provided a fascinating compare-and-contrast exercise last Monday night at the Barbican. Encouragingly, the films were better attended than the comparable double-bill last year (Madame Freedom and My Mother and her Guest). Maybe that reflects the growing literacy of UK audiences when it comes to Korean film. Or […]

Landslide at I-MYU

Notice of I-MYU’s upcoming group show: Landslide Gordon Cheung | Masakatsu Kondo | Sea Hyun Lee 19 November – 20 December I-MYU PROJECTS is pleased to present LANDSLIDE, a group show that brings together the work of artists, Gordon Cheung, Masakatsu Kondo and Sea Hyun Lee, who working internationally each have strong links to Eastern […]

Learn to cook Japche with Kie-jo Sarsfield

There’s another opportunity to learn how to cook Korean food this coming Saturday, courtesy of Kei-jo Sarsfield. I had an enjoyable morning earlier this year learning the basics of making kimchi and belly-of-pork bulgogi, acting as willing guinea pig for Mrs Sarsfield’s planned cookery lessons. She’s done a couple of classes since then, and the […]

Yi Chul Jin at Durham and SOAS

Dr Yi Chul Jin (이철진) has been in London for 6 months as part of a residency at SOAS. Dr Yi is head of the Korean Dance Art Academy, and is one of the likely candidates to be the next holder of the national intangible cultural property number 27, the Seung mu. There are two […]

Good, bad or weird?

Now the festival is over, perhaps it’s time to set down some thoughts on the lead film, Kim Ji-woon’s Manchurian western. This was one of the most hotly anticipated films in recent years, on a par with Lady Vengeance and Secret Sunshine. Kim Ji-woon has built up an enviable track record with his past films. […]