I hope you don’t mind a bit of trumpet-blowing to thank some new contributors to London Korean Links. Some of them may be one-off, others more long-lasting; all are welcome. Elizabeth Grace covered Stephen Epstein’s recent talk in Cambridge, while Darren Southcott visits Jeju Stone Park and Colette Balmain compares Bong Joon-ho’s murder mysteries. Other new contributors this year have included Mark Morris on Buddhist film and Alud Davies on learning Korean. Thanks are also due, of course, to all the other regular and ad-hoc volunteers as well.
For the majority who do not have time to follow LKL’s jottings assiduously, here’s a round-up of some of the site’s coverage over the past few months:
Talks and historical articles
- Jennifer Barclay reports from Margaret Drabble’s talk on the Red Queen
- Elizabeth Grace reports from Stephen Epstein’s talk in Cambridge (North Korea in popular culture) while Philip caught up with him in London (Vietnam). Unfortunately no-one volunteered to cover Oxford, where he talked about the portrayal of China.
- From Gulag to Getaway: another reminder of North Korea’s abysmal human rights record
- Matthew Jackson talks about turtle ships and time bombs, among other things
- Alas, no accounts of Ch’oe Yun’s visit. A missed opportunity. But I hear the workshop helped at least one person finish his essay for the Literature competition.
- Philip reports on the various Korean artists showing at the Venice Biennale
- Opinion pieces about the presentation of Korean contemporary arts in London
- Reviews include Paik Sun-yup’s history of the Korean War; recent fiction: Tongue, plus Inspector O’s third outing, Bamboo and Blood, and fascinating memoirs of incarceration by Robert Jenkins (the Reluctant Communist) and Suh Sung (Unbroken Spirits – coming soon). Also awaiting suitable publication slots are reviews of Ricepaper Airplane (Gary Pak), The valley nearby (Kang Sok-kyong), Mike Breen’s The Koreans, Korea Chic, and Robert Koehler’s new Seoul guide.
- Three very happening directors were in town recently: Park Chan-wook, Bong Joon-ho and Yang Ik-June. LKL was there (with coverage from Colette, Kay and Philip), and also got thoroughly depressed at the Yu Hyun-mok retrospective.
Music, drama, sport
- Aashish has a rare feature on North Korean player Jong Tae-se and reports on S Korea v Serbia at Craven Cottage. Coming soon: video footage of his interviews with some of the team.
- Kay has fun with Korean TV drama in general and Stairway to Heaven in particular.
- Philip reviews Younee’s UK album, launched at Pizza Express Soho last month.
- Coming soon: two or three contributors will be giving their views on the top album releases of the year.
- Anna meets indie musician Tearliner
- Philip interviews multi-talented musician Younee and explores her musical influences – from JS Bach to Led Zep
- Jennifer interviews KTO chief Charm Lee
- Philip meets Brother Anthony of Taizé and 89-year-old General Paik Sun-yup (not both at the same time)
Travel and overseas
- Darren visits the unique attraction Jeju Stone Park. Somewhat more refined than Jeju’s Love Land.
- Alud shares with us his journey learning Korean.
- Peter Corbishley reports from Bangladesh on the impact of Korean development agencies
- The LKL travel diaries and ideas for unusual things to do in Korea
… and of course all the usual event reports and exhibition reviews.