Im Kwon-taek visits London for the Olympics

As part of the VIP delegation visiting from Seoul to launch Korea’s bid for Olympic glory in London 2012, a surprise dignitary was legendary film director Im Kwon-taek.

Im Kwon-taek at the Victoria and Albert Museum
Im Kwon-taek obligingly poses with a guest at the Victoria and Albert Museum (photo: LKL)

I first caught sight of him at the Korea Shining Bright event at the Victoria and Albert Museum on Monday night, 30 July. I wondered if I was hallucinating – because I was not expecting Im to be in town until his big film retrospective in October – but Tony Rayns was there as well to keep him company, and he was chatting away happily to Jeon Hye-jung from the KCCUK.

Im Kwon-taek at the KCCUK with Jeon Hye-jung
Im Kwon-taek at the KCCUK with Jeon Hye-jung (image courtesy KCCUK)

On his agenda while in London was a visit to the new Korean Film Archive space at the KCCUK – showing a wide range of clips from his films on a wall of Galaxy Tabs – and a visit to Team Korea House (at the Royal Thames Yacht Club, 60 Knightsbridge), where LKL’s Traditional Korean Medicine expert (doesn’t every K-blog have one?) Dr Sena Lee administered an extra-long session of hand acupressure therapy and acupuncture.

Im Kwon-taek after an acupuncture session at Team Korea House
Im Kwon-taek with Dr Sena Lee after an acupuncture session at Team Korea House (photo: KTO / Sena Lee)

I had originally thought that this was all part of a charm offensive to make sure he really does come to his own retrospective later in the year. But in fact he was in London in his capacity as executive producer for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2014 Asian Games, to be hosted at Incheon, so he came to see how Danny Boyle approached the task in London.

Here’s hoping he enjoyed his time in London. We’re all looking forward to his return in October.

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