The folding plug makes it on to the high street

Seen in Maplins Canary Wharf branch yestserday: The electrical and gadget retailer is stocking the folding plug designed by Choi Min-kyu. Fantastic news that the product has made it onto the high street. We first noticed the idea back in 2009, and saw the next iteration in 2013. Looking at the elegant USB chargers I […]

Liberation Day gets international premiere at IDFA

Morten Traavik, the man who brought us a North Korean accordion quintet covering a Norwegian synthpop track, now gives us a documentary about a Slovenian art-rock band performing versions of songs from The Sound of Music in North Korea. Read a review of the “documentary musical” Liberation Day in the Guardian. More info on Morten […]

Book review: Park Wan-suh — Lonesome You

Park Wan-suh: Lonesome You Translated by Elizabeth Haejin Yoon Dalkey Archive, 2015, 252pp Originally published as 너무도 쓸쓸한 당신, Seoul, 1998. I came to Lonesome You with fairly neutral expectations. I had read Who Ate All the Shinga, the story of Park’s childhood in the late 1940s and through the war years. It was an interesting […]

The KCC announces its 2017 Call for Artists

The official Call for Artists for 2017: Call for Artists: 2017 KCCUK Open Call Submission Deadline: 16 December, 2016 Please send the application materials via email to (Submissions by post will not be accepted) T +44(0)20 7004 2600 The Korean Cultural Centre UK (KCCUK) is looking for artists of Korean origin to present […]

K-indie on BBC World Service

Bernie Cho of DFSB Kollective (@DFSB_Kollective) presented a 50-minute programme for BBC World Service Radio this weekend highlighting some of the freshest indie sounds from Korea. Bernie interviews all the musicians and we get a few videos as well on the BBC website. The playlist is as follows: Goonam: Jangdan, from their 2011 album Woojung […]

Festival film review: Yourself and Yours

Hong Sang-soo (홍상수) Yourself and Yours (당신 자신과 당신의 것, 2016) Review by Robert Cottingham. You can tell from the opening titles exactly the kind of film this is going to be. Black Korean calligraphy on a white background suggests an intelligent and possibly artistic film and the lively classical music hints at a sophisticated comedy on […]

Book Review: The Story of Hong Gildong

Anon (attr Heo Kyun): The Story of Hong Gildong Translated with an introduction and notes by Minsoo Kang Penguin, 2016, 100pp Penguin has done us a favour by bringing us this new translation of a classic Korean tale, along with a useful introduction and notes. Hong Gildong is often described as the Korean Robin Hood […]

BBC Korea Service expected to start as early as 2017

It was confirmed today that Korean would be one of the 11 additional languages in which the BBC World Service will broadcast. An accompanying interview with a BBC official on this morning’s Today programme said that the Korean content is likely to be a half-hour daily news programme focused on regional current affairs, though world […]

Gangnam Style remembered on Strictly

Thanks to would-be Labour finance minister Ed Balls for brightening up our dull Autumn on the BBC’s celebrity talent show Strictly Come Dancing. Consistently at the bottom of the scoreboard, he is saved by the popular vote. In the most recent episode he had the guts to do a Gangnam Style inspired Salsa, choreographed (with […]

Review: Bongsu Park’s Crossing Over – Ritual of Grief

Bongsu Park’s two-part work, Crossing Over – Ritual of Grief, is an ambitious piece lasting for almost two hours which saw its first performance spread over two weekends in two different locations during August. It blends contemporary electronic music with traditional Korean music, and contemporary dance with traditional Korean dance such as Salpuri. Appropriately enough […]