February events 2021

February events
Clockwise from top left: Bae Myung-hoon’s Tower, launched by Honford Star on 23 Feb; poet / author Young-mi Choi, talking for Edinburgh on 4 Feb; Ryan White’s Assassins, available online now; Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari, screening online at the Glasgow Film Festival

As we approach the first anniversary of the UK lockdown, cultural organisations and academic institutions are getting into their stride with providing content online. While we still suffer from the lack of face-to-face communication and the ability to see works of art in the flesh, there seems to be an increasing range of other content available on the internet.

LKL’s list of upcoming books has been updated since last month. Coming in February: Bae Myung-hoon’s Tower (tr Sung Ryu, Honford Star) – witty social critique in the form of science fiction which feels uncomfortably like our current world – and Kim Aeran’s My Brilliant Life (tr Kim Chi-young, Forge), a title I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while. In non-fiction, we have works on Kinship Novels of Early Modern Korea, the Writings of James Scarth Gale, Neo-Confucianism and Science, and a global history of soju.

Talks, seminars and discussions

Both SOAS and University of Edinburgh have recently announced their Q1 schedule of talks. The Edinburgh talks aren’t loaded on their website (yet) so you’ll need to monitor their site or their Facebook page for abstracts and registration links. The one I personally am most looking forward to is Young-mi Choi on the 4th, but also having heard a briefer version of Sangpil Jin’s talk at the SoKEN conference last week (thanks to Youngmi Kim and team for organising an interesting day) I’ll be sure to zoom in to SOAS on the 5th. Honford Star’s Tower book launch on the 23rd will also be compulsory. The midnight (GMT) talk organised by University of California, Berkeley, on 25/6 Feb should be recorded and available online later so that you don’t need to stay up.

Screenings

  • Highlight of the month is the Glasgow Film Festival at which there’s a country focus on Korea. Additionally, their opening gala is the Korean-American film that’s creating so much buzz, Minari. All will be available to watch online, but early booking is advised as the number of viewers is restricted.
  • The Korea Society has a limited window for an online screening of Minari, but I think it already might be booked out (or restricted to a US audience)
  • If you have a Belgian IP address, the Anima festival (12-21 Feb) has some good Korean titles including The Shaman Sorceress and Beauty Water
  • A new documentary on the murder of Kim Jong Nam, Ryan White’s Assassins, was released on Friday and available now to watch online. Mark Kermode seems to like it.
  • The Spy Gone North is available on iPlayer until 21 February, and Taxi Driver is on Film 4 for a similar period. Both highly recommended.

Exhibitions

Nothing available in the real world at the moment, as far as I’m aware, but:

  • The KCC’s Jewyo Rhii exhibition has been extended online until 20 March
  • Bloomberg New Contemporaries continues until 7 March
  • Collect will be held online 26 Feb – 2 March, with Korean interest provided by Lloyd Choi Gallery, LVS, and the Icheon Ceramics / Han Collection collaboration.

Everything else

Those interested in applying for the 19th K-pop Academy season should apply to the KCCUK by 17th February.

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