Gallery: Chuseok celebrations at the British Museum

The early Autumn brought two simultaneous Chuseok celebrations in the London area on 18 September: the harvest fest in New Malden, organised by KBCE, and a special event at the British Museum.

Over the past months we’ve been starved of live music, and it was great to be able to hear the Shilla Ensemble perform in the grand venue that is the Great Court. And Nami Morris’s performance of some traditional percussion rhythms on the changgo resounded thunderously around the space.

Here’s Yerin Lee performing a fan dance with Hyelim Kim playing daegeum sanjo accompanied by Cholong Sung on changgo.

I’m afraid I wasn’t familiar with the running order of events in advance of the day – I didn’t check the BM’s website often enough. That meant I missed Sef Townsend’s story-telling sessions. It was a pleasure to bump into him again, but I’m disappointed that I didn’t get the chance to hear him as he has a tremendous ability to transport you to another world through the simple power of his voice. Never mind. The Shilla Ensemble alone were well worth the trip into town, and the journey gave me the opportunity to drop in at Han Collection to look at their lovely Moon Jar exhibition and sample the songpyeon the were generously handing out to their visitors.

Thanks to the performers for their permission to use some of the photos from their Facebook pages.

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