Philip Gowman

Congratulations to the London KPop Dance Workshop on their 6th birthday. They started Sept 5th 2011, hosting monthly workshops. Here’s the vlog of their most recent session. Links: LoKo YouTube Channel | Facebook page | on Twitter

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A good list of restaurants in Seoul

by Philip Gowman 2 September 2017
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It’s so rare to find a list of recommended restaurants in Seoul that focuses on Korean food as opposed to French and other cuisine, and which includes honest, salt-of-the-earth type places as well as the fancy ones with Michelin stars. So I don’t want to lose this particular link, which includes two very humble places […]

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September events

by Philip Gowman 1 September 2017
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As summer comes to an end, it’s time for the K-Music festival, which has some really good things this year. But there’s plenty else going on too. Note also the list includes events in Bristol, Wigan, Farnham and Hull. Exhibitions In Kingston Museum, two exhibitions are on show throughout the month: Through Their Eyes, depicting […]

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Film review: A Taxi Driver

by Philip Gowman 31 August 2017
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I went along to watch A Taxi Driver out of a sense of duty. What can be said about Gwangju, I thought, that hasn’t been said already? I’d rather see a documentary. Plus, Korean movies with foreign actors always raise slight alarm bells with me (Isabelle Huppert in Hong Sang-soo’s In Another Country left me […]

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Fringe review: Kokdu – The Soul Mate

by Philip Gowman 30 August 2017
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Intended to be a simple morality tale about respect for the dead and dying, as well as an exposition of Korean folk and shamanistic beliefs about burial customs and the afterlife, this ambitious production combines strong visuals and colourful costumes with storytelling that is an uncomfortable mixture of seriousness and slapstick. Sometimes it’s good to […]

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Film review: The Battleship Island

by Philip Gowman 30 August 2017
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Synopsis Some nasty Japanese are being beastly to the Korean forced labourers in an offshore Japanese coal mine as the Second World War comes to a close. And one or two Koreans aren’t exactly being that patriotic either. In the middle of it all is a weak, venal Korean who is among the labourers with […]

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Ambassador Cho posted to Washington

by Philip Gowman 30 August 2017
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Cho Yoon-je, who was Seoul’s ambassador to London when LKL came online in 2006, has been posted to Washington. After leaving London, Ambassador Cho took up an academic post at Sogang University. Meanwhile, Victor Cha, author of among other things The Impossible State fills the post of US ambassador to Seoul. Source: Korea JoongAng Daily

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Gossip and impressions from the Fringe

by Philip Gowman 28 August 2017
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Before I get down to the serious business of writing up a few reviews of the shows I got to see, here is a round-up of random thoughts and gossip The performers’ work is never done… It’s never really dawned on me before how hard the performance teams work when they are in Edinburgh. Their […]

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The boring stuff I’ve been working on during August

by Philip Gowman 27 August 2017
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It’s August. The office isn’t as busy as usual. My brain isn’t being used as much as it normally is, and it needs to find an outlet. So it’s the month when, if there are things that need doing to the design or coding of the website, I turn my mind to it. The last […]

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Kim Jong-nam assassination examined in BBC documentary

by Philip Gowman 13 August 2017
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Tonight’s documentary on the assassination of Kim Jong-nam is well worth a watch. In its 59 minutes there was hardly any padding and I didn’t notice any of the usual platitudes. It was full of content, and while I would have liked a bit more time on the China angle, that would have pushed it […]

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August events 2017

by Philip Gowman 1 August 2017
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The main focus is on Edinburgh this month, with twenty Korean acts performing at the Fringe throughout the month and Hwang Sok-yong appearing at the book festival on 16 August. In London: Exhibitions The KCC’s exhibition Rehearsals from the Korean Avant-Garde Performance Archive lasts until 19 August; Through their eyes: depicting Korea and UK then […]

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Korean culture gets more mainstream (and what it means for LKL)

by Philip Gowman 31 July 2017
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A week or so ago Time Out, London’s leading event listings magazine, asked its readers to recommend their favourite Korean places in London and New Malden. I passed it on to the LKL Facebook Group without giving it much further thought, vaguely interested that the survey was in progress, interested also in the knowledgeable responses […]

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Fringe 2017: two early recommendations

by Philip Gowman 30 July 2017
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To help give a taste of the range of Korean talent at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, the KCC hosted a showcase of four of the acts, at the Lilian Baylis Studio. Of these, the stand-out performances were Behind the Mirror and Black and White Tea Room — Counsellor. LKL went along to the event hoping […]

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K-music 2017 – an introduction to this year’s programme

by Philip Gowman 22 July 2017
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This year’s K-music festival is the biggest yet, with nine concerts lined up for the series, and with only one act which could be described as from the mainstream indie world, the programme promises to be the most interesting yet. As is fitting in the year of UK-Korea cultural collaboration, many of the concerts this […]

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An introduction to the July / August season of films at the KCC

by Philip Gowman 15 July 2017
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Kim Hong-joon’s My Korean Cinema, which screened as part of the documentary strand of the 2016 London Korean Film Festival, provides the inspiration and structure for the July / August season of films at the KCC, curated by students from the MA Film Programming and Curating course at Birkbeck. They provide the background below: Patchworks […]

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Film review: Hur Jin-ho’s Season of Good Rain

by Philip Gowman 12 July 2017
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How reassuring it is, after the disappointment that was Bong Joon-ho’s Okja, to find that there are still directors out there who can serve up what you expect. Maybe that’s a bad thing: maybe you need to be surprised every now and then. On the other hand, there’s no shame in wanting a dose of […]

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Through Their Eyes exhibition opens in Kingston Museum

by Philip Gowman 7 July 2017
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Kingston Museum’s exhibition devoted to Korean viewpoints on the UK and foreigner’s views on Korea opened last night with speeches from the Mayor, the Ambassador and the curator Seoyoung Kim (who bravely hosted the event despite being on crutches from a recent injury). Hyelim Kim endured the intense heat in the upstairs exhibition space to […]

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