Book review: Paek Nam Nyong – Friend

When faced with a translation of a book written by a North Korean, based on past experiences you might expect material that’s hostile to the regime. Texts that have been rendered into English tend to be either defector testimonies or an occasional collection of short stories or poems by a dissident writer that have apparently […]

Eat Out to Help Out your local Korean Restaurant

In these terrible times, when people are too nervous to venture out onto public transport, still less to their local restaurants, I’ve been fearing that some of my own favourite haunts may not survive the crisis. As you may know, to try to encourage people back to restaurants and to save a vital part of […]

August 2020 activities

Activities are still largely online, but a couple of things are happening in real life. Exhibitions The KCC launches a new architecture exhibition, Seoul Unfolded, on 6 August Three Korean artists from Albemarle’s stable appear in a group show at Moor House in the City Screenings In theatres: Parasite, including the black and white version, […]

Call for Papers: 2021 IKSU Annual International Conference

Let’s hope this conference can happen in real life: Call for Papers: 2021 IKSU Annual International Conference Exploring Landscape of K-Culture and Changes in Society: Past, Present and Future University of Central Lancashire, UK, 26-27 April 2021 From K-Pop, K-dramas, and K-films to political activism, K-culture is no longer limited to entertainment. Recently, the power […]

A fun addition to the smallest room in the house

Even as lockdown is gradually relaxed in the UK, we need to be reminded to be on our guard, that Covid-19 is still a threat. The nice folks at Koryo Studio – an affiliate of the travel company that brought us Dan Gordon’s series of feature-length documentaries on North Korea – have commissioned a work […]

Korean food under lockdown

As the UK Covid-19 lockdown was announced back in March, what was one of the many concerns for me? The fact that I wouldn’t be able to go to a Korean restaurant for a samgyeopsal feast for the foreseeable future, obviously. So I began to plan for second best. While, somehow, samgyeopsal always tastes best […]

July 2020 activities

The KCCUK is reopening from 6 July, though inevitably access will be carefully controlled to ensure everyone’s safety. Rendered Reality, the exhibition featuring works by Joonhong Min and Shinuk Suh, is still installed and will remain so until 24 July. Keep an eye on the Korea Society’s list of events. While many of their live […]

The 2020 Korean Literature Essay Contest

I don’t think we’ve had an essay contest since 2017. It’s good to see it return, organised by UCLan for LTI Korea. The contest is open to readers in the UK. 2020 UCLan IKSU Book Essay Contest The International Institute of Korean Studies (IKSU) at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is hosting the “2020 […]

V+A Korean programme receives boost from MCST

Great news for the V&A’s programme of Korean activities and gallery: V&A announces landmark partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism 17 June 2020: The V&A has today announced a new five-year partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in Korea. This major grant will enable the redevelopment of the museum’s […]

Book review: Jeong You-jeong – Seven Years of Darkness

Jeong You-jeong: Seven Years of Darkness Translated by Kim Chi-young Penguin / Little, Brown 2020 Originally published as 7년의 밤, EunHaeng NaMu Publishing Co, Seoul 2011 It felt like a long wait. We’d seen the movie adaptation a few years ago (Choo Chang-min’s Seven Years of Night, which screened at the London Korean Film Festival […]

Cereal Magazine: special Korean edition

Cereal is a biannual travel and style magazine based in the UK. Each issue focuses on a select number of destinations, alongside interviews and stories on design, art, and fashion. The current edition (#19) for the summer of 2020 focuses on Korea. The volume covers the architecture of Itami Jun, the photography of Koo Bohnchang, […]

The mysteries of the Abies Koreana

Around 17 years ago, on a trip to Ashwood Nurseries in the West Midlands with the in-laws, I sneaked an unauthorised plant onto the trolley, much as a child might sneak a bag of sweets into the shopping cart on a trip to the supermarket. On my stroll around the nursery grounds, I had seen […]

June 2020 online activities

Here are some of the new things to enjoy online in June. Many of the items from my May and April posts still remain relevant. Let me know what I’ve missed. Online performance The KCC’s Home Theatre series moves from piano music to chamber music. On 4 June the Sejong Soloists play Mendelssohn’s Octet. Screenings […]

Gwangju, 40 years on

Brother Anthony is using the time of social distancing to good effect, updating his website with many valuable materials. In readiness for the 40th anniversary of the Gwangju uprising, he has “translated some poems about the victims in Gwangju, written by a poet whose work nobody dares publish” any more. You can find these on […]

May 2020 activities

Live events are going to be pretty few and far between in the coming weeks and maybe months. So make sure you get on the RASKB and Korea Economic Institute of America mailing lists for news of their online events. Here are the talks I’m aware of this month, along with other online opportunities in […]