December events 2021

A quiet month to end the year, in which the highlight has got to be a performance by some talking Korean rice cookers just outside Coventry Exhibitions Bongsu Park’s In Dreams we Gather continues at Gallery Rosenfeld all month The KCC’s group show Nothing is – everything just has been or will be also continues […]

Festival Film Review: Heaven – To the Land of Happiness

In recent years the LKFF programmers have been getting into a groove of scheduling indie, minority interest movies for the closing film of the festival. This year, they turned things upside down by programming the festival’s most appealing film (for me, at least,) to end the fortnight. Yes, the opening movie, Mogadishu, is the top […]

Cult of Ya comes to the Kentish Town Forum

Tickets go on sale tomorrow for January’s hip-hop fest: Cult of Ya Fest 2020 Season 1 O2 Forum Kentish Town | 9-17 Highgate Road | London NW5 1JY Friday 14 January 2022, 6:30 pm Tickets: www.cultofya.com with SIK-K | GROOVYROOM | GEMINI | MIRANI | MOON (MOON SUJIN) | SMMT | CO.KR Links: The event’s […]

Festival Film Review: The Singer

As is often the case, I was out of town for the London East Asia Film Festival, so I missed the international premiere of the Director’s Cut of Cho Jungrae’s The Singer. I’m not sure if the previously available version has had a formal international premiere – probably not, given the devastation that Covid has […]

Interview: Cho Jungrae (The Singer, 2020)

I watched Cho Jungrae’s 2020 movie The Singer earlier this year online, after being told by a friend of the director that it was available on Amazon Prime. It struck me as a fresh take on the pansori movie genre: instead of telling a pansori tale more or less straight like Im Kwon-taek’s Chunhyang, it […]

Review: Hwang Sok-yong – The Prisoner

How to review the autobiography of one of Korean’s leading novelists, who has won accclaim both sides of the border; who has spent five years in prison as well as being a person of interest to the authorities for much of his professional career? The memoir makes for fascinating reading as literary history: most of […]

November events 2021

The Korean cultural diary is now back to its customary autumnal chaos: too much packed in with too many events clashing with each other. We’ve got used to the Korean Film Festival scheduling its films so you can’t go to all of them. K-music has now joined the party by scheduling gigs that clash with […]

LKL’s list of ten Squid Game superlatives

Well, I guess everyone who’s going to watch it has watched it already, but nevertheless I’ve tried to avoid any major spoilers in the below. Here’s the list of things that struck me most about the hit series. Most enjoyable reveal Runner up was the identity of the multi-gazillionaire who set up the game, But the […]

London Korean Film Festival 2021 announces its line-up

Here’s the official press release for the 2021 London Korean Film Festival. You can find the detailed schedule in a separate post. London Korean Film Festival 2021 4 November – 19 November 2021 After a mostly digital edition in 2020 the London Korean Film Festival (LKFF) is pleased to be returning to cinema screens across […]

October events 2021

The Festival of Korean Dance was a nice warm-up for the Autumn season of events. Now for the music and film. Exhibitions Start Art Fair runs from 13 to 17 October Round and Around: the KCC’s early Autumn Audio-Visual Project with Jang Minseung and Jung Jaeil, lasts until 22 October. London Craft Week runs from […]

Book review: Kwon Yeo-sun – Lemon

Someone, somewhere, must have done a study of multi-person narratives in Korean fiction – novels which tell the same story (or different episodes involving the same characters) from two or more different perspectives. Two of the best-loved Korean novels in translation use the technique: Please Look After Mother and The Vegetarian. And this year, we’ve […]

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 […]