Philip Gowman

Min Jin Kym: Gone — A Girl, a Violin, a Life Unstrung Viking, 2017, 256pp When Min Jin Kym’s Gone came out, I mentally heaved a sigh of relief. Here’s one Korea-related book, I thought, among the dozens that will be published this year, that I don’t need to read. The story of how her […]

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Korean Englishman team wins cultural ambassador award

by Philip Gowman 12 January 2019
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Congratulations to the Korean Englishman team Josh Carrott and Ollie Kendal for their “Korea Image Stepping Stone Bridge Award” from the Corea Image Communication Institute (CICI). The award ceremony was held two days ago. Josh and Ollie run the 영국남자 Korean Englishman and JOLLY YouTube channels, which between them have over 4 million subscribers. Links: Corea Image […]

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Sokeel Park awarded MBE

by Philip Gowman 11 January 2019
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Congratulations to Sokeel Park for being awarded an MBE in the 2019 New Year’s Honours list, published on 28 December. The official citation in the Foreign Secretary’s Diplomatic Service and Overseas List reads: Sokeel John PARK, Country Director, Liberty in North Korea. For services to UK/Korea relations … though you suspect that Mr Park is […]

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New and upcoming non-fiction titles for 2019

by Philip Gowman 7 January 2019
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Unlike my list that attempts to compile upcoming literature and fiction titles, here I’ve had to be selective in what to include, otherwise the length of this post would be unmanageable. Nevertheless I’ve almost certainly missed out some titles that I’d want to have on my bookshelf. I’ve divided the list into seven sections: Literature […]

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A look back at some of the films of 2018

by Philip Gowman 4 January 2019
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A wide variety of genres was presented to the London audience this year, from the return of the romantic melodrama (Be With You) to big budget fantasy (Along with the Gods). We also saw #MeToo beginning to have an impact, not just in the themes of movies such as Land of Seonghye and Testimony but […]

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Upcoming literature and fiction titles for 2019

by Philip Gowman 3 January 2019
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Here’s my first attempt at compiling a list of fiction and poetry titles coming up in 2019. Let me know what I’ve missed. Unlike my separate list of non-fiction I have not exercised any editorial control here: this is everything I have been able to find. The list is in four parts: Modern and contemporary […]

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January events 2019

by Philip Gowman 2 January 2019
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A new year, and thankfully not too busy an agenda for January, but there are some good things here. Don’t forget to submit your panel / paper proposals for the Joint East Asian Studies Conference by the end of the month. Film The KCCUK starts its film screenings with a season of three early movies […]

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Kim Jong Un’s 2019 New Year Address

by Philip Gowman 1 January 2019
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The following is the text of Kim Jong Un’s 2019 New Year Address, sourced from Rodong Sinmun: New Year Address of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un for 2019 Respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un made the New Year Address for 2019. The full text of the New Year Address reads: Dear people and service personnel […]

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A look back at the 2018 literary year

by Philip Gowman 1 January 2019
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A look back at the books and literary events of the year – and a summary of my reading diary. Literature in translation In translated fiction, my reading this year has not managed anywhere near to keep pace with the amount of translations being published. I know I said the same in respect of 2017 […]

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A review of the London Korean cultural year 2018

by Philip Gowman 28 December 2018
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Every year at this stage in the year, I look back on the cultural highlights, whether they be live performances, exhibitions, movies or books that I have encountered over the past twelve months. Every year I lament that I’ve been unable to cover everything, that I’m getting slower and that there’s been even more to […]

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Season’s greetings to all our readers

by Philip Gowman 24 December 2018
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Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to all of LKL’s readers, friends and contributors. Have a peaceful break. As in previous years, thanks are due to Jieun Kim aka The Drawing Hand for the London Korean Christmas design which adorns the cards that some of you will have received. Keywords: Artists: Kim Ji-eun […]

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President Moon’s 2019 New Year Message

by Philip Gowman 21 December 2018
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President Moon’s New Year Message for this year was delivered by video hologram. The below is an unofficial transcript: My fellow Koreans, I wish you a happy New Year and good health. Are you surprised? Reflecting my wish to meet each and every one of you personally, I’m sending greetings as a hologram this year. […]

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2018 travel diary 2 – Chollipo revisited

by Philip Gowman 10 December 2018
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10 November 2018. In Chollipo’s famous Arboretum the best of the Autumn colour had finished, but there were still some good reds, oranges and yellows to be found, and the grasses were particularly fine. In October last year this new statue of Carl Ferris Miller, Chollipo’s founder, was installed in this secluded area in the […]

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2018 travel diary 1 – Mallipo out of season

by Philip Gowman 3 December 2018
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9 – 10 November 2018. The first two nights of this year’s trip were spent on Mallipo beach, Taean-gun, because I liked the place so much when I visited last year. And I still like it. There’s not much more to say, other than it’s far preferable to Busan’s Haeundae beach. Next door to Mallipo […]

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December events 2018

by Philip Gowman 1 December 2018
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Finally, it’s calming down a bit, after a truly hectic couple of months, but there’s still plenty going on. Film and TV There’s another chance to catch Lee Chang-dong’s Burning prior to its theatrical release next year: 10 December at Regent Street Cinema The SOAS North Korea Society is hosting a screening of The Jangmadang […]

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The LKL 2018 Korea trip – an introduction

by Philip Gowman 26 November 2018
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Overview My annual visit to Korea this year for once really didn’t have an agenda. Originally planned as a late October / early November trip to see some Autumn leaves and catch the tail end of the Gwangju Biennale, everything changed when I heard that Ahn Sook-sun was coming to London at that precise time […]

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Book review: Blaine Harden – King of Spies

by Philip Gowman 12 November 2018
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Blaine Harden: King of Spies – The dark reign of America’s spymaster in Korea Mantle, 2018, 272 pp The character of the maverick cop, or even maverick spy, delivering outstanding results through unorthodox means and despite a disregard for hierarchy, is a familiar one in crime and spy fiction. Blaine Harden, who worked with Shin […]

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