London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Chichester’s finest Korean chef

Inkun Kim, 26, from Seoul, Korea, is the newest chef to have joined the Dining Room (or as many locals still know it, Arthur Purchase’s) in a beautiful Georgian building on Chichester, West Sussex. And he’s already put kimbap on the menu. I’m impressed. He graduated at Korea Culinary Arts Science High School, the best … [Read More]

The East is Tasted at Tower Bridge

We’ll remember this summer heat: after so many Korean summer festivals in London marred by rain and cold, this one was a scorcher. Blue skies, Tower Bridge in the background heaving with tourists, the Gherkin to the north, and on the south side on some of the greenest lawns I’ve seen for weeks during this … [Read More]

Korean Eye: anything but ordinary

Jennifer Barclay pays a quick visit to the varied exhibition of contemporary Korean art at the Saatchi Gallery Korean Eye was founded by David Ciclitira, who became a fan of contemporary Korean art when visiting South Korea on business, and decided to bring an exhibition to the UK for the first time last year. As … [Read More]

Book review: Life on the Edge of the DMZ

Lee See-woo: Life on the Edge of the DMZ Global Oriental, 2008 Translated by Kim Myung-hee I’ve been dipping in and out of this fascinating though often overly complex book by peace activist Lee Si-Woo. It’s sometimes hard to tell whether the English translation – for the most part unfussy ­– is sometimes too literal, … [Read More]

Korea, recharge your energy

In fifty years since the Korean War, South Korea was catapulted from being one of the poorest countries on the planet, on a par with Ethiopia and Bangladesh, to being one of the OECD countries with a GDP that hovers between 11th and 13th in the world, depending on exchange rates. Now Mr Charm Lee, … [Read More]

Concert notes: Gong Myoung at the Chichester Festival Theatre — Korean Musicians Win English Hearts

Jennifer Barclay, author of Meeting Mr Kim, reviews Gong Myoung at the Chichester Festival Theatre, 12 October 2009 He enters the stage wearing an oversized orange hat and sunglasses, carrying a toolbox and a walking stick. From the toolbox he takes out a saw and a drill, saws off the end of the walking stick, … [Read More]

Summer cooking with Kiejo

Jennifer Barclay, author of Meeting Mr Kim: Or How I Went to Korea and Learned to Love Kimchi, learns to cook traditional Korean food… Kiejo Sarsfield stands in her Cath Kidston apron in a kitchen stuffed with cookery books in leafy Chalfont St Giles. Having left South Korea thirty years ago and lived all over … [Read More]

The epic stand on the Imjin

Jennifer Barclay, author of Meeting Mr Kim: Or How I Went to Korea and Learned to Love Kimchi, looks at Andrew Salmon’s exciting new book on the battle of Imjin River: To The Last Round (Aurum Press, June 2009) To the Last Round by Andrew Salmon gives the most exhaustive account to date of what … [Read More]

A scientific look at ancient Korean art

Jennifer Barclay reports on the Anglo-Korean Society evening at the Korean Cultural Centre, 16 June 2009 Short documentaries on some of Korea’s ancient cultural artefacts were shown at the Korean Cultural Centre on 16 June, presented by members of the non-profit Korean Spirit and Cultural Promotion Project. Matthew Jackson and Hang-Jin Chang, who graduated together … [Read More]

Warrior at the Imjin

‘We lived on what you feed pigs, sorghum, and it was full of weevils. You had to cook it first and then take the weevils out, ’cause you couldn’t catch them when they were alive.’ On 25 April 1951 after the desperate three-day battle of the Imjin River, Hampshire man Bob Warrior was captured and … [Read More]

Book Review: Reginald Thompson — Cry Korea

As British war veterans gather in Korea to mark the anniversary of the battle of the Imjin River, Jennifer Barclay reviews a recently republished eye-witness account of the early months of the war. CRY KOREA: The Korean War: A Reporter’s Notebook by Reginald Thompson Reportage Press, 2009, 352pp Cry Korea is the most unusual book … [Read More]

Surprise and a sense of fun: the UK’s gateway to Korean culture

Jennifer Barclay visits the Korean Cultural Centre on its first birthday, experiences Choi Jeong-hwa’s exhibition, and meets the KCC’s director, Kyuhak Choi. It’s been a few months since I visited the Korean Cultural Centre, so I’m pleasantly surprised to be surprised by it again. I arrive to find stern armed guards in helmets staring at … [Read More]

Dulsori gets Chichester jumping to the beat

Jennifer Barclay meets Dulsori at their performance in Chichester’s Festival Theatre, 24 January 2009. I’m not sure the theatre staff were quite prepared when the drummer troupe led the audience dancing into the foyer, bashing gongs and drums in a frenzied finale to an energetic evening. Young and old, the Chichester crowd jumped, laughed and … [Read More]

A veteran remembers

Today, 27 July, is the anniversary of the end of the Korean War in 1953 – a war in which millions died, and which only ended with a ceasefire, Korea remaining divided by a heavily guarded border for fifty-five years now. Jennifer Barclay marks the occasion. Peter Poole served in the Korean War as a … [Read More]