The Word for ‘여’, and the Korean for ‘About Raindrops’ – Ra Hee-duk at the KCC Literature workshop

In 21 October, 2009 KCC hosted a Korea Literature Workshop in the presence of Ch’oe Yun of ‘There a Petal silently falls’. The session, facilitated by Dr Jo Elfving-Hwang of Sheffield University, turned out to be a ‘creative’ response to the aspects of the author’s work. It was something of a deja vu to turn […]

Will Samsung Electronics innovate again?

Peter Corbishley analyses two recent books on the subject of the company that epitomises Korea Inc. Samsung v Sony In 2010 Tony Michell published his long awaited work on Samsung Electronics.1 Sea-Jin Chang wrote Sony v Samsung2 in 2008. The opposition between the two companies seems to be stimulated by the nationalistic perception that Samsung […]

Korean pensioners buy in to London

At a total cost £1,040.5m, the National Pension Service of South Korea, the fifth biggest pension fund in the world, has bought three properties in London. These are half of a six storey commercial building in Grosvenor place, followed by a tower at 88 Wood Street in the heart of the City. But the most […]

Petal essay contest Salon des Refusés 3

Peter Corbishley offers his entry into the “There a Petal Silently Falls” essay competition. A Korean novella – a human tragedy It is unnerving to have images from a half-recollected film1 play through a reading of There a Petal Silently Falls.2 Yet that sense of disorientation evocatively models how the girl’s bewildered spirit-awareness3 interweaves, recalls […]

Uncertain States: a second look

Peter Corbishley also pays a visit to the photographic show in Commercial Road Alerted by LKL, it was a pleasant surprise, on my way back from eating Korean food in New Malden, to pop into Photo Space at the bottom of the road where I live. Two Korean photographers, Jo Seong-hee and Park Ju-young, are […]

A view of Korea from Bangladesh

Peter Corbishley has just returned from a trip to Dhaka, Bangladesh, where the Koreans are also active. In 2009 South Korea is putting some $320m investment into the Bangladeshi economy and nearly 160 companies are working there, including a third of all companies operating in the export processing zones. In addition in 2006, for example, […]

Gateways to Korea

Peter Corbishley digests some recent Korean history lectures at SOAS and the KCC, and a recent book by Alexis Dudden My introduction to the nasty side of Korean history over March and April of this year began with a heartwarming UK personal interest story from 1908. At the Korean Cultural Centre 10th March, Patrick Cockburn […]

A North Korean Feelgood Lecture

By Peter Corbishley The first of the Spring Term SOAS Lectures heard Nicolas Bonner (right) talking to extracts from his and Daniel Gordon’s three films on North Korea: The Game of their Lives (2002), A State of Mind (2004), Crossing the Line / 푸른 눈의 평양시민 / A Blue-Eyed Pyongyang Citizen (2006). The often almost […]

Watching Korea with the British Museum

Peter Corbishley reviews the recent Korean Film double bill On Saturday 6th November 2008, Margaret O’Brien of The British Museum and Jeon Hye-Jung of the Korean Cultural Centre put on a somewhat sparsely attended family programme of Korean films. Margaret O’Brien, who has been Head of Lifelong Learning at the Museum since 2000, presented the […]

Inlaying techniques in Korean craft

Peter Corbishley digests the discussion on Korean crafts at the KCC on 2 Dec Korean porcelain, jewellery, religious artefacts and patchwork is distinguished by inlay using different materials. While inlay techniques might be a common feature of Korean crafts, however, they are not uniquely Korean. The techniques of jewellery making, for example, may well not […]

A week is a long time in … Korean economics

By Peter Corbishley Given the present economic world order, last week was an opportune time for an update on Korean peninsular economics. First Aidan Foster Carter tells BAKS that in August President Lee Myung-bak’s military banned “Bad Samaritans,” by Chang Ha-joon, an economics professor at the University of Cambridge, for being un-Korean. Then on the […]

The new ambassador’s first outing

Peter Corbishley adds to the appreciation of the day, and Noridan gets another vote Congratulations to Justina Jang on this year’s Dano festival, especially, especially the Noridan performance. The festival dropped a generation or two from last year. Tomi Kita was somewhat as his name suggests when pronounced – viz Tommy Guitar. Somewhat less of […]

Hanbok by Lee Rhee-Za

Hanbok by Lee Rhee-Za: an exhibition in the seminar rooms of the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore SW7 2EU. Review by Peter Corbishley In fact this is three, or perhaps, at least at the opening event, three and a half, exhibitions rolled into one. The first was a display of copies of garments typically […]

Review: Korean traditional dance at Asia House

Peter Corbishley reports on last week’s dance event at Asia House Thanks to some unusual traffic your reviewer arrived late enough to get a front row seat for this unique performance of seven of eleven traditional Korean dances. ‘Exciting’, ‘beautiful’, ‘unexplored but most interesting’ were some of the words and phrases used to introduce this […]