London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

The Song of Ch’unhyang: Musical Text as compiled by Master Singer Kim Yŏn-su

The Song of Ch’unhyang is one of the most popular p’ansori pieces in the genre’s classic repertoire. Its story is simple. Ch’unhyang (“Spring-Fragrance”) is the beautiful daughter of a deceased aristocrat and Wŏlmae, a retired kisaeng. Her ambiguous social status becomes the key dramatic complication when she falls in love with Yi Mongnyong, the young … [Read More]

Classical Writings of Korean Women

This work is a collection of essays travelogues written by women during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The work ranges from a eulogy for a broken needle to a travelogue describing various trips to scenic spots on the Korean peninsula, including to the Keum-Gang Mountains. Now available in English, this collection gives us a sampler of … [Read More]

The House of Pomegranate Trees

Hahn Moo-Sook’s fiction often embraces purity through literature. While many Korean writers enveloped in nihilism or existentialism, Hahn Moo-Sook made her mark by warmly rendering human joys rather than engaging in cynical pessimism. Her themes varied from universal concerns including love and suffering to issues specific to the Korean context, including her portrayal of the … [Read More]

A Trip Through the Mirror

The author Joo-Young Kim is well known as a novelist who writes about common people’s joys and sorrows. Graduating from the Sorabol Art College majoring in creative writing, he made his literary debut with Resting Stage, which won the New Writer’s Award from Monthly Literature. Kim is known as a writer who reproduces historical periods … [Read More]

Chocolate Friend and Other Stories

With vivid imagery, inventive writing style and keen perception, Han Malsook captures the multicasted interiority of alienated human beings, in particular, the psychology of contemporary women in the postwar setting. Her major work, “A Precipice of Myth” (Sinhwaui danae, 1960) utilizes existentialist perspective to probe the damaged psychology of a woman whose denial of conventional … [Read More]

Korean Buncheong Ceramics from Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art

From the publisher’s website: Sensuous, whimsical, sophisticated, rustic, and masterful, buncheong ceramics emerged in Korea at the end of the fourteenth century. This breathtakingly diverse expression grew out of inlaid celadon, the celebrated aristocratic stoneware synonymous with the Goryeo period (1918–1392). During the nearly two centuries of its production, buncheong would be increasingly taken up … [Read More]

Arts of Korea: the Metropolitan Museum of Art

From the publisher’s website: Of all the cultural and artistic traditions of East Asia, those of Korea have received the least attention in the West. This volume, along with the major exhibition it accompanies, examines the most significant developments in the history of Korean art, from the Neolithic period to the nineteenth century, through outstanding … [Read More]