London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Charlie Crane: Welcome to Pyongyang

Chris Boot, 2007 The new photo book on Pyongyang can be appreciated on a number of levels. Firstly, there’s the literal level: it’s a collection of well-taken photos, with captions provided by the North Korean Tourist Board. But like it or not, whenever you see anything in which the North Koreans have had a hand, … [Read More]

New and upcoming books

Tom Coyner and Jang Song-hyon have just brought out Mastering Business in Korea – A Practical Guide. The ad in Seoul Magazine reads as follows: In an engaging and easy-to-read format, two experienced business consultants explain the ins and outs of contemporary Korean business culture, etiquette, work rules, and marketing to the Korean consumer. Pick … [Read More]

Kim Young-na: Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea

Kim Young-na: Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea (Hollym, 2005) A brief but action-packed overview of twentieth century Korean art history, which can be read alongside Kim’s other book covering the same period, published by Lawrence King. While her Lawrence King book is a collection of essays focusing on particular subject areas, the Hollym book … [Read More]

Carter Ekert and others: Korea Old and New

Carter J Eckert / Ki-baik Lee / Young Ick Lew / Michael Robinson / Edward W Wagner (Ilchokak Publishers, for Korea Institute, Harvard University, 1990) An ambitious book which aims in the space of 400 pages to encapsulate Korea’s history from Palaeolithic times up until 1990. In a book of this nature it is inevitable … [Read More]

Chung Hyung-min: Modern Korean Ink Painting

(Hollym, 2006) A well-illustrated and easy-to-read book which traces the development of ink painting in the 20th century from its roots in the Chosun dynasty: the famous “court” painter O-won (Jang Seung-eop, 장승업, immortalised in Im Kwon-taek’s Chihwaseon), and the literati style perfected in Kim Jeong-hi (김정희). Chung emphasises the importance of the short-lived (1911-19) … [Read More]

Adrien Gombeaud and others: Kim Ki-duk

(Dis Voir, 2006) Adrien Gombeaud / Anaïd Demir / Cédric Lagandré / Catherine Capdeville-Zeng / Daniele Rivière The best French organists are known for their improvisation skills. Suggest a theme, and they will start a journey from it, sometimes referring back to it but often exploring strange new vistas completely unrelated to it. The essays … [Read More]

Books on Korean Heroes

Probably a fairly straightforward question from a visitor in the US: I have children born in U.S. For education purposes, I am trying to find good (series of) books written in English for Korean Heroes in old history. Could someone refer me to website links? Thanks. My immediate thought is to recommend the series recently … [Read More]

Sea-Jin Chang: Financial Crisis and Transformation of Korean Business Groups

The Rise and Fall of Chaebols (Cambridge, 2003) A welcome and very detailed examination of the history and structure of the Korean business conglomerates. The strengths of this book are manifold. First and foremost is the wealth of evidence sourced from the Korea Information Service which provides some raw data for some hard conclusions. And … [Read More]

Susie Younger: Never ending flower

Susie Younger: Never ending flower Collins Harvill, 1967 To describe this book as a memoir of a Catholic missionary in South Korea in the early 1960s, while factually correct, undersells it. Yes, the author is a person of deep Christian faith, but her work in Korea is more that of a social worker than evangelist. … [Read More]

Chae-jin Lee: A Troubled Peace

Chae-jin Lee: A Troubled Peace — US Policy and the Two Koreas Johns Hopkins Univ Press, 2006 A very thorough review of the history of the relations between the US and (the two) Korea(s) over the past hundred or so years. To me, there’s rather too many trees and not enough wood, but I guess … [Read More]

Fetishes, Phalluses and Mini-skirts – a review of The Remasculinization of Korean Cinema

Kyung Hyun Kim: The Remasculinization of Korean Cinema Duke University Press, 2004 This book is for a restricted academic readership only. I can empathise with the feeling of inadequacy, crisis and male lack which, according to Kim, plagues the majority of protagonists in Korean film (though there is a difference between me and them, namely … [Read More]