London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Kim Youngna: 20th Century Korean Art

(Lawrence King, 2005) A collection of articles, turned into a book. As I’m neither an art critic nor an art historian I’m going to restrict myself to a chapter-by-chapter summary of the ground covered. A useful overview of colonial period art. Highlights the difficulty of studying & researching the art history of the period, in … [Read More]

Kim Jong-il’s book on cinema

Filmbrain has spotted – and bought and, even more nobly, read – a translation of Kim Jong-il’s On the Art of Cinema. A snip at £22.50 from Amazon. I’ll add it to my wishlist, but I’m afraid it’s not top of the list! Thanks to atom over at koreanfilm.org for spotting this. Links: Buy at … [Read More]

Mark Clifford: Troubled Tiger

(M.E. Sharpe / Routledge 1998) Chronicles the modern history of Korea from the 1960s to the mid-90s, focusing on the drive for economic growth and the control exerted by the Blue House over the direction of the economy. Clifford gives us a politically balanced view, emphasising the successes of Park Chung-hee, but not shrinking from … [Read More]

Book Review: Admiral Yi Sun-sin

Admiral Yi Sun-sin: A brief overview of his life and achievements Korean Spirit and Culture Promotion Project, 2006 A quick and easy read setting out the achievements of Admiral Yi in the Imjin war against Japan. As well as telling Yi’s story (sometimes using Yi’s own war diary and memorials to the throne), the book … [Read More]

Andrew Holloway: A Year in Pyongyang

(Aidan FC’s website, 1988) Amid the pile of available reading material on the DPRK, is there room for an unpublished memoir, getting on for 20 years old, recording the experiences of a lowly “raiser” — someone who converts Konglish into English — in late 1980s Pyongyang? Definitely yes. Though obviously not state of the art, … [Read More]

Jeon Jemin, ed Kevin O’Rourke: Korean Stories

(Eul & Al, 2004) A strange collection. Confucian stories, Buddhist stories, and some essays which though brief remind you of the disjointed ramblings of a genial but slightly senile grandfather. One of the essays does explain, though, why the bedwetting boy in one of the short films in the collection If you were me is … [Read More]

War & Democracy: A Comparative Study of the Korean War and the Peloponnesian War.

David McCann & Barry Strauss (eds) (ME Sharpe, 2001) Crazy title, seemingly of limited readership: ancient historians also interested in modern East Asian history (or vice versa). But it’s a fascinating collection of articles. “How like Alcibiades was General MacArthur?” asks one article… Read a grown-up review of this book over at the Korean Studies … [Read More]