Event reports and reviews

After witnessing so many astounding gigs at Club Inegales, where musicians from different cultures come together to create new and unrepeatable sounds, it really should not surprise me when a collaboration that looks slightly weird on paper is actually a stunning success when it happens. Collaboration, between Korean and British-based musicians, is one of the […]

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Fringe review: Kokdu – The Soul Mate

by Philip Gowman 30 August 2017
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Intended to be a simple morality tale about respect for the dead and dying, as well as an exposition of Korean folk and shamanistic beliefs about burial customs and the afterlife, this ambitious production combines strong visuals and colourful costumes with storytelling that is an uncomfortable mixture of seriousness and slapstick. Sometimes it’s good to […]

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Gossip and impressions from the Fringe

by Philip Gowman 28 August 2017
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Before I get down to the serious business of writing up a few reviews of the shows I got to see, here is a round-up of random thoughts and gossip The performers’ work is never done… It’s never really dawned on me before how hard the performance teams work when they are in Edinburgh. Their […]

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Reports from the London Korean Festival 2017

by Philip Gowman 31 July 2017
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LKL didn’t make it to this year’s London Korean Festival at Olympia. Saturdays are precious, and I needed to spend this particular Saturday at the KCC doing background research on the current exhibition and upcoming film series which hopefully will inform my write-ups. In-depth reports of the Festival are now available on a couple of […]

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Fringe 2017: two early recommendations

by Philip Gowman 30 July 2017
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To help give a taste of the range of Korean talent at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, the KCC hosted a showcase of four of the acts, at the Lilian Baylis Studio. Of these, the stand-out performances were Behind the Mirror and Black and White Tea Room — Counsellor. LKL went along to the event hoping […]

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Through Their Eyes exhibition opens in Kingston Museum

by Philip Gowman 7 July 2017
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Kingston Museum’s exhibition devoted to Korean viewpoints on the UK and foreigner’s views on Korea opened last night with speeches from the Mayor, the Ambassador and the curator Seoyoung Kim (who bravely hosted the event despite being on crutches from a recent injury). Hyelim Kim endured the intense heat in the upstairs exhibition space to […]

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Exhibition visit: Contemporary Korean Ceramics at the V+A

by Philip Gowman 26 June 2017
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This year-long exhibition as part of the Korea/UK 2017-18 cultural collaboration brings together a range of approaches and responses to Korean ceramics. From work that is purely functional to work that is purely decorative, via work that seeks to critique contemporary Korean society, the unifying element is the quality of the craftsmanship and execution. Yoon […]

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Exhibition visit: Haenyeo, Women of the Sea, at National Maritime Museum

by Philip Gowman 14 June 2017
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The National Maritime Museum, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Maritime Greenwich, played host to an exhibition featuring South Korea’s latest inclusion in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. Life-size photographs of Jeju’s famous diving women were dotted around a building which began life in 1807 as a school for the children of British seafarers. […]

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An evening with Michael Breen and The New Koreans

by Philip Gowman 13 June 2017
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When going to a book talk, it is all too common to find that the moderator has little knowledge of the book or its subject matter, and asks the author embarrassingly shallow questions leaving the audience and author short-changed. No such risks last night at the KCC, where the British Korean Society’s Chris Hollands conversed […]

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Young In Hong’s 5100: Pentagon

by Philip Gowman 10 June 2017
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Here are a few photos and a video from the two performances of Young In Hong’s work 5100: Pentagon on 4 June 2017 in the courtyard of the Royal Academy of Arts in Piccadilly. The performers were all volunteers, of whom fewer turned up than expected because of the terrorist incident in the London bridge […]

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Love X Stereo at the Windmill – both intimate and euphoric

by Philip Gowman 17 May 2017
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Many thanks to Annie Ko and Toby Hwang for a fantastic gig down in Brixton on Monday night. Featuring tracks from their recently-released album 37A – the first fruits of their crowdfunded project for 2017 in which they aim to release 37 songs during the course of the year – as well as earlier albums, […]

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Look forward, not back: how best to work with North Korean exiles

by Philip Gowman 15 May 2017
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If I had been given a fiver every time a journalist or PhD student asked to be put in touch with North Korean refugees in the London area I wouldn’t be exactly rich, but there would be a few more books overflowing from my already full bookcase. Whether it be for reaction to the latest […]

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Exhibition visit: Chosun Paintings — Beyond Borders, Beauty.

by Philip Gowman 4 April 2017
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When going along to an exhibition of work by North Korean artists you’re not quite sure what to expect. David Heather’s collection that was exhibited at La Galleria in 2007 had something for all tastes, including propaganda posters; a genre, influenced by western painting styles, that might be dismissed as Juche kitsch; and Chosonwha, which […]

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Exhibition visit: Suh Do-ho — Passage/s

by Philip Gowman 19 March 2017
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Visiting the Suh Do-ho solo show at Victoria Miro gallery is a very British experience. You queue to get in the front door, queue in the back yard to get to the second exhibition space and, once admitted to this gallery you queue again to get up close to the main exhibit. In the dozen […]

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Gallery: Yeji Kim – Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things

by Philip Gowman 18 March 2017
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Yeji Kim’s exhibition was the first to be held in the KCCUK’s refashioned space. Gone is the Multi-Purpose Space, demolished and reclaimed as an enhanced exhibition area. Screenings and lectures are now downstairs in the library, and one wonders how the KCC will cope with theatrical presentations in the future. Anyway, the larger space works […]

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Gallery: Korean Artists at London Art Fair 2017

by Philip Gowman 20 February 2017
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A quick post to upload some of the photos of the various galleries exhibiting Korean art at this year’s London Art Fair (plus one gallery that I missed). Hanmi Gallery Jaye Moon Jaye Moon’s work had been getting a fair amount of attention – guerrilla-style installations of Lego dotted around the Business Design Centre and […]

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LKL’s evening with Zion.T in Kentish Town

by Philip Gowman 19 February 2017
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On the very rare occasions when I go to a big popular music concert I usually end up wondering why. A couple of years ago I queued for ages to get into the cheap seats (£77) for Big Bang’s gig in Wembley Arena. At least they didn’t have a support act, and worked hard to […]

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