Event reports and reviews

Almost inexplicably, when compared with previous documentary screenings, the KCC’s mini festival of Korean documentaries, spread over two weekends, was over-subscribed, with latecomers for one session needing to sit on the floor. The decision to break out the documentary strand from the main London Korean Film Festival has probably been vindicated, and the strategy of […]

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Restaurant visit: Suhyung Lee and Yujung Kim at Carousel

by Philip Gowman 10 September 2018
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Over the recent half a dozen years, there have been several opportunities to explore Western cuisine with Korean influences. A couple of them have been for guests of the KCC only. First, to celebrate the Korean programme of events around the London 2012 Olympics a star chef from the CJ Food stable presented a VIP […]

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The 73rd Independence Day celebrations in New Malden

by Philip Gowman 18 August 2018
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Kingston’s Koreans today celebrated the 73rd anniversary of Independence Day. It was the first public engagement of the new ambassador, HE Park Eun-ha, who is to be thanked for making the time: she only arrived in London to take up her post two days ago. In attendance were Kingston’s Mayor, Thay Thayalan, and the leader […]

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8 more reasons to visit Lee Bul: Crashing

by Philip Gowman 17 August 2018
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Lee Bul’s fabulous show at the Hayward Gallery closes this weekend. If you haven’t seen it yet, here are eight more reasons why you should. 1. Park Chung-hee naked OK, a rather sensationalist opener, and not something I ever expected to find myself writing, but yes: suspended from the ceiling are two naked effigies of […]

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Movie review double bill: Along with the Gods 1 and 2

by Philip Gowman 16 August 2018
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Somehow, I managed to miss last year’s fantasy blockbuster Along with the Gods. I didn’t spot that it got a brief UK release until it was too late, and the movie didn’t make to any of the UK festivals to my knowledge. I didn’t even read any reviews. But it registered in my brain as […]

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Exhibition visit: Lee Bul – Crashing. Pt 2 – Scale of Tongue

by Philip Gowman 6 August 2018
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The most eye-catching work in Lee Bul’s Hayward Gallery exhibition is the giant inflatable zeppelin, its grid of rectangular silver panels echoing the grid of skylights in the Hayward’s newly refurbished upper floor. The work, entitled Willing to be Vulnerable, memorialises the Hindenburg disaster in 1937, when the giant airship, representing a possible future of […]

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A fun day out at the Sheffield Korea Day

by Gargi Sengupta 2 August 2018
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Gargi Sengupta, a new guest contributor, reports from the Sheffield Korea Day earlier this year. On 11th March, my Dad and I went to Sheffield to go to the Korea day at Sheffield University. As I love Kpop and want to acquire knowledge and learn more about Korean culture, it was a great opportunity for […]

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Exhibition visit: Lee Bul – Crashing. Pt 1 – Heaven and Earth

by Philip Gowman 30 July 2018
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I thought I had come across most of Lee Bul’s work before, either physically (at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, 2014 and various gallery visits in Seoul) or through articles and books. But one work in the Hayward Gallery’s solo show caught me by surprise. Heaven and Earth (2007) is a larger-than-life reconstruction of the type […]

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I wonder how many people actually saw the full Halo…

by Philip Gowman 24 July 2018
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As part of the Korea/UK season of cultural collaboration, Kimchi and Chips, a Seoul-based art studio founded by Elliot Woods (UK) and Mimi Son (South Korea) installed a large work entitled Halo in the public space of the Somerset House courtyard for the month of June. In perfect conditions (full sun, no cloud, no breeze), […]

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Theatre visit: a changgeuk Trojan Women

by Philip Gowman 23 July 2018
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An adaptation of a Greek play more than 2400 years old interpreted through the medium of an early 20th century Korean performing practice does not immediately sound a promising theatrical experience, except perhaps to the handful of people who appreciate both Euripides’s take on Homer and Changgeuk’s adaptation of Pansori. Nevertheless, the Purcell Room had […]

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Film review: The Unfair / Minority Opinion

by Philip Gowman 3 July 2018
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The Unfair (also known as Minority Opinion) screened as the penultimate movie in the Korean Novels on Screen season at the KCC. Based on a novel by Son Aram, it is the only film in the season where the underlying book has not (yet) been translated into English. Although the scenario is based loosely on the […]

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War Veterans honoured in Kingston’s Guildhall

by Events Editor 24 June 2018
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Yesterday a group of Korean musicians and performers entertained a group of British veterans from the Korean War in Kingston’s Guildhall. The event was organised by the Korean Veterans Association UK, a group of volunteers committed to the continuing remembrance of the sacrifice made by soldiers who came to the aid of the Republic of […]

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Review: 1987 – When the Day Comes

by Philip Gowman 18 June 2018
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1987: When the Day Comes is one of those movies which could not have been made a couple of years ago. It would have got the director and its all-star cast included on the infamous blacklist of suspected lefties who would not get government support in future. And to have the director of this film […]

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Film review: Be With You

by Philip Gowman 11 June 2018
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Ten years ago or so I was watching a rather good relationship drama on DVD when my wife came into the room and asked: “so which of the two has the mysterious incurable disease?” “It’s not one of those films,” I replied, somewhat tetchily. Ten minutes later, a car crash killed off one half of […]

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A look at Hay Joung Hwang’s silver gilt winning LG Eco-City Garden

by Philip Gowman 5 June 2018
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Two years ago at the Chelsea Flower Show Hay Joung Hwang teamed up with LG to showcase how technology can be used to maximise the benefits from an urban garden – from lighting to smart sensors to monitor the moisture and nutrients in the soil. Encouraged by the silver gilt awarded to the garden, the […]

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Book review: Lee Yil – Dynamics of Expansion and Reduction

by Philip Gowman 25 April 2018
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Lee Yil: Dynamics of Expansion and Reduction Selected Writings on Korean Contemporary Art, 1970 – 1996 Initial draft translations: Chung Yeon-shim, Park Eun-ah, Park Sung-ji Final translations: Paul O’Kane, Song Bada Published by AICA (International Association of Art Critics) / Les Presses du Réel, Dijon, France, 2018, 212pp How often do you read the learned […]

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Brief exhibition visit: Fragmentality

by 앤서방 14 April 2018
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Fragmentality, at Arthill Gallery in North End Road, is a show featuring two RCA students. Minhee Kim’s works are delicate constructions made from layered paper or hair, using the ‘comfort women’ issue as her theme: Taeho Kim’s works include light and sound installations, as well as works on paper, employing intricate geometric patterns. Keywords: Artists: […]

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