Concert notes: Park Jiha at LSO St Lukes

What a difference a venue makes. Uncomfortable seats, noisy air conditioning and poor sight lines meant that Park Jiha’s gig at the Rich Mix in the 2019 K-music festival was less enjoyable than it could have been. At LSO St Luke’s at the end of January everything seemed right. Yes, there was the faint hiss […]

A round-up of three early January exhibitions

LKL visits three solo shows in the first two weeks of 2020: Suh Shinuk, Song Gin-young and Kang Jungsuck. Hopefully we’ll get to Tate Modern to see the big Nam June Paik exhibition before it closes. Suh Shinuk’s Man(u)fractured has been extended for a week, to 18 January. It’s well worth a trip to North […]

Gig review: Kyungso Park, SB Circle + Hey String

Isn’t it refreshing when a band exceeds expectations? When you were expecting something pretty good, and you get something astoundingly good. When the newbie support band has the class to headline their own gig. OK, to call the gayageum trio Hey String a newbie band neglects to mention their success as prizewinners in Seoul Namsan […]

Exhibition visit: Najeon and Ottchil, at Asia House

The current exhibition at Asia House, featuring exquisite work by contemporary master craftsmen and women, celebrates 70 years of diplomatic relations between the UK and the Republic of Korea. Najeon is the craft of decoration using mother of pearl, usually made from abalone shells, while Ottchil is the craft of creating objects out of lacquer. […]

Gig review: Kim Doo Soo at Cafe OTO

Kim Doo Soo’s stage set-up is simple but carefully planned. The stage hand has marked out the precise place where the music stand is to be positioned, and the chair – which offers the minimum of comforts. A table to the musician’s right has some water and a surface to keep the various harmonicas; also […]

A roundup of the early Autumn celebrations

As people return from their summer holidays and prepare for the autumn season, there’s a range of celebratory events that form part of the annaul cycle: from the Korean holiday calendar there’s Chuseok (celebrated over the full moon of the 8th lunar month – 12 -14 September this year) and National Foundation Day, also known […]

Brief review: Park Jiha at Rich Mix

Park Jiha closed K-music 2017 supported by a trio of musicians (playing bass, sax and vibes). She returned to London this year as a solo performer, presenting material from her new album, Philos, as well as older material. We also got one premiere. Park plays yanggeum (dulcimer), piri (oboe) and saenghwang (mouth organ), and when […]

Misun Won and Kyosun Jung at Goldsmiths Fair

Earlier this month LKL paid a brief visit to the second week of Goldsmiths Fair, primarily to congratulate Misun Won on her special mention in the Best New Design Award 2019. The award itself went to Patrick Davison, but Misun’s generously proportioned brooch caught the judges’ eye. While there, we also visited award-winning designer Kyosun […]

Jambinai launches K-music 2019 with explosive force

Call me a grouch, but when you need both ear plugs and a blindfold to survive a gig in any degree of comfort you have to start questioning the wisdom of some of the sound and lighting judgments. Ear plugs, handed out for free at the entrance to Jambinai’s Purcell Room gig that opened K-music […]

Review: Kokdu – a story of guardian angels

The death of a grandmother in remote, rural Jindo becomes dramatically intertwined with a stage performance by dancers, court and folk musicians from the National Gugak Centre as they portray the journey of a soul in the afterlife. The unauthorised purchase of a Jindo puppy by her two grandchildren gets them entangled in the drama […]