The Korean Villages of Joung Young-ju

I’ve been really impressed by the atmosphere created by Joung Young-ju’s paintings. Villages densely populate hillsides and valleys and fickle lights evoke feelings of intimacy and warmth. Sunrise and sunset define a special time of the day which forms a connection between two separate moments: day and night. And, hence, it feels like an ethereal […]

Rendered Reality: an interview with Joonhong Min and Shinuk Suh

New contributor Federica Ionta meets the artists behind Rendered Reality, the exhibition currently in suspended animation at the KCCUK. Thinking of Korean art, one might recall, for instance, pottery of exquisite quality, such as the iconic moon jars, or beautiful ink paintings. However, not all Korean artists stick to traditional shapes, materials and techniques. Artists […]

A round-up of the Korean crafts at Collect 2020

Collect this year moved from the Saatchi Gallery to Somerset House. The move had both advantages and disadvantages. At Saatchi there is greater openness of space and there is the added benefit of the lively environs of Sloane Square for coffee and snacks. Somerset House, on the other hand feels like a bit of a […]

Parasite: a non-review

What can one say about a movie that has won Best Picture at Cannes and the Oscars, that has won best screenplay at the Oscars and BAFTAs, best edited drama feature at the Eddies, and best ensemble performance at the Screen Actors Guild? A movie that has been seen more widely in this country, and […]

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 […]

A review of the Korean cultural year 2019

A review of some of the highlights and trends in the Korean cultural year, primarily in London but also with half an eye to anything we might have seen elsewhere in the UK. The review is a personal one, inevitably skewed towards the events we managed to get to. Introduction This time last year I […]

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 […]