Event reports and reviews

LKL’s young contributor Gargi Sengupta, who reported from the Sheffield Korea Day earlier this year, provides her second report – from the biggest KPOP event in London ever! On the 10th of October I went with my father to watch the BTS concert at the London o2. Since I have been a HUGE fan of […]

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Affective becomings and musical transformations: BTS take London

by Colette Balmain 23 October 2018
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Dr Colette Balmain, or maybe a ghost writer, reports from the biggest KPOP event in the UK this year: Taking the Plunge This is the first concert review that I have written although I have been to many concerts, some of which I have good memories of and others which I wish I could press […]

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A visit to Foyles during Korean Culture Month

by Philip Gowman 22 October 2018
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Foyles’s Korean Culture Month runs from 13 October into the middle of November in partnership with the KCC. As part of the promotion, Korean books are displayed prominently by the ground floor information desk and on Level 4, where all their foreign language books are. You are able to sign up for a free exploratory […]

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Mini review round-up: the 2018 LKFF Teaser screenings

by Philip Gowman 21 October 2018
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Sometimes I just don’t have the time to marshal any thoughts about a movie after seeing it. Daily life takes over any before I know it I’ve watched another movie and the memory of the previous one is dimming fast. But as I’ve been on holiday for a few days away from the daily grind, […]

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Brief review: Comrade Kim goes Flying

by Philip Gowman 20 October 2018
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The London East Asia Film Festival gives us the second chance this year to see Comrade Kim Goes Flying in the company of two of its directors, Nicholas Bonner and Anja Daelemans. The screening in March was in fact the UK premiere, which came almost six years after its international premiere in Toronto in early September […]

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BTS’s busy couple of weeks

by Philip Gowman 16 October 2018
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It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Korea’s biggest band: A speech for UNICEF at the United Nations on 24 September. The speech, by the band’s leader Kim Namjun (aka RM), ended as follows: Like most people, I’ve made many and plenty mistakes in my life. I have many faults and I have many […]

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Another World We Are Making: a look at LKFF’s focus on Kim Dong-won

by Philip Gowman 17 September 2018
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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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Kim Aeran’s visit to London

by Philip Gowman 15 July 2018
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At the end of June Kim Aeran was in town, courtesy of the Asia Literary Review and the Literary Translation institute of Korea, to meet the finalists of the 2018 essay contest in which readers were given free rein to write about one or all of three of her works: two short stories: A Dignified […]

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