Event reports and reviews

Often when I go along to an event which I suspect will be good, I try to manage my expectations downwards. If I succeed in persuading myself that the thing may be quite mediocre then at worst I won’t be disappointed and at best I will be delighted when the event surpasses expectation. With Eun […]

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Book review: Han Yujoo – The Impossible Fairy Tale

by Philip Gowman 13 November 2017
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Han Yujoo: The Impossible Fairy Tale translated by Janet Hong Graywolf Press, MN, USA 192pp / Tilted Axis Press, UK 352pp / 2017 Originally published as 불가능한 동화 (pub 문학과지성사, 2013) Sometimes, I like having my brain stretched when reading a book: something to get stuck into, to make me think. But there are limits. I […]

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Festival film review: Becoming who I was

by Philip Gowman 8 November 2017
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Nine years ago Moon Chang-yong and Jeon Jin were in Ladakh, Kashmir – a mountainous region 100 miles or so northeast of where the Dalai Lama lives, and less than 50 miles from Tibet’s westernmost extremity. They were filming a documentary about practitioners of traditional medicine in the various regions of Asia. Their subject was […]

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Gig review: Park Jiha at King’s Place

by Philip Gowman 2 November 2017
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Park Jiha brought the 2017 K-music festival to a close at King’s Place on 25 October with a mellow set of pieces taken from her album Communion which was deservedly shortlisted for the 2016 Korea Music Awards in both the Best Crossover Album and Best Jazz & Crossover Performance categories. Park is a versatile player, […]

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Exhibition visit: Soon-Hak Kwon — everynothing, at Union Gallery

by Philip Gowman 29 October 2017
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The Union Gallery in Teesdale Street is going through a refit at the moment: as well as the exhibition space on the ground floor, a new showroom space is being developed in the basement. Soon-Hak Kwon, a Union regular, specialises in documenting the history of a gallery space by creating ultra-high resolution life-size images of […]

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Festival film review: The Mimic

by Philip Gowman 28 October 2017
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I don’t quite know how you go about reviewing a film like The Mimic. As I watched its early sections, enjoying the ride reasonably enough, I nevertheless thought back to some of the Whispering Corridors series (and sadly the weakest of them, Blood Pledge) in which plot is subservient to gratuitous scares. Probably if you […]

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Kingston Korean Festival 2017: the photos

by Philip Gowman 14 October 2017
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Here is a collection of photos from the Korean Festival held in Kingston’s ancient market place on Saturday 16 September 2017. 16,706 people attended the festival and 526 people enjoyed the audience participation programmes on the day! LKL, unfortunately, wasn’t one of them, and these photos are taken with permission from the organisers’ Facebook page […]

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Film review: Memoir of a Murderer

by Philip Gowman 12 October 2017
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Memoir of a Murderer asks us to step inside the mind of someone who is losing his memory, a sufferer of Alzheimer’s disease. The movie opens with a scene focusing on the face of a gaunt and aged-looking Sol Kyung-gu as single dad Kim Byung-soo. As we watch, his face begins to twitch. At first […]

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Gig review: Kim Hyelim + Alice Zawadzki

by Philip Gowman 11 October 2017
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I have to confess: I was a little nervous as I set off for Dalston on a dark Monday evening. If I had a minor gripe with the opening gig of the K-music festival at the Union Chapel, billed as a collaboration between East and West, it was that there was not enough collaboration: Kathryn […]

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Gig review: Jeon Jeduk and Park Juwon at Pizza Express

by Philip Gowman 10 October 2017
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What can one say about a pair of such flawless musicians? Jeon Jeduk, blind since birth, has been compared with Toots Thielemans and Stevie Wonder; Park Juwon… I’m not sure who he’s been compared with, but as I listened to his set I was reminded of the stunning album Passion Grace and Fire by guitarists […]

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Gig review: Heemoon Lee + Prelude

by Philip Gowman 9 October 2017
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Last Sunday night we had the choice between two Korean performers, both known for their unusual dress sense and unique stage presence and more importantly both leaders in their respective fields. With one, the price tag was upwards of £60, for which you had to queue up at a large North London venue, submit to […]

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Kim Juree’s work at the V+A is melting …

by Philip Gowman 22 September 2017
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An integral and intended feature of Kim Juree’s work is that it self-destructs. As I said a couple of months ago when first reporting on the V+A’s Contemporary Korean Ceramics exhibition: “Kim makes models of 1980s-1990s houses being demolished in her naighbourhood. The houses are characterised by a unique combination of western and Korean architectural […]

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Gig review: Kathryn Tickell + Black String

by Philip Gowman 20 September 2017
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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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