Event reports and reviews

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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Through Their Eyes exhibition opens in Kingston Museum

by Philip Gowman 7 July 2017
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Kingston Museum’s exhibition devoted to Korean viewpoints on the UK and foreigner’s views on Korea opened last night with speeches from the Mayor, the Ambassador and the curator Seoyoung Kim (who bravely hosted the event despite being on crutches from a recent injury). Hyelim Kim endured the intense heat in the upstairs exhibition space to […]

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Exhibition visit: Contemporary Korean Ceramics at the V+A

by Philip Gowman 26 June 2017
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This year-long exhibition as part of the Korea/UK 2017-18 cultural collaboration brings together a range of approaches and responses to Korean ceramics. From work that is purely functional to work that is purely decorative, via work that seeks to critique contemporary Korean society, the unifying element is the quality of the craftsmanship and execution. Yoon […]

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Exhibition visit: Haenyeo, Women of the Sea, at National Maritime Museum

by Philip Gowman 14 June 2017
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The National Maritime Museum, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Maritime Greenwich, played host to an exhibition featuring South Korea’s latest inclusion in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. Life-size photographs of Jeju’s famous diving women were dotted around a building which began life in 1807 as a school for the children of British seafarers. […]

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An evening with Michael Breen and The New Koreans

by Philip Gowman 13 June 2017
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When going to a book talk, it is all too common to find that the moderator has little knowledge of the book or its subject matter, and asks the author embarrassingly shallow questions leaving the audience and author short-changed. No such risks last night at the KCC, where the British Korean Society’s Chris Hollands conversed […]

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Young In Hong’s 5100: Pentagon

by Philip Gowman 10 June 2017
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Here are a few photos and a video from the two performances of Young In Hong’s work 5100: Pentagon on 4 June 2017 in the courtyard of the Royal Academy of Arts in Piccadilly. The performers were all volunteers, of whom fewer turned up than expected because of the terrorist incident in the London bridge […]

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Love X Stereo at the Windmill – both intimate and euphoric

by Philip Gowman 17 May 2017
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Many thanks to Annie Ko and Toby Hwang for a fantastic gig down in Brixton on Monday night. Featuring tracks from their recently-released album 37A – the first fruits of their crowdfunded project for 2017 in which they aim to release 37 songs during the course of the year – as well as earlier albums, […]

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