The 73rd Independence Day celebrations in New Malden

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 […]

8 more reasons to visit Lee Bul: Crashing

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 […]

Exhibition visit: Lee Bul – Crashing. Pt 2 – Scale of Tongue

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 […]

A fun day out at the Sheffield Korea Day

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 […]

I wonder how many people actually saw the full Halo…

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), […]

Theatre visit: a changgeuk Trojan Women

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 […]

Kim Aeran’s visit to London

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 […]

Film review: The Unfair / Minority Opinion

The Unfair (also known as Minority Opinion) screened as the penultimate movie in the Korean Novels on Screen season at the KCC. Based on a novel by Son Aram, it is the only film in the season where the underlying book has not (yet) been translated into English. Although the scenario is based loosely on the […]

War Veterans honoured in Kingston’s Guildhall

Yesterday a group of Korean musicians and performers entertained a group of British veterans from the Korean War in Kingston’s Guildhall. The event was organised by the Korean Veterans Association UK, a group of volunteers committed to the continuing remembrance of the sacrifice made by soldiers who came to the aid of the Republic of […]

Review: 1987 – When the Day Comes

1987: When the Day Comes is one of those movies which could not have been made a couple of years ago. It would have got the director and its all-star cast included on the infamous blacklist of suspected lefties who would not get government support in future. And to have the director of this film […]

Film review: Be With You

Ten years ago or so I was watching a rather good relationship drama on DVD when my wife came into the room and asked: “so which of the two has the mysterious incurable disease?” “It’s not one of those films,” I replied, somewhat tetchily. Ten minutes later, a car crash killed off one half of […]

Book review: Lee Yil – Dynamics of Expansion and Reduction

Lee Yil: Dynamics of Expansion and Reduction Selected Writings on Korean Contemporary Art, 1970 – 1996 Initial draft translations: Chung Yeon-shim, Park Eun-ah, Park Sung-ji Final translations: Paul O’Kane, Song Bada Published by AICA (International Association of Art Critics) / Les Presses du Réel, Dijon, France, 2018, 212pp How often do you read the learned […]