Eleanor Hyun on Korean Munbangdo Paintings (OCS members + guests)

A special lecture given by the BM’s Eleanor Hyun for the Oriental Ceramics Society: Picturing Possession: Korean Munbangdo Paintings A lecture by Dr. Eleanor Soo-ah Hyun, curator of Korean collections at the BM Tuesday 12th February: The annual Sonia Lightfoot Memorial Lecture 5:45 for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks sponsored by Woolley & Wallis Society […]

Carlo Rossetti’s photographs as social and historical narratives

Continuing this term’s series of seminars at SOAS: Carlo Rossetti’s photographs as social and historical narratives about Korea at the beginning of the 20th century Assistant Professor Giuseppina De Nicola (Sapienza University of Rome) 1 February 2019, 5:15 – 7:00 PM SOAS, Brunei Gallery Room: B104 | Online Registration required Abstract Italy first established its […]

Early Korean Cinema season at the BFI and KCC

Tickets for the Early Korean Cinema season at the BFI, which was announced as last year’s London korean Film festival came to an end, go on sale on 15 January. The organisers particularly direct our attention to two screenings: THU 7 FEB, 18:00 – OPENING SCREENING WITH LIVE PERFORMANCE + INTRO: Crossroads of Youth 청춘의 […]

BFI, KOFA and KCCUK announce archive exchange

Something to look forward to in February 2019: BFI, KOFA and KCCUK announce archive exchange to mark the centenary of the birth of Korean cinema More than ten of Korea’s oldest surviving films to screen to UK audiences for the first time in February 2019 at BFI Southbank and the KCCUK BFI restorations to show […]

Book review: Blaine Harden – King of Spies

Blaine Harden: King of Spies – The dark reign of America’s spymaster in Korea Mantle, 2018, 272 pp The character of the maverick cop, or even maverick spy, delivering outstanding results through unorthodox means and despite a disregard for hierarchy, is a familiar one in crime and spy fiction. Blaine Harden, who worked with Shin […]

November literature night: Mary Lynn Bracht’s White Chrysanthemum

A break from tradition this month. November’s book for discussion is a novel written in English, rather than one translated from the Korean. We’ll be there because we rather liked the book. White Chrysanthemum: A discussion with author Mary Lynn Bracht Wednesday 28 November, 19.00-21.00 Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK Entrance Free – Booking Essential. […]

RIP Bill Speakman VC

The funeral was held this week for Bill Speakman, the so-called Beer Bottle VC. The ceremony was held on 19 July in the Wren Chapel at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, where Speakman was a pensioner. He died peacefully at the Hospital on 20 June 2018, aged 90, surrounded by members of his family. Obituaries can be […]

New books for the summer

A couple of new books to take with you on your summer break – or, more likely in respect of the first on the list, to adorn your coffee table when you return. First, fulsomely reviewed by Andrew Salmon in Asia Times, comes Inside North Korea by The Guardian‘s architecture and design critic Oliver Wainwright […]

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 […]

UK Premiere screening: 1987: When the Day Comes

After Save the Green Planet (2003), one of my own favourites from that decade, director Jang Joon-hwan took a long break. I’m afraid I missed his second feature, Hwayi: A Monster Boy (2013), something that I’m going to have to rectify, because his third film, coming to the Picturehouse Central this month, has been getting […]

Book review: Shin Kyung-sook – The Girl Who Wrote Loneliness

Shin Kyung-sook: The Girl Who Wrote Loneliness Translated by Jung Ha-yun Pegasus Book, New York, 2015, 369pp Originally published as 외딴방, Munhakdongne, 1995 When reading Ahn Jung-hyo’s White Badge, I found myself wondering why, despite what I thought was my general antipathy to novels with listless central characters who can’t seem to find their way […]

Book Review: Ahn Jung-hyo – White Badge

Ahn Jung-hyo: White Badge Soho Press, NY, 1989, 337pp Originally published as 하얀전쟁, 1983 Translated by the author If I saw Jeong Ji-young’s White Badge (1992) when it screened in London eight years ago, I do not remember it. I cannot imagine having a similar lapse of memory concerning Ahn Jung-hyo’s Vietnam war novel on […]

Film review: Yu Hyun-mok’s Descendants of Cain

I had looked forward to the first movie in the KCC’s Korean Novels on Screen series – Kim Ki-young’s adaptation of Yi Kwang-su’s The Soil – and had been disappointed. Conversely, not being a particular fan of Yu Hyun-mok’s depressing movies, I was regarding the second in the series – his adaptation of Hwang Sun-won’s 1954 […]

Brief review: Kim Ki-young – The Soil

I’m not sure quite how to assess Kim Ki-young’s adaptation of Yi Kwang-su’s 500-page serial novel The Soil (흙, 1932-3). At 125 minutes, it doesn’t sound particularly long. But as we got up from our seats at the KCC last Thursday at around 9:15pm, it felt much later – maybe around 10:30pm. And that wasn’t […]