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 […]

Book review: Yi Kwang-su — The Soil

Yi Kwang-su: The Soil Translated by Hwang Sun-ae and Horace Jeffery Hodges Dalkey Archive, 2013, 512pp Originally published as 흙, 1932-3 Yi Kwang-su’s The Soil, at over 500 pages long, is not a book that immediately entices you to read it. But with a screening of Kim Ki-young’s adaptation of the novel coming up shortly […]

Yi Han-eung remembered at BKS Seollal celebration

The British Korean Society gathered on the newly refurbished top floor of the South Korean embassy yesterday for a belated celebration of Seollal, courtesy of the Deputy Head of Mission, Minister Sun Nahmkook. Apart from the generous buffet, a splendid selection of innovative cocktails and the opportunity to socialise, the highlight of the evening was […]

Screening: Kim Ki-young’s The Soil

This year the KCC’s first film screenings are adaptations of Korean novels. We start the season with Kim Ki-young’s adaptation of Yi Kwang-su’s 1932 novel 흙, variously known as The Soil, Earth or Peasants. Kim Ki-young: The Soil (흙 – 1978) Cast: Lee Hwa-si, Kim Jeong-cheol, Yeom Bok-soon, Nam Sung-hoon Thu 29 March 2018, 19:00 […]

Seminar: Yeoju and King Sejong the Great

Late notice of a seminar about the achievements of King Sejong, and about the city of Yeoju. Yeoju has a special association with Sejong – among other things he is buried there. The seminar will be conducted by the vice-mayor of Yeoju at the Korean Cultural Centre UK. Please RSVP under this Facebook post if […]