London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

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Selected publications

  • Booklist: 1960-1993 (90 titles)
    • Film review: A Taxi Driver

      I went along to watch A Taxi Driver out of a sense of duty. What can be said about Gwangju, I thought, that hasn’t been said already? I’d rather see a documentary. Plus, Korean movies with foreign actors always raise slight alarm bells with me (Isabelle Huppert in Hong Sang-soo’s In Another Country left me … [Read More]

      Double book review: two takes on Shin Sang-ok

      Paul Fischer: A Kim Jong-il Production Penguin / Viking 2015, 353pp Steven Chung: Split Screen Korea – Shin Sang-ok and Postwar Cinema University of Minnesota Press 2014, 262pp The story of actress Choi Eun-hee and Shin Sang-ok combines elements of both romance and thriller as well as representing important phases in the history of film … [Read More]

      UK-Korea Relations – A Talk by Thomas Harris KBE

      The talk on UK-Korea relations by Sir Thomas Harris KBE CMG, held at Gresham College on Friday 27th of June, was both a stimulating and ultimately uplifting account of the diplomatic and economic interactions between the two countries before and after the Korean War. Amongst his various international posts as a businessman and diplomat, Sir … [Read More]

      March For The Beloved – in memory of Gwangju

      On the anniversary of the 18 May 1980 uprising in Gwangju, here is song which became its unofficial anthem. It was written in 1982 by Kim Jong-ryul for his friends, a couple who were murdered in the uprising. The title is 임을 위한 행진곡 or “March for the beloved”, sometimes translated as “March for the … [Read More]

      Book review: Yi Mun-yol — Our Twisted Hero

      Yi Mun-yol: Our Twisted Hero Originally published 1987 Translated by Kevin O’Rourke Available on Kindle (Minumsa, 2012) or hard copy (Hyperion Books, 2001) Moving to the provinces from a school in Seoul in which the social hierarchy was one he had lived with all his life, our twelve-year-old hero Han Pyongt’ae is faced with a … [Read More]

      SOAS public workshop: State Capitalism and Development in East Asia

      A free all-day seminar sponsored by the Centre of Korean Studies at SOAS: State Capitalism and Development in East Asia Speakers Jeong Seongjin (Gyeongsang National University) Lee Jeong-koo (GNU) Gareth Dale (Brunel University) Jamie Allinson (University of Westminster) Owen Miller (SOAS, University of London) Tuesday, 6 November 2012, 10am-5pm Room B111, First Floor, Brunei Gallery, … [Read More]

      2012 Travel Diary 9: Yun Isang — Victim of the Cold War

      Tongyeong, Gyeongsangnam-do, Monday 26 March 2012. For most big Korean cultural events there’s a glossy brochure with a welcome message from various officials and dignitaries. And for the most important events you might expect a welcome message from the Minister of Culture. It is a measure of the sensitivity of the Tongyeong International Music Festival’s … [Read More]

      Mark Morris on Lee Man-hee and the flowering of Korean film in the 1960s

      Everybody in Britain has heard of Samsung computers or Hyundai cars. However, another aspect of South Korea today is its successful export of films, music and TV dramas to neighbouring countries, known as ‘Korean Wave’ or ‘Hallyu’. In order to get a Western perspective on Korean cinema, I visited the Korean Cultural Centre in London … [Read More]

      Book Review: Hwang Sok-yong – The Old Garden

      Hwang Sok-yong: The Old Garden / The Ancient Garden Originally published in 2000 English translation by Jay Oh, Seven Stories Press 2009 / Picador 2010. “More has been expected of Hwang Sok-yong than almost any other Korean writer of the past quarter century,” says Bruce Fulton1. Having read The Guest (2002), and having watched and … [Read More]

      1970s: the missing decade in Korean film?

      Newcomers to Korean film can sometimes get the impression that Korean cinema started with Shiri. Indeed, one contributor to the recent Korean Film Blogathon claimed “Korea’s cinema was virtually non-existing until the new millennium”. Not a sentiment with which I strongly agree. While the last decade has certainly seen more than its fair share of … [Read More]