Heritage, Human Rights, & Hanoks

MUST READ: David Kilburn's scathing critique of Seoul's conservation record, in a talk given at the National Human Rights Committee Study Centre: Heritage, Human Rights, & Hanoks http://bit.ly/9Eff2D #. Here’s a sample: Since 1976, the Seoul Government has claimed it has policies to preserve the hanoks of Bukchon. Yet the simple fact is that the […]

A belated look back at 2009

For the past 3 years LKL has concocted a quiz of the year as a way of gathering together some of the news stories which have most caught our eye. This year, as I came to draw up the list in mid December I found it hard to think of anything amusing or diverting: most […]

The art of hanok living

It’s good to see westerners other other than David Kilburn pointing out that you don't have to demolish a Hanok to make it inhabitable: http://bit.ly/4GWamM #. Peter Bartholomew and Tom Coyner in the Joongang Daily. There is a belief in Korea (and other Asian countries) that total demolition of an old traditional building and new […]

The Gwanghwamun and its many rebirths

When General Yi Song-gye founded the Joseon dynasty and moved Korea’s capital to Seoul, he needed a palace of suitable magnificence. The Gyeongbokgung (경복궁) was carefully sited by the royal geomancers to benefit from the perfect Pung Su (풍수), and at its southernmost point, in direct alignment with the main throne room, the Gwanghwamun (광화문 […]

Why is the British media so “negative”?

A recent article in the Chosun Ilbo, Why is the British Media Most Critical of Korean Markets? (3 March) asked why  British news organisations are so negative: Following the global financial crisis last year, most of the foreign media reports that shook the Korean economy were from British news organizations. Seven out of 10 foreign […]

Candle Night exhibition in Kilburn Art Space

A couple of years ago tea-merchant David Kilburn appeared in the Korea Times: he had organised a mini arts festival in Bukchon hanok village in Seoul – where he lives in one of the last few remaining unspoilt hanoks. The festival had artistic aims – “to place traditional performances in the intimate traditional setting of […]

Saemangeum update

Birds Korea and the Australasian Wader Studies Group have just completed part of their monitoring programme of migrating birds at Saemangeum. A key conclusion: many Great Knot have been displaced by the Saemangeum reclamation, and have subsequently failed to stage through the remainder of the spring at either Gomso Bay or the Geum Estuary — […]

The Spirit of Kahoidong

Bukchon (북촌), a genuine old part of Seoul, a haven of peace preserved between the two major palaces. A little bit of old Seoul carefully preserved and nurtured, saved from the twenty-first century metropolis below. Stroll around the quaint streets of Kahoidong, one of the most protected parts of Bukchon, and if you’re not looking […]

Seoul’s hanoks

There was a feature in FT a couple of weeks ago on the Bukchon district of Seoul. It’s a place as far as you can get from Apgujeong in terms of style of living. It’s the sort of place where Kim Ki-duk might be caught filming traditional housing as seen in 3-Iron, and is inhabited […]

British birdman fights for Korean environment

A recent article in the Hankyoreh, forwarded by Tom Coyner, highlighted another Korean environmental issue which I hadn’t come across before: the destruction of an important mudflat area at Saemangeum on the Byeonsan peninsula on the West of Korea in order to build – well, they’re not quite sure what. But reclaiming 99,000 acres of […]

Seoul’s redevelopment and the erosion of Gahoedong

At the London Korean Festival we’ve been treated to images of the revitalisation and greening of central Seoul, with displays of the Chonggyecheon reconstruction. However, there is an all-too-familiar flipside to modern construction projects: my attention has just been drawn to a website which catalogues the demolition of Seoul’s last few streets of traditional housing […]