London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Korea, Sparkling

Why is it that Western Korea-watchers are, in general, so cynical? Too often we criticise Korea for not listening to sound advice from us knoweldgeable, sophisticated Westerners. So Korea goes and hires the leading “National Branding” expert, Simon Anholt (a Brit, according to one blogger), to assist with a tourism strapline. Highly commendable. And the … [Read More]

The Leeum Art Gallery, Seoul

A brief walk from Hangangjin subway stop (line 6) near Itaewon is the Leeum Gallery, set up by Samsung. No expense has been spared on the building itself, with prestigious foreign architects engaged to build it, and an impressive collection of artworks. The building itself is very spacious, and has three main sections. Older artworks … [Read More]

Celebrity news round-up: January 07

Rain, LKL’s man of the year 2006 has started 2007 on a low-note with a speeding ticket in Hong Kong at the start of his gruelling tour. He also underwhelmed one reporter at a Singapore press conference who found him just a little dull. This wasn’t a reflection on his performance on-stage (and I’ve yet … [Read More]

In-flight entertainment

No marks to British Airways for assuming that all their customers, regardless of flight origin and destination, are British or American and have no interest in the culture of wherever they’re flying to or from. The in-flight entertainment provides mainly Hollywood stuff and a bit of British TV, while the audio channels are western classical … [Read More]

Farewell to Seoul

Some of the highlights and not-so-highlights of my visit to Seoul. First the good. Soundday in Hongdae Gwacheon’s National Museum of Contemporary Arts The Leeum Gallery (post to come soon once I’ve done a bit of research. Now done. Post is here) Insadong. Yes, there’s some touristy tat for sale, but there’s also some really … [Read More]

Some pictures of Insadong

As I’ve been on a plane for what feels like the last 24 hours, a lazy post today. Insadong on a Sunday morning, before it gets busy: One of the products for sale: Question: If the diary is designed for the Japanese market, why is the writing in English? And a British style icon somehow … [Read More]

SoundDay in Hongdae

I’m glad no-one volunteered to chaparone me round the music clubs of the Hongdae area last night. I wouldn’t have had half so much fun. For starters, if you’re with someone else or with a group of people, you have to go at the speed of the most vocal or you probably end up staying … [Read More]

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 … [Read More]

Times under fire for Korean aid allegations

The (London) Times is drawing fire from the Chosun for its mischievous linking of Seoul’s increasing largesse in foreign aid with Ban Ki-Moon’s candidacy for the secretary-generalship of the United Nations. An article from last week catalogued the increased amounts of aid pledged by Seoul to various African nations. A prompt rebuttal by the ministry … [Read More]

Jeju, the love island

We all knew that Cheju-do was a holiday destination for honeymooners. What I didn’t know until Thursday’s feature in Der Spiegel was that there’s an informative theme park for honeymooners to get some inspiration. There’s some great pictures, one of which is shown left. The theme park has been around for a while. Here’s a … [Read More]

Boryeong mud festival

What is it about the mud festival, which just finished this last Saturday in Boryeong? I see it mentioned in Seoul magazine as one of the highlights of the Korean cultural calendar, on the Seoul Selection website, and this week it’s been in the Chosun Ilbo and on the Yonhap site. Is it really a … [Read More]

In love with Seoul

I’m pretty sure the FT’s coverage of Korean affairs has increased both in quality and quantity over the past year. For example, they were the only western paper I noticed that covered the publication of the annual profits of the foreign banks operating in Seoul — data only available in Korean on the financial regulator’s … [Read More]

Memories of Mokseokwon

Fond memories of a visit to Mokseokwon (목석원) sculpture park in Chejudo. I was lucky enough to be introduced to Baek Un-Ch’ol, who has masterminded the park. The main exhibits in the park are interesting pieces of driftwood, which Mr Baek has spent a lifetime collecting. He could earn a fortune by flogging them off … [Read More]