A review of the Korean cultural year 2019

A review of some of the highlights and trends in the Korean cultural year, primarily in London but also with half an eye to anything we might have seen elsewhere in the UK. The review is a personal one, inevitably skewed towards the events we managed to get to. Introduction This time last year I […]

Joo Yeon Park’s Library of the Unword, at the National Poetry Library

National Poetry Library | Level 5, Blue side | Royal Festival Hall 5 December 2019 – 29 March 2020 | Admission free Joo Yeon Park’s Library of the Unword commemorates the 30th anniversary of Samuel Beckett’s death. The exhibition features an installation, Twenty Times a Thousand (2019), in response to Beckett’s poem ‘Echo’s Bones’ (1935). The work comprises over […]

Gig review: Kyungso Park, SB Circle + Hey String

Isn’t it refreshing when a band exceeds expectations? When you were expecting something pretty good, and you get something astoundingly good. When the newbie support band has the class to headline their own gig. OK, to call the gayageum trio Hey String a newbie band neglects to mention their success as prizewinners in Seoul Namsan […]

Jambinai launches K-music 2019 with explosive force

Call me a grouch, but when you need both ear plugs and a blindfold to survive a gig in any degree of comfort you have to start questioning the wisdom of some of the sound and lighting judgments. Ear plugs, handed out for free at the entrance to Jambinai’s Purcell Room gig that opened K-music […]

K-music 2019: Black String, 18 Nov @ Purcell Room

Based on Black String’s latest album release, Karma, this closing concert could be the highlight of the festival. The concert is also part of the London Jazz Festival line-up. K-music 2019: Black String Monday 18 November 2019, 7:45pm Southbank Centre / Purcell Room | Belvedere Road | London SE1 8XX Tickets £15 + booking fee […]

K-music 2019: Jambinai, 3 October @Purcell Room

Jambinai open the 2019 K-music festival as part of their six-city England tour. K-music 2019: Jambinai Thursday 3 October 2019, 7:45pm Southbank Centre – Purcell Room | Belvedere Road | London SE1 8XX Tickets £15 + booking fee | Book tickets Jambinai present Korean traditional music in a new and innovative way, with their ground-breaking post-rock […]

Brief review: Crossroads of Youth

Crossroads of Youth, Korea’s earliest surviving feature-length movie, was a great way to start the season of films from Korea’s colonial period. It is a season that could not have taken place 15 years ago, because these films have only recently come to light in the film archives of Beijing, Moscow and Tokyo. Crossroads of […]

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 […]

8 more reasons to visit Lee Bul: Crashing

Lee Bul’s fabulous show at the Hayward Gallery closes this weekend. If you haven’t seen it yet, here are eight more reasons why you should. 1. Park Chung-hee naked OK, a rather sensationalist opener, and not something I ever expected to find myself writing, but yes: suspended from the ceiling are two naked effigies of […]