On the Bab brings you On the Dak

by Philip Gowman 24 March 2018
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Walking from SOAS to the KCC yesterday to mark the book launch of Lee Yil’s selected writings I came across a new venture from the Korean street food chain On the Bab. At 1 Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, is their new foray into KFC, On the Dak, bringing different flavours of fried chicken with kimchi […]

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Exhibition visit – Collect 2018

by Philip Gowman 19 March 2018
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For the fifth year, the Korean Craft and Design Foundation put on a splendid show at Collect. As in previous years, the stall showcased a range of crafts – from jewellery and lacquer to ceramics and more – with this year the theme being “Meditative Art”. The dramatic ceramic piece entitled Sea by Lee Eun […]

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Yi Han-eung remembered at BKS Seollal celebration

by Philip Gowman 17 March 2018
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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 […]

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Lee Ufan’s Relatum – Stage, by the Serpentine

by Philip Gowman 12 March 2018
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“It is our dream come true to work with Lee Ufan in London” enthused Hans Ulrich Obrist at the KCCUK talk which marked the installation of Lee’s Relatum – Stage outside the Serpentine Gallery on 6 February. After Lee’s hugely high-profile project at Versailles in 2014, with such a dramatic backdrop, the siting in a […]

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Korea Future Initiative publishes #UsToo report on North Korea

by Philip Gowman 11 March 2018
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The #MeToo campaign is generating so much news in South Korea that it could be easy to forget that the same issues exist, to a greater degree, north of the border. Korea Future Initiative is a London-based organisation that rescues vulnerable North Koreans, reports and investigates human rights violations, and provides redress for exiles through […]

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Peggy Gou’s busy couple of weeks in London

by Philip Gowman 11 March 2018
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Berlin-based Korean DJ Peggy Gou seems to be everywhere right now: on the March cover of British music magazine Mixmag… …where she provides this month’s cover mix; …on BBC Radio 1, where she made her Essential Mix debut in the small hours of yesterday morning, with the BBC’s Pete Tong introducing her as ‘arguably the […]

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Exhibition visit: Kim Minjung – The Memory of Process

by Philip Gowman 6 March 2018
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Looking at the image which publicises Kim Minjung’s solo exhibition The Memory of Process at White Cube, you wonder how it is that she came to be branded as a Dansaekhwa artist. The busy, multicoloured concentric circles, like patterns made by raindrops in a psychedelic puddle, are miles away from the austere, minimalist calm that […]

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Guardian suggests Korean thrillers are the new Scandi Noir

by Philip Gowman 5 March 2018
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It was not long ago that people were lamenting the absence of Korean genre fiction – such as crime and mystery stories – in translation. Well, apparently, things are changing. An article in Saturday’s Guardian talks about a “wave of interest in Korean thrillers” – highlighting the six-figure sum which bought Doubleday the right to […]

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LKL at 12 years old

by Philip Gowman 2 March 2018
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Yesterday was LKL’s 12th birthday: we went online on 1 March 2006. I never thought I’d keep going for the full 12 year cycle of the zodiac and more. Thanks to you readers, and to those who help out by feeding me information and views. And of course thanks to those who have written articles […]

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March events 2018

by Philip Gowman 1 March 2018
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A busy month this month, both in London and further afield. And, if you happen to be passing a newsagents, you might want to pick up this month’s Monocle which has a 48-page section devoted to South Korea, and interviews with President Moon, the First Lady and the Mayor of Seoul. Their travel guide to […]

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Theatre visit: 1446 – The Story of King Sejong the Great

by Philip Gowman 27 February 2018
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Visitors to Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Square, and anyone with a cursory acquaintance with Korean history, will know of the existence of King Sejong. His statue dominates the broad avenue that leads southwards from Gwanghwamun itself, gazing into the distance towards the other great hero of Joseon history, Admiral Yi Sun-shin. Are the life and achievements of […]

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Luther, Mistresses, Life on Mars get Korean remakes

by Philip Gowman 24 February 2018
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A small number of BBC TV shows have a keen following in Korea, as can be seen from a Sherlock-themed cafe in Gangnam to the popularity of the Doctor Who world tour in 2014. And it may also be remembered that Luther won Best Mini-Series at Seoul International Drama Awards in 2011. Now Luther is to […]

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Neverland: Holland’s ground-breaking K-pop debut in context

by Colette Balmain 19 February 2018
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Dr Colette Balmain discusses the controversial debut MV from Korea’s “first openly gay” KPOP idol. “Never lose self-esteem and be confident” (Holland, 2018) On 22st January 2018, at exactly midnight KST, Holland released his debut single and MV “Neverland”.  Since its release, “Neverland” has racked up over 6 million views on YouTube and Holland has […]

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In memory of Hwang Byung-ki

by Philip Gowman 10 February 2018
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In memory of the great man, here’s a video interview on Arirang TV uploaded in January 2015: And here he is playing one of his best-known compositions, Chimhyangmoo (침향무 | 沈香舞), performed on the KBS show Gugak Hanmadang. The definitive obituary in English has been written by Jocelyn Clark in the Asia Times. I was […]

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Javier Cha on the uses of digitised historical data

by Philip Gowman 10 February 2018
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Last night at SOAS there was a choice of two early evening events to start the weekend. I only heard about the appearance of South Korean queer artist and activist Heezy Yang (aka Hurricane Kimchi) two hours before the event, and I had already prepared myself mentally for the Centre of Korean Studies seminar on […]

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February events 2018

by Philip Gowman 1 February 2018
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Before anything else, can we please have one minute’s silence in memory of the great gayageum master Hwang Byung-ki, who passed away yesterday aged 82. —— Thank you. —— And now for February’s events —— The year seemed to start slowly, but it soon picked up with all sorts of events popping up from out […]

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Congratulations to the KCCUK: 10 years old today

by Philip Gowman 30 January 2018
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The Korean Cultural Centre opened the doors for its launch party ten years ago today, on 30 January 2008. Jennifer Barclay, author of Meeting Mister Kim, was there to cover the event for LKL. It’s been a hectic 10 years since then: 10 film festivals 245 film screenings (not counting collateral screenings in places like […]

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