January events 2020

Thankfully, a reasonably quiet start to the New Year – and new decade. The KCC hasn’t yet announced its first season of film nights for the year – but in the past couple of years, if I recall right, those haven’t started until February anyway. But don’t miss their showcase of the Lady Hyegyong Uigwe. […]

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 […]

Season’s greetings to all our readers

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to all of LKL’s readers, friends and contributors. Have a peaceful break, and may 2020 turn out better than 2019. As in previous years, thanks are due to Jieun Kim aka The Drawing Hand for the London Korean Christmas design which adorns the cards that some of […]

Brief book review: Suni Samchon

Hyun Ki-young: Suni Samchon Translated by Lee Jung-hi Asia Publishers Bilingual Edition, 2012, 186pp Jeju Island, in Korean literature of the late 70s and 80s, is not the honeymoon destination of more recent years. It was a place of poverty, of bitter memories – a place to escape from rather than a destination to visit […]

Brief review: Kim Sagwa – Mina

Kim Sagwa: Mina Translated by Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton Two Lines Press, 2018, 237pp Originally published as 미나, Changbi Publishers, 2008. Hell Joseon has become an increasingly familiar context for contemporary Korean literature. But the novels and stories I can think of all focus on the struggles of the poor or those who are just […]

December events 2019

Thankfully, this is a much quieter month. Exhibitions Still on: Nam June Paik at Tate Modern (till next year) Suh Do-ho near Liverpool Street (till next year) Suh Shinuk at Unit 1 | Workshop (till early January) Oh Man Chul at Han Collection (till 21 December) Coming this month Kang Kyungsuck at the KCC (from […]

Joo Yeon Sir: Chaconnes, Divertimento & Rhapsodies

Hearing Joo Yeon Sir’s barnstorming performance of Pancho Vladigerov’s Bulgarian Rhapsody “Vardar” at St James’s Piccadilly with Irina Andrievsky in August made me want to return to her recently-released second CD, Chaconnes, Divertimento & Rhapsodies, for which Vardar is the penultimate track. The album, from Rubicon Classics, follows on from her successful first album Suites and […]

Exhibition visit: Najeon and Ottchil, at Asia House

The current exhibition at Asia House, featuring exquisite work by contemporary master craftsmen and women, celebrates 70 years of diplomatic relations between the UK and the Republic of Korea. Najeon is the craft of decoration using mother of pearl, usually made from abalone shells, while Ottchil is the craft of creating objects out of lacquer. […]