All Eyes on Korea

Articles relating to the 100 day festival of Korean culture coinciding with the London 2012 Olympics – a festival of music, arts and performance. For the UK audience it was branded “All Eyes on Korea”, while for the audience back in Korea it was 오색찬란, which roughly translates as “five colours shining bright”.

The summer is over, and Chuseok approaches. The gay green baskets and balloons which adorned the drab concrete pillars beneath the Hayward Gallery and Queen Elizabth Hall during the Olympics period have been packed away. Here’s a reminder of what was there. Choi Jeong-hwa supervises the inflation of the spiral balloons for his installation Life-Life […]

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Photos from All Eyes on Korea at the Thames Festival 2012

by Philip Gowman 9 September 2012
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We didn’t manage to see all of the All Eyes on Korea Thames Festival events, but here’s a flavour of some of them… 1. The Kukkiwon Taekwondo demonstration team practising on the evening before the Festival. They wowed the audience on Saturday with an encore featuring PSY’s Gangnam Style. 2. CJ’s new restaurant, Bibigo, was […]

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Kkokdu – a cortege’s colourful attendants

by Philip Gowman 5 September 2012
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Accompanying the KCC’s exhibition of Korean funerary figures, Charlotte Horlyck gave a helpful lecture providing some historical background and context to these colourful wooden characters. The talk was particularly valuable as the introduction provided by the director of the Kkokdu Museum a few weeks previously had lacked much content. While generally admitting that not much […]

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Contemporary K-art in front of Tate Modern at the Thames Festival

by Events Editor 5 September 2012
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More details of the K-art stream in the wide-ranging Korean participation in the Thames Festival. And while you’re paying a visit, don’t forget to pop in to the Tate Modern itself, where Sung Hwan Kim has an amazing installation in the East Tank. ‘All Eyes on Korea’: Contemporary Korean Art and Family Workshops Saturday, 8th […]

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Exhibition visit: Kim Beom’s School of Inversion

by Philip Gowman 30 August 2012
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Kim Beom is known for his videos of very serious Korean TV newsreaders, their newscasts chopped into a thousand pieces and spliced back together word by word to create nonsense stories. Londoners were introduced to his work back in 2006 as part of the Asia House group show Through the Looking Glass and Untitled (News) […]

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All Eyes on Korea: consistent investment in the performing arts brings its rewards

by Philip Gowman 29 August 2012
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The London 2012 Olympics was around a decade in the making: preparation of the bid, building the venue itself and putting in place the infrastructure required to run a successful games. And for the last couple of years of that preparation time, a separate team of hard-working organisers from the Korean Ministry of Culture Sports […]

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All Eyes on Korea at the Thames Festival

by Events Editor 29 August 2012
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The summer’s events come to an end with the Thames Festival, which coincides with the Chuseok season. As usual, Korea will be strongly represented, this time in a prestigious location just in front of Tate Modern. All Eyes on Korea at the Thames Festival Saturday 8 & Sunday 9 September 2012, 12 – 10pm A […]

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Funeral Figurines: A Unique Art Form of Traditional Korea

by Events Editor 24 August 2012
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The opening talk of the current KCC exhibition, presented by the director of the museum who has provided the exhibits, was a little short on information on these charming funeral dolls. So Charlotte Horlyck’s upcoming talk is very welcome. Funeral Figurines: A Unique Art Form of Traditional Korea Global Korea Lecture: ‘Korean Culture Shining Bright’ […]

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Fashion, food and music: Korea Shining Bright with Lie Sang Bong at the V&A

by Philip Gowman 18 August 2012
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It’s not often that an honour guard in Joseon dynasty costume greets you as you enter a London public building. In fact the last time I can recall it happening was at the celebration of Korean food and fashion at the Banqueting House in 2009. And at the Victoria and Albert Museum on 30 July […]

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Battle of the Divas: Shining K-Classics at the Festival Hall

by Philip Gowman 9 August 2012
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Maestro Seigerstam eased himself onto the platform looking like a cross between Brahms and a benign troll, long white beard resting on a generous stomach, long white hair reaching down the back of his tailcoat. With a waggle of his baton, the woodwind started playing Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet Overture and the Shining K-Classics concert […]

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Concert notes: Be-Being’s Korean Masque Music Project at the QEH

by Philip Gowman 7 August 2012
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Be-Being (비빙) was the first of the five musical events of the All Eyes on Korea festival on the South Bank and set the scene well for the remainder. It was an evening of fusion: contemporary music on traditional instruments, with some of the numbers accompanied by traditional mask dances from a variety of traditions. […]

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Crossroads of Youth – a constantly-evolving performance of Korea’s earliest silent film

by Colette Balmain 5 August 2012
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Crossroads of Youth is one of Korea’s earliest silent films, which would have at the time had narration by a byeonsa (the Korean equivalent of the Japanese benshi). The function of the byeonsa was to tell the story in the absence of diagetic dialogue (which in Western cinema was told through intertitles), in addition to […]

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Concert Notes: All Eyes on Baramgot at the Purcell Room

by Matthew Jackson 30 July 2012
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I had expected the five-piece ensemble Baramgot (바람곶) to provide a solid evening of traditionally folk-inspired Korean  music. Having attended a number of traditional Korean music performances before, I had a fairly clear idea of what I was in for, and I was looking forward to it. The 75 minute programme consisted of seven items, […]

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Kimchi for beginners at the Korean Cultural Centre

by Michael Rank 24 July 2012
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The Korean Cultural Centre was packed for a cookery demonstration by Master Chef Tony Yoo, executive chef at the Korean embassy, entitled Introducing Korean Cuisine. Slightly to my surprise most of the audience were Koreans, who have possibly spent such a long time in Britain that they feel more at home making baked beans on […]

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Shining K-Classics at the Royal Festival Hall

by Events Editor 22 July 2012
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The last of the All Eyes on Korea musical events is of Western classical music, featuring two of Korea’s best-loved classical stars: Shining K-Classics Date: 31 July 2012, 7:30pm Venue: Royal Festival Hall Violinist Sarah Chang and soprano Sumi Jo, Korea’s foremost classical musicians, will perform with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Leif Segerstam at the […]

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Korean Music Ensemble Baramgot at the Purcell Room

by Events Editor 22 July 2012
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LKL is a great fan of Baramgot, and they return to the South Bank with the added attraction of crossover haegeum player Ccotbyel. Not to be missed. Korean Music Ensemble Baramgot Date: 29 July 2012, 7:45pm Venue: Purcell Room Baramgot return to Southbank Centre led by Won Il, bringing a fresh approach to the mystical […]

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Pansori Project ZA at the Queen Elizabeth Hall

by Events Editor 22 July 2012
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This event should be the highlight of the All Eyes on Korea concerts at the end of July. Pansori Project ‘ZA’ performs Sacheon-ga Date: 30 July 2012, 7:30pm Venue: Queen Elizabeth Hall Pansori, with its themed stories, is a form of musical theatre recognised by UNESCO, and Pansori Project ‘ZA’ bring these Korean songs of […]

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