London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

The Sound of Nature: Dal:um live at Southbank Centre

“Korean traditional instruments contain the sound of nature.” This is the opening line of Ha Suyean’s answer to my question regarding what Dal:um would like their international audience to know about ancient Korean instruments gayageum and geomungo. “For someone coming to these two ancient instruments for the first time, what will they discover?”, I had … [Read More]

Interview: Cho Jungrae (The Singer, 2020)

I watched Cho Jungrae’s 2020 movie The Singer earlier this year online, after being told by a friend of the director that it was available on Amazon Prime. It struck me as a fresh take on the pansori movie genre: instead of telling a pansori tale more or less straight like Im Kwon-taek’s Chunhyang, it … [Read More]

A visit to Min Young-ki

When I visited Sancheong for the first time in 2010 one of the items on my agenda was a visit to Sancheong’s finest potter – and indeed Korea’s most renowned tea-bowl maker – Min Young-ki (민영기). Unfortunately owning to a diary mixup Min Senior was not there, and instead I had a very pleasant meeting … [Read More]

2010 Travel Diary #16: A meeting with Hwang Byungki

Tuesday 4 May 2010. Hwang Byungki is probably Korea’s best known performer and composer for the kayageum. When I submitted my proposal to the Korean Culture and Information Service for the stories I wanted to investigate during my visit – of which the main one was the preservation and reinvention of Korean traditional culture – … [Read More]

2010 Travel Diary #12: A Meeting with Sorea

Monday 3 May 2010. In an unprepossessing building in a small backstreet in trendy Gangnam is a compact office which manages a gugak fusion band which briefly caught the spirit of a nation. At the height of the Korea, Sparkling promotional campaign, when the Korean Tourism Organisation was promoting Korea as a place with ancient … [Read More]

LKL meets Iron Chef, Judy Joo

As you might expect from an Iron Chef, Judy Joo’s handshake is firm. Not bone-crushing; just confident and strong. We are meeting in one of my favourite pubs, in Marylebone Lane, just around the corner from Joo’s London home. I’m always impressed when someone who isn’t an Englishman goes for traditional bitter, and Joo duly … [Read More]

The many sides of Younee

Younee is back in the UK for a punishing schedule of live gigs, radio interviews and broadcasts. LKL is her first interview, two days after landing at Heathrow. We meet, together with her manager, Anthony Steinberg, at the now familiar rooftop bar at the St George’s Hotel, next to All Soul’s Langham Place. Last time … [Read More]

A meeting with Nah Youn Sun

It’s always nice when a singer you’ve been following for ages gets some well-deserved recognition. It’s even better, if you get the chance to interview her, when you find out that as well has having oodles of talent she’s a really nice person as well. Nah Youn Sun comes across as self-effacing on stage – … [Read More]

A meeting with Biuret

LKL meets the energetic Korean rock band Biuret, the overall winners of Sutasi 2009, during their brief visit to London. I’ve come to the Royal Garden Hotel overlooking Kensington Gardens to meet Biuret, one of the latest Korean bands to win international recognition. The foyer is packed with music industry types, because this is the … [Read More]

Korea, recharge your energy

In fifty years since the Korean War, South Korea was catapulted from being one of the poorest countries on the planet, on a par with Ethiopia and Bangladesh, to being one of the OECD countries with a GDP that hovers between 11th and 13th in the world, depending on exchange rates. Now Mr Charm Lee, … [Read More]

Tearliner revisited

Anna Lindgren of Indieful ROK gets in touch with Tearliner again, two years after her first interview. The past couple of years, my favourite Tearliner has gone from being the loveliest of indie musicians to becoming the excellent music director that perfectly sets the mood for any scene. Working on popular dramas he’s largely responsible … [Read More]