By Kwon Mee-yoo
"All Eyes on Korea", a 100-day cultural festival introducing Korean culture to London and coinciding with the 2012 Olympic Games, is garnering attention. The event features many aspects of Korean culture from K-pop and K-drama to fashion, art exhibits and traditional music.
A traditional Korean mask play "Be-Being's Yi-myun-gong-jak" was performed on Monday at Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank
Centre. Further performances will include GongMyoung's "Walkabout" on Saturday and Baramgot on Sunday at the Purcell Rooms.
Lee Ja-ram will perform her original "pansori" (Korean traditional vocal music) piece "Sacheon-ga" next Monday at Queen Elizabeth Hall. The piece is inspired by Bertolt Brecht's "The Good Woman of Szechuan" and set in Korea, offering a glimpse of modern life in an exhilarating way.
On Tuesday, famed soprano Sumi Jo and violinist Sarah Chang, joined by the Philharmonia Orchestra, will display the talent of classical musicians from Korea at the Royal Festival Hall, also at the Southbank Centre.
Noted Korean designer Lie Sang-bong will host a fashion show at London's Victoria & Albert Museum on Monday. Lie is known for his use of Korean traditional patterns and characters on his garments. Chefs Leo Kang and Kim Sohee will present an excellent example of "hansik", or Korean cuisine at the event as well.
The Korean Cultural Centre UK in London opened an exhibition, "Korean Funerary Figures: Companions for the journey to the other world" and "kkokdu" or Korean funerary figures are on display through Sept. 8.
A special screening of "Crossroads of Youth", the first silent film of Korea, featuring a narrator and singers will be held at the British Film Institute on Aug. 2.
Korean artists in London
Korean artists will also spread their wings in London while the eyes of the world are focused on the city.
"Korean Eye", an exhibition featuring some 100 works of 34 contemporary Korean artists, opened at the Saatchi Gallery, Wednesday.
"Korean Eye is set to play a key role in shaping our understanding of the work of this group of artists and provide a gateway to the wider culture of their homeland", Saatchi gallery CEO Nigel Hurst said. "They've absorbed many aspects of contemporary life in Korea and have chosen very individual ways to communicate this, showing extraordinary talent and energy".
Founded by Parallel Media Group Chairman David Ciclitira and sponsored by Standard Chartered Korea, the exhibit has been introducing rising Korean artists since 2009. This year's exhibit is themed "Energy and Matter" and runs through Sept. 23.
The dull, gray pillars of the Southbank Centre in London have been turned into a piece of pop art by Korean artist Choi Jeong-hwa. At his "Time after Time" exhibition on the balcony of the Hayward Gallery in the Southbank Centre, he covered 16 concrete columns with some 7,000 green plastic baskets, adding fun and freshness to the cityscape. A British newspaper, The Guardian said Choi's work "instantly transforming them into exotic plants".
Another artist Kim Beom is presenting "The School of Inversion" at the same venue. Kim used drawing, video and sculptural installations to turn the conventional norms of classrooms upside down, making visitors reflect on their perceptions.
Choi's exhibit runs through Sept. 9, while Kim's will continue until Sept. 2 as a part of the Southbank Centre's "Festival of the World".
Shin Mee-kyoung, known for her soap sculptures, participated in a public art project at Cavendish Square near Oxford Circus. She recreated an equestrian statue of the Duke of Cumberland, removed in the 19th century, with soap on its original pedestal.
The sculpture will be on display for a year from Monday and the scented soap statue will eventually erode and the scent will fade due to weather or other influences.
Lee Kang-wook offers his first solo exhibition in London titled "Invisible Space" at Asia House in central London through Aug. 11. His works feature aesthetic impressions on macro and micro spaces such as the organic chain of a neuron system.
Source : www.koreatimes.co.kr/... ( English Korean )
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