Before the Kpop night at the KCC, we were invited to the press launch for the “All Eyes on Korea” programme and because sharing is caring, we’re here to give you the low down on the eventful summer the KCC has planned for us!
From previous posts we have mentioned how the KCC seemed to have focused a lot on Kpop recently with the introduction of the Kpop Academy and the KCC admits that before, their programmes were rather “stiff” and their recent diversion was to try and pull in a younger crowd. But now with the 100 Day Summer Festival, the KCC has gone back to it’s roots with events of a more traditional nature, but we hope that all the younger fans would still actively take part as there are some really exciting events planned.
This Summer’s events were inspired by the five colours of Korea: Red, White, Blue, Black and Yellow. Each representing North, East, South, West and the Centre respectively. With these five creative aspects, the KCC hopes to bring the very best of Korean culture to London.
First up with have a bit of Korean Art for you folks! The KCC has personally hand picked some of the best artists around to showcase in London. This summer, the Hayward Gallery at the Southbank Centre along the Thames, will be hosting events starring Korean artists Lee Bul, Choi Jeong Hwa and Kim Beom. Lee Bul, one of the most prominent contemporary artists to have emerged from Asia in the 1990s (Wiki), will be taking part in the ‘Wide Open School’ as part of the Festival of the World with Mastercard. In this Summer school, the artists will be taking on the role as Headmasters and teachers, leading a number of seminars, lectures, workshops, projects and even performances to see what would happen if school curriculums were driven by the imagination of artists. This sounds very fun and we’re sure if artists were in charge of our school curriculum we would have done a lot better. This is not the first time Lee Bul has been a featured artist at the Hayward Gallery. Back in 2010 she took part in the The New Décor exhibition, which was an exhibition where 30 artists used “interior design as a means of engaging with changes in contemporary culture”. In this exhibition, Lee Bul created an extraordinary chandelier, and if that is anything to go by, we can’t wait to see what she has planned for the Summer school “students”! This Wide Open School project will feature over 80 artists from 40 different countries and as of yet, Lee Bul’s schedule has not been confirmed but we’ll make sure we update you soon!
Image credit : http://choijeonghwa.com/
Throughout the summer, the Hayward Gallery will also feature an outdoor installation created by Choi Jeong Hwa. During the Korean Culture Centre’s 1st Anniversary, the Centre was overtaken by Choi Jeong Hwa’s installation pieces, check out his work here. The KCC exhibition was called Shine a Light, and make sure you check out his other works on his website. It looks EPIC, with the beautiful lotus flower quite heavily used in his pieces. Inside Hayward Gallery after the Wide Open School project, the project space will feature a special Solo exhibition by conceptual artist Kim Beom. There has not been much information given about this exhibition, but Kim Beom is known to work with anything from videos to drawings and installations, so we will widely anticipate what he plans to do for this exhibition!
Whilst this is all happening on the Southbank, the KCC centre itself will be hosting a very interesting exhibition on “Korean Funerary Figures”. We are very excited about this exhibition in a somewhat ‘morbidly fascinated’ kind of way, and we can’t wait to see how it will transform the KCC’s gallery area! Being familiar with the Asian concept of bringing ‘items’ with you to the afterlife, it will be very interesting to see the ‘items’ that Korean people bring with them. This exhibition will feature 70 Kokdu (wooden figures used to decorate funeral biers) and will give us a very interesting insight into the Korean attitudes of death. In Chinese cultures during the funerals, (paper afterlife) money is burnt for the decease to spend in the afterlife as well as paper houses and paper ‘maids’. In Korean funerals feature carved and brightly painted clowns, acrobats and animals to ease the journey to the other side of the world. It will definitely be a very different and fascinating exhibition although we feel sorry for the late night cleaners!
This Literary event hosted by Southbank Centre features poets from each competing Olympic nation who have been invited to take part in the UK’s largest Poetry Festival! It will be a week of readings, talks and performances and it marks the first time that so many poets from so many countries have converged in one place. They state “it is a monumental poetic happening worthy of the spirit and history of the Olympics”. Taking part from South Korea will be Poet Kim Hyesoon, said to be one of the most important contemporary poets of South Korea and was one of the first few women to be published in a literary journal. Girl power!
With Korean fashion becoming more acclaimed internationally, it only makes sense that there’d be some sort of fashion show going on for the festival. “Shining Bright – Korea through colours” will showcase the exciting designs of Lie Sangbong. Lie Sangbong is influenced by the “imperial love affair of Napoleon and Josephine, Korean poetry and calligraphy, Cubism, Bauhaus design, and 1930’s film noir heroines (wiki). Having won various awards throughout his career, he is a very well respected man and designer. Unfortunately for the general public, this event is by invitation only, but we greatly look forward to pictures from the event!
The 100 day festival will end with the annual Mayor’s Thames Festival, and if you were at ‘Korea Calling’ last year, we’re sure you’re familiar with the array of activities to expect! Last year we had taekwondo, threatre and musical performances, a very special silent movie accompanied by live audio, a brilliant Comedy sketch and a Kpop evening! Can’t wait to see what will be featured in this year’s Korean corner! We hear there’ll be lots of food involved, yum. More info to come as it’s revealed!
Also don’t forget that there is the on going ‘Year of the 12 Directors’ programme, where weekly film screenings take place at the KCC (free) with a monthly visit from the Director of the month at the Apollo (£8-£10). Film has always been one of the pillars of the Korean Cultural Centre and is one of the cultural aspects that appeals most to people. The next film screening will be TOMORROW 19th April and there are still spaces left so check it out here and make sure you book!
It looks like a very eventful summer in London this year with the Jubilee, the Olympic Games and this very special 100 day Festival! We can’t wait!