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>“Living Heritage”, An Exhibition of Intangible Heritage Properties produced by twenty-five of Korea’s finest Master Craftsmen and Women

15 Jun

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Date: 29 June ~ 21 July 2009 (The Official opening reception of the exhibition is on the 29th June 2009 from 18.30)
Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK, Ground Floor, Grand Buildings, 1 – 3 Strand, London, WC2N 5BW

The title Living Heritage is one given by UNESCO that refers to the most fragile of cultural assets: the collective knowledge behind the expressions, beliefs, rituals, dance, music, cuisine, customs and skills of each community. KCC has brought together a vast range of beautiful pieces from 25 Korean masters, each revealing an essence of Korea through its supreme craftsmanship. The pieces will include the finest examples of textiles, ceramics, paintings, silver work, furniture and traditional beverages to name but a few. The Centre will not only be showcasing the work of these masters but also offering an insight into the traditional methods, immense skill and years of training that is behind this level of craftsmanship. The skills used by these craftsmen and women are skills which are dear to Koreans, they represent a link and a connection to our past. Korea has a long history of arts and crafts, a fact that is sometimes forgotten in the face of rapid economic development and mass production. From the arts and crafts, it is the lacquer-ware which comes to the forefront of one’s mind; the skills behind the traditional Korean lacquer-ware reach back over two millennia. The sap of the lacquer tree is extracted and used to coat the most delicate of pieces that once dried creates a gloss and a colour that surpasses other materials. With two thousand years of history looking down on these masters, they understand all too well the importance of passing their skills and knowledge onto the next generation; knowing that should they fail to do so it will be the judgement of history that falls upon their shoulders.

The introduction of these cultural master-pieces also offers a wonderful opportunity for designers and artists in the UK to take inspiration from the majesty of these pieces and also to learn from the wisdom of the Korean masters. It is the goal of this ‘Living Heritage’ exhibition to remind the visitor of the traditional skills inherent in each nation and to reveal the fragility of these skills; may exhibitions such as this long keep these skills alive.

>The 26th Korean Film Night (The Marines Who Never Returned by Lee Man-hee)

12 Jun

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Date: 25th June 2009, 7.00 pm
Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK, Grand Buildings, 1-3 The Strand, London WC2N 5EJ
Film Information
(Dora-oji Anneun Haebyeong)” is a superb movie among representative Korean War movies. Released in 1963, it ran for 42 long days, drawing an audience of 194,124. It was also selected as the best movie among the 10 best feature movies dealing with the Korean War. It’s a war film describing the friendship of fellow soldiers and the instincts of men in the face of death.

Synopsis

A division in the Marine Corps participating in the Incheon Landing Operation during the Korean War successfully moved toward north and defeated the Chinese soldiers, only to realize how cruel war is, witnessing their dying comrades. Characters Jeong Wonju and An Hyeongmin, who are from the same village, along with Donghyeok, Mrs. Jeong, Insuk, a divisional officer named Kang Daesik and marines such as Ha seong are all surrounded by Chinese soldiers and die one by one from relentless sieges, becoming ‘Marines gone’ except An Hyeongmin. He barely survives and is sent on a stretcher to a nurse officer, Cha SeonYeong, his fiancée.

Awards
Winner of Best Director, Best Sound, Best Cinematography at 3rd Grand Bell Awards.
[Sources: Korean Film Archive and http://www.koreanfilm.org]

>Exploring Korea’s Cultural Legacy from Past to Present

8 Jun

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Date: Tuesday 16th June 2009, 6.15 pm for 6.30 pm
Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK, Grand Buildings, 1-3 The Strand, London WC2N 5EJ
Hang-Jin Chang and Matthew Jackson will present a series of short films on some of Korea artistic and cultural treasures, and Francesca Cho will introduce a series of modern paintings inspired by King Sejong’s alphabet Hangul, which continues to influence her work to this day.
The films will cover The Sarira Casket, Koryo Buddhist Paintings, Sokkuram, Hanbok, Hangul,
and Korea Today. These were recently shown to more than 2,000 people in Brussels at the Smile of Buddha exhibition, which was one of the largest offerings of Korean art to date with over 60,000 visitors.
The artist’s curator, Francesca Di Fraia, will also give a short talk about the ‘Cycle of Flying Dragons’. As above mentioned, the latter is a series of Francesca Cho’s modern paintings inspired by King Sejong’s alphabet, made in the late 90’s as part of her Bachelor of Arts degree, which will also be on show at the Exhibition Hall Fulham Library from 16th to 19th of July. Francesca Cho is an artist who has worked in the UK for over fifteen years, and whose works are on display throughout Europe.
Matthew Jackson and Hang-Jin Chang are members of the Korean Spirit and Cultural Promotion Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of Korea’s history and culture. They currently work in consultancy and the law, both having graduated from Oxford University in 2004, and have worked as volunteer members of KSCPP since 2006.

>Fire & acrobatics live on stage in Nanta (Cookin’)

6 Jun

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Date: 18-27 June
Venue: The Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston KT1 1HL
Fee: £15 – £25, concessions available
Box office: 0871 230 1552
From 18-27 June, Nanta (Cookin’) will perform acrobatic cooking, comic dance routines and traditional Korean rhythms live on stage at the Rose.
Nanta, which means to ‘relentlessly strike’ is a high energy visual spectacular for all the family. Set in a kitchen, four capricious cooks prepare a wedding banquet and turn all kinds of kitchen items – pots, pans, dishes, knives, bottles, brooms and even each other – into percussion instruments. With no spoken word, Nanta is perfect for every age, culture and race.

Described as ‘a show that can satisfy the world’ Nanta has received great critical acclaim since it’s premier in Seoul 12 years ago. After being voted ‘Best Performance’ at the Edinburgh Festival 1999, touring 23 countries and achieving sell-out success on Broadway, Nanta comes to Kingston for it’s only UK date.

The shows creator, Song Seung Hwan explained why Nanta has been popular around the world:

“Nanta has no linguistic barrier; presented in a kitchen, the show is unique with rhythms recognised in eastern and western culture. Everyone can relate to it and that’s what makes it such great show.” Song Seung Hwan

Following it’s run in Kingston, Nanta will head to Africa and Taiwan.

Nanta is a part of the Korean Cultural Waves and the Third New Malden Arts Festival 2009 organised by Theatre 4 All and supported by the Royal Borough of Kingston and Korean Cultural Centre UK.

To watch a youtube clip, visit www.rosetheatrekingston.org/nanta


>Korea’s Best-Loved Story Comes to the KCC

4 Jun

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Date: Sat 13th June at 2.00 p.m
Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK, Ground Floor,,Grand Buildings, 1-3 Strand, London WC2N 5BW
Admission : Free
To book your free tickets please contact the KCC by Email: info@kccuk.org.uk Tel: 0207 004 2600
For more information on Moby Duck Please Contact: Guy Hutchins Artistic Director 0121 242 0400 07908 717476 info@moby-duck.org
I’m Still Hungry!, Moby Duck’s new show for family audiences aged four and over, will be coming to the Korean Cultural Centre in June 2009.
The show in English is based on Hae wa Dal, Korea’s best-loved folk tale. When a tiger’s just eaten your mother and still looks hungry, it’s a good idea to run ─ as far and as fast as you can. But when you’re stuck at the top of a tall tree ─ and the tiger’s climbing towards you, licking his lips ─ and there’s not a woodcutter in sight ─ you have to think quicker than you’ve ever thought before …
I’m Still Hungry! is the company’s latest international collaboration between British and South Korean artists. Birmingham-based writer Peter Wynne Willson is also Visiting Professor in Children’s Theatre at the Korean National University of the Arts; so he has taken the opportunity to research and develop the script with children in Seoul as well as the UK. Rising star Lee Dong Kyu has joined the company from Korea; and Ali Belbin and Toni Midlane ─ both last seen as Maggie Thatcher in Thatcher — the Musical! join Moby Duck from the UK.
Korea’s best-loved story makes Little Red Riding Hood look as though she’s still on the nursery slopes. Storytelling, live music, puppetry and wild, exuberant Korean humour swirl together into a unique, exhilarating performance style that has become the company’s trademark ─ perfect family entertainment!
Notes on the artists
Peter Wynne-Willson’s thirty-odd plays include work for Greenwich Young People’s Theatre, the Half Moon, Merseyside Young People’s Theatre, Women and Theatre, London Bubble and Birmingham Rep. He has been Visiting Professor in Children’s Theatre to South Korea’s National University of the Arts for the last nine years. This is his fifth show for Moby Duck.
Lee Dong Kyu is one of South Korea’s brightest new talents. Over the last ten years he has appeared in nineteen films as well as working in theatre for young people as actor and puppeteer.
Ali Belbin has worked non-stop in theatre for companies including Birmingham Rep, Theatre Centre, Red Ladder, Women & Theatre, Big Brum, MAC and Croydon Warehouse; and she recently played Military Maggie in Thatcher – the Musical for Foursight Theatre. Recent TV includes Teachers and Switch and recent radio The Archers and Gunpowder Women.
Toni Midlane has worked for Birmingham Rep, Trading Faces, The Watermill Theatre, Women & Theatre, Open House, Platform4 and Language Alive among others. While with Classworks Theatre she worked with Edward Bond on the world premiere of The Children; and she was recently seen as Power Suit Maggie in Foursight Theatre’s Thatcher – the Musical.

>Thames Philharmonia (A Concert with Mami Shikimori)

2 Jun

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Date: 6th June 2009, 7.30pm
Venue: St. John’s Smith Square, London SW1 3HA
Fee: £15, £10 (£13.50, £9 Concessions)
Conductor: YU Byung-yun
Soloist: Mami Shikimori
YU Byung-yun studied at the London College of Music and Kingston University, where he gained an MA in music. His knowledge of classical music made an impression on Mstistlav Rostroprovich on the occasion of the renowned cellist and conductor’s 75th birthday when Byung interviewed him for the magazine “Auditorium”. His conducting engagements have included Kingston Philharmonia, the London Korean Symphony Orchestra, the London College of Music Chamber Orchestra, the Rehearsal Orchestra, and both the Kingston University Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. He has been guest conductor with the Abbeye Ensemble, has an engagement with the Karnata Symphony Orchestra in India and is currently resident conductor of Thames Philharmonia. He has recently conducted Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony, Brahms’ 1st and 4th symphonies, Beethoven’s 3rd and 5th symphonies, Rachmaninov’s 2nd piano concerto and Sibelius’ violin concerto in St. John’s Smith Square, which were highly acclaimed. In the Fairfield Hall, in the summer of 2004 he directed an anniversary performance of the symphonic poem “Korean Fantasy” for choir and orchestra by Eak-Tai Ahn, and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto.
Since graduating from the Royal College of Music in London in 1999 with the highest possible mark and the Hopkinson Gold Medal, Mami Shikimori has given many concerts in the UK, Japan, Thailand, Italy and the USA. Recent engagements have included concerts at the Carnegie Recital Hall and Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò in New York, the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, St Martin-in-the-Fields, and tours of Northeast England, performing in the ‘Master Musicians—International Piano Series’. She also performed in a masterclass with Stephen Kovacevich at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. She has won many prizes in prestigious competitions such as Ibla Grand Prize International Piano Competition in Italy (2003), the Peter Wallfisch Prize for the performance of Schubert (1999), the Kendall Taylor Beethoven Prize (1999), the Vivian Hamilton Prize (1998), the Millicent Silver Prize (1997), the Ellen Marie Curtis Prize (1996), the Marjorie & Arnold Ziff Prize and the Principles Special Award at the Royal College of Music. In 2002, she was selected by Manchester Midday Concert Society as one of the two most outstanding young pianists to perform at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. She has broadcast on KUSC, America’s largest public-radio classical music station.

>The 24th Korean Film Night (Hansel and Gretel)

27 May

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Date: May 28th 2009, 7pm
Venue: Multi-purpose Hall, The Korean Cultural Centre UKGrand Buildings, 1 -3 Strand, London WC2N 5BW
Director: YIM Pil-sung
Cast: Shim Eun-kyung, Cheon Jeong-myung, Eun Won-jae, Jin Ji-hye, Jang Yeong-nam, Kim Kyung-ik
Genre: Drama, Fantasy
Running Time: 117 mins

Synopsis
When Eun-soo crashes his car on a country road, he meets a young girl who leads him to her beautiful house in the middle of the forest, where he is welcomed by her parents and two young siblings, who appear to be the picture of the perfect family. The morning after, when he tries to get back to his car, the forest seems never-ending and inevitably leads back to the house. Soon Eun-soo realizes he’s trapped in the kids’ gloomy fairy-tale alternate reality, a world no other adult has managed to escape.

Filmography of YIM Pil-sung
Hansel & Gretel (2007), Namgeuk-ilgi (2005), Baby (1999), So-Nyun-Ghi (1998)

Awards
Gerardmer Film Festival, Nominated for Grand Prize : Hansel & Gretel (2009)
Fantasporto, International Fantasy Film Special Jury Award / Orient Express Section Grand Prize : Hansel & Gretel (2007)