10 Things I Like About ‘All Eyes on Korea’

I volunteered to help out for last weekend (8 – 9 September 2012) event, ‘All Eyes on Korea’, part of the Mayor’s Thames Festival, in front of Tate Modern. Also, I get a chance to experience and enjoy myself during this wonderful event. Here are the ten things what I like about ‘All Eyes on Korea’:

1. Kukkiwon Taekwando Demonstration

This is the highlight of the performances throughout this whole event. I tell the visitors that it is a must-see performance. Kukkiwon Taekwando flew all the way from Korea to demonstrate taekawando, here, in London. There are three parts of the demonstration. Two of my favourites are ‘Dream of Taekawando’ and the exciting ending ‘Oppa Kikkwon Style’. They kicked woods, apples, and flowers with their own inner strength which impressed the audiences. Some audiences get autographs from the members of Kukkiwon after the show.

2. Traditional Korean Wedding

I get to gain more understanding of how the process of the traditional wedding goes. I’ve seen this on historical dramas and films. However, this is a good opportunity to see this wedding before my very own eyes. With the narrator, she explains every single bits of how the wedding goes and what does it mean. This is also follow by cultural performances which is normally part of the wedding. There are two couples who are selected to be part of this wedding. Thus, I not only enjoyed but I learned something while watching this performance.

3. Carving on Soap

This workshop is run by the contemporary Korean artist, Shin Mook Young. Families get the chance to carve the ‘Star Gazing Tower’ on the soap bars (sponsored by Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics). After the soaps are carved, they are placed in front of the ‘Star Gazing Tower’ which is made of soap. We get the wonderful vanilla smell from the soap bars which are refreshing. The ‘Star Gazing Tower’ is made entirely out of soap bars. At first, some visitors thought it’s made out of cheese, but, actually, it’s made out of soap bars. Amazing, isn’t it?

4. Make Your Own Design with Dried Noodles

Another art workshop, which is run by Hong Sang Sik, for the family. There are two sessions. One is for the kids to play at the ‘Dried Noodle Play Area’ where kids can step on the dried noodles and create whatever design they want. The second one is creating your own design with just dried noodles and wooden boxes. It’s a fun and interesting activity.

5. K-pop Contest

This is the one that many K-pop fans are excited about and cheer for their favourite contestants. ‘Hanuri’, a group of dancers who have interest in K-pop and Korean culture, and last year’s winner, Cherelle are giving the special performances to the audiences. The contestants give their very best for the audiences to cheer and have tears in their eyes. The winner for this year’s contest is ‘Tita Lau’ who is known as the next Sistar’s Hyorin. The 1st runner-up is ‘Soldiers’ who sang 2PM’s ‘I’ll Be Back’ in acoustic version. The 2nd runner-up is Suzanne Broodbakker who danced to Hyuna’s ‘Change’. The contest ends with 30 minutes party time with some K-pop music. Good job to all the performers and contestants to put on a great show.

6. Babbling Comedy 2

A show that makes me laugh and have a smile on my face. These guys are my favourite entertainers who did some juggling, beatboxing, magic, and music while they babble along when they converse among each other and with the audiences.

7. Dress in Hanbok

I didn’t know that dressing in hanbok can be a little complicated. I counted that there’s roughly about five and six layers that need to be put on to dress beautifully in a hanbok. Not only, we just dressed in hanbok but also take a photo as a souvenir to be kept and show to friends and family that we dressed in a hanbok before. I would say that dressing in hanbok like a princess is amazing.

8. Korean Cultural Art Performance

I experience another cultural performance with pansoori singing and dancing while other performers play with traditional instruments. Even though I didn’t understand the words, but I felt the sense of connection with meaningful music and looking at the smiles from the performers. As many people say: Music is a universal language.

9. A Taste of Korean Food

Bibigo food stall gives us a taste of Korean food by letting us try one of the most common Korean dish, ‘bibimbap’ which is basically fresh ingredients on top of the rice. When you mixed together, it reminds you of something like fried rice. It’s yummy and healthy. Also, Korean ingredients and products are sold at the stall.

10. Open Air Film – ‘Marathon’

This event end the night with showing ‘Marathon’ to the audiences outside the Tate Modern before they can watch the fireworks show. This film is about an autistic child who tries is best to run in a marathon while his mother supports him. This is based on the true story. Although I didn’t watch it, I did watch the trailer and it made me cry after two minutes. I’ll definitely going to watch this film when I’m free.

You can check out the Korean Class Massive YouTube Channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/koreanclassmassive?feature=results_main) to check out some performances.

Don’t forget to support ‘Hanuri’ by following the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/352302884847208/

Even though I enjoy this festival, there are not a lot of stalls in this area like the previous festival in the year 2011. There’s not enough food stalls so we can even taste more Korean food beside ‘bibimbap’. I wish there is a tourism booth so we can know more about the tourists’ attractions in Korea. For K-pop fans, there is no activity for them such as purchasing K-pop merchandises and CDs and have a ‘noraebang’ (karaoke) session. Also, what about the workshops with the performers so that the visitors can experience taekwando, art performances, and entertain themselves by doing some juggling?

This year’s event is enjoyable and I hope that there are even more stalls and entertainment for visitors to have a wonderful ‘Korean’ experience next year.

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