An Evening with Korean Artists in the UK

I returned to the Korean Cultural Centre in London on Friday 16th of October 2009 to attend an evening of performances given by Korean artists in Great Britain.
Having seen the varied programme I really had an open mind as to how I would enjoy the experience. I was impressed at the diversity of talent that was displayed and the ability of the performers.
The programme opened with the Visual Art Project.
The five different artists’ work was surprising and interesting. Explanations of the various materials used together with the meanings and themes of the completed projects were presented.

Bada Song-Sculptor
She deals with contemporary issues of form and identity using sculpture, installation and painting and has exhibited on numerous occasions in the UK.

Sunju Park-Glass artist
Is a freelance glass artist and has recently completed commercial contracts. She specialises in fusing glass acid etching and painting in glass for free-standing sculpture.

Young-Shin Kim-bookbinder
She is a specialist in fine binding, book restoration and box making and was awarded the 1st prize and Mansfield Medal for the Best Book of the Year in the “Designer Bookbinders Competition” in 2003.

Soon Yul Kang-textile artist
She was awarded an MA at Goldsmiths College and has been a resident artist at the Kew Studio in Richmond since1998 returning annually to lecture at the Ewha Women’s University in Seoul. Her speciality is hand woven tapestries.

Kitty Jun-Im McLaughlin-painter
Kitty’s work is inspired by her experience of both British and Korean cultures. Layers of Korean Hanji paper embraces her Canvases.

Six performances then followed.

Poetry Reading by Hye Kyung Park
“The rain that fell in season”

A poem was read in Korean and English with a pictorial backdrop. The content was quite thought provoking.
Hye Kyung Park is an international writer, poet and columnist. In 2006 she published her first book of collected poems in Korea titled “Togijangi House” and is the recipient of awards from the “Overseas Korean Foundation”.

Daegun solo by Dong Yoon Hwang


“Dance of Wind”

The first piece is from “Yeongsan Hoesang” which is an example of traditional Korean music of the 15th century.
Daegum is a traditional bamboo flute producing a rich sound and was suited to both contemporary and traditional music. Both pieces were beautifully played.
Dong Yoon Hwang studied the Daegum at Dong-Guk University in Korea and has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe festival in 2008 and 2009.

Classical Vocal by Heimi Lee
“Qui la voce sua soave” from “I Puratani” by Vincenzo Bellini
“New Arirang” by Dong Ji Kim

Heimi Lee started training as a singer when she eleven years old. She attended Ewha Women’s University and was awarded an MA in Vocal Studies. In 2006 she enrolled at The Royal college of Music and her vocal studies. She then joined the Royal Academy of Opera in 2007 and has given live performances.
What a voice-I had forgotten that a human being could reach such perfect high notes.

Kayagum accompaniment by Ji Eun Jung with Dong Yoon Hwang and Sungmin Jeon (guitar)
“People of the Sea” –occupants of rural Korean towns-1970 to 1999

A series of photographs which were taken by Korean photographer Jung Hoi Jung were shown. He is Ji Eun Jung’s father.
A stunning selection of black and white stills which showed stark and uncompromising images of the hardship of daily life of people who rely on the sea for survival and for those living in rural communities. The music brought the poignancy of the situations depicted.
Ji Eun Jung is a professional Kayagum performer. She also studied at Ewha Women’s University in Seoul and furthered her education by being awarded an MA in Asian Music at Dong-Guk University.
Her performances in the UK include London City Hall and Oxford University. She has also given performances in Korea, Canada, USA, Hong Kong, Brazil and European countries.

Piano and vocals by Younee
“East West”
“True to You”
“Home to You”

What a change in style-These three songs took me by surprise. I didn’t expect the quality of music she produced. I am looking forward to seeing her perform live at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Dean Street in London on 27th of this month.
Younee is an accomplished singer, songwriter and pianist- a classical pianist who plays rock as well as Rachmaninoff. A graduate of Yonsei University in Seoul she has performed with Grammy Award pianist Bob James. She has had two successful albums in Korea and has recorded “True to You” with UK producer Richard Niles. She is currently touring in this country.

Zen dance by Sunnee Park based on traditional choreography accompanied by musicians Therese Bann and Piero Pierini.

“Celebration of life”-read by Philip Gowman (The Events Presenter )
Velvet Dark and Serene/ Womb of Everything
You, a poor human being/Wake up!
Come, Come out of your self inflicted prison.
You are the World / The centre of the universe / The arena of this comedy
Hic et Nunc
Dawning, Beaming, Blowing /Vibrating, Crawling, Evaporating
Blossoming, Flowing, Flying / Whirling, Waning, Vanishing
What a Bliss!

A gong and drum producing strikingly simple sounds accompanied Sunnee Park as she ended the evening’s performances in a reflective mood-mesmerizing the audience with her fluidity of movement.
Sunnee Park was a member of a classical Korean troupe “Little Angels” from the age of eleven then became a member of the Korean Universal Ballet company. Having been awarded an MA in Dance and Music and a PHD in Korean Shamanistic Trance at Ochanomizu University she was a dance instructor in Tokyo and performed throughout Japan. She is currently studying for an MA in Dance Movement Roehampton, whilst working with children in London.

The evening was a resounding success and one to remember. The audience was given an insight of the talents of the Korean artists and performers in Great Britain.

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