Thursday, 30 April 2009

The Hangul Handwriting Competition < I write Hangul! >

Closing Date for Entries: 16th May 6pm.
Winners' Exhibition: 20th May

An Exhibition of Hangul featuring four very different Korean Artists ranging from Fashion to Typography:
AHN Sang-Soo, CHUN Kyung-Woo, KIM Jong-Won and LIE Sang-Bong
In celebration of our latest exhibition "Hangul=Spirit: Inspired by Korean Characters", the Korean Cultural Centre UK is organising a Hangul writing competition. The competition involves the writing of two much loved Korean poems: entry forms including the Hangul writing paper can be downloaded from our website ( Whilst demonstrating your hand writing talents on this special type of paper, one can also enjoy these two beautiful poems. We look forward to receiving lots of entries!

Two Korean Poems are to be written on the standard paper and posted to the Korean Cultural Centre entries shall be received no later than the 6pm 16th May 2009.
An expert panel of judges will grade the entries with the winning entries being posted on our website followed by an exhibition in our Seminar Room. We also have prepared some gifts for the winning entries!

Please Send Entries to:
The Hangul Writing Competition,
The Korean Cultural Centre UK
Grand Buildings, 1 -3 Strand
London. WC2N 5BW

Scion Reveals iQ Concept at the 2009 New York International Auto Show

At the New York Auto Show, Scion unveiled a special concept version of the iQ micro-subcompact car designed to meet the transportation needs of young urban trendsetters.
Scion’s iQ concept is a new urban vehicle with a revolutionary package that is just over 10 feet in length and accommodates three plus luggage. As more and more urban centers are revitalized with a new sense of purpose, energy, and creativity, young people are moving in from the suburbs to embrace new urbanism and are looking for a car that suits their needs and delivers high emotional value.
Scion’s iQ concept is the intelligent answer to this need for highly emotional and efficient urban transportation. The convenience of having work, entertainment and culture nearby for young city-dwellers is a significant draw to urban centers. The vehicle must be able to navigate narrow, congested streets, park in tight places, have impressive fuel economy, and have compelling design and function.
“Scion’s iQ concept turns traditional auto design upside down,” said Jack Hollis, Scion vice president. “Traditionally small vehicles have been thought of as being basic. The iQ concept is just the opposite with its innovative features and iconic urban design, and we believe it fits in well within the Scion brand. Our young, trendsetting buyers are creative and innovative forward thinkers, and we think they will appreciate what iQ has to offer.”
The production iQ is currently sold in Japan and Europe. Five Axis of Huntington Beach, Calif. took the iQ to the next level with aggressive exterior and interior modifications that show the vehicle’s potential for personalization.

With its 78.7-inch wheelbase, the three-door hatchback can deftly maneuver through city traffic. At the same time, its overall length of 126.9-inches, overall width of 71.4-inches, and short front and rear overhangs allow the iQ to fit in virtually any city parking space. The front-mounted differential and repositioned steering rack decrease front end length. In addition, the iQ is equipped with a flat gas tank housed beneath the floor that reduces rear overhang.
Pushing the wheels of the small, bold concept towards the four corners of the body gives the iQ a confident stance. The custom 18-inch wheels with a nickel finish and wide tires fill the wheel well, adding to its surefootedness. The iQ’s custom front air dam, aero headlamps and high-intensity LED driving lamps signal urban road readiness.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Nikon's D5000 Digital SLR Camera Expands Possibilitesfor Photo and HD Video Creativity

Nikon Inc. introduced the new D5000, a digital SLR camera with a host of features and capabilities that deliver superior performance and image quality along with amazing versatility for photo enthusiasts and those new to digital SLR photography.
Leveraging Nikon’s expertise and innovative technologies found in its pro-level D-SLRs, the 12.3-megapixel D5000 enables users to capture exceptionally stunning images and High Definition video with remarkable ease.
Whether consumers are progressing from a point-and-shoot digital camera or looking to upgrade their current digital SLR and elevate their photographic expression, the D5000 serves as an ideal solution. First time D-SLR photographers will appreciate logical and easy-to-use controls, while creative enthusiasts will appreciate the D5000’s robust combination of features, technologies and performance. The D5000 boasts a versatile 2.7-inch Vari-angle LCD monitor that encourages shooting with a fresh perspective, Nikon’s revolutionary D-Movie Mode and expanded automatic Scene Modes, delivering superior Nikon innovation in a compact, user-friendly design.

“The Nikon D5000 represents a cornerstone in Nikon’s D-SLR line, marrying simplicity and instructive features with superior technology and HD video, allowing the user’s ability and creativity to grow—with the camera,” said Edward Fasano, General Manager for marketing, SLR System Products at Nikon Inc. “While its easy-to-use design will attract first-time D-SLR photographers, the D5000’s rich feature set and high performance will also appeal immediately to more experienced enthusiasts. The D5000 is sure to inspire creativity and originality.”

A permanent exhibition space of Korean craft opens at the Korean Cultural Centre UK

The Korean Cultural Centre UK announced the opening of a permanent exhibition beginning on 20 April 2009.
The new exhibition will display a range of Korean crafts that follow a storytelling theme of how these crafts bring style to life.
Working alongside the Korean Craft Promotion Foundation, the KCC has collected together various traditional domestic Korean crafts and home wares which offer an insight into the lives of the Korean people both past and present.

The 78 pieces on display have been crafted to an exquisite standard and so offer a unique glimpse into the Scholars’ studios, the women’s dressing room and the general communal family space of the Korean home. The fourth part of the exhibition is dedicated to contemporary pieces that have been inspired by traditional techniques.

For more information, please contact:
0207 004 2600 or

Friday, 24 April 2009

Plastic Culture: Legacies of Pop 1986 - 2008

Date: 28 March - 30 May 2009
Venue: Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Market Square, Preston, PR1 2PP

Plastic Culture looks at the visual and cultural impact of the Pop Art movement upon subsequent generations of artists in Japan, the UK and the USA.
The exhibition acknowledges the importance and influence of artists such as Andy Warhol and his pioneering approach to using and embracing technology as well as demonstrating how these ideas and concepts have been adopted and exchanged between the West and the East.
The exhibition includes painting, sculpture, video, photography and site specific installation, and features artwork from both emerging and established artists made during the last 20 years. The exhibition includes the following artists: Rachal Bradley, Nicola Carvell, Machiko Edmondson, Faile, Gajin Fujita, James Howard, KAWS, Richard Kirwan, Mariko Mori, Yoshitomo Nara, Jack Newling, Tony Oursler, Monique Prieto, Fiona Rae, Miho Sato, Cindy Sherman, Bridget Smith, Haim Steinbach, Daniel Sturgis, Andy Warhol and Gary Webb.

LG First Asian Company to Support UNWFP Fight Hunger in Africa

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and LG Electronics (LG) announced a multi-year partnership to fight poverty and hunger in the drought-afflicted Horn of Africa region. Under the banner of a ‘Partnership of Hope,’ LG pledged one billion Korean won (USD 760,000) per year for three years in support of WFP’s projects to alleviate hunger in Kenya and Ethiopia.
It is the first public-private partnership where a private Korean company has made a sizeable donation to support development projects in Africa.
The projects will target some 23,000 of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the Nairobi slums of Kenya and in remote rural areas of Ethiopia. "This agreement marks WFP’s first large-scale multi-year corporate donation from Asia to Africa,” remarked Monica Marshall, Head of Global Private Partnerships at WFP. “We are honoured to cross this milestone with LG Electronics. This help for Kenya and Ethiopia could not have come at better time, considering the gravity of the food crisis in the Horn of Africa region today.”

LG and the WFP signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) earlier at the Korean company’s headquarters in Seoul in the presence of executives from both organizations. Korean celebrity and WFP National Ambassador against Hunger Jang Dong-gun also attended the MOU signing. “As a global company, LG Electronics will not turn a blind eye to abject poverty and environmental degradation,” said Mr. Young-kee Kim, Executive Vice President of LGE. “These two issues are closely linked, and it is only through more responsible behaviour that they can both be overcome. Today, we are pledging our commitment as a global citizen to help build a foundation for self-sufficiency in one of the neediest parts of the world.”

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Restaurant Tour #8: NARU Korean Restaurant

Having been open barely a month it seemed an opportune time to try the cuisine at the NARU restaurant.

It is located at: 230 Shaftesbury Avenue,
London, WC2 8EG (Takeaway service is available)
Tel. Numbers: 020 7379 7962 / 07877 850513
Opening times: Monday to Saturday (1200 hours to 1500 hours / 1730 hours to 2230 hours), Sunday (CLOSED)
How to get there: Tottenham Court Road ( Northern and Central Lines ) and Holborn ( Central Line ) Underground stations are a short walk away.
Numerous bus routes along New Oxford Street, Shaftesbury Avenue, Bloomsbury Way and High Holborn also offer easy access.

The owner is Ms. YEONEE KIM, whose previous career was assisting in the making of documentaries, has a good command of the English language as has the Chef.
PHILIP LEE is the Chef. His previous experience includes working for a large hotel in Seoul and being a Public House landlord in Gloucester incorporating a Japanese/Korean restaurant.
Four other members of staff-all who speak good English- assist in the restaurant and kitchen areas.
There is seating for thirty eight patrons. The tables have wooden tops without built in BBQ facilities. The choice of alcoholic beverages is limited.
Clientele consists of approximately 80% of tourists/transient diners as numerous theatres and shops are in the vicinity. The remaining 20% are made up of office workers and Korean people.
Although this is a fledgling restaurant with a limited menu-a choice of thirteen starters, fifteen main dishes and five side dishes the quality of the food is surprisingly good. The Chef, PHILIP LEE emphasises that only fresh ingredients are used.

Kal Bi koo-yi
Roast of thinly sliced beef rib marinated in a Chef’s special sauce with a side plate of lettuce, chilli ( Very Hot), cucumber and carrot----Tender meat cooked to individual tastes on a small portable BBQ.
Yook Hwe
Thinly sliced raw beef served with sliced Korean pear and egg yolk----Again tender meat but not to my liking but the other person sharing this dish enjoyed it.
Kimchi ( pickled Chinese leaf lettuce)
One very lightly spiced—suitable for an introduction to this taste- but a bit salty for me. The second- spicier and much more to my taste
Dolsot Bib im Bap
Steamed rice and mixed vegetables and beef with special chilli sauce-served in a ceramic bowl-One of my favourite Korean dishes.
Na Mul
Three types of seasoned vegetables-cucumber, radish and carrot-I enjoyed these vegetables
Ke Sal Ssam
Pancakes with crab, sliced cucumber, sliced carrot, a mixed green salad and honey mustard sauce-Worth trying

The word NARU in Korean means a landing place for ferry passengers. Hence, it could apply to travellers using public transport in London who want a break going from one destination to another.

This restaurant fulfils the needs of people who want a satisfying meal. It provides a good introduction to traditional and well-known Korean cuisine.
With more experience and the introduction of further Korean dishes the owner YEONEE KIM should have no difficulty in establishing NARU as one of the more popular eateries in the area.

Photos courtesy of Naru Korean Restaurant

Monday, 20 April 2009

Taking costs out of your business: quickly

Date: Friday, 24th April 2009 12.00pm to 2.00pm
Venue: Towers Perrin, 71 High Holborn, London, WC1 6TP
Fee: Free for members (booking required)

The Japan Society supports this lunchtime seminar with Towers Perrin. The current economic turmoil has hit harder and is biting deeper than any downturn in recent memory. This means it is imperative for companies to respond quickly and efficiently to reduce costs. This could not be truer for Japanese companies where some of the key industries on which Japan has built its global reputation have been hit the hardest. The challenges faced are significant, with companies needing to remain focused on the market now, position themselves for the upswing when it comes, as well as continuing to address traditional challenges associated with differing management and communication styles, decision making and cultural differences.
To help Japanese companies with operations and European regional headquarters in the UK, Towers Perrin is inviting Japan Society members to a special lunchtime briefing which will provide guidance on how to effectively and quickly take costs out of their businesses. Towers Perrin is a leading member of the society, and a global management consultancy specialising in human capital and risk issues. This briefing will be invaluable to assist management of Japanese companies take actions hopefully avoiding unnecessary layoffs whilst positioning them for growth when the economy ultimately recovers.

The lunch seminar will cover:
*How to identify and prioritise cost reduction opportunities across the full spectrum of reward programmes (including pay, pensions and benefits) covering both the financing and the actual cost of these programmes
*How to identify and prioritise opportunities to reduce the cost of the HR function itself *Achieving greater performance differentiation so that the financial resources available to fund pay and benefits are used effectively
*How to realise these cost reductions quickly

To reserve your place, please contact Caroline Perkins at:, giving your name, company name and email address.

Korean economy to recover fastest: OECD

A new report has struck a positive outlook for Korean economy, Asia's fourth largest economy.
A study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said that Korea's economy is likely to recover the fastest among its 30 member nations.
According to the OECD report released by the Strategy and Finance Ministry on Apr. 20, Korea's CLIs (Composite Leading Indicators) were recorded at 94.5 in February up 1.6 points from January while the average dropped by 0.7 to 92 points.
Composite Leading Indicators project a country's economic activity six months in advance by measuring indices such as industrial output, housing trends and gross domestic product.
A figure above 100 means the economy will expand, while a number below 100 forecasts a contraction.

Only eight OECD member nations, including Korea, recorded an increase in their CLI indices.
Mexico saw its February CLI rise 0.5 points, followed by Italy (0.4 points), Turkey (0.3 points), Finland (0.3 points), New Zealand (0.2 points), Poland (0.5 points) and France (0.1 points).

The steepest rise in the index for Korea in comparison to other OECD member nations suggests that Korea will recover the fastest from the global financial crisis.
The report also found that the economic outlook for the Group of Seven advanced nations remains gloomy.
Strategy and Finance Ministry officials analyze that the rise stems from some improving economic indicators including industrial output and a stabilizing financial market backed by expanded liquidity

However, officials warn that, since Korea's CLI -- along with that of other OECD member nations -- still remains below 100, it means the global economy is still sluggish and it may be too early to be overly optimistic about a quick V-shaped economic recovery for the country.

Written By Han Aran ( Staff Writer)

Friday, 17 April 2009


What did the Korean ambassadors have to say about the ‘satellite’ just days before it was launched?
(Jennifer Barclay of London Korean Links reports)

‘I’ve never met a North Korean before,’ says Francesca, excitedly. This floors me. I mean, neither have I, but Francesca Cho, an artist based in Hammersmith, is South Korean. Of course she hasn’t. She was born long after the border was closed. She exhibits her work around the world but North Korea is one place she can’t visit, although as a Brit I could. And very few North Koreans get to travel outside their own country.

It brought it all home, what a special night this was and why so many of us (152 guests, a mix of Brits and Koreans) signed up for this event at the House of Commons in late March. This ‘Korea Update’ was the inspired idea and the fruit of many months of work by Sylvia Park, voluntary secretary of the Anglo-Korea Society.

It was a simple idea, yet fraught with impossible challenges, to bring together four ambassadors at one table to discuss the issues of the moment: British ambassador to the ROK or South Korea, Martin Uden; British ambassador to the DPRK or North Korea, Peter Hughes; ambassador to Britain from the ROK, Chun Yung-woo; and ambassador to Britain from the DPRK, Ja Song-nam. How particularly timely this discussion would be, with the DPRK’s controversial intention to launch a satellite into space very much in the news.

Not only was there a ‘royal flush’ of ambassadors at the dais, but in the audience was Warwick Morris, retired British ambassador to the ROK, as well as the man who set up the first British embassy in the DPRK only a few years ago, whose credentials for the job, he joked, were that he was the only person in the foreign office who’d ever said he and his wife actually wanted to go to Pyongyang. Sir Tom Harris, ambassador to the ROK in the mid-90s, was also present.

Even the host for evening was quite a find, Frank Cook MP, who declared at the outset that he twice had lunch with Kim Il-sung, Great Leader of the DPRK. Bringing unexpected humour to an evening in which the diplomatic representatives from Pyongyang and Seoul were ‘willing to sit at the same table in front of the same audience’, he related an anecdote about the North Korean football team, reminding us that warmth, hospitality and friendship were Korean traits both sides of the border.

Sadly, Peter Hughes was absent because of a bereavement, but Stephen Lillie, head of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Far East Group, stood in to describe the British embassy’s activities in the DPRK, mainly ‘very rich discussions’ and setting up English-teaching programmes. English is now more popular as a foreign language than Russian and Chinese, perhaps showing the DPRK’s desire to engage with the world at large rather than merely the socialist world. Officials from Pyongyang are invited to stay with British families to learn English and dispel some misconceptions about the British way of life. Lillie ended by stating the British position that ‘the satellite launch should not go ahead.’

Next to speak was Martin Uden, who first went to the Republic of Korea in 1978 and returned in February last year, witnessing President Lee’s ‘rollercoaster of a year’ since inauguration with student activism and anti-American protests, and the National Assembly at an impasse. Uden, who as a pioneer in ‘digital diplomacy’ uses a blog to get messages across broadband-connected South Korea, puts the ROK’s economic problems into context for us: although its exports have decreased by 25%, this is still lower than Japan; the negative GDP growth predicted is still not as serious as Singapore, a country even more export-dependent; and interest rates have been lowered, but not as far as in the UK. There is optimism.

‘There is no question that relations with North Korea have deteriorated,’ he continued, adding that the North has not appreciated the move away from the ‘sunshine policy’ of the previous government to a more hard-nosed approach. The ‘missile launch’ was being taken seriously, but the mood in Seoul was certainly not one of panic, the public remembering that seemingly threatening behaviour in the past had led to nothing.

The floor was then open for the audience to address specific questions to the two Korean ambassadors.

Ja Song-nam, the ambassador to Britain from the DPRK, a country with one of the worst human rights reputations in the world, surely has one of the toughest jobs imaginable, and hats off to him for agreeing to participate. Was the DPRK opening up to enter the international market, was the first question. ‘The position of our country is to enter the international market,’ he says. ‘But there are many things to do before we can do that.’ He reminded us that the DPRK has diplomatic relations with all countries except the USA and Israel. ‘We were the original axis of evil,’ he jokes, ‘but as you can see, there are no horns on my head.’ Such jokes I didn’t expect. Ja came across as warm and thoughtful, although when asked about the objectives of his embassy in the UK, the answers merely reiterated a general mandate to improve exchange and engagement.

His South Korean counterpart, Chun Yung-woo, was given the chance to speak and didn’t mince words. ‘We’ve been hearing lots of not very delightful announcements from Pyongyang, the foremost being the experimental communications satellite.’ He asked why North Korea was devoting an enormous amount of their scarce resources to a space programme, given its economic situation, adding, ‘We think their objective is to develop a long-range missile capabilities, since there is no immediate need for a satellite. And long-range missiles are only useful for delivering nuclear warheads.’

The tension was palpable. He continued that this contravened the Security Council resolution that North Korea suspend all activities in its nuclear programme. ‘Everything is possible if you co-operate,’ a comment he quite pointedly directs to Ja, but South Korea is not interested in ‘unconditional engagement’.

Ja fervently made notes throughout all this, and responded at some length via his interpreter. Why should a country not be allowed to have a satellite because they are less well off than another country? Because of lack of trade opportunities and natural calamities, North Korea has indeed had problems, but these are temporary. ‘If we are left out while others are exploring space, there will be no place left to explore. The satellite launch trajectory is over South Korea so there is no need to worry,’ he quipped. ‘It is true, we have nuclear weapons. But as a deterrent, self-defence. We do not mean to threaten anybody. After the Korean War, we were under constant threat of nuclear strike by the U.S. Technically, we are now at war with the United States – it is not fair for one side to demand the other disarm. We have suggested a peace treaty to the U.S., but this is still unresolved. We have expressed willingness to have missile negotiations with the U.S., which we had with Clinton, but these were broken off after Bush came to power.’

The launch of the missile was quite peaceful, he emphasised. In response to the supposed violation of the Security Council resolution, he countered that a United Nations resolution states when an independent country feels threatened, it can declare that resolution null and void. He finished an impassioned speech with a smiling ‘I hope to see Mr Chun again…’

The Pinnacle of Music Festivals - Fuji Rock 2009

The Killers, Oasis, Franz Ferdinand, Basement Jaxx, Simian Mobile Disco and Ben Harper are among the acts already confirmed to play at this year's Fuji Rock (24-26 July) - one of the most extraordinary music festivals in the world.
The event has got bigger and bigger since it was first held in 1997 and today draws headliners from across the globe, with performers in previous years including Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Radiohead, Coldplay, Iggy Pop, Eminem and Bootsy Collins. First held at the base of the iconic Mt. Fuji, Fuji Rock now takes place amongst the foothills of Mt. Naeba.
Although it has grown over the years, the festival remains true to its principles of independence, respect for the environment, cooperation and great music - all with a Japanese twist.
This twist includes the chance to take a cable car almost 1,800m to the top of the mountain for a bird's eye view of the action, and the countryside beyond, or relaxing in a hot spring spa. There are many ways in which Fuji Rock is a little out of the ordinary.

As well as being perhaps the greenest festival in the world (the event is carbon neutral), it is also the cleanest with spotless toilets, showers and natural hot spring baths.
And instead of over-priced food, an array of vendors are on hand to provide a fantastic culinary selection - including Japanese specialities - at cheap prices, along with some quality Japanese beer.
On top of this Fuji Rock is full of ultra-friendly people.
InsideJapan Tours' seven night Fuji Rock Festival 2009 package includes three nights' hotel accommodation with breakfast in Tokyo, three-day festival tickets, camp site ticket, tent and sleeping mats (delivered to site), four-day rail passes covering all transfers within Japan and InsideJapan Tours' invaluable Info-Pack, from £839 per person.
Excludes international flights which can be booked through InsideJapan Tours from £469 with Finnair.
InsideJapan Tours can also tailor a trip around the festival to take climbs up Mt. Fuji.

Call InsideJapan Tours on 0870 120 5600 or visit

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Brushing Aside Boundaries: Sharing Japanese Calligraphy Across Cultures

A series of workshops in the art of Japanese calligraphy carried out by professional calligrapher Shoko Ono. These will culminate in a week-long exhibition which will include work by Ono Sensei and her students from both the UK and Japan.

Saturday 25th April 14:00-18:00
Free workshop open to general public
Cambridge Japanese Society
Bowett Room, Queens College, Cambridge University

Tuesday 12th-Saturday 16th May12:00-18:00 Daily
Exhibition of Ono Sensei’s work and that of her Japanese and UK Students
Visitors will also be able to try calligraphy for themselves in our daily free hands-on sessions (no need to book)
Troubador Gallery, 263-267 Old Brompton Road, SW5 9JA

Thursday 7th May 18:00-21:00
Free workshop open to general public
Places to be booked at / 020 7679 2540
Strang Print Room, UCL Musuems and Collections
South Cloisters, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT

Saturday 9th May 14:00-16:00
Free workshop open to general publicPlease contact for bookings.
Sidcup Library, 24 Hadlow Road, Sidcup, DA14 4AQ

Thursday 14th May 18:30-20:30
Free workshop open to general public
Horniman Museum, 100 London Road, SE23 3PQ

Kia cee'd tops C-segment in UK's Driver Power survey

Kia Motors today announced that its cee’d ranked in first place in the Driver Power’s Compact Family category to beat out Volkswagen, Toyota, Fiat and other notable competitors in the segment. Driver Power is Auto Express’s car owner reliability and satisfaction survey which presents the frank and honest views of drivers in the UK.

“The fact that the Kia cee’d beat the Volkswagen Golf is one of the most significant results in Driver Power’s history,” said David Johns, Editor-in-Chief of Auto Express, on announcing the debut performance of the Kia cee’d in the independent Driver Power survey.

In its Driver Power debut, cee’d jumped straight into the top ten and is ranked as the 6th best model overall. Highest ranked in the C-segment class, Kia cee’d’s closest rival, the Volkswagen Golf, found itself in 22nd place overall.

David Johns added, "Kia’s class-topping result in Driver Power is proof of how far its cars have come in terms of quality and reliability, as well as image. The cee’d result is underlined by an improved performance in the manufacturer’s ranking which sees Kia ranked as 12th overall this year, a jump of two places on last year’s result."

The independent annual Driver Power survey was carried out by Auto Express, in conjunction with the Daily Telegraph, and measured the views of over 21,400 new car drivers across the UK. The cars they drive are scrutinised and scored on their performance in a number of key areas, including practicality, build quality, reliability, and running costs.

Paul Philpott, Managing Director, Kia Motors (UK) Ltd., said, "What a debut! Kia has come a long way and these results underline our belief in the design, quality and value of our products. But don’t take our word, our customers are doing the talking through the Driver Power survey."
"Yes, you can pay more for a Volkswagen Golf, but these results ask why. The Kia cee’d has dynamic design, high build quality and frugal engines, all backed by a seven-year 100,000 mile warranty and all for much less."

Monday, 13 April 2009

Steppe Ahead: Ink Painting and Tantric Art from Mongolia

Date: 29 April - 5 May 2009
Venue: Burgh House, New End Square, Hampstead, London NW3 1LT.
Fee: Free admission
Opening Hours: : 12noon to 5:00pm Wednesday through Sunday, and by appointment on Saturdays.
More info: 07888 713429 or

Art Cafe at Lingua Global supported by the Mongolian Association in the UK and the Embassy of Mongolia in London presents Mongolian contemporary and traditional art.
Nurmaajav Tuvdendorj is one of a handful of artists inspired primarily by our Mongolian traditions. She produces her ink paintings using a spontaneous and very rapid technique, an imaginative process contributing to their disarmingly simple yet evocative character. Typical subjects include love, aristocracy, nomad life, and of course horses. Nurmaajav also displays her master in works using “earth paint” and gouache, typical materials used by our native artists over the centuries.
Otgonbayar Tod has a very interesting background, having for many years been the chief artist of the Mongolian Postal Service. In that capacity, he was involved in the design and production of over 500 Mongolian stamps. Otgonbayar’s style is more contemporary, using bold and striking colours. Many works reflect his particular interest in the theme of freedom: using Buddhist imagery of gods and goddesses, he deliberately breaks the rules associated with such iconography in a very personal and sometimes shocking way.

Jeonju Int'l Film Festival to celebrate 10th anniversary

Jeonju, a city about three hours southwest of Seoul, is known for its welcoming citizenry, its signature dish bibimbap (mixed rice and vegetables with gochujang, red pepper paste) and some of Korea's loveliest surviving pre-modern architecture and folk culture.
In Korea's beautiful springtime, the city with the heart of a small town gets more cosmopolitan as it hosts the Jeonju International Film Festival, commonly known as JIFF.
The festival has made its name by sticking to its principle of focusing on promising digital, independent and experimental films, whereas most international film festivals usually boast their number of world or national premieres.
The festival celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. The 10th Jeonju International Film Festival will be held from Apr. 30 through May 8, featuring 200 films from 42 countries. The festival will open with "Short! Short! Short! 2009," a digital omnibus film about Korean society being obsessed with money. The film, which intersperses humor with satire, was created by 10 up-and-coming Korean directors, including Kim Young-nam (previous work "Don't Look Back"), Choi Ik-hwan ("Life is Cool"), and "Yoon Seong-ho ("Milky Way Liberation Front").............

..........Tickets cost 10,000 won for the opening or closing ceremonies and 5,000 won for general screenings.
You can also buy tickets during the festival from May 1 onwards at JIFF Space and JIFF Service Center on Cinema Street, an arcade in downtown Jeonju set up for the festival.
For further information, call (063)-288-5433 or visit the festival's official website at:

Written By Han Aran ( Staff Writer)
Read full story here

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Jin Kim’s solo exhibition ‘N_either’

Date: 23rd April 2009 ~ 16th May 2009
Venue: I-MYU Projects 1st fl. 23 Charlotte Road London EC2A 3PB

Jin Kim’s solo exhibition ‘N_either’ explores the infinite notions of disparity and not belonging. In his series of oil paintings we see the artist illustrating the issue of marginality as an effect of cultural adjustment with a strong painterly skill. Kim, a young Korean artist working in London, translates his battle of shifting between cultures and experiencing life on the outskirts of society into his work. Just as I-MYU Projects dedicates its space to cross culture curating, Jin Kim’s work explores the complexities that immigrants are faced with when relocating, and he demonstrates the sensory and geographical stresses one may encounter when forced to adjust ones mental and physical sense of belonging.

A reoccurring figure appears alone in every painting, though the relationship between him (an explicit self portrait) and the surrounding space alters as we witness him transported between typically British interior layouts and similarly British garden like scenes. Depths of colour sit behind the figure in both situations, though the interior spaces engulf the figure as he blends almost seamlessly with the well-proportioned furniture and architecture. In the outdoor views Kim inserts a barrier of a window between the figure and the flowery scenes creating a rather separate explanation of the relationship the figure encounters with his surroundings. Both situations convey tones of displacement, alienation, and isolation, and by engaging the concept from two distinct angles in this way the artist is laying great emphasis on the unyielding discomfort a marginal life may bring.

Our feelings towards the figure become sensitive and gentle as we see him passively inactive in the familiar spaces. The artist is not extracting pity from the audience though, as any universal spectator can identify with social situations akin to these. This alien perspective is a human condition; as is the desire to be part of a culture and Kim’s paintings depict how the awkwardness and distress of not attaining such simple conditions is common amongst us all.

Jin Kim graduated from Chung-Ang University with a M.F.A in Fine Art in 2004, and gained a MAFA from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London in 2007. His solo shows include Zurich and London last year, and group exhibitions in Seoul, London and Canada. He currently lives and works in London.

Article Courtesy of I-MYU Projects

HD to go with Sony’s chic, stylish Handycam® TG7VE

Ultra-compact, light and beautifully styled, it’s always with you. Even smaller and slimmer than its predecessor, the new Handycam® HDR-TG7VE from Sony is again the world’s smallest, lightest Full HD camcorder.
The head-turning TG7VE redefines the concept of ‘HD to go’. With stylish looks, smart shooting features and brilliantly simple operation, it’s a perfect travel partner. Slip it into a pocket or bag for nights out, parties weekends away, business trips or longer trips abroad.
Like its TG3E predecessor, the super-tough pure titanium body features a special Premium Hard coating. This protective layer shrugs off everyday scratches, keeping the camcorder’s chic, cutting edge looks for longer.
Beneath the sleek, slim lines of the TG7VE you’ll find extraordinary picture quality and powerful shooting features to help you get more from your memories.
Inside there’s a generous 16 GB memory that stores up to 6 hours (approx.) of crisp, detail-packed Full HD video and stereo sound. If you want to shoot for even longer, just slip in an optional Memory Stick™. The TG7VE can record over 6 hours of HD footage onto a 16 GB Memory Stick™, giving up to an incredible 12.5 hours total shooting time – with no need to carry any tapes or discs.
For keen travellers, the pocket-sized TG7VE keeps track of your memories, wherever you are in the world. There’s a sensitive GPS receiver inside that plots your location as you travel. After shooting, Map Index shows where clips and still photos were taken as ‘map pins’ on the LCD screen. You can also retrace your journey when you’re back home, with exciting on-line maps displayed on your PC using the supplied Picture Motion Browser software.
Operation is simplicity itself. Shooting controls are pared down to a minimum for confident, fuss-free operation. It’s easy to switch instantly between video or stills mode: just press REC Start/Stop for video, or touch the adjacent PHOTO button with your thumb and you’re ready to grab stunning 4 megapixel still photos. With no mode dials to worry about, you can capture video or still images with equal confidence. It’s like having a camcorder and digital camera with you at the same time – without the extra bulk.

Intelligent Face Detection helps you capture clear, perfectly exposed portraits both on video and photos. Smile Shutter automatically captures photos of happy, smiling faces. It even works automatically while you’re shooting video, with no need to switch shooting modes.
The high-resolution 2.7-inch LCD touchscreen now features a stylish new 'seamless' design. It’s also beautifully easy to use, with a newly-simplified menu system. The power is ON as soon as you flip open the LCD, and start-up from standby is quicker than ever, so there’s less risk of missing that once-in-a-lifetime moment. Just flip open the LCD touchscreen and you’re ready to start shooting in a fraction of a second. Standby power consumption is also improved to almost zero, letting you keep the TG7VE ready for action in a pocket or bag with less battery drain.
After shooting, the TG7VE gives you even more ways to enjoy your video memories. Highlight Playback creates ‘mini movies’ for you, with no editing skills needed. Just touch the icon on the LCD screen: shots are selected automatically from your recorded footage and photos, and edited together with a choice of musical soundtrack and stylish transition effects. Fun, quick and easy, it’s a perfect way to share your memories, either on the go or at home on your HD television.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Saiko Kino at Spring Loaded

Date: 17 April 2009 - 18 April 2009 from 8.00pm
Venue: The Place, London

Japanese dancer and choreographer, Saiko Kino will be performing as part of Spring Loaded, The Place’s annual season of new choreography.
Spring Loaded features thirty compelling new dance performances from UK based artists and Saiko Kino, appearing as part of a triple bill, will present a re-worked version of her highly regarded Place Prize commission, Ichi.

Saiko Kino studied dance in Japan and has created solos in collaboration with musicians and visual artists for theatre as well as for site-specific locations in Tokyo, Yokohama and Seoul.
She has been a dancer with Russell Maliphant Company since 2005.
Ichi is a reworked version of her Place Prize 2008 commission.
Ichi is based around the dual, oppositional aspects of light and darkness. Fantasy and a healthy dose of mystery are revealed in the guise of a kaidan (a Japanese ghost story).
Ichi is a commission from The Place Prize 2008, sponsored by Bloomberg

People #11: CHO TAE KWON, The Chairman of KwangJuYo Who Is Devoted to Globalizing Traditional Korean Culture

Cho Tae Kwon, the chairman of KwangJuYo Co., Ltd., who is devoted to globalizing traditional Korean culture - and especially its cuisine - is focusing on recreating the original harmony in food in the contemporary era.
He once said in an interview, “The memory of food lasts long once it is imprinted. The essence of food lies in packaging. Containers, table setting, flowers, decorations, guests, music, liquor, and the ambience are all packaged for food. You will never forget such food.”
His idea of globalized Korean food is to make people fully appreciate and enjoy the beauty of Korean tradition. This includes the presentation, the healthiness of the food, and such things as the matching tableware, the liquor, a sophisticated interior decoration and the ethos of customer service. How has Mr Cho sought to achieve this?

Devoted to Restoring Traditional Tableware
After his father’s death in 1988, Mr. Cho took over KwangJuYo Ceramics Company according to his mother’s wishes. In order to revive traditional Korean ceramics, which had almost died out since the Joseon Dynasty, he searched through museums with professional potters, and as a result of years of collection and research, he not only successfully restored traditional ceramic art techniques and types of pottery such as inlaid work, engraving, embossed carving, buncheong celadon, cheongja jade-green celadon and white porcelain (which were all lost once) he also committed his wealth and passion to bringing those legacies to the general public by not confining them to the walls of museums but turning them into ceramics for everyday use.
It all came from his belief that the power of ceramics represents the real power of a country and traditional Korean ceramics should be loved within Korea first. As high-quality ceramics for everyday use, products of KwangJuYo were first adored by wealthy customers, but now they are widely enjoyed by the general public.

Devoted to Modernizing Healthy Traditional Food
Though traditional Korean food is well-known as well-being food retaining distinctive flavours of each ingredient and using natural seasonings, Mr. Cho thought it would be hard to make it popular among foreigners due to the way of serving the meal, with steamed rice as a main dish served together with an array of hot and cold dishes. So, he has sought to transform it into a Western-style 3 course meal and develop traditional dishes to modern taste and attain a high quality using the best ingredients available. He has succeeded in recreating the food to please modern palates, while still sticking to tradition.

Devoted to Restoring Traditional Liquors
Then he realized that there was a need for a liquor to accompany the refined tableware and food. He has always believed that the best food should be consumed with matching dinnerware and liquor. Out of personal experience, he has learned that where the best wine is, there is also the best food and it’s the rich who enjoy both. So again – just as with the restoration of traditional pottery - he put his heart and soul into restoring traditional liquors and successfully developed and commercialized a distilled spirit named “Hwayo”, which achieved the feat of winning a bronze prize at the International Wine & Spirit Competition held in London in 2007 and also a gold prize in the category of Spirits Distilled From Rice (Sochu) at Monde Selection, a food and liquor competition in Belgium in 2008 in which more than 1,400 companies participated from around the world.

Devoted to Restoring Traditional Cultural Interior
Now with traditional Korean food, tableware, and liquor on the table, he had to think of traditional interior decorations fit for them. So he restored traditional images of Korea by making wallpaper, table runners, photo frames, folding screens, covers, and cushions with motifs from such folk paintings as chochungdo (a picture of flowers and butterflies), hwajodo (a picture of flowers and birds), and chakgado (a picture of ancient scholars’ stationery). This product line of interior decoration is named “Zabihwa” after Zabidaeryeong Hwawon, which used to be a fine art institute directly subject to the king.

Mr. Cho Takes the Lead in Creating Korean Cultural Values and Developing Korean Culinary Culture for High-Class Customers Around the World
In 2003 in Seoul he opened “Gaon”, an exquisite Korean restaurant featuring traditional Korean food prepared with organic vegetables and other good ingredients, luxurious ceramics produced by KwangJuYo, good liquors restored in a traditional way, and interior decorations expressing Korean beauty.
Later, he opened its branches in Zhangjia and Beijing, China, thus taking the lead in creating Korean cultural values so that foreigners as well as Koreans can enjoy modernized Korean flavours and tastes with all their five senses.
Also in 2007, he invited about 60 vineyard owners and wine producers at Napa Valley, the U.S., who are the upper classes of the American society and the world leaders on opinion of culinary culture, and there, he created a sensation by introducing Korea’s traditional food culture.
Mr. Cho believes that as the 21st century is the age of cultural power, the competitiveness of a country depends on cultural content and its promotion. He also firmly believes that it is the challenge of this age to preserve and refine our culture, including the culinary culture, for greater international competitiveness.
After producing a thesis titled “How to Start Globalizing Korean Culinary Culture”, he has given a series of lectures, while fulfilling his worthy mission as an ambassador for Korean culinary culture.
His progress is worth following.

The East News