"Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna: Great Habsburg Collection": The Viennese museum that houses most of the imperial Habsburg collections is bringing 64 selected pieces (out of some 5,000) to the National Museum of Art, Deoksugung.
The exhibition highlights the Baroque and Renaissance periods, with a list of artists including Peter Paul Rubens, Anthonis van Dyck, Diego Velazquez, Gerard ter Borch, Tiziano Vecellio and Hans Von Aachen, to name a few.
The exhibition runs through Sept. 30 at National Museum of Art Deoksugung, located near City Hall Station, Subway Line No. 1 or 2. Closed on Mondays. Guided tours are offered eight times a day. Audio guide, available in Korean or English at 2,000 won, is recommended. For more information and registration, visit www.moca.go.kr/deoksugung.jsp
"Monet: From Instant to Eternity": A retrospective exhibition of Claude Monet (1840-1926), the pioneer of impressionism, will be held for the first time in Korea next month. Over 60 paintings created by the French master will be brought to Seoul.
The exhibit focuses on his fascination of light and his recurring water lily theme instead of chronicling his career in sequence, with more than 20 series of "Water Lilies" paintings that summarize his world of art, in which he brought nature and all its color, light and life onto the canvas, and moreover brought about the radical changes in perception at the core of Impressionism.
The show will consist of five themes: Landscape on Water of the water lily series, Portrait of Family, Garden of Giverny, River Seine and Sea, and Light of Europe.
The exhibition runs through Sept. 26 at Seoul Museum of Art, located near City Hall Station, Subway Line No. 1 or 2. Closed on Mondays except for Sept. 24. For details, visit www.monet.kr
"Flash Cube": Under the main theme of the show, space, one of the most important components of contemporary photography, 21 artists, from Thomas Ruff, Candida Hoefer and Andreas Gursky to Jan Kaila, Thomas Demand and Yang Hae-gue, are represented.
Candida Hoefer emphasizes the characteristics of certain space by photographing the interior of public spaces with conspicuity. Hiroshi Sugimoto explored the themes of time, space and representations with a series of black and white photographs. While Andreas Gursky and Thomas Ruff comment on photography itself, Aglaia Konrad`s photographs exhibited on big wooden (or glass) panels show how imagery in installative works dynamize photography, expanding, offering and disorienting the medium.
The exhibition runs through Sept. 30 at Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art located near Exit 1, Hangangjin Station, Subway Line No. 6. A detailed account of the exhibition is offered in English on weekends at 2 p.m. Closed on Mondays. For details, visit www.leeum.org
"Sutra Painting: In Search of Buddhahood": The National Museum of Korea unveils over 100 paintings that have been created to visually summarize the often complex and philosophical contents of Buddhist Sutra, to spread the words of Buddha among wider public. Due to the delicacy of the paintings these paintings are rarely accessed and those featured in this exhibition include seven national treasures.
More than 40 artifacts produced during Korea`s Goryeo period have been brought from national museums and temples in Japan so that viewers can see the similarities and differences between the paintings.
The exhibition runs through Sept. 16 at the National Museum of Korea, located near Ichon Station, Subway Line No. 1 or 4. Extended hours on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Guided tours in English are offered at 6:30 p.m. every Saturday, and in Chinese upon request. For details, visit www.museum.go.kr
"Majestic Circus": A photography exhibition shows the theatrical yet sentimental perspectives of circuses with more than 90 photographs by 17 photographers collected and commissioned by the French culture and communications ministry`s contemporary art fund.
Circuses have been a fascinating subject for artists, from Chagall, Degas and Picasso to modern photographers for its metaphorical parallel with our lives, and all the more because photographing them poses challenges with the light and constant movement of the subjects.
The exhibition runs through Oct. 31 at Daelim Contemporary Art Museum, located near Gyeongbokgung Station, Subway Line No. 3. For details, visit www.daelimmuseum.org
"Portrait Sketches of the Joseon Period, Chobon": The National Museum of Korea offers a close look at the process of portrait painting under the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) with an exhibition that focuses on preliminary sketches, or "chobon."
The exhibition takes viewers through each stage of portrait painting -- up to as many as seven -- with reproduced pieces from the Portrait of Yi Eui-hyeon from the Album of Pleasant Gathering of Elders (1774). It will also display 35 artifacts including the portrait and sketch of Choe Deok-ji, designated Treasure No. 594, and of Chae Je-gong, Treasure No. 1477.
The exhibition runs through Oct. 28 at the National Museum of Korea, located near Ichon Station, Subway Line No. 1 or 4. Opening hours are extended on Wednesdays and Saturdays. For details, visit www.museum.go.kr
"Performance Art of Korea": The National Museum of Contemporary Art in Gwacheon, south of Seoul, is currently holding an exhibtion celebrating the 40 years of history of Korean performance art. The exhibition runs through Oct. 28. Perhaps the highlight and showcase of the exhibit is a grainy video clip of a 1967 performance entitled "A Plastic Umbrella and Candlelight," widely regarded as the first display of Korean performance art. Additional performances are on the books for the exhibit, including a Sept. 15 showing by pop artist Nancy Lang entitled "Zoo in Museum." The exhibit runs until Oct. 28 at the National Museum of Contemporary Art (moca.go.kr). Shuttles to the museum available from Seoul Grand Park Station, Subway Line No. 4. Admission 3,000 won. Gallery talks (in Korean) start on Sept. 1 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. everyday except Monday with extra 6:40 p.m. talks on weekends.
"Invited Artists 2007 in Arko": Arko Art Center offers works by Korean contemporary artists who have been working abroad and have not had the chance to exhibit in Korea. Jo Sook-jin`s "A 20 year Encounter with Abandoned Wood-Art Works" pays attention to the process of how "abandoned objects" can be turned into art. Choi Min-hwa, one of the country`s leading minjung artists, delivers messages about our time and society through her exhibition "The 20th Century Series." The two exhibitions run through Sept. 30 at Arko Art Center, near Hyehwa Station, Subway Line No. 4. (closed on Mondays). For more information, visit art.arko.or.kr
"Snoopy Life Design": Commemorating the birth of the canine superstar and his round-headed human pals, including his owner Charlie Brown, "Snoopy Life Design" is being held at the Seoul Arts Center`s Hangaram Design Museum until Sept. 16. The event, which features both artworks and practical items inspired by Snoopy and his friends, has attracted many fans of the cartoon characters - people who are eager to have photos taken of themselves near some cool part of the exhibit. The artists and designers express their unique artistic creativity through Snoopy and his gang, in a manner that is similar to what fashion designers do through their models. The exhibition is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (last ticket sales at 7 p.m.) Ticket prices range from 8,000 won to 10,000 won, depending on one`s age. For more information, call (02) 464-4266.
"George M. Cohan Tonight!": The Korean adaptation of Broadway musical "George M. Cohan Tonight!" is currently being staged on at Dongyang Art Hall, Sinsa-dong, southern Seoul. The musical follows the extraordinary life and career of the legendary showman, George M. Cohan. The Korean version features Min Young-gi, Ko young-bin and Lim Choon-gil for the one-man show. The show runs through Nov. 30. All Tickets are 40,000 won. Call (02) 515-6510 for more information.
"Chicago": The Korean version of Broadway musical "Tell Me on a Sunday" hits the stage at the Sejong Center for Performing Arts on Sept. 18. It runs through Sept. 30. The musical "Chicago" is a satire piece on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and adds sensuality, seduction and murder. Chorus girl Roxie Hart gets arrested for murder but is cleared of the charges, thanks to media manipulation, in the end. Ok Joo-hyun, lead singer of the former member of famous female group Fin.k.l, shares the role of Roxie Hart, with Bae Hae-sun. Tickets are 30,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information, visit www.musicalchicago.co.kr
"Great Janggeum": The musical "Great Janggeum," a stage version of hit MBC drama "Daejanggeum," has been upgraded after its initial release received cold responses from critics three months ago. The upgraded version is scheduled to hit the stage Aug. 25 at the Sejong Center for Performing Arts. The show will run through Sept. 9. Tickets are 40,000 won to 120,000 won. For more information, visit www.i-pmc.co.kr
"Tell Me on a Sunday": Bada, former member of popular girl band S.E.S, will play a young British woman exploring her love life in New York City and Hollywood in the Korean version of Broadway musical "Tell Me on a Sunday." The show hits the stage Oct. 1 at Yeongang Hall of Doosan Art Center. The musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Don Black, is a one-woman-show which requires musical talent as well as acting skills. Bada takes the role of the leading character, who leaves home to seek success, companionship and love. As she weaves her way through the maze of the city and her own anxieties, frustrations and heartaches, she begins to wonder whether -- in fact -- she`s been looking for love in all the wrong places. Tickets are 40,000 won and 50,000 won. For more information, call (02) 501-7888.
"Menopause": The Korean version of the Broadway musical "Menopause," is currently being staged on at Baekam Art Hall in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul. The four musical actresses tell the audience that being menopausal doesn`t mean the end of womanhood but rather is the starting point for another life. It features four talented actresses, Jeon Soo-kyung, Lee Young-ja, Cho Gap-kyung and Lee Yoon-pyo, playing: a successful business woman, a devoted housewife, a vegetarian hippy and a former soap opera actress. The show runs through Oct. 14. Tickets are all 60,000 won. For more information, visit www.menopausekorea.com
"Pump Boys and Dinettes": The Korean-language adaptation of the Broadway musical "Pump Boys and Dinettes," is currently hitting the stage at Yesul Madang Theater in Daehangno, downtown Seoul. The show runs through Oct. 14. The musical takes place in a diner and a gas station in a small town somewhere in the state of North Carolina. It begins as the boys from the gas station on Highway 57 pump the high octane and the Cupp sisters from the diner next door bring the sweets. The musical features a country-pop score that serves up lots of great music, ranging from country ballads to high-energy acoustic rock. Tickets are 35,000 won and 45,000 won. For details, call (02) 3485-8700.
"The Donkey Show": Korean adaptation of Broadway interactive musical "The Donkey Show" is currently hitting the stage at Donkey Hall in Daehangno, downtown Seoul. It runs through Sept. 31. The performance, which highlights sexuality and dizzy disco music, is more like a clubbing show than a conventional musical where the audience sits quietly and simply watches. However, the show featuring pole-dancing half-naked performers on a T-shaped stage leads audiences -- especially women -- to put their hands up and shout in excitement. The show, directed by renowned comedians Pyo In-bong and Kim Kyung-sik, is a reworking of Shakespeare`s "A Mid-Summer Night`s Dream." All tickets for stand-ups are 40,000 won. Call (02) 3443-6487 or visit www.donkeyshow.co.kr for more information.
"8 femmes": A Korean drama version of the French film "8 femmes" (2002) directed by Francois Ozon is currently being staged at Theater Ida in Daehangno. Set in the 1950s in a rich country mansion, the drama begins with Suzon (Lee Young-yoon) returning home in the morning for the Christmas family gathering. She greets her wheelchair-bound grandmother Mamy (Lee Joo-sil); the cook, Chanel (Koo Hye-ryong); and her mother, Gaby (Lee Yeon-kyu). Later they find out that the father has been murdered in his bedroom. They decide to call the police, but only to find out that they are trapped together in a house during a snowstorm, with phone lines cut and cars mysteriously broken. Tensions run high, with each woman suspecting the next of being the killer. "8 femmes" runs through Oct. 7. Tickets are 35,000 won to 45,000 won. For more information, call (02)-742-9005.
"Byun": Moon Sung-keun, an accomplished movie actor and now influential figure in the country`s entertainment industry, returns to the Daehangno stage on Aug. 31 with a grotesque comedy "Byun." Written by Hwang Ji-woo, famous playwright and incumbent president of the Korean National University of Arts, and produced by Lee Sang-woo, Moon`s long- time friend and artistic director of the theater, Cha-ee-moo (meaning stage shipper), the drama depicts a dictator`s obsession with love and power. The play also features a number of renowned actors such as Kang Shin-il, Park Gwang-jung and Choi Young-min. The drama hits the stage at the Arko Art Center for two weeks. Tickets are 15,000 won and 25,000 won. For more information, call (02)3673-5580.
"Novelist Kubo with his Neighbours in Keijo": Taking motives from the novel, "Novelist Kubo with his Neighbours in Keijo" written by Sung Ki-woong, the drama explores love and ambition of young people living under the Japanese invasion in 1930s. The drama will be staged at Jayu Theater of the Seoul Arts Center from Oct. 20 to Nov. 4. Tickets are 12,000 won and 15,000 won. For more information, call (02) 580-1300.
"B SHOW": A non-verbal variety b-boy and hip-hop performance currently hitting the stage at Zillerhall in Daehangno, offers families with teenagers a friendly night out. The show presents most of the dance and music genres that relate to hip-hop such as b-boy, locking, poppin, street jazz, beat box and rapping. The show`s story -- youngsters in search of the land of freedom -- is similar to the plotlines of other popular b-boy shows in Korea. But what makes this show noticeable is that it features a number of popular artists such as Originality KHAN, known as the king of locking; Prepix, a dance group which created a new and unique style of performance called Prepix; Beatbox DG, who calls himself one of the best beat boxers in Korea and B-boy Jerry, main dancer of the hit show "Ballerina who loves B-Boy." Tickets are 30,000 won and 50,000 won. Call (02) 581-6738 or visit www.bshow.co.kr for more information.
"International Festival of National Theaters": Offering a wide selection of performing arts -- theatrical drama, dance and folk music -- the National Theater of Korea will hold its first international theater festival beginning Sept. 8, for a two-month run. The International Festival of National Theaters has invited a total of 14 prestigious theater troupes from nine countries. The list includes Shakespeare`s Globe Theatre from the United Kingdom, the National Theater of Greece, the General Directorate of State Theatre from Turkey and the National Peking Opera of China. The National Theater of Korea will also take part in the festival, with its repertoire staged by its four resident companies: "Life Cord" by the National Drama Company of Korea, "Cheong" by the National Changguk Company of Korea, "The Scent of Spring" by the National Dance Company of Korea and "Four Rivers Flowing to The Sea" by the National Orchestra of Korea. The festival provides English subtitles for all performances. Ticket price ranges from 20,000 won to 70,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2280-4115-6 or visit www.ntok.go.kr
"Seoul Performing Arts Festival": Seoul becomes a hub for international theater and dance as 34 groups from 16 different nations will gravitate to the Seoul Arts Center and other stages around the capital city from Sept. 20 to Oct. 14. Swiss group Plasma is one of the many acclaimed groups on the schedule, set to perform "Delirium" -- a work written by a founder of the acting troupe. English subtitles are currently scheduled for performances of "Delirium" (Sept. 27-29), "The Hong-dong-ji Play" (Oct. 10-11) and "Waiting for Godot" (Oct. 12-14). For more information, visit spaf21.com
"Seongnam Dance Festival": The annual dance festival takes place in the streets and theaters of the Seoul satellite city from Sept. 5-9. Its second season features several productions from the Mediterranean which, said the festival organizing committee, reflects a growing interest in the region. Over 26 troupes from Korea and abroad are participating this year. Among this year`s visiting productions are "Upon reaching the Sun" by the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company" from Israel, "The Beauty Series" by Apostolia Papadamakis from Greece, and "Sufi Dance" by Destar Turkish Music and Show Ensemble from Turkey. Ticket prices range from 10,000 won to 50,000 won. For more information, visit www.snart.or.kr or call (031) 783-8233.
"Roh Young-shim & Jun Je-deok`s duo concert": The pianist (Roh)-harmonica player (Jun) duo will give concerts at Dongduk Women`s University Performing Art Center in Daehangno, downtown Seoul, today and tomorrow. Born in Seoul in 1974, Jun who is known to have both lyrical sensitiveness and brilliant techniques is Korea`s only professional jazz harmonica player, while Roh gained fame as a songwriter, having composed some popular hits and released a few of her own albums. Ticket price is 60,000 won. Exit No. 1, Hyehwa Station on Subway Line No. 4. For more information, call (02) 522-9933.
"Dynamic Duo concert": The hip-hop Duo will have their concert at the poolside of the Walkerhill River Park, today. The duo composed of Choiza and Gaeko used to be members of the rap group CBMass. They released their third album "Enlightened" in May, which features YDG, Bada, Bubbled Sisters and Bobby Kim. They also performed the opening act during the Black Eyed Peas concert in Seoul on Aug. 15. Tickets are from 66,000 won to 77,000 won. Exit No. 2 Gwangnaru Station on Subway Line No. 5. For more information, call (02) 545-9174.
"Wiener Staatsoper in Seoul": The orchestra led by Japanese maestro Seiji Ozawa is considered one of the greatest classical ensembles in the world will give its first concert here at the Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall on Sept. 20. Opened in 1869 with a performance of Mozart`s "Don Giovanni, the orchestra still brings the world`s finest performers to the stage night after night. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 450,000 won. Exit No. 5, Nambu Bus Terminal Station on Subway Line No. 3. For more information, call (02) 318-4302.
"Ennio Morricone in Seoul": The legendary Italian composer will take the podium to revive some of the most memorable cinematic moments for local moviegoers through his own music, as he gives concerts at Seoul Olympic Gymnastic Hall on Oct. 2 and 3. Born in Rome in 1928, Morricone began studying music at Rome`s Conservatory of Santa Cecilia at the age of 12. He garnered an Oscar nomination for "The Mission" in 1986. Tickets are from 60,000 won to 180,000 won. Exit No. 3, Olympic Park Station on Subway Line No. 5. For more information, call 02)3444-9969.
"Linkin Park Concert": The Grammy award-winning rock group will be performing at Olympic Gymnastics Stadium of Seoul Olympic Parkon, southeastern Seoul, on Nov. 30. Linkin Park released their debut album "Hybrid Theory" in 2000, selling close to 4.8 million records in one year. Last May, the group released their latest album "Minutes to Midnight," which debuted at number one of the Billboard charts. Ticket prices range from 88,000 and 99,000 won. Exit No. 3, Olympic Park Station on Subway Line No. 5. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488.