“The World Traditional Medicine Fair and Festival”: The world’s first fair dedicated to Oriental medicine will take place in Sancheong, a village on Jirisan Mountain, until Oct. 20. The festival, which celebrates the 400th anniversary of the publication of Donguibogam, the ancient Korean medical book, showcases the latest Oriental medicine trends, treatments and health information. Visitors will also get the chance to receive free consultation and treatment at the festival. The venues are Donguibogam village and a Korean traditional medicine town in Sancheong district, South Gyeongsang Province. For more information, visit www.tramedi-expo.or.kr (English available), or call (055) 970-8600.
|Visitors to the 2013 World Traditional Medicine Fair and Festival wait to consult Oriental medicine doctors at the festival on Monday. (World Traditional Medicine Fair and Festival)|
“World Street Dance Festival”: Korea’s talented dancers will take to the streets of Dongdaemun, Seoul, during the 2013 World Street Dance Festival in October. The dance festival hosts a variety of dance performances from ballet, Korean traditional dance and contemporary dance to sports dance, tango, swing, flamenco and more. The festival also attempts to set a new Guinness World Record for the largest number of people dancing in a public place. It will gather more than 30,000 citizens to participate in the large-scale flash mob. Last year, it invited citizens to follow Psy’s horse dance in a group. The festival will take place along the 1.5-km stretch from Janghanpyeong Station to Jangan Intersection from Oct. 12 at 11 a.m. to Oct. 13 at 11 p.m. For more information, call Dongdaemun Culture Center at (02) 2242-9898.
“Baekje Cultural Festival”: One of the oldest cultural festivals in the country, the festival highlights the golden days of the Baekje Kingdom (B.C. 18-A.D. 660), an ancient Korean kingdom in the southwestern part of the Korean Peninsula. Baekje was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Goguryeo and Silla. This year’s festival, which runs from Sept. 28 to Oct. 6, presents nearly 100 events including parades, a memorial ceremony for the four great kings of Baekje, folk games, exhibitions and traditional Korean music and mask dance performances. For more information, visit the festival’s website at www.baekje.org or call (041) 830-2921~8. (Yonhap News)Exhibitions
“The 8th Cheongju International Craft Biennale”: The eighth Cheongju International Craft Biennale, the world’s biggest craft festival, showcases modern craft trends in the country’s birthplace of metal crafts, Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, until Oct. 20. Under the theme of “Something OLD Something NEW,” the craft biennale will exhibit all genres of crafts including metal works, ceramics, wood lacquer, textiles and glass while running academic workshops and educational programs for children. This year’s biennale focuses on the artistic aspect of craft as well as its practical uses and purposes, bringing together 6,000 works by 3,000 artists from 60 countries. Admission is 10,000 won for adults, 4,000 won for teenagers and 3,000 won for children. Tickets can be purchased online at life.ticketlink.co.kr. The exhibitions open throughout the biennale period including holidays. For more information, visit www.okcj.org.
|This old tobacco factory is the main venue of the Cheongju International Craft Biennale. (Cheongju International Craft Biennale)|
“David Hockney: Bigger Trees Near Water”: The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea introduces the recent masterpiece of British artist David Hockney “Bigger Trees Near Water,” on loan from the Tate in the U.K. The 2007 painting, drawn on 50 canvases and measuring 4.5 meters in height and 12 meters in width, is the most representative work of the 73-year-old artist’s late career. The huge painting is Hockney’s approach to reexamining a conventional view toward nature, opening the possibility of seeing ordinary scenes in a new way. The painting is on exhibit at the central hall of the MMCA Gwacheon until Sept. 28. For more information, visit www.mmca.go.kr.
“Anomalies”: Kukje Gallery is holding a solo exhibition of Indian artist Bharti Kher, known for her multimedia works using found objects and traditional Indian motifs such as bindi, the red dot applied to Indian women’s foreheads. Kher alludes to both the cultural and conceptual possibilities of the bindi, using them as an unorthodox and highly evocative medium. The exhibition showcases her well-known series of hybrid female figures that intends to reveal the instability and unease of the feminine. The exhibition continues through Oct. 5 at Kukje Gallery in Jongno, Seoul. For more information, call (02) 735-8449.
“The Sleep of Reason”: British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman hold their first exhibition in Seoul at SongEun Art Space in Apgujeong until Dec. 7. The artists, known for some gruesome images in their artworks, have brought major pieces for the exhibition, including 19th-century portraits of wealthy men and women retouched by the artists to make their faces look as if they are decomposing. “Unhappy Feet” features innumerable miniatures of penguins that turn into predators and kill whales, polar bears and walruses in the South Pole. The adorable penguins in the movie “Happy Feet” are transformed with bloodstains around their mouths, preparing to attack a polar bear. For more information, call (02) 3448-0100.
“Robert Capa”: Rare original prints by the late Robert Capa are on exhibit in Seoul for the first time to mark the centennial of the photographer’s birth. Hailed as the world’s greatest war photographer, Capa captured moments that became iconic war images and continue to inspire many photojournalists and filmmakers like Steven Spielberg to this day. The photos on exhibit consist of war images from major battles of the early 20th century and portraits of leading cultural figures of the period such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Ernest Hemingway. The exhibition continues through Oct. 28 at Sejong Art Center. Admission is 12,000 won for adults, 8,000 won for teenagers and 7,000 won for children. For more information, visit www.robertcapa.co.kr or call (02) 3701-1216.Classical music
“Parsifal”: The Korea National Opera will premiere Wagner’s “Parsifal” at the Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater on Oct. 1, 3 and 5 at 4 p.m. The opera is said to be the “final confession” of the German composer, going deeper into the fundamental nature of human beings. Internationally-acclaimed bass Youn Kwang-chul will take the role of Gurnemanz, joined by baritone Kim Don-sup as Amfortas and tenor Christopher Ventris as Parsifal. Maestro Lothar Zagrosek will lead the Korea Symphony Orchestra. Tickets are priced between 10,000 won and 150,000 won. For more information call (02) 586-5282.
“Rigoletto”: “Rigoletto,” one of the most popular operas by Italian opera master Verdi, will be staged at the Seoul Arts Center Opera Theater from Nov. 22 to 24, with a star-filled cast including George Gagnidze taking the title role of Rigoletto and Elena Mosuc as Gilda. This will be the first time both world class singers perform in Korea. Stefan Pop, the “new Pavarotti,” will be appearing as Duke of Mantova. Internationally acclaimed Verdi specialist Bruno Aprea will participate as the conductor leading the Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra and Mario De Carlo will direct the drama. The “dream team” has already performed at the La Scala in November last year. The opera portrays tragedy among court jester Rigoletto and his daughter Gilda and playboy Duke of Mantoba. For more information about the show, call (02) 542-0350.
“Ars Nova”: The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra’s signature concert series, “Ars Nova,” focusing on contemporary classical music, returns with Gyorgy Ligeti’s “Melodien for Small Orchestra,” Cho Hyun-wha’s “Sorcerer’s Pupil,” Param Vir’s “Hayagriva,” Tristan Murail’s “Treize Couleurs du Soleil Couchant,” and Olivier Messiaen’s “Coleurs de la Cite Celeste pour Piano et Ensemble” at the Sejong Chamber Hall on Oct. 9. The pieces were handpicked by Chin Un-suk, composer-in-residence of the orchestra. The Vir and Messiaen pieces are Korean premieres while Cho’s work will get its world premiere. Tickets are priced between 10,000 won and 30,000 won. Reservations are available at www.interpark.com. For more information call (02) 3700-6334.
|Poster for Ars Nova (Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra)|
“Eagon Concert”: Pianist Simone Dinnerstein, whose album, “Goldenberg Variationen” topped Billboard classical chart in 2007 upon release, will hold her recital at five different cities in the country in October. Sponsored by Eagon, a manufacturer and distributor of plywood, Dinnerstein’s first performance in Korea will include works of Bach. The recitals will be held at the Gwangju Cultural Center on Oct. 25; Seoul Arts Center on Oct.26; Incheon Culture and Art Center on Oct. 30; Goyang Aramnuri on Nov.1 and Busan Culture and Arts Center on Nov.2. Tickets are free and can applied for at www.eagonblog.com until Oct. 9. For more information visit www.eagonblog.com.Pop music
“The Killers”: American rock band The Killers will be hitting the stage in Seoul for their first concert in Korea. The upcoming concert is the 12th installment of the “Hyundai Card Culture Project” series, which in the past brought acts such as Keane, John Legend, Ke$ha, Jason Mraz and many others. The group released its first studio album “Hot Fuss” in 2004, featuring “Mr. Brightside,” which became the band’s first Top 10 hit on the U.K. and U.S. Billboard music charts. Since then, The Killers have released three other studio albums ― “Sam’s Town,” “Day & Age” and “Battle Born” ― and have produced a number of hit singles such as “Human,” “When You Were Young” and “Runaways.” The Killers will perform on Oct. 5 in the Olympic Hall at Seoul Olympic Park. Ticket prices are between 77,000 won and 121,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.
|The Killers hold their first concert in Korea on Oct. 5 in the Olympic Hall at Seoul Olympic Park. (The Killers Facebook)|
“Justin Bieber”: Canadian teenage pop star Justin Bieber will be making his way to Korea for his first concert here on Oct. 10 at Seoul Olympic Park’s Gymnastics Stadium. A year after being discovered on YouTube, Bieber went on to release his debut seven-track EP “My World,” which went platinum in the United States. Bieber has released three full studio albums, including his most recent “Believe” which debuted at the No. 1 spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 music chart and recorded record sales of around 374,000 copies in its first week, giving the artist yet another certified platinum album. Ticket prices for the upcoming concert range from 99,000 won to 132,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.
“Global Gathering Korea 2013”: The annual Global Gathering dance music festival’s Korea lineup, themed “Dance, Right Now,” will feature big beat superstar Fatboy Slim and American DJ-producer Porter Robinson. After establishing itself in the U.K. in 2001, Global Gathering has now spread across the world to locations including Russia, Australia, Poland, Ukraine, Turkey and Belarus and is internationally recognized as one of the world’s best dance music festivals. This year’s Global Gathering Korea will be held on Oct. 12 at Everland’s Caribbean Bay in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province. Ticket prices range from 77,000 won to 2 million won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.
“K-Hiphop Nation 2013”: The K-Hiphop Nation two-day hip-hop music fest will feature some of the nation’s most popular rap stars and crews including Epik High, MC Sniper, E-Sens, Swings, Leessang, Bae Chi Gi, Bumkey, San E, Geeks and much more. The local hip-hop scene exploded last month, with disses flying in every direction as several popular rap stars, including former Supreme Team member E-Sens and Swings, decided to carry out their feuds publicly with some pretty cutthroat remarks aimed at specific members of the hip-hop community. The upcoming K-Hiphop Nation festival will be held on Oct. 26 and 27 at Jamsil Olympic Stadium. Ticket prices are 66,000 won for a one-day pass and 99,000 won for a two-day pass. For more information, visit k-hiphopnation.com.Dance
“SIDance”: The annual Seoul International Dance Festival (SIDance) is returning in October, featuring a total of 51 dance companies from 16 countries. The opener this year is a performance by Canadian troupe Cas Public, with its stylish variation of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.” Other invited troupes include France’s Cie Heddy Maalem, Finland’s Dance Theatre Auraco, and Italy’s Ambra Senatore. This year’s SIDance runs from Oct. 7 to 27 at Gangdong Arts Center, Seoul Art Center and Goyang Aram Nuri Arts Center. For tickets and information, call (02) 3216-1185.
“This is Modern”: Korea’s Universal Ballet Company is staging its contemporary dance piece “This is Modern” this October. The piece is a collection of three contemporary ballets: “Petit Mort” and “Sechs Tanze (Six Dances)” by Czech choreographer Jiri Kylian, and “This is Your Life” by Korean choreographer Huh Yong-soon. Compared to classical ballets, the show is said to spotlight the different dancing styles and flair of each dancer. “This is Modern” runs from Oct. 24-27 at Seoul Arts Center’s CJ Towol Theater. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 100,000 won. For more information, call (02) 580-1300.
|A scene from “Sechs Tanze,” part of contemporary dance piece “This is Modern” (UBC)|
“Wicked”: After playing an unhappy Austrian empress (Elisabeth) and a mysterious, obsessive housekeeper (Rebecca), musical actress Oak Ju-hyun has now been cast to play the famous green-skinned witch in Broadway musical “Wicked.” The upcoming run is the first Korean-language edition of the musical, also featuring an all-Korean cast. The musical tells the story of two very different witches in the Land of Oz ― green-skinned, struggling and often-alienated Elphaba and beautiful and popular blonde Glinda. The show is a ravishing spectacle of fantasy, mixed with a touching account of a difficult youth, life-changing friendship and growing up. “Wicked” will open on Nov. 22 at Charlotte Theater in Jamsil, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 140,000 won. For more information, call 1577-3363.
“Bonnie & Clyde”: Broadway musical “Bonnie & Clyde” is being staged in Seoul for the first time. The musical features the infamous love story of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, the well-known American robbers who traveled the central United States during the Great Depression. The show had its Broadway premiere in 2011 and won two Tony Award nominations in 2012. “Bonnie & Clyde” runs until Oct. 27 at Chungmu Art Hall in Seoul. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 120,000 won. For more information, call 1588-0688.
“Avenue Q”: The American adult puppet musical is a coming-of-age tale featuring the anxieties and struggles associated with entering adulthood. The show, which also features “Sesame Street”-inspired puppets along with the actors and actresses, is famous for its adult-themed subject matter, such as pornography, racism and homosexuality. “Avenue Q” runs until Oct. 6 at the Charlotte Theater in Seoul. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information, call 1577-3363.
|A scene from “Avenue Q” (Seol & Company)|