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Events calendar

Exhibitions

“Philosopher’s Tree”: Michael Kenna’s black and white tree photographs entice visitors to go find their own tall trees to lie beneath. Kenna is referred to as a “landscape photographer,” especially known for his serene photos of trees delicately highlighted with natural light. The Brit received numerous awards including the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the Culture Ministry of France in 2000. His current solo show displays 50 tree photos he has taken in North America, Asia and Europe since the 1980s. “Philosopher’s Tree” runs until Sunday at Gallery Kong in Samcheong-dong, central Seoul. Tickets range from 2,000 won to 3,000 won. For more information, call (02) 738-7776 or visit www.gallerykong.com. 
“Philosopher’s Tree” by Michael Kenna at the exhibition of the same title running at Gallery Kong in Samcheong-dong, central Seoul. (Michael Kenna)
“Philosopher’s Tree” by Michael Kenna at the exhibition of the same title running at Gallery Kong in Samcheong-dong, central Seoul. (Michael Kenna)

“Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams”: The exhibition features home appliances designed by the legendary industrial designer Rams ― well-known for his influence on Jonathan Ive, senior vice president of Industrial Design at Apple. All 400 exhibits appear timeless and chic, fitting in anywhere, anytime. Rams created many best-selling designs throughout his 40-year-career at Braun and Vitsoe. The 77-year-old retired from Braun in 1997 and received the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2007 for achievements in the area of design. The exhibition runs until Sunday at Daelim Contemporary Art Museum in Tongui-dong, central Seoul. Tickets range from 1,000 won to 5,000 won. For more information, call (02) 720-0667 or visit www.daelimmuseum.org.

“Huh Dal-jae Solo Exhibition”: Chinese plum flowers are likened to “seonbi,” or a firm and right-minded scholar, in Korea because their soft and fragrant petals peep out despite the chilly weather. Lotte Gallery in Avenuel Sogong-dong, central Seoul, showcases 60 plum flower paintings by Huh Dal-jae. In his paintings, the blossoms of the Chinese plum trees are more bountiful compared to those seen in traditional paintings. At Lotte Gallery, the exhibition runs until Sunday. The paintings will be displayed throughout Avenuel until April 25. For more information, call (02) 726-4428~9.

“TEXT/VIDEO/FEMALE: Art after the ‘60s”: A wave of change occurred in art in the 1960s, when artists started to deny traditional fine art and pursued brand new media and subjects. Mind-boggling artworks by 11 major contemporary artists ― Louise Bourgeois, Martin Creed, Tracey Emin, Dan Graham, On Kawara, Paul McCarthy, Bruce Nauman, Paik Nam-june, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha and Lawrence Weiner ― are on display at the exhibition currently under way at PKM Trinity Gallery in Cheongdam-dong, southern Seoul. The exhibition runs through March 23. For more information, call (02) 515-9496~7 or visit www.pkmgallery.com.

“H Box 2011”: “H Box,” the 6.5 meter wide and 5 meter tall spaceship-like structure on the third floor of Artsonje Center in Sogyeok-dong, central Seoul, is a mini, portable screening room for video artworks, organized by the Hermes Foundation. The project was started in 2006 and so far a total of 21 video works have toured around prestigious museums and art festivals of the world. Here, eight video works are currently on show, including four premiering works. “H Box 2011” runs through May 1. For more information, call (02) 733-8945 or visit www.artsonje.org.

“Hybrid Code”: Savina Museum of Contemporary Art offers 30 paintings, sculptures, photos, installations and video artworks which gave new functions to familiar objects by applying high-technology. The exhibition is divided into three sections ― Psychological Mutant, Expansion of Architectural Concept and Apply Science to Daily Life. It runs through April 14 at Savina Museum of Contemporary Art in Anguk-dong, central Seoul. For more information, call (02) 736-4371 or visit www.savinamuseum.com.

“Korean Rhapsody: A Montage of History and Memory”: Korea’s restless modern history unfolds at Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in the form of paintings, photographs, installations and media works. The exhibition displays 80 historical documents and artworks that reflect crucial moments in Korea’s painful but dynamic past. While staying within the theme, the exhibits are of very high quality, created by renowned local and foreign artists. The exhibition runs until June 5 at Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Hannam-dong, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 4,000 won to 7,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2014-6900 or visit www.leeum.org.

“CHINA The New Wave”: In commemoration of the 19th anniversary of Korea-China diplomatic relations, 63 Sky Art Gallery presents 60 paintings and photographs by 16 of China’s representative contemporary artists including Fang Lijun, Zeng Fanzhi, Yue Minjun, Ru Xiaofan and Zhang Xiaogang. The exhibition runs through July 3 at 63 Building’s 63 Sky Art Gallery in Yeouido-dong, central Seoul. Tickets are 11,000 won for children and adolescents and 12,000 won for adults. For more information, call (02) 789-5663 or visit www.63.co.kr.

Dance

“Don Quixote”: Universal Ballet Theater, the nation’s oldest private ballet company, will present “Don Quixote” from March 25 to March 28 at Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul. The show will focus on brilliant and flashy choreography and the highlight appears in the third act ― the wedding scene. Tickets range from 10,000 won to 100,000 won. For more information, call (02) 580-1300 or visit www.ubcballet.com.

“Varekai”: Canadian troupe Cirque du Soleil will perform “Varekai” from April 6 to May 29 at the tent of the Big Top Theater in Jamsil Sports Complex in southern Seoul. The show is about a story of Icarus from Greek mythology. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 220,000 won. The 220,000-won “Tapis Rouge” ticket includes a VIP lounge service and souvenirs such as a program book and CD. For more information, call (02) 541-6235 or visit www.varekai.co.kr.

Dramas

“Yakiniku Dragon”: The play narrates the joys and sorrows of a Korean family ekeing out a precarious living in Japan in the late 1960s ― fighting against cold shouldering of the Japanese and clinging to what is left of their roots. Co-produced by South Korea’s Seoul Arts Center and Japan’s New National Theater Foundation, the play has scooped numerous awards in both countries. It runs until Sunday at Seoul Arts Center’s Towol Theater in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 50,000 won. For more information, call (02) 580-1300 or visit www.sacticket.co.kr.

“La Cantatrice Chauve”: This play ― the title of which means “The Bald Soprano” ― is determined to break the rules ― and break them it does. Viewers can eat snacks, drink, answer phone calls and take photos of the show as freely as they please. Originally written by Romanian playwright Eugene Ionesco in 1950, the play is filled with non sequiturs that satirize modern society and express the futility of meaningful communication and relationships. It runs through March 31 at SM Art Hall in Daehangno, central Seoul. Tickets are 40,000 won. For more information on both plays, call (02) 764-8760 or visit www.stage2010.com.

“Dom Juan”: Myeongdong Theater presents the play “Dom Juan,” based on French writer Moliere’s script. The play was first born as “Don Juan” in the 17th century by Spanish writer Tirso de Molina. This is the first time in 32 years that the play is being held here after its premiere held at the National Theater in 1979. Actors Kim Do-hyun and Lee Yul will play the roles of Dom Juan. “Dom Juan” runs through April 3 at Myeongdong Theater in Myeong-dong, central Seoul. Admission ranges from 20,000 won to 50,000 won. For more information, call 1644-2003 or visit www.MDtheater.or.kr.

“Kiss of the Spider Woman”: Based on Argentine writer Manuel Puig’s script “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” director Lee Gi-na and four male actors are to present a uniquely Korean drama of a male couple locked in a prison cell. Politically revolutionary Valentin and gay Molina, who has been convicted for having sex with a minor, have nerve-breaking arguments but fall in love after all. Actors Jung Sung-hwa and Park Eun-tae have been cast as Valentin and Molina. The drama will run through April 24 at the Daehangno Art One Theater. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 50,000 won. For details, call (02) 764-8760.

Musicals

“Aida”: The Korean adaptation of hit musical “Aida” runs through March 27 at the Seongnam Art Center Opera House. The local version will star Ok Joo-hyeon, Kim Woo-hyeong, and Jung Seon-ah. The popular two act musical is based on Giuseppe Verdi’s Italian-language opera by the same name, the story of which was written by Auguste Mariette. The musical was produced by Disney Theatrical, with music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice, and script by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls, and David Henry Hwang. The musical originated from a children’s storybook version of Verdi’s opera written by the soprano Leontyne Price. For details, call (02) 577-1987.

“Cloud Bread in Playground”: The English language-version of children’s musical “Gurumppang” runs through June 12 at Sangsang Nanum Theater in Guro-dong, western Seoul. Based on the popular children’s book “Gurumppang,” the musical is about the adventures of a brother and sister who make bread out of clouds. It features easy, familiar songs like “Bingo” and is dubbed by a native English speaker. Admission is 25,000 won. For more information, call 1666-5795 or visit www.mhicon.co.kr.

“Gwanghwamun Younga”: Based on 33 songs by late composer Lee Young-hoon, this jukebox musical will run from March 20 to April 10 at the Grand Theater of the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts. Rock musician Yoon Do-hyun has been double cast with actor Song Chang-eui as the main character, Sang-hun of the past. Powerful vocalist Lisa Chung has been cast for Yeoju, while actors Kim Moo-yeol and Lim Byung-geun will play Hyeon-woo. Actor Park Jeong-hwan will play Sang-hun of the present. Three characters Sang-hun, his brother Hyeon-woo and Yeo-ju tell a story of their love triangle, intertwined with protests for democracy in Korea in the 1980s. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 130,000 won. For details, call 1666-8662.

“Miso”: “Miso,” translated as “beautiful smile,” offers a compact presentation of everything Korean culture first-timers could wish for. It blends ten different kinds of traditional dances, five traditional games and a wedding ritual into the main story line based on a well-known folktale, “The Tale of Chunhyang.” There are very few spoken lines throughout the whole performance, catering to audiences of diverse nationalities. Instead, actors hold up signs written in five different languages at crucial moments in the story. “Miso” is showing as an open run at Chongdong Theater in Jeong-dong, central Seoul. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 50,000 won. For more information, call (02) 751-1500 or visit www.koreamiso.com.

Concerts

“2011 Aram Nuri Symphonic Series I”: The Goyang Culture Foundation has embarked on a seven-year project to extensively cover symphonic orchestra music from 2011 to 2017. The series will compare Haydn with Mozart in 2011, Beethoven with Brahms in 2012, Tchaikovsky with Rachmaninoff in 2013, Schubert with Mendelssohn in 2014, Dvorak with Sibelius in 2015, Bruckner with Mahler in 2016 and Prokofiev with Shostakovich in 2017. As the first leg of the series, pianist and conductor Kim Dae-jin-led Suwon Symphony Orchestra will perform Mozart’s symphonies on March 26 at the Goyang Aram Nuri Arts Center at 7 p.m. The program includes Mozart Overture from Opera “the Marriage of Figaro,” Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major K.467 and Symphony No. 40 in g minor K. 550. Pianist Son Yeol-eum will collaborate. Tickets range from 20,000 won to 50,000 won. For details, call 1577-7766.

“Hilary Hahn & English Chamber Orchestra”: U.S. violin virtuoso Hilary Hahn and the English Chamber Orchestra will visit Korea to perform Haydn’s Symphony No. 44, Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 “Turkish,” Purcell’s Chaconne and Britten’s Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, at the Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall on April 12. Mozart Violin Concert No. 5 is known to be a difficult piece to play, in particular, due to its simplicity. Tickets range from 40,000 won to 160,000 won. For details, call (02) 599-5743.

“Boris Berezovsky with 3 Piano Concertos”: Russian pianist Boris Berezovsky is to collaborate with conductor Kim Dae-jin and Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra to showcase three piano concertos ― Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat Major, Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in A minor and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor. The concert will take place at the Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall on May 8 at 2 p.m. For more information, call (02) 541-2513.

“Opera Faust”: The Korea National Opera will stage Charles Gounod’s “Faust” through March 20 at the Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater under artistic director Lee So-young. With the Korean Symphony Orchestra and Italian conductor Ottavio Marino, tenor Kim Woo-kyung will play Faust. Kim became the first Korean opera singer to become part of the New York Metropolitan Opera Association in 2006-2007 Season. Tickets range from 10,000 won to 150,000 won. For more information, call (02) 586-5282.

“The Old Maid & the Thief” and “The Medium”: Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Italian American composer Gian Carlo Menotti, the Seoul Opera Ensemble and Sejong Opera will hold his representative operas “The Old Maid & the Thief” and “The Medium” in a row from March 24 to March 27 at the Sejong Center for Performing Arts’ M Theater. The shows are at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, it will be held at 4 p.m. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 50,000 won.

“Beethoven Violin Sonata Cycle”: Veteran violinist Kim Min and pianist Lee Dai-uk will hold the final stage of their performances that aim to stage all 10 of Beethoven’s violin sonatas through a three-week concert series in March at the Kumho Art Hall. For the final concert, the 69-year-old violinist and the 64-year-old pianist will perform together on March 24 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets range from 8,000 won to 30,000 won. Call (02) 6303-7700.

“El Sistema II”: The Caracas Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and conductor Christian Vasquez are to stage Saint Saens Symphony No. 3 and Shostakovich Symphony No. 10 at the Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall on March 27. El Sistema refers to a music education program in Venezuela dedicated to teaching juvenile delinquents and children from low-income households to play musical instruments. Its director and founder Jose Antonio Abreu received the 10th Seoul Peace Prize last year. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 100,000 won. For details, call (02) 1577-5266.

“Nah Youn-sun Live Concert”: Jazz vocalist Nah Youn-sun, whose popularity in Europe means that this is a rare Korean performance, will return to the LG Arts Center for the first time in five years. Nah will collaborate with guitarist Ulf Wakenius, bassist and cellist Lars Danielsson and accordionist Vincent Peirani. Without any percussion or drums, Nah will create rhythms and beats only with guitars, bass, cello and accordion. Nah will be performing on March 23 at 8 p.m. and tickets range from 30,000 won to 70,000 won. For details, call (02) 2005-0114.

“Slash live concert in Seoul”: Slash, best known as former lead guitarist of U.S. rock band Guns N’ Roses, is to hold a solo concert on March 20 at Ax-Hall in Seoul. He was last in Seoul in 1999 when here performing with Michael Jackson. Born in 1965 and debuting in 1983, Slash was named the No. 2 guitarist on Time Magazine’s list of 10 best electric guitar players of all time in 2009, trailing his hero Jimmy Hendrix. Myles Kennedy, lead vocalist of the rock band Alter Bridge, will also join the show. Tickets are 99,000 won. For details, call (02) 3141-3488.

“John Legend Live in Seoul”: As part of Hyundai Card’s “Culture Project,” U.S. R&B icon John Legend will hold concerts on April 19-20 at the Ax-Hall in Seoul at 8 p.m. Having sold 8 million copies of his albums so far, Legend has won nine Grammy Awards. The tickets will be standing or designated seats but the price will be the same at 110,000 won. Through a Hyundai Card, 30 percent discount is offered. For more information, visit www.superseries.kr.

“Sara Bareilles Live in Seoul”: U.S. singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, famous for her first single “Love Song,” will hold her first concert in Korea on May 14 at V-Hall at 7 p.m. Her debut album “Little Voice” went platinum and ranked first in the iTunes download album chart. In 2009, she was nominated for the Grammy’s Song of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocalist. The standing seats will cost 88,000 won. For more information, call (02) 332-3277.

“Beady Eye Live in Seoul”: Rock band Beady Eye, a new group consisting of Liam Gallagher and former members of Oasis, will hold a concert in Seoul at Ax-Hall in Seoul on May 15 at 7:30 p.m. The British band will play most of the songs from its first album “Different Gear, Still Speeding,” which was released on March 2. Tickets are 99,000 won. For more information, call (02) 332-3277.
U.K. rock band Beady Eye is to hold a live concert in Seoul on May 15. (9 Entertainment)
U.K. rock band Beady Eye is to hold a live concert in Seoul on May 15. (9 Entertainment)

Festival

2011 Tongyeong International Music Festival “Moving Dimension”: Under a new artistic director Alexander Libreich of Germany, the 10th Yongyeong International Music Festival will kick off on March 26. The theme, “Moving Dimension,” was suggested by Libreich based on Isang Yun’s work “Dimensionen.” The festival will feature stages by Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, Isang Yun Competition winners Kim Jae-young and William Hong-chun Youn, jazz vocalist Nah Youn-sun, composer Chin Un-suk & Heiner Goebbels and more. The festival runs through April 1 in Tongyeong, South Gyeongsang Province. Tickets range from 20,000 won to 100,000 won. Call (02) 3474-8315.

National Museum of Korea Exhibition

“A Mirror into Life and Death: Epitaphs of Joseon Dynasty”: This special exhibition features Korea’s traditional epitaphs, “myojimyeong,” concentrating on those from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897). Throughout history, myojimyeong recorded the names, dates of birth and death, family history, and achievements of the dead. While the first part of this exhibition features the history of the Korean epitaphs from the Three Kingdoms through Goryeo to the Joseon period, the second part showcases the various types of tomb tablets that were created according to the social status of the interred. The exhibition displays epitaphs of kings, members of the royal family, aristocratic clans and commoners. It runs through April 17 at the museum’s Special Exhibition Room, first floor. The museum is located near Ichon Subway Station, Line No. 4, Exit 2. For more information, visit www.museum.go.kr or call (02) 2077-9000.

“Ethnic Earthenware from Asian’s heart”: Clay is a modeling material that can be easily used and placed, and a great many Asian people, by following the dispensation of nature, have made a variety of unique clay objects. This exhibition displays earthenware that reflects Asian life and the spiritual world in a coherent way. The exhibits are arranged to reveal the characteristics and aesthetics of diverse ethnic groups of Asia, who have preserved tradition through modernization. It runs through Sept. 11 at the museum’s Kaneko Kazushige room in the Donations Gallery, second floor. The museum is located near Ichon Subway Station, Line No. 4, Exit 2. For more information, visit www.museum.go.kr or call (02) 2077-9000.

“Tomb Murals of the Four Guardian Deities from Gangseodaemyo”: The four guardian deities are a pantheon of four divine beasts ― the Blue Dragon, the White Tiger, the Red Phoenixes and the Black Tortoise and Serpent ― which appear in Gangseodaemyo, a Goguryeo tomb located in Nampo city, South Pyeongan Province. The exhibition showcases murals of the deities. The exhibition runs through March 27 at the museum’s Goguryeo room in the Prehistory and Ancient History Gallery. The museum is near Ichon Subway Station, Line No. 4, Exit 2. For more information, visit www.museum.go.kr or call (02) 2077-9000.

“Silk Road and Dunhuang”: The Silk Road was an extensive network of routes that linked Asia with Europe, facilitating exchange between vastly different civilizations. The museum offers 214 relics that were exchanged via the route, lent from 12 foreign institutions. The exhibits include “Wangochenchukgukjeon,” or “Memoir of the Pilgrimage to the Five Kingdoms of India” by Buddhist monk Hye-cho, lent by the National Library of France. The exhibition runs through April 3 at the museum’s Special Exhibition Gallery. The museum is located near Ichon Subway Station, Line No. 4, Exit 2. For more information, visit www.museum.go.kr or call (02) 2077-9000.
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