“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.
“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. Avenuel in 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. The paintings will be displayed throughout Avenuel until April 25. For more information, call (02) 726-4428~9.
“Koo Bohnchang”: One of South Korea’s most renowned photographers, Koo Bohn-chang, is holding a solo exhibition at Kukje Gallery. Not only parts from his different series but also his personal collections of eclectic objects are on display, giving the viewers a hint of Koo’s youth, attitudes towards photography and more. The exhibition runs through April 30 at Kukje Gallery in Sogyeok-dong, central Seoul. For more information, call (02) 735-8449 or visit www.kukjegallery.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.
“Katie Paterson”: PKM Gallery and Bartleby Bickle & Meursalt introduces Katie Paterson, one of the most acclaimed young artists to emerge from Britain in recent years. This is her first exhibition in Korea. It features several pieces of Paterson’s scientific artworks that ponder on space, time, light and sounds. The exhibition runs through May 6 at PKM Gallery and Bartleby Bickle & Meursalt in Hwa-dong, central Seoul. For more information, call (02) 734-9467 or visit www.pkmgallery.com.
“Paulo Robersi: Photographs”: A retrospective exhibition on Italian photographer Paulo Robersi is underway at 10 CORSO COMO. Robersi is referred to as currently one of the three best fashion photographers in the world along with Steven Meisel and Peter Lindbergh. The exhibition runs through May 8 at 10 CORSO COMO SEOUL in Cheongdam-dong, southern Seoul. Admission is free. Minors are not allowed. For more information, call (02) 3018-1010.
“Nathalia from back” by Paolo Roversi at the exhibition which runs through May 8 at 10 CORSO COMO SEOUL. (10 CORSO COMO SEOUL)
“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.
“Don Quixote”: Universal Ballet, 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.
“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.
“Vagina Monologues 2011”: “Vagina Monologues 2011” is a fundraising play to raise money and spread awareness to end violence against women and girls. The earnings from the ticket sales will be donated to the House of Sharing in Korea. The play will run in English with Korean subtitles. It will run from April 2 to 3 at Roofers in Itaewon-dong, central Seoul. Admission is 10,000 won. For more information, call 010-2013-4626.
“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.
“Aida”: The Korean adaptation of hit musical “Aida” runs until Sunday 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.
“2011 Aram Nuri Symphonic Series I”: The Goyang Culture Foundation has embarked on a seven-year project to extensively cover symphonic orchestra music from 2011-17. 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. In 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 “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 reputed as a difficult piece to play 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.
“Anne-Sophie Mutter Recital”: German diva violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter will hold her recital on May 3 at the Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall at 8 p.m. Her performance in Korea is her first in three years. She was the only violinist who performed and recorded albums with legendary composer Herbert von Karajan in the 13 years before he passed away in 1989. The concert program will be Debussy Violin Sonata g minor, Mendelssohn Violin Sonata F Major, Mozart Violin Sonata KV 454 and Sarasate “Carmen Fantasy.” Tickets range from 50,000-180,000 won. For more information, call (02) 318-4301.
Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter is to hold her recital on May 3 at the Seoul Arts Center. (Credia)
“Opera Tosca”: The Seoul Metropolitan Opera Company will stage opera “Tosca,” one of the most frequently performed of Giacomo Puccini’s operas, from April 21-24 at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts’ Grand Theater. Soprano and tenor arias in “Tosca” were favorites of legendary opera singers like Maria Callas and Luciano Pavarotti. Among the Korean cast for “Tosca,” tenor Park Ki-chun and soprano Im Se-gyeong, who are both based in Europe, will play the role of Cavaradossi and Tosca, respectively. The story unfolds as an escaped political prisoner Angelotti hides in a church, runs into painter Cavaradossi and receives his help. “Tosca” will be staged at 7:30 p.m. on weekdays, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets range from 20,000-120,000 won. For more information, call (02) 399-1783.
“Opera Simon Boccanegra”: The Korea National Opera Company is to showcase Verdi’s “Simon Boccanegra” with maestro Chung Myung-whun and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra from April 7-10 at the Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater. “Simon Boccanegra” is the work with which the 33-year-old Chung debuted at the New York Metropolitan Opera and received an enthusiastic response from the audience in 1986. In Korea, the KNOC first performed it in 2001. “Simon Boccanegra” will take place at 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and Saturday, and 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets range from 10,000-150,000 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 stage his representative operas “The Old Maid & the Thief” and “The Medium” in a row through 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 take place at 4 p.m. Tickets range from 30,000-50,000 won.
“John Legend Live in Seoul”: As part of Hyundai Card’s “Culture Project,” U.S. R&B star 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 perform 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.
“Hyundai Card Super Concert 14 Maroon 5”: Hyundai Card said its 14th Super Concert holder will be rock band Maroon 5. The band plans to hold two concerts in Korea ― one at the Olympic Park’s Gymnastics Gymnasium in Seoul on May 25 and the other at the KBS Hall in Busan on May 26. Super Concert is the credit card company’s large-scale concert project that started in 2007. Tickets to the Maroon 5 concert will be 121,000 won for standing and R seats, 99,000 won for S seats and 77,000 won for A seats. A purchase through Hyundai Card gets a 20 percent discount up to four tickets per person. For tickets, visit privia.hyundaicard.com, www.mnet.com, ticket.yes24.com and ticket.interpark.com.
2011 Tongyeong International Music Festival “Moving Dimension”: Under a new artistic director, Alexander Libreich of Germany, the 10th Tongyeong International Music Festival will kick off on March 26 and run through April 1. Under the theme “Moving Dimension,” which was suggested by Libreich, based on Yun I-sang’s 1971 work “Dimensionen,” the 2011 TIMF Season consists of classical and contemporary music concerts, concerts for children, forums, lectures and master classes. Participating artists include Isang Yun Competition winners Kim Jae-young and William Hong-chun Youn, contemporary classical music composer Chin Un-suk, German composer Heiner Goebbels and Russian pianist Igor Levit. The music festival also includes TIMF Fringe 2011, a competition program for amateur musicians in classical music, rock, pop, fusion music and Korean traditional music. A total of 161 teams will hold small concerts in Tongyeong throughout the festival until April 1. For those who purchased tickets for the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra’s concerts, the organizer will either fully refund the money or replace the tickets with those for other concerts during the festival. For ticket inquiries, call (055) 642-8662. Tickets range from 20,000 won to 100,000 won. Call (02) 3474-8315.
National Museum of Korea
“Tea, Incense, and Carrying the Soul: Longquan Ware from the Sinan Wreck”: The National Museum of Korea is holding a special exhibition featuring about 90 pieces of 14th century Chinese celadon ware found in a shipwreck. The featured pieces are from the Longquan region of China’s southern Zhejiang province, where the superior Chinese celadon ware was produced at the time. In 1323, a Chinese merchant ship carrying more than 30,000 items for export, including ceramics, sank off the southwest coast of Korea at Sinan. The ship was accidentally discovered by a Korean fisherman in 1975 ― more than 650 years after it sank. Its site was excavated from 1976 to 1984, bringing the long-lost artifacts back to the surface. Among the 30,000 artifacts, 14,000 pieces were found to be Longquan celadon ware. The exhibition showcases different types of Longquan ware, its signature jadish color and cultures of 14th century Asia reflected in the featured pieces. It runs through June 19 at the museum’s Sinan Shipwreck Collection Room in the Asia 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.
“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 different types of tomb tablets that were created according to the social status of the interred. The exhibition displays the 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.
“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.