“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.
“The Exhibition of the Great Portraitist’s Work ― KARSH”: About 100 photographs by the great photographer Yousuf Karsh are on display at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts. Among its three sections ― “Landscape,” “Portraits,” “Hands” ― the “Portraits” division is notable. Visitors can meet many portrait photos of the famous people from the 20th century, including Audrey Hepburn, Christian Dior and Elizabeth Taylor. The exhibition runs through May 22 at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in central Seoul. Tickets range from 6,000 won to 9,000 won. For more information, call 1544-1681.
“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.
“Kim Chong-hak”: The National Museum of Contemporary Art is holding a large-scale retrospective exhibition to look back on the achievements of South Korean artist Kim Chong-hak who is known as the “painter of Mountain Seorak.” The exhibition features 70 major paintings from his early works of the 1950s to more recent works. He painted beautiful landscapes of the country using glamorous colors and extravagant expressions. The exhibition runs through June 26 at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province. For more information, call (02) 2188-6000 or visit www.moca.go.kr.
“Mount Seorak in Summer” by Kim Chong-hak whose exhibition runs through June 26 at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province. (National Museum of Contemporary Art)
“The NTOK Choice ― Lee Jeong-yun & Etoile”: The National Theater of Korea presents a variety of dance and music, featuring acclaimed artists including ballet dancers ― Kim Joo-won, one of Korea National Ballet’s principal dancers, and Universal Ballet’s principal dancers Hwang Hye-min and Eom Jae-yong ―; Lee Jeong-yun, the star dancer of the National Theater of Korea; Nam Gung-yeon, a jazz musician; Shin Chang-ho, art director of Laboratory Dance Project; Lee Sang-eun, a singer. The show will run from April 9-10 at The National Theater of Korea’s Haeoreum Theater in Jangchung-dong, central Seoul. Tickets range from 10,000 won to 70,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2280-4115~6 or visit www.ntok.go.kr.
“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.
“Finding Kim Jong-wook”: The play tells a bubbly story about a girl who seeks her first love, who she met during a trip to India seven years ago, and a guy who opens a first-love search company after getting fired from his job. Knowing just which buttons to push to make viewers reminisce about their own first loves, the musical soon became something of an archetype for Korean romantic comedy. It is staged as open run at Daehangno Art Madang in Hyehwa-dong, central Seoul. For more information, call (02) 501-7888.
“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.
“Hamlet”: A Korean version of William Shakepeare’s “Hamlet” is running at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts’ M Theater in central Seoul. Well-known South Korean director Park Geun-hyeong reinterpreted the play so that it better fits into Koreans’ lives. It runs through Feb. 24. Tickets range from 20,000 won to 30,000 won. For more information, call (02) 399-1114 or visit www.sejongpac.or.kr.
A scene from “Hamlet” which runs through April 24 at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts’ M Theater in central Seoul. (Sejong Center for the Performing Arts)
“Gwanghwamun Younga”: Based on 33 songs by late composer Lee Young-hoon, this jukebox musical runs until Sunday 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.
“Love in the Rain”: This hit small-stage musical has been running for 17 years. The story is about two brothers who meet after being separated for seven years. The brothers, who have contrasting personalities and live totally opposite lives, cannot stand each other but also love each other. It runs through May 29 at Chungmu Art Hall in Heungin-dong, central Seoul. For more information, call (02) 764-7858.
“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.
“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 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 second leg of the series, conductor Jung Chi-yong and KBS Symphony Orchestra will perform on May 14, the Haydn Symphony No. 83 in G minor, famously known as “the Hen.” Virtuoso cellist Chung Myung-wha will perform Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major and the orchestra will wrap up the performance with Symphony No. 104 in D Major, or “the London Symphony,” the final symphony of Haydn. 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.
“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 in three years. She was the only violinist who performed and recorded albums with legendary composer Karajan for 13 years before he passed away. 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 won to 180,000 won. For more information, call (02) 318-4301.
“Sumi Jo & Academy of Ancient Music”: Renowned soprano Sumi Jo will showcase baroque music with British ensemble the Academy of Ancient Music, while conductor Richard Egarr will take the helm, at the Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall on May 6-7. The program includes Handel’s “Concerto Grosso, Op. 3, No. 2” and “Sonata A5.” The ensemble’s visit to Korea is the first in 10 years. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 250,000 won. For more information, call (02) 741-1763.
“Barbie at the Symphony”: Conductor Arnie Roth and Ditto Orchestra will hold the “Barbie at the Symphony” concert at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts on May 15 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The concert will offer representative classical music repertoires featured in the animation movie “Barbie Princess.” The program includes Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake,” “The Nutcracker,” Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, Drorak’s Symphony No. 9 and Mendelsshon’s Symphony No. 4. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 80,000 won. For details, call (02) 318-4301.
“Opera Tosca”: The Seoul Metropolitan Opera Company will stage opera “Tosca,” one of the most frequently performed operas among Puccini’s works, from April 21 to April 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 gets 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 won to 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 to April 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. Opera “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 won to 150,000 won. For more information, call (02) 586-5282.
“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.
“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 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 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.
“Yeouido Yunjungno Cherry Blossom Festival”: The popular cherry blossom festival in Seoul will be held from April 8 to April 19 in Yeouido areas. At night, LCD lighting will make the blossom trees glow. For more information, call (02) 2670-3140.
“Busan Cheonghak-dong Cherry Blossom Festival”: The port city of southeastern Korea is to hold a cherry blossom festival from April 10. The festival street will start from Yeongdo-gu District Office to Dongsam Intersection. Established in 1998, the festival includes street plays, sports dances, salsa dances, magic shows and Korean traditional dances. For more information, call (051) 419-4061.
“Seoul Jazz Festival 2011”: A series of jazz concerts will be held in Seoul from May 9 to May 12 at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts. Music director and singer Kolleen Park will kick off the event with her concert “This is Kolleen” on May 9 and guitarist Pat Metheny and friends ― Gary Burton on vibraphone, Steve Swallow playing bass, and Antonio Sanchez on drums ― will hold a concert on May 10-11. On May 12, American singer Cassandra Wilson and Japanese-Korean jazz vocalist Keiko Lee will be on stage. Tickets range from 66,000 won to 165,000 won. For more information call (02) 563-0595.
National Museum of Korea Exhibition
“The Song of Nature: Goryeo Celadon of Yucheon-ri Kiln Site”: The National Museum of Korea’s new theme exhibition, “The Song of Nature: Goryeo Celadon of Yucheon-ri Kiln Site,” is the result of Korea’s 1966 excavation on Yucheon-ri kiln site in Bu-ahn of North Jeolla Province.
Yucheon-ri kiln site No.12, along with the sites in Gang-jin of South Jeolla Province, is the basis of Goryeo celadon. The exhibition presents the beginning and end of Yucheon-ri kilns, displaying the fundamental beauty of the Goryeo celadon pieces and fragments. One can appreciate the craftmanship and culture that people of Goryeo shared through this exhibition. It runs through May 29 at the museum’s Celadon room in the Sculpture and Crafts 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.
“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, on the 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.