“Paulo Robersi: Photographs”: A retrospective exhibition on Italian photographer Paulo Robersi is under way 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.
“Kim Duck-yong”: Gallery Hyundai Gangnam Space presents paintings on wood by South Korean artist Kim Duck-yong. The veteran artist is well-known here not only for his use of wood as canvas but also for his warm paintings that are based on his memories. The exhibition is composed of 50 of his latest works including the landscape and the book series. The exhibition runs through May 15 at Gallery Hyundai Gangnam Space in Sinsa-dong, southern Seoul. For more information, call (02) 519-0800 or visit www.galleryhyundai.co.kr.
“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 The exhibition displays 80 historical documents and artworks that reflect crucial moments in Korea’s painful but dynamic past.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.
“Korea Australia Exchange Exhibition: Australia_Digital Urban Portraits”: Seoul Museum of Art is showcasing a variety of media arts from Australia to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Korea-Australia relations. Divided into two sections -- “FACE TO FACE Portraiture in digital age” and “NOW and WHEN Australian Urbanism,” the show exhibits 22 media artworks by 15 Australian artists and teams. The exhibition runs through June 26 at Seoul Museum of Art in Seosomun-dong, central Seoul. For more information, call (02) 2124-8800 or visit seoulmoa.seoul.go.kr.
“Ten Thousand Waves”: “Ten Thousand Waves,” a 55 minute long video work by Isaac Julien is on show at Atelier Hermes. Julien is a media artist from Britain. The video work first opened to the public as a nine channel video in 2010 Sydney Biennale, but is changed into a three-channel version for this showcase. Familiar faces like Maggie Cheung and Zhao Tao appear in the film. The exhibition runs through July 17 at Atelier Hermes in Sinsa-dong, southern Seoul. It is located on the third floor of Maison Hermes Dosan Park. For more information, call (02) 544-7722.
Parsons Dance: Parsons Dance will perform in Seoul from May 5 to 8 at LG Art Center in Yeoksam-dong, southern Seoul. The New York-based contemporary dance company is internationally renowned for its simple yet powerful performances. The company will showcase two repertoires -- “Caught,” a solo dance by its artistic director/choreographer/dancer David Parsons, and “Remember Me,” a rock dance opera. Tickets range from 40,000 won to 100,000 won. For more information, visit www.parsonsdance.co.kr.
“Princess Kongee”: The National Dance Company of Korea will present “Princess Kongee” from May 4 to May 8 at the National Museum of Theater’s Haeoreum Theater in Jangchung-dong, central Seoul. It is an original dance musical which fuses the Cinderella story with a Korean traditional tale of a similar story called “Kongee Patgee.” Tickets range from 5,000 won to 70,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2280-4115~6 or visit www.ntok.go.kr.
A scene of “Princess Kongee,” which runs through May 8 at the National Theater of Korea’s Haeoreum Theater in Jangchung-dong, central Seoul. (National Theater of Korea)
“Varekai”: Canadian troupe Cirque du Soleil will perform “Varekai” through 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 an open run at Daehangno Art Madang in Hyehwa-dong, central Seoul. For more information, call (02) 501-7888.
“The Seagull”: “The Seagull,” one of the four major plays by Russian writer Anton Chekhov is on show at Myeongdong Theater. The story is about the romantic and artistic conflicts between four characters -- young actress Nina, fading actress Arkadina, wannabe-writer Treplyov and famous story writer Trigorin. “The Seagull” runs through May 8 at Myeongdong Theater in Myeong-dong, central Seoul. Tickets range from 20,000 won to 50,000 won. For more information, call 1644-2003 or visit www.mdtheater.or.kr.
“Midsummer”: Written and directed by David Greig, the two-person play “Midsummer” is about Helena, a successful divorce lawyer, and Bob, a gang member, who accidently has a one night stand. The original version premiered at the Traverse Theater in Edinburgh in 2008 and was favorably reviewed by critics and play-goers. Actress Ye Ji-won stars as Helena and veteran musical stars Suh Beom-seok and Lee Seok-jun share the role as Bob. “Midsummer” runs until June 12 at Seoul Arts Center in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul. For more information, call 1588-5212 or visit www.od10years.com.
“Jekyll & Hyde”: Based on the novel “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson, the musical “Jekyll & Hyde” runs through August at Charlotte Theater in Jamsil-dong, southern Seoul. It is one of the most popular musicals in Seoul which born many musical stars like Cho Seung-woo. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information call 1644-0078.
“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.
“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 few spoken lines in the performance, allowing non-Korean speakers to enjoy the show. 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.
“Les Petits Chanteurs de Saint-Marc Recital: Les Petits Chanteurs de Saint-Marc will give Korean audiences a flavor of the 2004 French hit film “The Chorus.” Founded in 1986, the choir recorded the soundtrack of the Academy Award-nominated 2005 film “The Chorus,” with the song “Look to Your Path” earning a nomination for Best Song. The choir will start its tour at the Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall on May 13, and then to perform in Gyeongju on May 17, Ulsan on May 18, Busan on May 19 and Yongin on May 21. Tickets range from 33,000 won to 88,000 won. For more information, call (02) 597-9870.
“Paik Kun-woo, and Liszt”: Maestro Paik Kun-woo is to hold a rare “Paik Kun-woo, and Liszt” piano recital to celebrate the 200th year of the composer’s birth, covering almost all Liszt pieces in two concert programs on June 19 and June 26 at Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall. The two programs are similar to Paik’s “all-Liszt” programs in Paris in 1982. The eight works of the June 19 program include “La Vallee d’Obermann,” “Consolation Nr. 3 in D Flat Major,” and “Mephisto Waltz No. 1.” On June 26, the program of Liszt’s late works will include “5 Hungarian folk songs,” “La Lugubre gondola II,” and Sonata in B minor. “Paik Kun-woo, and Liszt” will be held at Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall at 8 p.m. on June 19 and 25. Tickets range from 40,000 won to 120,000 won. For details, call (02) 318-4304.
“Ennio Morricone 50th Anniversary Live”: The Academy Award-winning film score composer Ennio Morricone is to hold his 50th anniversary live concert in Seoul from May 16-18 at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts at 8 p.m. The program will include his representative songs such as “Gabriel’s Oboe.” Tickets range from 40,000 won to 220,000 won. For more information, call (02) 399-1114~6. For English booking, call (02) 332-3277.
“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. 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.
“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.
“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 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 Les Dialogues des Carmelites”: The Korea National Opera Company will premier opera “Les Dialogues des Carmelites” by 20th-century French composer Francis Poulenc at the Seoul Arts Center through May 8, for the first time in Asia. First premiered in Paris and Milan in 1957, the story of the opera was based on historical events which took place at a monastery of Carmelite nuns in Compiègne during the French Revolution. Tickets range from 10,000 won to 150,000 won. For details, call (02) 586-5282.
“Herbie Hancock & The Imagine Project Band Live in Seoul”: U.S. jazz musician Herbie Hancock will come to Seoul for the first time in eight years to hold a live concert on May 10 at Kyunghee University’s Peace Hall. As a jazz artist, he became the first to receive 14 Grammy Awards. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 198,000 won. For details, call (02) 3143-5155.
“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.
Jazz guitarist Pat Metheny and Friends will hold a concert on May 10-11 at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts. (Private Curve)
“Hadong Tea Festival”: Hadong in South Gyeongsang Province is to hold a wild tea festival through May 8 at the Hwagae-myeon. The five-day festival consists of four themes -- Green Tea Valley Zone, Slow Life Zone, Happy Family Zone and Meditation Zone. The Green Tea Valley Zone will offer tea making programs and green-tea-water foot soaks. The Family Zone will offer fringe performances and the Slow Life Zone will showcase how Koreans in the Joseon Dynasty era had tea tables under the moon light at night, sitting next to the Seomjin River. For more information, call (055) 880-2114.
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 craftsmanship 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 jade 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.
“Daedongnyeojido (Territorial Map of the Great East)”: To celebrate and commemorate 150th anniversary of the publication of “Daedongyeojido,” the best and the most accurate old map of Korean peninsula, approximately 20 pieces, including individual pages of the map and woodblocks of the map engraved by Kim Jeong-ho, will be on display. It runs through July 24 at the museum’s path to history, on the 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.