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Published : Oct. 21, 2011 - 22:17

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Exhibitions

"The Court Painters of Joseon Dynasty": In celebration of its seventh anniversary, Leeum brought together 110 paintings by “hwawon,” or court painters of the Joseon Dynasty. It showcases works by master painters like Kim Hong-do, Jang Seung-eop, Shin Yun-bok and Kim Deuk-sin, who are well-known among the Korean public due to their immense influence. The exhibition is divided into two parts -- “The Court Painter’s Brush: Forming Royal Authority” and “The Court Painter’s Brush: Painting Joseon.” It runs through Jan. 29. Tickets range from 4,000 won to 7,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2014-6900 or visit www.leeum.org. 
A part of “Donggabanchado (Royal Palanquin Procession)” at Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art (Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art) A part of “Donggabanchado (Royal Palanquin Procession)” at Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art (Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art)

“Genre paintings and Portraits”: Gansong Museum of Art brings out Joseon Dynasty genre paintings and portraits from its treasure trove for its fall exhibition, one of the two occasions during the year when the private museum is open to the public. Noting how Joseon paintings began to shake off some Chinese influence and develop its own trends, technique and colors since the development of neo-Confucianism by Joseon scholar Yi I, the museum is exhibiting 100 portrait and genre paintings by 52 artists that show such movement. It runs through Oct. 30. Admission is free. For more information, call (02) 762-0442.

“text, textured scene”: Gana Contemporary Art Gallery in Pyeongchang-dong, central Seoul, is holding South Korean artist Lee Dong-jae’s solo exhibition. Lee is known for his constructed images using rice grains and various other found objects as pixels. For this show, the artist created well-known movie characters and posters in his unique style. The exhibition runs through Oct. 23. For more information, call (02) 720-1020 or visit www.gananart.com.

“Swedish Contemporary Craft Art”: Korea Foundation Cultural Center Gallery in Suha-dong, central Seoul, presents Swedish contemporary crafts which have recently drawn attention at world design fairs. It showcases craftworks by 17 Swedish artists including Per B. Sundberg, Ulla Forsell, Anders Ljungberg and Kicken Eriksson. The works have various themes but in general have to do with the reinvention of tradition, harmony with nature and people-centered design. The exhibition runs through Oct. 27. Admission is free. For more information, call (02) 2151-6500 or visit www.kf.or.kr.

“My Way”: Plateau, Samsung Museum of Art, presents a mid-career retrospective of the leading French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel. The artist’s unique artistic spectrum -- from the early works of the 1980s to the latest monumental installations contemplating the philosophy of existence -- is on display. Some of the exhibits are being shown to the public for the first time. The exhibition runs through Nov. 27 at Plateau, Samsung Museum of Art in central Seoul. Tickets range from 3,000 won to 5,000 won. For more information, call 1577-7595 or visit www.plateau.or.kr.

“Agony and Ecstasy”: Artistic highlights from business mogul and noted collector Franois Pinault’s impressive collection have been brought to Seoul. Exhibits include paintings, sculptures, installation works and photos by four renowned contemporary artists -- Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Cindy Sherman and Takashi Murakami. The show offers a rare chance to see Hirst’s formaldehyde solution installations and Murakami’s sculptures of exaggerated sexuality. The exhibition runs through Nov. 19 at SongEun ArtSpace in Cheongdam-dong, Seoul. For more information, call (02) 3448-0100 or visit www.songeunartspace.org

Dance

 “What about Love”: Korea National Contemporary Dance Company will showcase "What About Love," an original dance by legendary French choreographer Joelle Bouvier, a pioneer of the Nouvelle Danse trend. She selected 16 members of KNCDC in April to put on the show and has been training the crew ever since. The show will run from Nov. 5 to 6 at the National Museum of Korea’s Theater Yong in Yongsan-dong, central Seoul. Tickets range from 10,000 won to 16,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3472-1420 or visit www.kncdc.kr. 

“Onegin”: Universal Ballet Company presents “Onegin,” the tragic love story based on Alexander Pushkin’s “Eugene Onegin” which is one of the best known Russian novels in history. Music is by Tchaikovsky and choreography is by John Cranko. Kang Hyo-jung and Evan McKie, principal dancers from Stuttgarte Ballet, will each join the show as Tatyana and Onegin along with UBC’s principal dancers. It will run from Nov. 12 to 19 at LG Art Center in Yeoksam-dong, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 100,000 won. For more information, call (02) 070-7124-1737 or visit www.universalballet.com. 
A scene from Universal Ballet Company’s “Onegin.”(UBC) A scene from Universal Ballet Company’s “Onegin.”(UBC)

“Romeo and Juliet”: Korea National Ballet presents the classic ballet “Romeo and Juliet.” Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra will play the music composed by Serge Prokofiev and the choreography will be by Jean-Christophe Maillot. Conductor Cheong Myung-whun will take the baton. It will run from Oct. 27 to 30 at Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 5,000 won to 150,000 won. For more information, call (02) 587-6181 or visit www.kballet.org.

“Miso”: Translated as “beautiful smile,” this musical 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 storyline based on a well-known folktale, “The Tale of Chunhyang.” There are very few spoken lines throughout the performance, making it ideal for audiences of diverse nationalities. “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.

Classical Music

“Prague Philharmonia”: The Prague Philharmonia, an orchestra based in Prague, the Czech Republic, is to hold an Asia premier at the Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall on Oct. 22-23. The young orchestra, much loved by the late tenor Luciano Pavarotti, will be led by conductor Ondřej Vrabec and perform Rossini Overture Italiana in Algeri, Dvorak Czech Suite and Beethoven Symphony No. 7 on Oct. 22. The next day, the program includes Mozart Figaro Overture, Dvorak Czech Suite and Beethoven Symphony No. 4.
Tickets range from 50,000 won to 250,000 won. For more information, call (02) 338-3513.

“Sydney Symphony Orchestra”: The Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s first concert in Korea on Nov. 16-17 at the SAC’s Concert Hall is also noteworthy. Virtuoso pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy is the principal conductor of the orchestra, visiting Seoul this time with cellist Mischa Maisky and pianist Evgeny Kissin. The program includes Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1, Brahms Symphony No. 1, Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2. Tickets range from 70,000 won to 250,000 won. For details, call (02) 599-5743.

“Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra”: The world renowned Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, led by conductor Simon Rattle, will come to Seoul again for concerts on Nov. 15 and Nov. 16. Sponsored by Samsung Electronics and organized by Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation, the first evening concert will take place at the Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall for Mahler Symphony No. 9 in D Major. The second day, the orchestra will move to Sejong Center for the Performing Arts for Bruckner Symphony No. 9 in d minor. The two works were both their composers’ last symphony. On Nov. 16, Ravel’s “Alborada del gracioso” from the suite “Miroirs” and Hosokawa’s Horn Concerto “Moment of Blossoming” will be also staged. Stefan Dohr will collaborate for the horn concerto. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 450,000 won. For more information, call (02) 6303-7700. 
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra with conductor Simon Rattle (Kumho Asiana Culture Foundation) Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra with conductor Simon Rattle (Kumho Asiana Culture Foundation)

“St. Petersburg Philharmonic”: The St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, led by artistic director and conductor Yuri Temirkanov, will come to Seoul again to showcase romantic and powerful European classical music for two days. Violinist Sara Chang will collaborate with the orchestra. Tmirkanov’s seasoned skills and precise interpretation of music will create synergy with Chang’s stormy passion and energy. The concerts will take place at the Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall on Nov. 8-9. The Nov. 8 program includes Liadov Kikimora Op. 63, Sibelius Violin Concerto in d minor Op. 47 and Rachmaninov Symphony No. 2 in e minor Op. 27. The next day, the first half is the same, followed by Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5 in e minor Op. 64.


Pop Music

“Chris Botti Live in Seoul”: American jazz trumpeter and composer Chris Botti is to hold a live concert at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts’ Grand Theater on Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m.. Influenced by Miles Davis and Chat Baker, he has authentic jazz sounds which go well with other genres including pop, film soundtracks and classical music. Since his debut in 1995, he has released 12 albums including the Billboard Chart’s Jazz No. 1 albums “When I Fall In Love” (2004), “To Love Again: Duet” (2005) and “Italia” (2007). Tickets range from 50,000 won to 150,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3461-0976. 
Poster of Chris Botti’s live concert in Seoul (SMI Entertainment) Poster of Chris Botti’s live concert in Seoul (SMI Entertainment)

“Kim Gun-mo’s 20th Anniversary Tour”: K-pop singer Kim Gun-mo celebrates the 20th anniversary of his debut by holding a two-year concert tour in over 20 cities in Korea, Japan and the U.S. He will begin his tour in Seoul on Nov. 4 and 5 at Olympic Park. Since his debut in 1992, Kim has seen many of his songs become massive hits in Korea. Kim recently unveiled his 13th album. Tickets range from 66,000 won to 132,000 won. For more information, call (02) 542-4145.

“X Japan live in Seoul”: Japanese heavy metal rock group X-Japan will meet their Seoul fans at a live concert on Oct. 28 at Olympic Park’s Gymnastic Stadium. Formed in 1982 by Yoshiki and Toshi, the band gained huge popularity in the late-1980s with their second album “Blue Blood.” Although the group disbanded in 1997, it reunited in 2007 and began performing live together again. Their representative songs include “Kurenai” and “Endless Rain.” Tickets range from 77,000 won to 187,000 won. For more information, call (02) 548-0597~8.

“Yanni Concert in Seoul”: New age pianist Yanni from Greece will come to Seoul for a concert at the Olympic Park Gymnasium on Oct. 14. The Greek pianist celebrates both the 40th anniversary of Hyundai Department Store and his newly released album “Truth of Touch.” His representative songs such as “Aria” and “Santorini” will be staged. Tickets range from 99,000 won to 270,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488.


Festival

 “Geumsan Insam Festival”: Geumsan Insam Festival is held every autumn in Geumsan in South Chungcheong Province, the largest producer of ginseng in Korea. The festival, taking place through Oct. 30 in Geumsan, offers opportunities to experience the marvelous effects of ginseng. Geumsan Insam Gallery is open during the festival, displaying virtually every ginseng item. Special exhibitions include the International Insam Exchange Exhibition and visitors can experience health therapies as well. Other events, performances and delicious foods will be available. For more information, visit tour.geumsan.go.kr.
A ginseng farm in Geumsan, South Chungcheong Province (Geumsan Insam Festival) A ginseng farm in Geumsan, South Chungcheong Province (Geumsan Insam Festival)

 “Korea Food Festival”: A taste of authentic Korean food will be available during the Korea Food Festival that runs through Oct. 24 at various venues in Jeonju including Jeonju World Cup Stadium and Jeonju Hanok Village. Dishes offered at the Korea Food Festival will include Jeonju bibimbap, marinated galbi ribs and healthy food from Buddhist temples. Other highlights include a bibimbap making event, hansik food tour, an exhibition on medicinal food, demonstrations on how to make spicy gochujang paste and glutinous rice cake. For more information, visit www.koreafoodfestival.or.kr.

“Jeonju Bibimbap Festival”: The Jeonju Bibimbap Festival will be held through Oct. 23 at the Jeonju Hanok Village in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province. It is a food festival with the theme of Jeonju bibimbap, one of the most recognizable local foods in Korea. This year’s festival, in particular, is hosted together with a variety of food events including the Korea Food & Tourism Festival, the International Fermented Food Expo, the Jeonju Yakryeong Hanbang Expo and the Traditional Liquor Festival. Highlights will include cultural performances as well as a food contest, food experiencing in the traditional hanok village. For more information, visit www.bibimbapfest.com.

“2011 Icheon Ceramic Festival”: Icheon, boasting 1,000 years of history in ceramic arts, will hold the famous “Icheon Ceramic Festival” through Oct. 23 at the Seolbong Park in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province. Visitors will see a variety of Korea’s finest ceramics such as cheongja (celadon porcelain), baekja (white porcelain), and Buncheongsagi (grayish-blue powdered celadon). Highlights include the ceramics excavation program, and a workshop in which visitors can draw their own artwork on slightly heated pottery. Hot springs are located nearby as well for relaxation. For more information, visit www.ceramic.or.kr.

Festival

“Geumsan Insam Festival”: Geumsan Insam Festival is held every autumn in Geumsan in South Chungcheong Province, the largest producer of ginseng in Korea. The festival, taking place through Oct. 30 in Geumsan, offers opportunities to experience the marvelous effects of ginseng. Geumsan Insam Gallery is open during the festival, displaying virtually every ginseng item. Special exhibitions include the International Insam Exchange Exhibition and visitors can experience health therapies as well. Other events, performances and delicious foods will be available. For more information, visit tour.geumsan.go.kr.

“Korea Food Festival”: A taste of authentic Korean food will be available during the Korea Food Festival that runs through Oct. 24 at various venues in Jeonju including Jeonju World Cup Stadium and Jeonju Hanok Village. Dishes offered at the Korea Food Festival will include Jeonju bibimbap, marinated galbi ribs and healthy food from Buddhist temples. Other highlights include a bibimbap making event, hansik food tour, an exhibition on medicinal food, demonstrations on how to make spicy gochujang paste and glutinous rice cake. For more information, visit www.koreafoodfestival.or.kr.

“Jeonju Bibimbap Festival”: The Jeonju Bibimbap Festival will be held through Oct. 23 at the Jeonju Hanok Village in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province. It is a food festival with the theme of Jeonju bibimbap, one of the most recognizable local foods in Korea. This year’s festival, in particular, is hosted together with a variety of food events including the Korea Food & Tourism Festival, the International Fermented Food Expo, the Jeonju Yakryeong Hanbang Expo and the Traditional Liquor Festival. Highlights will include cultural performances as well as a food contest, food experiencing in the traditional hanok village. For more information, visit www.bibimbapfest.com.

“2011 Icheon Ceramic Festival”: Icheon, boasting 1,000 years of history in ceramic arts, will hold the famous “Icheon Ceramic Festival” through Oct. 23 at the Seolbong Park in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province. Visitors will see a variety of Korea’s finest ceramics such as cheongja (celadon porcelain), baekja (white porcelain), and Buncheongsagi (grayish-blue powdered celadon). Highlights include the ceramics excavation program, and a workshop in which visitors can draw their own artwork on slightly heated pottery. Hot springs are located nearby as well for relaxation. For more information, visit www.ceramic.or.kr.

Theater

“Musical Winter Sonata”: Based on KBS’ 2002 mega hit drama series of the same name, “Musical Winter Sonata” is a heart-wrenching love story. Using the beautiful winter scenery of Chuncheon, Gangwon Province as a sentimental background, the show tells a story of two people unable to let go of their first love. The TV version received enthusiastic reception both home and abroad, especially in Japan. The musical is directed by Yoon Suk-ho, who directed the TV series, while Oh Eun-hee composed the music. The show runs until March 18 of next year, at Myungbo Art Hall in central Seoul. Tickets cost 50,000 won. For tickets and information, call (02) 1544-1555, or (070) 7019-6707. 
A scene from Musical “Winter Sonata.”(Yoon’s Color) A scene from Musical “Winter Sonata.”(Yoon’s Color)

“The 11th Seoul Performing Arts Festival”: Regarded as one of the biggest performing arts festivals in Asia, SPAF this year features a total of 37 works from eight different countries: Korea, Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Colombia, France, and Armenia. Aiming to introduce “the future of the performing arts,” this year’s highly innovative and wide-ranging program is divided into three different genres: theater, dance, and multidisciplinary. Must-sees include Australian play “Small Metal Objects,” which will be staged in Seoul Station with passers-by as unwitting extras, Korea’s theatrical play, “Makeup” which offers a fascinating interpretation of Joseon art and aesthetics. SPAF 2011 runs until Oct. 31 at major theatre venues at Daehangno ― the Arko Arts Theater and Daehangno Arts Theater. For tickets and information, call (02) 3668-0007 or visit www.spaf.or.kr.

“Mimosa Pudica”(Yutzpracachia): Inspired by the real-life story of Anne Sullivan (1866-1936), the famous teacher of Helen Keller, Bukchon Art Hall’s current play “Mimosa Pudica” tells a story of a young girl who has been traumatized by the American Civil War and a disease that leaves her almost blind. The play starts as Annie, who lives in a hospital orphanage, becomes emotionally unstable after her only sibling dies. As her aggressive behavior gets uncontrollable, the abusive staff of the hospital decide to send her to the institution’s mental unit. Tormented and hurt by her past and her failing eye-sight, Annie refuses to talk and acts violently whenever the Big Annie, the kind-hearted nurse at the mental unit, tries to console her. Annie’s condition doesn’t seem to improve, but Big Annie doesn’t give up. One day, the nurse gets Annie a flowerpot of Mimosa pudica, a strange plant which apparently has to be constantly touched by humans in order to survive. Open run at Bukchon Art Hall, near Anguk subway station exit number 3, in central Seoul. Tickets cost 25,000 won. Children must be 10 or older to be admitted. For more information, call (02) 988-2258.

“Mamma Mia!”: The global smash hit musical “Mamma Mia” is back as a Korean production. Based on songs of ABBA, including “Dancing Queen,” “Money, Money, Money,” and “Thank You for the Music,” the musical offers a hilarious tale of a young bride-to-be’s search for her unknown father. The show premiered in Korea in 2004, and was last performed here in 2009 at the National Theater of Korea. The current show stars musical actress Choi Jung-won as Donna, the single mother whose daughter is about to get married. Pop singer Lee Hyun-woo, who had his musical debut with “Singles” back in 2007, appears as Harry, one of the three potential fathers of Sophie, Donna’s only daughter. The show runs until Feb. 26 at D-Cube Arts Center in western Seoul, located near exit 1 of Sindorim subway station. Tickets range from 40,000 won to 110,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2211-3000.

“Cats”: “Cats,” celebrating its 30th anniversary, is back on Korea’s musical scene. Based on “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T.S. Eliot, the musical was first performed in Korea in 1994. Korean pop diva Insooni stars as its famous lead character Grizabella, a very old cat who used to be carefree and beautiful. She had left her home tribe to explore the outside world, though she knew she would never be allowed back. The musical unfolds as weary Grizabella tries to reconcile with the cats she left, asking for their acceptance once again. Sharing her role as Grizabella are musical actresses Hong Ji-min and Park Hae-mi. “Cats” runs from until Dec. 31 at Charlotte Theater in Jamsil, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 120,000 won. For more information, call (02) 1577-3363 or visit www.musicalcats.co.kr.