‘100 Thimbles in a Box’ Authors in the Press
Debbi Kent, Joan Suwalsky discuss motivations for writing book on Korean handicrafts
Debbi Kent and Joan Suwalsky, the authors of the recently released 100 Thimbles in a Box: The Spirit and Beauty of Korean Handicrafts, held a press conference at Seoul Selection bookshop on Tuesday morning, where they discussed their motivations for writing the book and the challenges they faced during the writing process.
A Korea Herald article from the press conference can be read here. A Korean-language interview with the authors, too, can be found here at the Hankyoreh, one of Korea’s major daily newspapers. The authors will also appear on TBS eFM radio’s “Bookend” program next Saturday (May 10) at 7:30 PM.
100 Thimbles in a Box is an expertly written and beautifully photographed volume that explores the fascinating and utterly charming world of Korean handicrafts. For those who missed the press conference, you can download our English-language press release on the book here. You can also download a 30-page sample of the book here.
Written by Deanne Nguyen
Unlike the gorgeous flora of spring, the spring fever we can all do without. I’m talking heaps of tissues chasing your nose, acid-itchy eyes, that dry scrape in your throat, all culminating into sleepless conflicts between your body and the seasonal change. Exaggerations? I wish.
A trip to the 약국, pharmacy, should’ve happened weeks ago. They carry at least two kinds of allergy medication that you can get right on the spot: 액티페린, Actiperin, a generic brand, but also 클라리틴, or Claritin, the favorite abroad for non-drowsy relief. Both come 10 to a box, though the prices vary. Actiperin is only KRW 2,500 per box; Claritin is KRW 4,000 or 5,000 depending on the swankiness of the seller.
Claritin often works on just one pill three times a day for most folks, while the generic brand usually takes two to be as effective (though only one pill per intake is also advised). Either way, may you breathe easy this May and forget the allergies of April.
AROUND THE WEB
A miscellany of high-quality hyperlinks from the week, courtesy of SEOUL editor-in-chief Robert Koehler.
Hyundai Culture Project 14: John Mayer
Multi-Grammy winner John Mayer will perform in Seoul for the first time this May, as part of his International Spring Tour that spans Northern Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. John Mayer is a musician and producer originally from Connecticut, USA, but has since expanded his career to include graphic design and writing, most notably for publications such as âEsquire.â Although he attained fame through his own brand of acoustic rock, he has also collaborated with blues artists such as BB King, Buddy Guy and Eric Clapton. Mayerâs first album âRoom for Squares,â featuring singles like âNo Such Thingâ and âYour Body Is a Wonderland,â won him a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 2003. His concert in Seoul is the 14th installment of the Hyundai Card Culture Project series, which has included acts such as The Killers, Jason Mraz and others. Aside from his skills as a guitarist and writer, Mayer has recently received much attention from the press for his break-up with Katy Perry. The popularity of John Mayer can be easily seen in Korea, where his songs are often played in coffee houses and shops. In connection with his upcoming concert in Seoul, a certain local shoe retailer announced that amongst the people who sign up for the retailerâs customer membership program, 50 lucky winners will be given free tickets. Mayer fans may want to go shopping for shoes soon.
VENUE: Jamsil Indoor Stadium
DATE: May 6, 19:00
MORE INFO: T. 02-2240-8809, ticket.interpark.com
ADMISSION: KRW 110,000–132,000
GETTING THERE: Sports Complex Station ì¢
í©ì´ëì¥ì (Line 2), Exit 6 or 7
Dongguk University Seon Center: The Dharma Mirror
One who has difficulties in daily life surely wants to be free from them. Weâre all waiting for help, wanting to ask someone. That is our nature. According to Buddhaâs teachings, to be free from suffering, or the circle of rebirth, to not be reborn in the hell, you should know how to live. When can one declare âI am a stream-enterer (Sotapanna)â as one wishes? When can one by declare âI am finished with hellâ when one wishes? What kinds of animosity will subside when one becomes Sotapanna, the first noble disciple? To become Sotapanna, what qualifications does one need? To know who you are, you need to have the Dhamma Mirror. In this talk you may get the Mirror to check yourself.
VENUE: Dongguk University International Zen Center
Speaker: Venerable Suvanna (Myanmar)
DATE: May 3, 2PM
MORE INFO: T. 2260-3891 / firstname.lastname@example.org
GETTING THERE: Location: 3 minute walk from Exit 6, Dongguk Univ. Station, Subway Line 3
TGI FRIDAYS 20% Discount for Expat
Turn to SEOUL Magazine’s Maps & Guides section to find a coupon that will get expats 20% off at TGI Fridays’ Hongdae branch (good through May 24). Alcoholic beverages not included. Call T. 322-6322 for more information.
2014 Bolshoi on Ice
âBolshoi on Iceâ is immensely popular in Korea. It was the first foreign-produced show to attract over one million viewers. The show blends figure skating and ballet, often called a âfigure skating show,â combining brilliant athleticism with stunning aesthetics. Figure skaters and ballet athletes from this yearâs Winter Olympics host country will come to Seoul to once again to dazzle audiences with an extravagantly prepared show. The exhilarating speed of the performances makes them unique from other concerts or musicals, an event that everyone in the family can enjoy. This yearâs performance will feature variations of âSwan Lake,â âSnow Whiteâ and an assortment of other popular pieces. Special performances have also been prepared exclusively for Korean fans.
VENUE: Mokdong Ice Rink
PERIOD: Thru May 18
MORE INFO: T. 02-2643-3057, www.mdicerink.co.kr
ADMISSION: KRW 60,000–100,000
GETTING THERE: Omokgyo Station ì¤ëª©êµì (Line 5), Exit 3.
Beyond Impressionism: The Birth of Modern Art
This is an exciting event for art fans. The National Museum has acquired more than 70 drawings and sculptures on loan from the Musee dâOrsay in Paris. Some of the most revered works of late impressionism and postimpressionism will be available for art fanciers to admire, analyze and critique all throughout the summer. The works will help people get a sense of the aesthetic and cultural transformations that swept through the Parisian art scene during the late 19th century. Among the lineup will be Monetâs âWoman with an Umbrella Turned to the Right,â painted in 1886. It is one of the few figurative paintings Monet produced after his wifeâs death. Also featured will be works from the likes of Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, Seurat, Gauguin and Van Gogh.
VENUE: The National Museum of Korea
PERIOD: May 3–Aug. 31
MORE INFO: T. 02-2077-9000, www.museum.go.kr
ADMISSION: KRW 8,000–12,000
GETTING THERE: Ichon Station ì´ì´ì (Jungang Line, Line 4). Take the underpass to the museum.
The Treasures of Kansong
Countries that have never been invaded or pillaged donât seem to realize how precious a countryâs cultural artifacts are. During Japanese colonization (1910–1945), Korea had many of its artworks and cultural treasures removed from the country and placed in Japan. The Kansong Art Museum was founded in 1938 by Jeon Hyeong-pil (1906–62), an antiquarian who started collecting Korean relics in his late 20s, traveling outside of Korea to recover as much as possible. Among many other precious items, he was able to track down a painting by Shin Yun-bok, now a symbol of national pride. Jeon continued collecting for many years and worked to stop cultural items from being taken out of Korea until the countryâs independence in 1945. Normally, the Kansong Art Museum opens only twice a year for a fortnight each time. Now, on this rare occasion, the Kansong Collection will be available for public viewing all summer long in Dongdaemunâs recently opened Design Plaza.
VENUE: Dongdaemun Design Plaza
PERIOD: Thru Sept. 28 (Exhibition material to be changed after June 15)
MORE INFO: T. 02-2153-0000, www.ddp.or.kr
ADMISSION: KRW 8,000
GETTING THERE: Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station ëëë¬¸ìì¬ë¬¸íê³µìì (Line 2,3,4,5) Exit 1.
RASKB Excursion: Color and Pageantry in Seoulâs Temples on Buddha’s Birthday
This afternoon and evening will be especially memorable. As well as helping to commemorate this special day, you will witness all the color and pageantry which the Koreans lavish on the celebration of the birth of Buddha. The lanterns, costumes, and celebratory dances are colorful and joyful. Donât forget your camera!
VENUE: Several temples in Seoul
DATE: May 6, 1PM to 9PM
COST: KRW 33,000–39,000
MORE INFO: See this link.
GETTING THERE: See link above.
Public mourning at Seoul City Hall.. Photo by Robert Koehler.