May 15, 2013 / Issue No. 580
Book Reading of “The Voices of Heaven”
Maija Rhee Devine will hold a reading of her novel “The Voices of Heaven” at 4 pm, May 29 at Seoul Selection Bookshop. Everyone is welcome to attend the reading. Prior to the reading, there will be a press conference for the book at 11 am, May 22 at Seoul Selection Bookshop. All writers are welcome to attend the conference.
Looking for a Korean-to-Spanish Translator
Seoul Selection is looking for a Korean-to-Spanish translator to translate some documents. Send a resume to Eugene at
Looking for a Designer
Seoul Selection would like to hire a full-time or part-time designer to help us with our publishing load. The position is open to both Koreans and international applicants. Korean applicants should be able to understand at least basic English, while international applicants should be able to speak colloquial Korean. Proficiency with Adobe InDesign would be a major plus, too.
Those interested should send a resume and cover letter to A link to any online portfolio you have might help, too.
The Voices of Heaven on Goodreads Again
Participate to get a free copy of Maija Rhee Devine’s novel of love and war
Goodreads is once again holding a giveaway of novelist Maija Rhee Devine’s latest novel The Voices of Heaven. With 50 books available, the givaway lasts until June 15. Only residents of the United States and Korea can participate.
A tale that spans decades, The Voices of Heaven has been expertly woven together to reveal not only the injustices of unmitigated life circumstances but also the restorative power of truth and love. Maija Rhee Devine presents a stellar cast of empathetic characters to spin a tale that draws readers into the shadows of Korea’s Confucian web that at once constrains and defines the powerful will of its people.
During the final years of the Japanese Occupation, when most Korean brides and grooms were married sight unseen, Gui-yong and Eum-chun strike gold by finding a love as sweet as sticky rice. But their love for each other and for their secretly adopted daughter is not enough, as they must soon accept the impossible—a mistress moving in to bear Gui-yong the male child deemed necessary in a society still smoldering in Confucianism. After the Korean War drives the family apart, it falls on the shoulders of their adopted daughter, Mi-Na, to figure out how to keep her parents’ love burning through this life and into the next—and ultimately make sense of the past.
Flowing from her firsthand experience of growing up in Seoul during the Korean War, Maija Rhee Devine’s novel reveals uniquely Korean colors and sounds as she leads readers through an extraordinary love story that parallels the tragedies of the war.
Buy Seoul Magazine for $1!
Haven’t gotten the May issue yet? Download a copy from our website for just one dollar.
Visit Bongamsa Temple on Friday
Deciding where to go for Buddha’s Birthday this Friday? Try Bongamsa Temple in Mungyeong—a special mediation center of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, the beautiful monastery is open to visitors only one day a year. See this post for more info.
Around the Web
A miscellany of high-quality hyperlinks from the week, courtesy of SEOUL editor-in-chief Robert Koehler.
To the Yearee Life in Museum, death is a celebration.
Will North Korea’s Kaesong be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
Miryang’s Wiyangji Pond is worth visiting in May.
Looking for a temple to visit this Friday? Why not try Bogyeongsa in Pohang?
Seoul Spring Festival of Chamber Music 2013—Far From Home  
The Seoul Spring Festival of Chamber Music will be staged at various venues in the metropolis for two weeks beginning May 14. Under the main theme “Far From Home,” each daily program differs in genres, styles, and collaborative structures as well as in their subjects. From this year, Korea Foundation participates as the main sponsor of the festival.
The opening day session, featuring Dvorak and other notable composers under the daily theme “Globetrotters,” will take place at Sejong Chamber Hall. Other daily themes include “Once Upon a Time,” “European Expats,” “Vienna Spring” and “American Dream.”
The Family Concert—East & West program on May 17 is going to be a crossover extravaganza that will bring together Western classical music and Korean performing arts representing its folk, aristocratic, and court traditions. In particular, K’Culture Company, created by a group of reform-minded young talents of traditional music, will share the limelight with farmers’ percussion maestro Kim Duk-soo. The venue is the Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall. Admission is KRW 20,000.
On May 19, an outdoor stage will be set up at Deoksugung Palace as Korean Symphony Orchestra collaborates with famed Swedish pianist Peter Jablonski and Chinese cellist Jian Wang for the Palace Concert program. Korean diva Kim Soo-jeong will render a selection of Giuseppe Verdi’s aria scores. The palace program is open to the public.
The May 26 concert, titled Wanderer Odyssey, will wrap up the entire festival, presenting hallmark works by Mozart, Brahms, Carl Maria von Weber, and other composers who crisscrossed the world in search of their musical essentials. For details, visit
PERIOD: Thru May 26
MORE INFO: T. 02-712-4879,
Greenplugged Seoul 2013
The Green Plugged Seoul 2013 will take place at Noeul Park in Sangam-dong May 21–22, promising to become an impressive outdoor music extravaganza for alternative music fans. Over 110 bands are scheduled to perform in the two-day event. Its lineup is studded with Korean rock stars like YB, Jaurim, No Brain, and Crying Nut. Common Ground, Gogoboys, Peterpan Complex, Black Bag, and many other established acts will also join forces with up-and-coming bands like Broccoli You Too? and Galaxy Express. Music fans and the like are encouraged to make a perfect getaway out of this event as the venue also
serves as a huge campsite. More info is available at
VENUE: Nanji Hangang Park
PERIOD: May 17–18
ADMISSION: 2-day pass: KRW 109,000
GETTING THERE: World Cup Stadium 월드컵경기장역 (Line 5), Exit 1
Jason Mraz—Live in Seoul
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Jason Mraz will return to Korea for a Seoul concert on May 17 and join forces with rising pop sensations from Korea and Britain. Mraz achieved major commercial success with his second album Mr. A-Z in 2005. His third album, We Sing. We Dance, We Steal Things, became a commercial success worldwide, peaking in the top ten of many international charts. In 2010, Mraz received a Grammy Award in Best Male Pop Vocal Performance with “Make It Mine.” His guest performers will include Korean band Idiotape, Roy Kim, and Joe Brooks.
VENUE: Subsidiary Stadium, Jamsil Sports Complex
DATE: May 17, 6:30pm
ADMISSION: R: KRW 132,000, S: KRW 110,000
MORE INFO: Tickets:
GETTING THERE: Sports Complex Station 종합운동장역 (Line 2), Exit 6 or 7
World DJ Festival
The Lucky 7th World DJ Festival is taking place May 17–19, gathering talented young artists and fans. The line-up this year includes Dash Berlin, Freemason, DJ BL3ND, Freemasons, 2E LOVE, SHUT DA MOUTH and ARICAMA. There will be something for most music lovers, including trance, hip hop, electro and rock. For those who like to dance like nobody is watching, there will also be a silent disco. Numerous entertainment tents will give you the opportunity to zip around all night long. Festival updates are listed at
VENUE: Narukke Festival Park, Yangpyeong
PERIOD: May 17–19
ADMISSION: KRW 99,000–150,000
MORE INFO: T. 02-3141-6062,
GETTING THERE: Yangpyeong Station 양평역 (Jungang Line), Exit 1
Seoul Jazz Festival 2013
The Seoul Jazz Festival will return May 17–18 at Olympic Park, providing a fantastic opportunity to hear internationally acclaimed jazz artists perform blues, bossa nova, soul, and funk. Considered one of Korea’s biggest national music festivals, the event presents a stellar lineup of Korean and international artists. Among those slated to perform are Ramsey Lewis Electric Band with special guest Philip Bailey, Mika, Roy Hargrove, Roberta Gambarini, Damien Rice, Kings of Convenience, and Rodrigo y Gabriela. Each day the festival presents a themed evening: Groovin’ May, Funky Day and Touching Sounds, All around. Since its inception in 2007, the festival has been widely credited as the prime provider of a much-needed space for audiences seeking a nonmainstream sound.
VENUE: May Forest/Spring Garden/Sparkling Dome, Olympic Park
PERIOD: May 19—20
ADMISSION: 1-day pass: KRW 121,000, 2-day pass: KRW 175,000
MORE INFO: T. 02-563-0595,
GETTING THERE: Olympic Park Station 올림픽공원역 (Line 5), Exit 3.
Sigur Ros
The three-piece Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Ros will perform in Seoul on May 19. Known for its ethereal sound, frontman Jonsi Birgisson’s falsetto vocals, and the use of bowed guitar, the band’s music is also noticeable for its incorporation of classical and minimalist aesthetic elements. Since its 1994 debut in Reykjavik, Iceland, the band has garnered wide international acclaim for its signature style of playing guitar with the bow from a cello, accentuated with reverb, creating a sweeping, fluid sound that is unique for an electric guitar.
VENUE: Gymnasium No. 1, Olympic Park
DATE: May 19, 6pm
ADMISSION: R: 110,000 won, S: 99,000 won
MORE INFO: T. 02-563-0595
GETTING THERE: Olympic Park Station 올림픽공원역 (Line 5), Exit 3
Jarasum Rhythm & BBQ Festival
May 17 is a big day for local music enthusiasts, as it is the opening day for a number of music festivals. But the Jarasum Rhythm & BBQ Festival seeks to emerge a cut above the rest with its killer ambiance and by offering the additional merit of BBQ eat-out opportunities. The exhilarating open-air festival will feature world-renowned musicians performing jazz, swing, gypsy, flamenco and much more. This year’s lineup includes: the Watanabe-Berlin-Donati Trio, the Robert Glasper Experiment, the Benny Golson Quartet, the Ryo Kunihiko Band, Harim, Lisa Wahlandt, and the Paul Jackson Trio, among others. Jarasum is a riverside island in Gapyeong, southeast of Seoul.
VENUE: Jara Island, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do
PERIOD: May 17–18
ADMISSION: 2-day pass: KRW 80,000, 1-day pass: 50,000
MORE INFO: T. 031-581-2813,
GETTING THERE: Jamsil Station 잠실역 (Line 2, 8). Transfer to bus No. 7000 and get off at Gapyeong.
RASKB: Color and Pageantry in Seoul’s 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. Just don’t forget your camera!
In celebration of Buddha’s birthday the RASKB will be visiting several different temples and shrines in Seoul. The first stop will be Gaeun Temple and Chilseongam (hermitage) to see its white Buddha, a fifteen-foot tall relief carved in rock. The tour will spend approximately one hour here. From this temple participants will continue on to Bomunsa Temple, headquarters of the Bomun Order, the only order of female monks in the world.
May 17, 2013 – 1pm to 9pm
COST: KRW 33,000 for members and KRW 39,600 for non-members
MORE INFO: See this link.
GETTING THERE: See link above.
Everyday Koreans
Busan’s Bosu-dong Used Book Alley
Chungnam Bookshop’s Nam Myeong-seop searches the stacks. Busan’s Bosu-dong Used Book Alley is a charming collection of used book stores and coffee shops not far from the Gukje Market. Photo by Robert Koehler.
*Click the photo to see a full-size version at our website.
NOTE: If you have a photo you would like to see in our Everyday Koreans section, please sent it to Photos should be AT LEAST 950px wide. Send a one-line bio, too.
Tell Us About ‘Your Korea’: If you’re a longtime resident of Korea and would like to share your story in KOCIS’s KOREA Magazine, shoot an email with your story idea to
Update Your Shopping Mall ID – Seoul Selection encourages you to change your ID and password for our online bookshop and shopping mall at The old IDs and passwords no longer work following our recent upgrade.
Looking for Translators – Seoul Selection is looking for a few good translators (Korean to English) for general translation work. Those interested should send a resume and cover letter to Kyehyun at
Seoul Selection eBooks – You can purchase some Seoul Selection titles in ebook format via (for Kindle) and Apple’s iBookstore. Titles include Ask a Korean Dude, Moon Tides, Doing Business in Korea, Once Around the Sun, and seven volumes of our Korean Film Directors series: BONG Joon-ho, IM Kwon-taek, KIM Jee-woon, LEE Chang-dong, LEE Man-hee, PARK Chan-wook, and SHIN Sang-ok.
Seoul Selection via Ingram – Seoul Selection now has a direct wholesale distribution agreement with Ingram Book Group, the world’s largest wholesale distributor of publisher content. By choosing to allow Ingram to represent our material, we have opened our titles to a wider audience. Our titles will be available for order through Ingram at more than 35,000 distribution channels worldwide. Ask your local bookstore to have Seoul Selection titles available!
Send Your Event Info – If you would like to advertise any upcoming events you are organizing, please send us the press release material at by the preceding Friday in order for it to appear in the following Tuesday’s issue.

Freelance Contributors WantedSEOUL Magazine needs writers who are fluent in both Korean and English. Writers should have a strong interest in Korean culture and be able to interview Koreans. Send your resume and writing samples to

We Buy & Sell Used Books – Seoul Selection buys and sells used books in English. Unlike our regular selection of publications that specialize in Korea-related topics, our Used Book section carries books on all subjects. It’s all part of our effort to make life easier for the English-speaking community.

SEOUL Magazine
SEOUL (May 2013)
Eerie Tales from Old Korea
Masquerade, “Gwanghae, The Man Who Became King”
New Books
Dictionary of Korean Idioms
Korean Idioms 1000
Korean Grammar for Foreigners 1
Art of the Korean Renaissance, 1400-1600
The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia
New DVDs
The Horse Doctor Vol. 2 of 2
Love 911
I Am Father
Publisher: Hank Kim / Editor: Robert Koehler

Seoul Selection reserves all intellectual property rights on information provided in this newsletter. Some event information has been provided by the Korea Foundation. The IPRs are protected by pertinent laws

Seoul Selection Web Site:

e-mail: tel: 734-9567 fax: 734-9563