Dec 18, 2013 / Issue No. 611
Hanbok, Dance and Korean Medicine
Seoul Selection releases three volumes of its Korea Essential Series
Seoul Selection is happy to announce the release of the next three titles of the Korea Essentials series: Hanbok: Timeless Fashion Tradition, Korean Dance: Pure Emotion and Energy and Korean Medicine: A Holistic Way to Health and Healing.
The Korea Essentials series is a cooperative project between the Korea Foundation and Seoul Selection to furnish an international reader with insight and basic understanding into the arts and culture of Korea.
The content of this series is based on the material published in KOREANA, the Korea Foundation’s full-color quarterly featuring in-depth coverage of various aspects of Korea’s cultural themes.
Each volume costs KRW 9,800.
Hanbok embodies many of the social and aesthetic values of the Korean people. In accordance with the emphasis on social harmony found in Confucian philosophy, the choice of hanbok varied depending on one’s position in society. This book will examine the origins, history, and the unique characteristics of hanbok and its contemporary standing.
Dance has been a medium for understanding the philosophy of and emotions behind a culture. This is especially true for a country with a vast and complex history like Korea. Korean dance is a tradition that includes every form of contemporary dance in the country, from shamanistic to folk, court to modern traditional dance, and even breakdancing.
Practitioners of Korean traditional medicine say the ultimate cause of disease is not so much the invasion of external elements but rather malfunctions in inherent bodily function. Since disease is considered to result from the weakening of vital energy, the emphasis is placed on boosting the body’s ability to defend against disease.
Capturing the Spirit of Korean Architecture with Pen Drawings
Pen artist Kim Young-Taek’s sketches reveal beauty of Korean buildings
Seoul Selection is pleased to announce the release of Capturing the Spirit of Korean Architecture with Pen Drawings (Korean only), a collection of 91 drawings by renowned pen artist Kim Young-Taek. Kim has spent the last three decades capturing the sublime beauty of Korean traditional architecture—including some of the nation’s greatest treasures—through pen sketches. Taking between 500,000 and 800,000 touches to complete each one, Kim’s sketches are more faithful representations of the buildings than even photographs. Yes, the book is entirely in Korean, but even non-Korean speakers will be captivated by Kim’s work. Price: KRW 32,000.
Le Saint-Ex Celebrates 13 Years with Xmas Menu
Itaewon French bistro Le Saint-Ex celebrates its 13th anniversary with a special Christmas menu (Dinner: Dec 24, 25–31 & Jan 1, KRW 85,000/Lunch: Dec 24, 25–31 & Jan 1, a la carte). There’s a takeout menu on Dec 24–31, too. See here for more info, including menu specifics.
Around the Web
A miscellany of high-quality hyperlinks from the week, courtesy of SEOUL editor-in-chief Robert Koehler.
– Korean pop culture is bringing tourists to Seoul.
– Still, at least one Korean professor is saying K-pop brings little to the Korean economy.
– “It” bags are on the way out in Korea.
– Korean soaps are taking off in Cuba.
– Gyeongju’s Anapji Pond in winter.
PSY Concert All Night Stand
Globe-trotting pop act from Korea, PSY will entertain fans through a series of late-night concerts on Dec 20 to 24 in Seoul. The concert will have the theme “All Night Stand–Gymnastics in the Moonlight,” and he is urging his fans to “exercise under the moon.” PSY has been known to always provide extraordinary concepts and high energy in his performances. The last concert he staged to release “Gentleman” was in April, which attracted around 50,000 people in attendance.
VENUE: Olympic Park Gymnastics Gymnasium (First Gymnasium)
PERIOD: Dec 20–24
ADMISSION: KRW 77,000–165,000
MORE INFO: T.02-410-1114,
GETTING THERE: Olympic Park Station 올림픽공원역 (Line 5), Exit 3
Universal Ballet: The Nutcracker
“The Nutcracker” will return to the stage this yuletide season, performed by the Universal Ballet Company. They will perform the Mariinsky Theatre version of the dance production with choreography by Russian Choreographer Vasili Vainonen, which features a grand composition spiced with a hint of moderate Korean twists. It is a perfect Christmas gift for your loved ones. Each day features two sessions starting in the late afternoon and evening, respectively.
VENUE: Universal Arts Center
PERIOD: Dec 20–31
ADMISSION: KRW 10,000-100,000
MORE INFO: T.070-7124-1740,
GETTING THERE: Achasan station 아차산역 (Line 5) Exit 4
2013 Christmas Concert—Yuhki Kuramoto & Richard Yongjae O’Neill
Young violist virtuoso Richard Yongjae O’Neill will share the stage with Japanese pianist and composer Yuhki Kuramoto. O’Neill has risen to international prominence as one of the few violists to ever be awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Kuramoto’s interests are quite expansive, crossing genres from classical to folk songs and popular music. The two protagonists will collaborate with the home-grown DITTO Orchestra under the baton of Adriel Kim.
VENUE: Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center
DATE: Dec 25
ADMISSION: KRW 30,000–120,000
MORE INFO: T.1577-5266,
GETTING THERE: Nambu Bus Terminal Station 남부터미널역 (Line 3), Exit 5. Transfer to shuttle bus, or green bus No. 4429.
Youn Sun Nah’s Winter Jazz
Jazz vocalist Youn Sun Nah is stealing the limelight during her Christmas concerts with her hallmark numbers from her albums like “Voyage” and “Same Girl.” Moreover, she will collaborate with artists of Korean traditional music in her first-ever crossover experiment. Nah began her career as a member of the Korean Symphony Orchestra. From 1995, she studied jazz at the CIM Jazz School in France and excelled at the genre by mixing in a healthy dose of Asian folk and avant-garde pop.
VENUE: National Theater of Korea
PERIOD: Dec 21–25
ADMISSION: KRW 20,000–80,000
MORE INFO: T.031-581-2814,
GETTING THERE: Dongguk Univ. Station 동대입구 (Line 3), Exit 2. [Map 5, B2]
Mountains (靑山別曲) 청산별곡
These days, the mountains continue to offer us so much. Whether it be in the form of solitude after a week of urban endeavors, a place to exercise, or simply to gaze upon the surrounding area.
This exhibition aims to ask the question about what the true fruits of our lives are and to marvel at the splendor and the beauty that the mountains enrich our lives with.
The opening party (Dec 21, 6pm–9pm) features music from Verity & Ava and performance from Lillian Juana.
Joe Wabe (Costa Rica)
Joseph Reyes (Canada)
Aoife Casey (Ireland)
John Shrader (US)
Kwangsung Hong (Korea)
Jürgen Dünhofen (South Africa)
VENUE: Gallery I, Insa-dong
PERIOD: Dec 21–28
MORE INFO: See this link.
GETTING THERE: From Exit 3 of Jonggak Station (Line 1), enter Insa-dong from its south entrance. Swing a right at the Insa-dong Intersection, and the gallery will be on the right side.
RASKB: Naejangsan National Park
Mt. Naejangsan is famous for having the spectacular scenery in Korea, but at any time of year, this densely forested mountain retreat is worth a visit. The northern of the park’s two sections is ringed by a horseshoe-shaped ridge, with the most dramatic rock outcrops in the area. In the valleys beneath this ridge lie the temple Naejangsa, several hermitages, two waterfalls, a grotto cave, and a cable car to a lookout on the hillside, making Naejangsan a perfect place to ‘commune with nature’ on this at this time of the year, the entrance to Naejangsa affords a dazzling display of natural pyrotechnics in Autumn.
VENUE: Jeollabuk-do
DATE: Dec 21
COST: KRW 53,000–64,000
MORE INFO: See this link.
GETTING THERE: See link above.
Everyday Koreans

Sunrise over Bukchon

Monday’s sunrise over Bukchon Hanok Village. 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
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 Experienced translators only.
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.
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 (December 2013)

Buy Books at Seoul Selection’s ONLINE Bookshop!
Across the Tumen: A North Korean Kkotjebi Boy’s Quest
Hide and Seek
New Books
Taekwondo: The Unity of Body, Mind and Spirit (Korea Essentials No.13)
Silla: Korea’s Golden Kingdom
The Squill Bride
View and Story of Korea Set – Black
Bi-lingual Edition Modern Korean Literature Set 3
New DVDs
I Hear Your Voice
Rockin’ on Heaven’s Door
Mister Go
2 Weeks
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
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e-mail: tel: 734-9567 fax: 734-9563