March 12, 2016 / Issue No. 720
‘No Flower Blooms Without Wavering’
Seoul Selection releases bilingual collection of beloved poet Do Jong-Hwan’s work
Seoul Selection is happy to announce the release of “No Flower Blooms Without Wavering,” a collection of poetry by Do Jong-Hwan, one of Korea’s best-loved poets. The collection contains only his most acclaimed poems, published with the support of the Literature Translation Institute of Korea. The book features both the original Korean-language poems and their English translations, provided by Brother Anthony of Taize and joint-translator Jinna Park.

Do Jong-Hwan was a high-school English teacher when he debuted as a poet in 1984. His second book of poetry, “Hollyhocks,” a collection of love poems published after the tragic death of his wife, sold over 1 million copies and was even turned into a film. He continued to write poetry even after he lost his job and was jailed for his pro-democracy activities. In recent years he has won several major literary awards. He is currently a lawmaker in the National Assembly, where he is active in discussing matters related to education, culture and the arts.

The translators of “No Flower Blooms Without Wavering” write of Do’s work:

The poems of Do Jong-Hwan do not need much explanation or commentary. They are not difficult to understand but offer glimpses of wisdom, lessons learned from life’s greatest joys and deepest pains. Koreans love supremely the poets who encourage them to endure, to preserve a simple dignity in the midst of trials and hardship. Mortality and transience can never fail to be challenges to any over-simple expectation of human happiness: It’s sad, but flowers fall. Days once beautiful go floating away on the stream, the wind blows and without a word our flesh cracks.” The final solution, then, is a deeper wisdom, an acceptance. As he writes, “wounds and pain too form part of a beautiful life.” Such is the beauty we have tried to convey in our translations.

COST: KRW 11,000

Map Banner Special Event

From December, SEOUL Magazine will be offering banner space in our magazine’s Maps & Guides section for the low, low price of KRW 50,000 a month. International visitors and expats make great use of our maps, which include detailed information about Gwanghwamun, Samcheong-dong, Itaewon, Dongdaemun, Hongdae, Gangnam and other tourist destinations. Our packages begin from three months (KRW 150,000, VAT not included). We can also promote your establishments via SNS as well, so please, send your inquiries to
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Springtime Mystery

Tongdosa Temple is a garden of tranquility and color
A Spring in Your Step

Denim, stripes, pleats, and a whole lot of ’70s suede set to grace the streets of Seoul this season


A miscellany of high-quality hyperlinks from the week, courtesy of SEOUL editor-in-chief Robert Koehler




Universal Ballet’s ‘Swan Lake’

If you’re an expat or tourist, and you haven’t seen Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake,” this is your chance.

The Universal Ballet is offering expats and tourists (and Koreans accompanying said expats and tourists) 20% discounted tickets to its performance of “Swan Lake” at the Universal Arts Center.

In order to receive the discount, you should show your passport or alien registration card when you pick up your ticket. The original ticket prices are as follows: R: KRW 100,000, S: KRW 80,000, A: KRW 60,000, B: KRW 10,000.

VENUE: Universal Arts Center
PERIOD: Mar. 23-Apr. 3
MORE INFO: Call Amerlia at 070-7124-1777 or email her at
GETTING THERE: See this link.

SFS Pre-­K 2 Program Open House

Seoul Foreign School (SFS) will be hosting an Open House introducing the Pre K 2 and its other Early Years Program for ages 3-5 at Seoul Foreign School on March 23 at 9:30 AM.

The Pre-K 2 program embraces inquiry and views each child as an individual who is strong, capable and resilient. Teachers in the Pre-K 2 program create a range of learning experiences in which students explore opportunities to develop new understandings. The structured learning environment fosters a sense of belonging, creativity, collaboration and risk-­taking, achieved by providing a spacious outdoor area that includes room for physical play and social interaction while bridging connections between classroom learning and their lives.

Your child’s experience in the Pre­-K 2 program will help them successfully transition into the Primary Years Programme (PYP), or English National Curriculum on the Yeonhui-dong campus.

SFS will also be hosting an additional Open House at Namsan International Kindergarten on March 24 starting at 10 AM.

MORE INFO: Here is a link to more information and an on line registration form.

The Treasure of Kansong: Part 5

Part 5 of “The Treasure of Kansong: Preserving National Identity through Culture” displays HwaHoeYoungMo, Korea’s unique genre of plant and animal painting. In ancient times, this genre was as popular as landscape and portrait paintings. Koreans believed that flowers, birds, insects, and fish were not only a part of nature, but beings that embodied the divine nature of the universe. By observing, nurturing, and capturing images of these living things in literature and paintings, they sought to learn the mysteries of nature and life while also cultivating their own character. This exhibition features masterpieces based on plant and animal themes that date from the late Goryeo Dynasty to the late Joseon Dynasty, including pieces by the virtuosos of Korean art history, such as King Gongmin, Shin Saimdang, Kim Che, GongJae Yun Du-seo, GyeomJae Jeong Seon, DanWon Kim Hong-do, PyoAm Kang Se-hwang, and HyeWon Shin Yun-bok.

VENUE: Dongdaemun Design Plaza
PERIOD: Thru Mar. 27
MORE INFO: T. 070-7774-2524
GETTING THERE: Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station (Line 2, 4, 5), Exit 1

Hedwig: New Makeup

An icon of small theater musical returns refreshed with a “new make-up.” Through more refined in scale and composition, with a unique interpretation of the work, the updated production will present a new paradigm in the history of the Korean musical. This version features five actors in the role of Hedwig, including veteran actors Yoon Do-hyun, Jo Seung-woo and Jo Jung-suk.

VENUE: Art Center Grand Theater, Hongik University
PERIOD: Thru Mar. 29
MORE INFO: T. 02-742-0300
ADMISSION: KRW 55,000-99,000
GETTING THERE: Hyehwa Station (Line 4), Exit 3

Opera Matinee: Don Giovanni

The Seoul Metropolitan Opera continues its monthly Opera Matinee series with a performance of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.” Based on the legends of notorious rake Don Juan, “Don Giovanni” is one of the most-performed operas in the world. It did not enter the world very easily, though – Mozart is said to have completed writing it just one day prior to its premier.

VENUE: Sejong Center for the Performing Arts
DATE: Mar. 15
MORE INFO: T. 1544-1555
ADMISSION: KRW 20,000-30,000
GETTING THERE: Gwanghwamun Station (Line 5), Exit 1 or 8

RAS-KB Excursion: Jongmyo, Seun Sangga, and Ikseon-dong: A Deep-Seoul Walk

This excursion, led by Robert J. Fouser, will begin at Jongmyo Shrine, one of the first three sites in Korea added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1995 and continue on to modernist landmark Seun Sangga Shopping Center and the absolutely delightful Ikseon-dong hanok neighborhood. The excursion will end with an optional stop at Tteuran, a relaxing traditional teahouse in a typical Ikseon-dong hanok.

VENUE: Jongmyo, Seun Sangga and Ikseon-dong
DATE: March 19
COST: KRW 20,000 for members, KRW 25,000 for non-members
MORE INFO and GETTING THERE: See this link.



Just another day in Bukchon. Photo by Robert Koehler of SEOUL


Seoul Selection’s Free Book Giveaway – Our free book give-away continues! Check out the list in last week’s newsletter here.

Seoul Selection Offline Bookshop Sale  One of the greatest repositories of Korea-related English-language books anywhere, Seoul Selection is offering a 10% sale on any and all books published by Seoul Selection purchased from our OFFLINE bookshop next to Gyeongbokgung Palace.

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 Wanted – SEOUL 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


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Buy Books at Seoul Selection’s ONLINE Bookshop!



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