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comic con koreams

Koreans Speaking at San Diego Comic-Con 2015 Panels

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim
jamesskim@iamkoream.com

San Diego Comic-Con, the biggest and most wonderful gathering of comic book and pop culture enthusiasts from around the world, is in full swing this week. Here are some of the talented Korean Americans who will be participating in panels during the 4-day convention!

Jim Lee

 

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DC Comics artist, writer; DC Entertainment co-publisher

Follow @JimLee

Jim Lee is one of the most revered figures in the comic book industry. His travels range far and wide. Lee began his career at Marvel Comics back in the 1980s as an artist. In 1991, X-Men No.1, which he illustrated, became (and remains) the best-selling single comic book of all time.

Lee also helped form Image Comics in 1992, where he was able to publish his own creative content. Years later, after deciding to focus more on art, Lee left Image Comics and joined DC Comics, where he worked on iconic characters such as Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman. In February 2010, Lee and Dan DiDio were named co-publishers of DC Comics. The following year, Lee became one of the architects behind the New 52, a relaunch of 52 new series.

To learn more about Lee, read KoreAm‘s Dec. 2011 feature story on him here. Make sure to catch Lee at the convention’s DC Entertainment panel and his solo panel on Sunday.

Tony B. Kim

 

Tony Kim

Blogger and Comic-Con enthusiast 

Follow @Crazy4ComicCon
Website: Crazy 4 Comic-Con

It all began with issue No. 1 of The Man of Steel. As a young child of immigrant parents, Kim connected with Superman’s identity crisis.

“This man of steel always felt like he was created to make a difference but wrestled with compromising the two worlds of his heritage,” Kim writes in a blog entry. “I started to feel understood. I realized that pain and struggle is part of this journey into young adulthood and I was not alone on this path.”

As a passionate comic books fan, Kim considers himself a proud nerd. In 2005, the Superman fan moved to Southern California from Texas, finally making his way to the “Nerd Mecca” known as San Diego Comic-Con. Since then, Kim’s been a self-titled Comic-Con evangelist spreading the nerd gospel.

Kim will be one of the speakers at SDCC’s Geek Wars: The Nerds Awaken” panel on Friday at 10 a.m.

Soyon An

 

Soyon An

Costume Designer

Follow @SoysFashion

A graduate from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) and Otis College of Art and Design, Soyon An has worked on So You Think You Can Dance as a costume designer for six seasons, as well as a fashion consultant for American Idol. Her latest project as costume designer is a live-action adaptation of Jem and the Holograms, which is now in post-production and slated for an October 2015 release.

At SDCC, An will be speaking at a costume panel on Friday at 1 p.m. and a design panel on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Greg Pak

 

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Comic book writer and filmmaker

Follow @gregpak
Website:
 GregPak.com

Greg Pak is best known for his work on Action Comics, Batman/Superman, Planet Hulk, World War Hulk and Storm. His graphic novel Code Monkey Save World, which is based on the songs of Jonathan Coulton, holds the record for highest-grossing, original comics Kickstarter of all time.

On the film side, Pak directed the 2003 sci-fi indie film Robot Stories, starring Tamlyn Tomita and Sab Shimono, and wrote the screenplay for MVP, which premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.

Pak will be present at SDCC’s Super Asian America” panel on Sunday at 3 p.m. in Room 29AB, alongside Dante Basco (Avatar: The Last Airbender), Chloe Bennet (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D), Amy Chu (Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman) and other talented Asian American guests.

Moon Bloodgood

 

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Actress on Falling Skies

Moon Bloodgood is best known for her work in TNT’s post-apocalyptic drama Falling Skies, which is now on its fifth and final season. Bloodgood will be joining her co-stars Noah Wyle, Will Patton, Drew Roy, Sarah Carter, Connor Jessup, Colin Cunningham and Doug Jones at SDCC this year for a Q&A panel on Friday at 11:15 a.m.

The actress has graced two covers of KoreAm, once in April 2007 and September 2012.

 

James Kyson

 

James-Taka

Actor on Nobility

Follow @JamesKyson

Heroes star James Kyson will be unveiling his new sci-fi dramedy series Nobility, which is described to be Firefly meets The Office, at the Nobility: These Aren’t the Heroes You’re Looking For” panel on Friday at 7:30 p.m. He will be joined by sci-fi veterans Walter Koenig, Doug Jones, Adrienne Wilkinson and Christopher Judge.

Ilram Choi

 

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Stunt Performer

Ilram Choi told KoreAm in 2012 that the superhero he’d most like to be would be Superman. But Spider-Man isn’t a bad choice, either.

Since moving to Los Angeles 11 years ago, the stuntman, who is trained in taekwondo, capoeira, aikido and jiujitsu, has worked on several action movies and hit TV shows, from the Transformers films to Avatar and TRON: Legacy.

Choi’s recent credits include standing in as a stunt double for Ki Hong Lee in the upcoming Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials; John Cho in Selfie; and Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Choi will be joining Greg Pak at the Super Asian America” panel on Sunday.

Philip Kim

 

Philip Kim

Publisher of Famous Monsters of Filmland

Philip Kim is the publisher of Famous Monsters of Filmland, the world’s first monster fan magazine started back in 1958. Kim acquired the magazine in 2007. He will be speaking at a panel with the magazine’s editors Ed Blair and David Weiner on Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Room 26AB.

Michael Cho

 

Michael Cho

Korean Canadian illustrator and cartoonist based in Toronto.

Follow @Michael_Cho
Website: Michael Cho’s Sketchbook

Cho’s previously published works include Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes, a collection of sketches depicting Toronto’s cityscape. His graphic novel Shoplifter is centered on Corrina Park, a young aspiring writer who searches for happiness and self-fulfillment.

Cho will be teaching a SDCC workshop with Chip Kidd on Friday at 11 a.m. He will also participate in two art panels: “Celebrate 75 Years of Will Eisner’s ‘The Spirit'” and CBLDF: You Can’t Draw That! Live Art Jam.” 

Kim Jung Gi

 

South Korean artist 

Follow @KimJingGiUS
Website: http://www.kimjunggius.com/

Artist Kim Jung Gi is known for his ability to draw without any prior sketching or photographic reference. His work has attracted millions of views on YouTube over the last few years. Since 2007, he has published three sketchbooks that consists of more than 2,200 pages of his stunning art.

At SDCC, Kim will be teaching a drawing workshop on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in Room 2.

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Meet the Team Behind EXP: “I’m Making a Boy Band”

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim
jamesskim@iamkoream.com

Columbia University student Bora Kim riled up the K-pop world about a month ago when word of her MFA thesis project–a non-Korean boy group named “EXP”–spread across the web. Titled “I’m Making a Boy Band,” or IMMABB, Kim’s project has been underway since October of last year.

It’s hard to believe, but the minds behind IMMABB aren’t part of a huge talent agency in South Korea. Instead, the band’s producers primarily consist of three people: Kim, an interdisciplinary artist and sociologist from Seoul; Karin Kuroda (School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2013); and Samantha Shao (Maastricht University, Netherlands, 2013).

They each have their individual duties, from overseeing editorial content, social media, research, budgeting and marketing–all while looking forward to EXP’s first mini-album in November and finishing up the “I’m Making a Boy Band” documentary next year.

To help cover the costs of the mini-album, IMMABB is asking for $30,000 in funds from Kickstarter by June 7. Backers can expect plenty of incentives, from EXP T-shirts, signed copies of their mini-album, tote bag, tickets to a VIP screening of their documentary and even private karaoke sessions with the guys.

KoreAm caught up with the IMMABB team for a quick conversation regarding their initial reaction to the controversy surrounding EXP, as well as a glimpse into their future plans.

IMABB Team

There must be a lot going on with the band’s training, documenting the project, producing the music and other responsibilities. How big is the team working on the project? 

 

IMMABB: It must be hard to believe because people keep asking us that question! But it is really just the three of us! Bora, Karin and Sam. [As] for the music, dance, video, photo, we bring in artists who really believe in the project and become collaborators. This is why we started the Kickstarter campaign. We want to give our collaborators what they deserve for their amazing work and hard efforts.

IMABB

You’ve mentioned your surprise at the reactions and controversy in the media once the Internet heard about EXP. What were some of your immediate observations you had in how many of these outlets presented EXP?

 

IMMABB: When the controversy first occurred, there was a K-pop forum website that asked “Who’s more handsome? EXO or EXP?” After you answered that question, it asked “Why?” and it gave two options: “I like Asian men” OR “I like white/black men.”

This has been one of the most striking products of the controversy; to this day, we still contemplate what that dichotomy really does, in addition to having “white/black men” as one category. It isn’t clear if the person who posted the question was “Korean” or “Western” or both or neither. It doesn’t matter to us because it generated really interesting dialogues about K-pop and identity politics, amongst [K-pop] fans and our peers (who are also fans).

Though we knew the topic of sexualities would come up, I think we were also quite surprised (and saddened) at the amount of homophobia generated by commenters. Many of these hate comments are from actual K-pop fans (judging by their social media profiles), and it’s interesting because K-pop stars are often called “gay” or “too girly” or “weak” by people who are not familiar with K-pop. These comments imply to us that K-pop boys can do things while our boys cannot do those same things.

What are some of the different approaches in how you will be promoting EXP to Korean audiences?

 

IMMABB: We haven’t started promoting EXP to our Korean audience yet but the Korean audience who have seen our English content have given us great feedback! We are getting scouting offers from different Asian companies, including ones in Korea, so we think we’ll be in Korea soon.

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Be sure to check out EXP’s first single on iTunes and visit IMMABB’s Kickstarter page for EXP’s upcoming mini-album.

Recommended Reading

 

“Columbia Grad Student Creates K-pop Boy Band ‘EXP’ for Thesis Project”

“Bora Kim Profile: Columbia University School of the Arts”

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All images courtesy of IMMABB

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Actor Ha Jung-woo Taps Into His Artistic Side

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by STEVE HAN | @steve_han
steve@iamkoream.com

Before Ha Jung-woo became one of South Korea’s most recognizable actors after starring in such blockbuster films as The Chaser, The Yellow Sea and Nameless Gangster, he began drawing vibrantly abstract paintings to stimulate his mind.

Drawing has since been his refuge from the demands of acting. “I was young, jobless, hungry and really bored,” Ha told KoreAm during an interview in late February at PYO Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles. “There’s a huge sense of uncertainty when you’re trying to break into the film industry. When you’re young and jobless, nothing is guaranteed in life. I needed an outlet to express myself in some way.”

The 37-year-old actor and sometimes director, whose latest project was Chronicle of a Blood Merchant, released earlier this year, is used to people questioning his choice to step outside the film medium to cultivate his interest in art.

His latest exhibit, titled “Pause,” featured a collection of paintings such as portraits and motifs using acrylic, pen, marker and oil pastel. Influenced by artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ha, a Christian, embraces religious motifs like hearts, fish and crosses in his art. His drawings are also inspired by characters he’s played in various films. For example, he drew one of his recent paintings last year while co-starring in Kundo: Age of the Rampant, a historical action film about the power struggle between wealthy aristocrats and rebellious lower classmen set in 19th-century Joseon Dynasty. In the film, Ha plays Dolchi, a rugged butcher trying to avenge the death of his family by joining the rebels.

Cut-Art-AM15-Kundo“Home Sick,” a drawing Ha made while filming Kundo: Age of the Rampant.

“I was drawing the portrait while we were still shooting the film,” Ha says, speaking in his native Korean. “Obviously, I was playing a rough character, and it was only later I realized that the portrait looked way too rough and full of hatred. So I toned it down a bit by adding some hair and colors.”

Critics of Ha’s artwork—of which there are plenty—say that he’s taking advantage of the fame he achieved as an actor to promote his paintings. Indeed, the actor, who may also be familiar to U.S. audiences for playing an undocumented Korean immigrant opposite Vera Farmiga in the 2007 independent feature Never Forever, is a three-time Baeksang Arts Awards winner for best actor. Ha’s breakthrough role was in the 2008 thriller The Chaser, where he played the role of a brutally psychopathic serial killer who murdered prostitutes. The film became a huge hit at the Korean box office, generating over five million in ticket sales. The versatility Ha showed in The Chaser catapulted him as one of Korea’s most sought-after male leads. He’s since starred in Take Off, The Yellow Sea and The Berlin File, where he’s portrayed, respectively, an alpine skier, gambling taxi driver and North Korean spy.

“I draw to heal myself from the pain I get from certain things I can’t express through acting,” Ha says. “Drawing is almost a form of praying for me. The challenge is to find a way to present an honest face of myself, a face with no makeup on.”

In 2009, Ha met a screenwriter who drew as a hobby and presented his work at exhibits. One day, the screenwriter noticed Ha’s cell phone wallpaper, which was one of the actor’s own drawings. “He asked if I wanted to make my stuff available to the public. That’s how it started,” Ha explains, of showing his artwork.

Although Ha has held exhibits in Seoul, Hong Kong and New York in the past, “Pause” was his first exhibit in L.A.

“In the U.S., [Ha] has the opportunity to showcase his skills without a preconceived notion from the audience since many people here don’t know that he’s an actor in Korea,” said Heidi Chang, exhibit director at PYO Gallery. “In return, I felt like [Ha] would also enjoy showing his work in the U.S., because he would have a chance to be an artist rather than an ‘actor who does paintings on the side.’”

Cut-Art-AM15-IMG_8137“Monday Morning” by Ha Jung-woo

Ha started drawing during his senior year in college, when he was trying to make a name for himself as a rookie actor. He went to a nearby store and bought a canvas, 4B pencils and watercolors.

“I had no other work at the time other than auditioning for roles. It was really boring. I needed a place to lean my mind on and figured I might as well just start drawing stuff,” he says.

For now, Ha’s challenge is to block out the doubtful voices that question his range of pursuits. “Even if I do something outside of acting, people will still associate that work with my acting career,” he says. “Even when I was directing, I had people questioning why I was stepping out of my boundary. I’m merely doing what I want to do. I just work as hard as I can.”

During a brief visit to L.A. earlier this year that coincided with the exhibit’s Feb. 28 opening, Ha visited Universal Studios and would have liked to attend a professional baseball game (to see Hyun-Jin Ryu pitch for the Dodgers) had the season started by then.

“I like to stick my nose into things and develop an interest. I can’t stand boredom,” Ha says. “I just like getting myself out there.”

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All images courtesy of Pyo Gallery L.A.

This article was published in the April/May 2015 issue of KoreAm. Subscribe today! To purchase a single issue copy of the April/May issue, click the “Buy Now” button below. (U.S. customers only. Expect delivery in 5-7 business days).


Cosmic Womb 2

JooYoung Choi’s ‘Cosmic Womb’ Delves into Issues of Adoption, Race and Identity

Above image: “The Sacrifice of Putt Putt,” by JooYoung Choi

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim
jamesskim@iamkoream.com

When JooYoung Choi was growing up in an adopted American family, she was one of the very few Asians—let alone adoptees—in her hometown of Concord, N.H.

“Often I was reminded by other children that I looked ‘different’ or I was so ‘weird,'” the 32-year-old Choi told the Huffington Post. “As a child, I used popular media and art to make sense of my situation of feeling and looking so different than those around me.”

Cosmic Womb 4“Blue And The Helping Hands At MC Customs Body Shop,” by JooYoung Choi

Choi’s would create a “tribe” of media figures, from figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles‘ Lotus Blossum. When she became older, her tribe characters and themes of “adoption, race, systematic oppression, loss and liberation” would become the premise for the Cosmic Womb, a “parallel planet” portrayed through a series of paintings and video art.

Choi was influenced by a 1993 book called The Primal Wound, by Nancy Newton Verrier, which delves into the effects of disrupting the connection between a mother and child by adoption. The name “Cosmic Womb” is a reference to the Korean word for womb, jagung, which translates to “baby house.”

Cosmic Womb 1“Thanks For the Cosmic Knowledge,” by JooYoung Choi

“I decided that if there is a possible primal wound that affects adoptees, there must also be a Cosmic Womb for them to heal [in],” Choi added. “The idea that Koreans saw the womb as a house or location versus an internal organ interested me… I thought, what if my art could provide a place for the healing of loss, for the things that we lose in life, or have never known or have been forgotten?”

Choi met her birth parents in 2007 and 2008, and the artist began developing the Cosmic Womb in 2010, coining the term in that same year. It became a part of her MFA program at the Lesley University in Massachusetts.

The Cosmic Womb is populated by beings called “Tuplets” that look like East Asian girls and represent a part of the self: shyness, nervousness and happiness, among others. Their adventures are captured in Choi’s paintings—an effort to increase the visibility of Asians that the artist didn’t experience as a child, Choi says.

Choi sometimes appears in her work as a “former denizen of Earth” or as Queen Kiok. The national motto of the Cosmic Womb—”Have Faith, For You Have Always Been Loved”—is a way for Choi to address her troubled past self. Through the parallel planet of Cosmic Womb, Choi “mitigates the oppression, rootlessness and sorrow” she encounters on Earth.

Cosmic Womb 3“Have Faith, For You Have Always Been Loved,” by JooYoung Choi

You can read JooYoung Choi’s full conversation with the Huffington Post here.

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All images via JooYoungChoi.com

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EXP 1

Columbia Grad Student Creates K-pop Boy Band ‘EXP’ for Thesis Project

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim
jamesskim@iamkoream.com

When fans of K-pop boy group EXO recently heard about a non-Korean boy band debuting in Korea as “EXP,” they weren’t having it. Especially when they found out that this EXP group would be using the tagline “EXP Planet,” just one letter off from EXO’s “EXO Planet.”

The group was no joke. EXP’s Instagram claimed a week ago that the “first and only NYC-born K-pop band” would be dropping their new single, “LUV/WRONG,” on iTunes very soon. The boy band also announced that it would make its debut at the Columbia University MFA Thesis Show in NYC on April 26. Wait, what?

As it turns out, EXP is the product of a thesis project by a Columbia graduate student, Bora Kim, an interdisciplinary artist and sociologist from Seoul. Kim began the project, titled “I’m Making a Boy Band” (IMMABB), in October 2014 as an “ongoing collective experience, in-depth research, experimentation, filmmaking as well as business endeavor.”

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The ideas had already been running through her mind since the success of PSY’s “Gangnam Style” back in 2012. Kim said she was interested in researching how K-pop had finally “made it” in the Western world.

“The Korean pop industry has always appropriated its concepts from the West, and also the West through Japan, until not, and the reverse was a shock for the Korean public,” Kim explains in an interview with Columbia University. “‘Idol Groups’ became national heroes and K-pop became part of a proud national identity. But there is a double standard at play here. … K-pop had been looked down upon until outsiders started to consume it and its related products as well.”

Kim found that K-pop exports were directly tied to an increase in profit for Korean IT products, such as mobile phones–in fact, she says the biggest beneficiaries of the Korean Wave are companies like Samsung and LG.

But why make a boy band?

“I was interested in K-pop and idol groups on this level initially as I was thinking about cultural flow, or the relationship of dominant culture and peripheral culture, and how that is interwoven with one’s identity or one’s national identity,” Kim says. “I wanted to see what would happen if I made American boys into K-pop performers, by teaching them how to sing in Korean and act like Korean boys, and complicate this flow/appropriation even more.”

“Complicating the flow” also meant exploring how masculinity is portrayed in boy groups.

“These boys are tailored to attract straight young females, originally,” Kim says. “but the presentation of their sexuality is very complicated. … For example, a young group of pretty boys with great skin start rapping in a hip-hop music video while wearing a lot of make-up. What does this mean? Who is the target audience? It is totally gender-bending and experimental, but, at the same time, it is very typical, mainstream K-pop.

“And the acceptance of this strangeness (in the eyes of Western audiences) started to happen when Korean economic prosperity reached a point where it was enough for the entertainment industry to produce high-quality pop culture products,” she adds. “Cultural barriers or mistranslation are overcome by the shiny framing/packaging of K-pop.”

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Kim’s partners, Karin Kuroda and Samantha Shao, each brought their own expertise and perspectives to the project. Kuroda’s studies focused primarily on art criticism, photography, sculpture and fashion, while Shao studied arts administration and cultural theory at Maastricht University, Netherlands.

“The ‘I’m Making a Boy Band’ project aims to examine critical aspects of pop/business culture through the lens of an artist,” explains Kuroda, who first befriended Kim at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. “By asking oneself what it means to assimilate or twist the rudimentary formula in K-pop ‘idol’ culture, this project highlights social issues on a global and personal level.”

Shao and Kim discussed the differences between Asian pop culture–particularly Taiwanese and Korean–with American pop culture, as well as the connection between popular culture and fine arts.

“By changing the working process (of making ‘art’), we intend to re-think and re-define what it means to communicate with the art world and its audience,” Shao says. “Since the main characters of this work are people–not only band members, but also collaborators–we try to challenge ourselves by giving up authorship from time to time.”

Shao adds that she believes IMMABB focuses more on communicating with the audience throughout the process rather than the outcome of the band. The project “welcomes interactions, encourages questions and provokes confrontations.”

You can read more of Bora Kim’s interview with the Columbia University School of the Arts here. You can also follow EXP’s exploits at their Instagram, exp_theband.

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All images via Columbia University School of the Arts

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haenyeo1

Korean Cultural Service New York Presents Jeju Island’s Sea Women

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim
jamesskim@iamkoream.com

The Jeju Island “sea women,” or haenyeo, are perhaps one of the most unique examples of Korea’s indigenous cultural heritage. The title refers to female divers who dive for food in the sea—without any diving equipment or breathing apparatuses. The dives can last up to two minutes, and they can go up to 10 meters (over 30 feet) deep.

The Korean Cultural Service in New York has been holding an exhibition, titled Haenyeo after these women, since mid-March. With only a week left until it ends on April 10, it’s definitely something to check out.

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The exhibition presents photos by Hyung S. Kim, who told The New Yorker that he traveled to Jeju Island several times between 2012 and 2014. He would set up a plain white backdrop near the shore and would ask divers to have their pictures taken right as they had emerged from the water—usually after five to six hours of work.

Kim’s work “expresses the joys and sorrows of the lives of haenyeo as well as their history” as he captures them in their natural states.

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The history goes way back: The first record of haenyeo in literature was in 1105. In 2013, the Cultural Heritage Administartion of Korea applied to have the haenyeo registered by the UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The haenyeo culture has been gradually disappearing. In the 1960s, divers numbered above 20,000; now, there are approximately 2,500 divers who are still active. The vast majority of the remaining haenyeo are over 60 years old—the youngest is 38, and the oldest diver Kim photographed is over 90.

If you’re in New York and in need of something to do over this Easter weekend and break, be sure to check this out!

You can find more information at the Korean Cultural Services website.

Gallery Korea
460 Park Avenue 6th Floor
New York, NY 10022

Phone: (212) 759 9550
Email: info@koreaculture.org

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Yeon-mi

Link Attack: Yeon-mi Park, Racist Frat Email, Tokyo Students Say “We’re Friends” with Koreans

The Woman Who Faces the Wrath of North Korea
Yeon-mi Park is a 21-year-old North Korean defector who has devoted herself to revealing the brutal truth about the country, but the regime is fighting hard to discredit her. (The Guardian)

University of Maryland Investigates Racist, Sexist Frat Email
Angry Asian Man highlights an email from a Kappa Sigma chapter that came to light just days after the racist video from Oklahoma University’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon blew up online.

Choi Sun

Choi Sun’s Paintings That Will Make You Cringe
Since graduating from the art college at Hongik University, the “rebel artist” has sought to disrupt accepted norms in painting, according to Korea Herald.

The Untapped Political Power of Asian Americans
Third Way‘s Michelle Diggles, Ph.D, explains how Asian American diversity and experiences are often overlooked and not well understood in national political debates. Asian Americans also lag in participation in civic life … so far.

With Plan to Walk Across DMZ, Women Aim for Peace in Korea
Last Wednesday at the United Nations in New York, using a conference on the status of women as a backdrop, leading female advocates of disarmament formally announced their intent to walk across the Demilitarized Zone. (New York Times)

“We’re Friends”; Tokyo High School Students Speak Korean and Touch on Korean Culture in Speech Competition

Talking Kimchi and Capitalism with a North Korean Businessman
The Washington Post talks to Mr. Kim, a factory manager in a small town outside Dandong, China’s commercial gateway to North Korea.

Ron Kim

Ron Kim Calls for Student Resolve in Face of Failures
The New York State Assemblyman spoke to the AHANA Management Academy (AMA) and the Korean Students Association at Boston College about his journey into politics as an Asian American man.

Hyphen Magazine Interviews Seoul Searching Writer and Director, Benson Lee
Lee talks about Asian cinema today, premiering the film at Sundance and preparations for the film. Check out KoreAm’s feature on Benson Lee and Seoul Searching here.

Elsa Hanbok

Artist Reimagines Western Fairy Tales with a Korean Twist

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim
jamesskim@iamkoream.com

Anna built a snowman and Elsa formed her ice castle in an unnamed Nordic country. But what if the story of Disney’s Frozen took place on the Korean peninsula?

Korean artist and illustrator Na Young Wu, who goes by the handle Obsidian (@obsidian00) on Twitter, recently unveiled a series of illustrations depicting Western fairy tales as if they had taken place in Korea. Elsa’s glittering dress, for example, would look more like a hanbok, like so:

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 1.35.52 PM

Check out the rest of the artist’s Korean-Western fairy tales series below: The Frog Prince frog-prince The Little Mermaid   little-mermaid   Snow White snow-white

Alice in Wonderland

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Little Red Riding Hood

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Beauty and the Beast

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You can view more of the artist’s work on her Naver blog. Follow her on Twitter (@00obsidian00).

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H/T: Rocket News