"2 handbags in a pickle": John Bock`s first solo exhibition in Asia is going on at Arko Art Center in Dongsung-dong and Insa Art Space in Insa-dong. Bock is a German artist who adopts various forms of not only visual art but also literature, music, film, architecture and fashion. He learns and expresses his thoughts by realizing the natural instinct of art, which is enjoying it, experiencing it and playing with it. In the Seoul exhibition, Bock performs - calling it a "lecture" - using various objects, then films it and shows the film, the costumes and objects he used during the performance. Arko Art Center shows "PARA-SCHIZO, ensnarled," Bock`s newest film. Insa Art Space showcases eight short films and four cinematic films that have earned Bock today`s international acclaim. The exhibition runs through Feb. 8, 2009. Closed on Mondays. Admission 2,000 won. For more information, call (02) 760-4563 or visit www.arkoartcenter.or.kr
"Blake`s Shadow: William Blake and his Artistic Legacy": Many remember William Blake (1757-1827) as one of the leading poets of the Romantic period. After the Tate Gallery in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York held Blake`s exhibitions in 2000 and 2001, the influence of Blake`s artwork began to be more widely recognized, and he began to be seen as one of the forerunners of British art. Museum of Art Seoul National University highlights Blake`s artistic side and his influence on British culture for the first time in Korea. 62 pieces by Blake, his contemporaries and those he influenced are displayed. The exhibition runs through Feb. 14 at Museum of Art Seoul National University in southern Seoul. Tickets are 3,000 won. Closed on Mondays. For more information, contact (02) 880-9509 or visit www.snumoa.org
"Ancient Futures": This exhibition at Seoul Museum of Art NamSeoul in Namhyeon-dong tries to tell nature`s side of the story regarding human`s ceaseless pursuit for progress. More than 60 works of artwork from various genres created by 15 artists seem a retort to humans, "now look what happened!" On the first floor, pieces of nature such as rocks and insect wings - often considered trifle and meaningless - are magnified, sculpted and photographed under the theme "Ecological Imagination - Principles of Life." Upstairs in the "A Symbolized World - Paradise Regained" section, artists give consideration on the thin line between the concept of artificial and natural. This exhibition may not be a comforting display of dreamy art depicting flowery scenery, but gives visitors something to think about. It runs through Feb. 15, 2009 at Seoul Museum of Art NamSeoul in southern Seoul. Free of admission. Closed Mondays. For more information, call (02) 598-6247 or visit www.seoulmoa.org
"Kuwabara Shisei": The Museum of Photography is exhibiting documentary photos of Korea recorded by Japanese photographer Kuwabara Shisei. For half of his life, Shisei has photographed the country. His recent work includes documents on Korea`s presidential election last year, later published as a photo essay. Shisei was once deported because of his fearless exploration of the darker corners of the society, which the government was trying to conceal. Thanks to his boldness, we can see what shantytowns and villages near military camps looked like in the 1960s and 1970s.
At this exhibition, Shisei displays 66 of his photos. Most of them are being shown for the first time. Some of Shisei`s photos of North Korea are also on display. The exhibition runs until Feb. 21. For more information, call (02) 418-1316 or visit www.p
"Korean Art 1910-1960": Art aficionados can take in early to modern Korean art in one sitting at the National Museum of Contemporary Art. The "Korean Art 1910-1960" exhibition on the third floor traces the early development of modern Korean art. Not only does this exhibition showcase the highly valuable works of Park Soo-keun - his work "A Wash Place" sold for a record 4.52 billion won ($4.51 million) last May - it also displays the works of Korea`s first female painter of note, Na Hae-suck, as well as one of Korea`s first impressionists, Oh Jiho, and the leading artist, Lee Jung-sup. The "Korean Art 1910-1960" exhibition runs through Feb. 22, 2010. To get to the National Museum of Contemporary Art, go to the Seoul Grand Park Subway Station, line 4, exit 4. A shuttle bus runs from there to the museum every 20 minutes, starting from 9:40 a.m. Tickets for adults are 1,000 won for adults and 500 won for adolescents. Admission is free for children and the elderly. Opening hours are daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The museum closes at 9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, call (02) 2188-6000 or visit www.moca.go.kr
"2008 I AM AN ARTIST": The best part of being young and inexperienced is that one is forgiven for being overly bold. Seventeen up-and-coming artists show off their daring, uninhibited ideas in this exhibition. Started in 1981, the biannual exhibition has brought to light more than 300 artists in the past 27 years, including world famous installation artist Lee Bul. A total of 250 pieces, ranging from paintings and installations to sculptures, photographs, and animations are showcased in their separate spaces. The exhibition runs through March 8 at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province. Tickets are 3,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2188-6000 or visit www.moca.go.kr
"Wander on the Sky": Can you imagine wandering through art in a gallery so high its windows show clouds outside? This is possible at 63 Sky Art in Yeouido, southwestern Seoul, the world`s highest museum, located on the 60th floor of the 63 building, a major landmark in the capital city. The exhibition "Wander on the Sky," started last week, displaying 63 pieces of sky-themed art. More than 30 well-known artists, including Lee U Fan, Zou Wei, Andy Warhol and Paik Nam-june have their paintings, sculptures, photos, videos and installations presented. It runs through March 15. Tickets are 12,000 won for adults, 11,000 won for adolescents and 10,000 won for children. For more information, call (02) 789-5663 or visit www.63.co.kr
"The Modern Korea Rediscovered": National Museum of Contemporary Art, Deoksugung presents a rare chance to see 232 pieces by 105 Korean contemporary artists in one place. Works by renowned artists such as Park Soo-keun, Lee Jung-seob, Kim Hwan-ki and Cheon Kyeong-ja are on display. The exhibits give viewers a glimpse of what Korea was like and what Koreans felt during the country`s turbulent history. It runs through March 22, 2009. The museum is located in Deoksugung, near City Hall station in Seoul (subway lines 1 and 2). Admission is free but tickets to Deoksugung are 1,000 won. For more information, call (02) 757-1800 or visit www.koreamodern.com
"Arcadia: Heaven for Artists": One can now see the original works of Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall all in one Seoul gallery, thanks to the Pompidou Center. An exhibition of masterpieces from the French institution is running at Seoul Museum of Art in central Seoul. It features 79 pieces of world renowned artists, including ones displayed for the first time in Korea. The Pompidou Center is the most famous museum of contemporary art in France. This exhibition reveals the story on how images of Arcadia, or heaven, were depicted and idealized by Parisian artists after the 20th century. It is composed of 10 parts, each showing different aspects of the Arcadia. The exhibition runs through March 22 next year at Seoul Museum of Art. Admission is 12,000 won for adults, 9,000 won for students and 7,000 won for children. The museum is closed Mondays. For more information, call (02) 325-1077 or visit www.pompidou2008.kr
"Cats": The Korean production of the world-famous musical "Cats" is running through Jan. 18 at Charlotte Theater in Jamsil-dong, Seoul. Featuring singer and actress Ok Ju-hyun as Grizabella and Dae-sung from boy band Big Bang as Rum Tum Tuger, the sexy and rebellious cat. Tickets are from 40,000 won to 120,000 won. For more information, call (02) 501-7888 orvisit www.musicalcats.co.kr
"The Nutcracker": The children`s version of the old classic has been receiving positive responses from audiences since premiering in 2005, thanks to its fresh setting that has helped enhance the understanding of younger viewers. The show has narrator "Heart Fairy" guide the audience through the show, explaining to them what is happening on stage. "The Nutcracker" musical will run through Jan. 18 at Seoul Kyoyuk Munhwa Hoewkwan in Yangjae-dong, Seoul. For more information, call (02) 738-8289 or visit www.i-pmc.co.kr
"Rocky Horror Show": The cult musical created by British writer Richard O`Brien, which premiered in 1973, is still considered one of the most provocative works in the genre. The production is often referred to as the cult rock version of "Frankenstein" and "Dracula" combined, with extraordinary imagination added in. For the local version`s sixth run, four different actors - Hong Rok-gi, Song Yong-jin, Kang Tae-eul, and Kim Tae-han - will be co-starring in the lead role, Dr. Frank-n-Furter, each portraying different elements of the character. The show will be held in Theater SH, Daehangno through Jan. 18. Tickets run from 40,000 won to 55,000 won. For further information, call (02) 501-1670.
"Singles": The musical adaptation of the mega-hit homemade movie of the same title - well-liked by audiences since premiering in 2007 - will return to the theater until Jan. 18. Starring singer Andy from group Shinhwa and Lee Sung-jin from group NRG as the leading role Jung-jun, the show will deal with the lifestyle, friendship and love of singles in their late 20s to 30s. The show will be staged at Baekam Art Hall in Samsung-dong, Seoul. For more information, call (02) 764-8760.
"Really Really Like You": The hit homemade musical dealing with the love between two highschool teachers set to the 70s will be showing for the second time starting Jan. 8 at Theater Yong at National Museum of Korea in Yongsan-gu, Seoul. Along with the stars from last year Park Hae-mi and Park Sang-myun, musical actor Kim Bup-rae, singer Jo Gap-gyeong and actress Hong Soo-ah will join the cast. The show will run through Jan. 25. Tickets are from 40,000 won to 100,000 won. For details, call (02) 514-5606.
"Sex is Zero": The musical adaptation of the popular same-titled movie and its sequel - released in 2002 and 2007, respectively, is showing at Mapo Arts Center in Seoul. It deals with a love story between a law student, Dal-soo, who falls in love with the college`s most popular cheerleader, Yoon-jung. Actors from the movie, Choi Sung-guk and Yoo Chae-young - and singer-turned-actor Choi Jung-won - star in the show. It will run through Jan. 25. For more information, call (02) 764-4450.
"200-Pound Beauty": The 2006 movie-turned-musical features central character Kang Han-byul - played by singer and actress Choi Sung-hee, aka Bada from girl group S.E.S. - the fat and unattractive nameless singer who gains confidence and success as a singer after having cosmetic surgery. The show will be staged until Feb. 1 at Chungmu Art Hall in Heungin-dong, Seoul. Tickets run from 40,000 won to 90,000 won. For details, call (02) 3485-8721.
"Famous Artist Show": Popular live tribute show from Las Vegas "Famous Artist Show" premieres in Korea. Targeting theatergoers in their 30s and older, the show presents performances of impersonators singing songs of famed stars including Elvis Presley, Madonna, Beatles and Michael Jackson. The show will be held at Grand Hilton Seoul in Hongeun-dong until Jan. 4, and at Universal Arts Center in Neung-dong, Seoul from Jan. 23 to Feb.7. Tickets are from 77,000 won to 180,000 won. For details, call (070) 7123-1679 or go to www
"Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde": The local production of the hit musical that helped now top-ranked actor Cho Seung-woo achieve stardom returns to theater. The show delicately depicts the dualism in human nature, while presenting brilliant tunes like "This is the moment" and "Once Upon a Dream." Three actors will take on the leading role, including Ryu Jeong-han, who was nominated for best actor at last year`s Korea Musical Awards. The musical runs through Feb. 22 at LG Arts Center. Tickets are from 40,000 won to 120,000 won. For details, call (02) 556-8556.
"Cafe In": The homemade romantic comedy musical tells a love story between a female barista who learns how to love from a player sommelier, while providing useful information about coffee and wine. Popular musical director Sung Jae-jun and musical director Won Mi-sol duo, who together created numerous hit musicals including "Polaroid" and "Music in My Heart," collaborated on the show. It will run untill Feb. 28 at Live Theater in Daehangno, Seoul. Tickets are 35,000 won and 45,000 won. For details, call (02) 3448-4340.
"Dreamgirls": Broadway show "Dreamgirls," better known to the Korean public as the 2006 movie version starring pop stars Beyonce Knowles and Jennifer Hudson, which was loved by viewers for its catchy tunes and touching story, premieres in Korea starting Feb. 27. In the Seoul show, the main characters Deena will be played by musical actress Jung Sun-ah, who has proven her talent in hit shows including "Nine" and "Xanadu," while Effie will be played by both musical actresses Hong Ji-min and Cha Ji-yeon. The show will be staged until July 26 at Charlotte Theater in Jamsil-dong, Seoul. For details, call (02) 556-8556 or go to www.musicaldreamgirls.co.kr
"Rent": The Korean production of popular musical that shot Cho Seung-woo to stardom returns for its sixth run at KEPCO Arts Center in Yangjae-dong, Seoul. The show concerns the passion and love of poor young people in New York City who desire to become artists. Cho Min-ah from female pop group Jewelry will be playing Mimi, the goal-driven dancer. The show is on an open run. Tickets are from 40,000 won to 60,000 won. For details, call (02) 1544-1555 or go to www.iseensee.com
"Night Mother": With veteran actresses Na Mun-hee and Son Sook doubling the role of the mother Thelma, the show looks at the importance of communication between family members. "Night Mother" is about Jessie, a divorcee, who lives with her mother. One day, Jessie says she wants to commit suicide. Much of the play consists of the last conversation between her and her mother before Jessie kills herself. The show will run through Jan. 4 at Wonder Space Theater. Tickets are 30,000 won and 40,000 won. For details, call (02) 766-6007 or visit www.idsartcenter.co.kr/playplay
"Milky Way": Former culture minister and well-known actor and director Kim Myung-gon returns as a play director through "Milky Way," an orthodox play which modified the 1955 play "Do You Know the Milky Way?" by German playwright Karl Wittlinger. The work portrays a young man who finds the ultimate truth and the meaning of beauty through suffering. It will continue through Jan. 4 at Doorae 2 Hall in Daehangno, Seoul. Tickets are 15,000 won and 30,000 won. For details, call (02) 741-5978.
"I Love You": A stage adaptation of the hit online cartoon by Kang Full (Kang Do-young) has started its second run in Daehangno, Seoul. The story spotlights two elderly couples - one a milkman and a woman who gathers and sells discarded newspapers to make a living; the other a valet in a parking lot who devotedly looks after his senile wife. The play will be staged at The Good Theater in Daehangno until Jan. 31. Tickets are 35,000 won. For more information, call (02) 742-9005.
"Educating Rita": The hit play from the theater venture group Yeongeukyeoljeon2 is now re-running at Daehangno. Choi Hwa-jung and Yoon Joo-sang play the two main characters, Rita and Frank, like they did in the Korean premiere of the piece in 1991. The piece features the process where Rita - a newlywed hairdresser who goes to college because of her desire for education - and Frank, a professor at the college, come to understand and change each other. It will run through Feb. 1 at Dongsoong Arts Center in Seoul. Tickets cost from 25,000 won to 45,000 won. For details, call (02) 766- 6007.
"Closer": Better known to the pulbic as the 2004 movie adaptation starring Julia Roberts and Jude Law, the play by British playwright Patrick Marber is on its eighth run in Korea. Previous seasons of the play including the one starring popular TC actress Kim Ji-ho were also well-received by the audience. Danny Ahn from boy band G.O.D. will be playing a central character this season. The play will run through Feb. 8 at SM Arts Center in Daehangno, Seoul. Tickets are 25,000 won and 35,000 won. For more information, call (02) 764-8760.
"NOW JUMP": Located in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, the Nam June Paik Art Center holds inaugural festival. Drawing from the movement that spawned Paik`s early works, the center`s festival takes a leap of faith by moving forward and into the future. From performance art to works from Fluxus members, viewers and young artists are encouraged to continue to push the boundaries of art. NOW JUMP runs through Feb. 5. Reservations are required for certain performances. To make reservations, send the title and date of performance, along with your name, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are 3,000 won for elementary school students, 5,000 won for middle and high school students and 7,000 won for adults. For more information, call (031) 201-8512 or visit www.njpartcente
"Echoes of Life: the Enduring Tradition of Unified Silla Sculpture": The National Museum of Korea is showcasing more than 200 sculptures, including some national treasures, of the Unified Silla dynasty. Some of the exhibits were brought from Tokyo National Museum, Nara National Museum, and Kyushu National Museum in Japan. Unified Silla`s sculptures emit an international flavor. The exhibition is divided into six parts. The first four parts display sculptures from Unified Silla in a chronological order. The fifth part, "Guardians of the Dead - Tomb Sculptures," holds stone pagodas and the monkey figure of the 12 zodiac animals. In the final division "Culmination of Artistic Spirit - Seokguram Grotto," there is a model of the grotto. The exhibition runs until March 1 at National Museum of Korea in Ichon-dong in central Seoul. For more information, call (02) 2077-9000 or visit www.museum.go.kr
"Fascination of Europe: Western-style Paintings in Modern Japan": The National Museum of Korea introduces a highly interesting group of western-style paintings by modern Japanese artists collected and displayed in the Yi Royal Museum from 1933 to 1943. These paintings are part of a larger collection preserved by the Yi Royal Museum which consists of modern Japanese-style paintings, western-style paintings sculptures and craftwork. The National Museum of Korea holds a selection of 40 Western-style paintings from the Yi Royal Museum collection. These pieces include 33 oil paintings, two drawings, four prints, and one pastel drawing. The exhibition runs through Oct. 11, 2009 in the Japan Gallery of the National Museum of Korea. The museum is located at Ichon subway station, line 4, exit 2. For more information, call (02) 2077-9000 or visit www.museum.go.kr
"Vietnam: Life and Culture": The National Museum of Korea is holding a special exhibition showcasing a collection of Vietnamese artifacts on loan from Vietnam`s National History Museum, National Ethological Museum and the National Museum. Items from the National Museum of Korea`s collections will also be on display. Visitors can take in traditional Vietnamese clothing, musical instruments and ceramics. Bronze drums from the ancient Dong Sun culture of Vietnam will also be part of the exhibition. Fifteenth-century blue-and-white porcelain dishes, discovered in a sunken ship off Cu Lao Cham Island, show traditional Vietnamese motifs. The exhibition is at the Asian Center and the India South East Asia galleries until March 11, 2010. The museum is located at Ichon Subway Station, line 4, exit 2. For more information, call (02) 2077-9000 or visit www.museum.go.kr