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Sunday, September 12, 2004

Korea in Venice

Cannot but pay attention to the recent attention Korea has been given in Venice as someone who's been to the place. (One week in Venice seems to give an as lasting impression as a much much longer time in Korea...)

Photo: Kuwabara SiseiFirst things first: the Cheonggyecheon restoration project has been awarded the first price in the Venice Biennale for a public administration project (Hankyoreh). Cannot tell whether this soothes the huge criticism that the project has gather this far. (Just see for example the list of Hankyoreh articles at the bottom of the linked story.)

Must be that the Biennale people didn't really have much concern for the evicted street stall keepers who first lost the money they had paid for the selling site for someone who has no legal right to get money for it, and then lost the site and had to move to the Dongdaemun stadium.

As is known, it's not actually a restoration: Cheonggyecheon will not be made into a laundry site of the turn of the 20th century or a trench lined by squatters' shacks as it was until the 1960s.
Photograph: life at Cheonggyecheon in the 1960s before it was covered. (c) Kuwabara Sisei.

• The second piece of Venetian news: Kim Ki-duk has been awarded the director's price for his new film Pin Chip (빈 집, Empty home/house), which for some reason is named 3 Iron in English (Chosun Ilbo, Hankyoreh). (Oh, reading through the synopsis of the film, that must be the name of the kind of golf club used to beat someone in the story.) Good for Kim and good for Lee Seung-yeon starring in the film, who'll manage to regain some of her reputation lost in the unbelievably stupid attempt at making a photo album on the Japanese imperial army sex-slave theme. Perhaps it couldn't have been anyone but Kim Ki-duk who gave Lee Seung-yeon a chance after that.

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