Ha Jung-woo; Munhak Dongne: 256 pp., 13,800 won
Renowned for starring in popular local films such as “Beasty Boys” and “The Chaser” and “My Dear Enemy,” movie star Ha Jung-woo has made a name for himself by mastering a wide range of versatile characters.
Now he is showing off his talents as a painter having held three exhibitions and producing more than 100 paintings. More than 80 percent of his paintings have been sold already to high-profile collectors and he is receiving frequent calls to hold exhibitions overseas such as in China.
The book introduces his 60 paintings, including rough sketches, drawings, and essays about his acting career, family, love, friendship and daily life in a candid manner. In his writings, Ha reveals personal opinions rather than hiding behind an actor persona.
Modern artists such as Edward Hopper, Elizabeth Peyton and Louise Bourgeois are also introduced in the book as inspiration for his artistic work when he first started painting in 2003.
The actor said that he is more comfortable when he is introduced as a painter rather than an actor. His paintings influenced by films and his colleagues whom he has worked with reflect the many faces of himself as it includes the images of the clowns such as “Pierrot of Tears,” “I Don’t Know Who I Am,” “Joker Love,” and “HwangHae.”
― Chung Ah-young
Food Journeys of a Lifetime
National Geographic Traveler Magazine and Keith Bellows
Translated from English to Korean by Kim Hwa-gon, Kim Myeong-ha and Lee Seon-heui. Touch Art: 536 pp., 33,000 won.
Keith Bellows, the editor-in-chief of National Geographic, introduces the world’s greatest culinary landmarks.
The book provides a colorful itinerary of the markets and restaurants as well as the foods and dishes worth traveling far and wide to savor. Complete with artistic photographs National Geographic is known for, the book introduces everything related to food from seasonal dishes, unusual food festivals and the kitchens of renowned chefs, to the best places to fish, devour street food and order gourmet dessert.
The book is divided into nine thematic chapters including “Seasonal Delights,” which recommends visiting French port cities between October and April for fresh oysters; “Unusual Food and Drink Festivals” such as the Ice Cream Expo in Yokohama, Japan; and “The Best Beer, Wine & More” such as Greenland’s Glacier Beer. There is also a section on Korean street foods.
Also included are practical information such as when to go, tips on planning the trip and website URLs.
― Lee Hyo-won
Dean Cunningham; Pearson: 176 pp., $24.95
Although the world is becoming more and more convenient due to technological developments and affluence, human consciousness is getting lost somewhere between materialistic gains and status envy.
The book “Pure Wisdom” helps us to resolve the daily dilemmas we currently face through the teachings of historic philosophies and ancient practices.
Written by Dean Cunningham, a life-coach and martial arts expert, the book offers a unique and life-enhancing guide on how to recover spiritual solace.
The author spent half a decade living in Japan and immersed himself in Karate in order to learn the ways of living practised by the discipline’s masters.
The book suggest how people can live a better and more content life when they face emotional turmoil such as a family death or relationship breakdowns, feelings of fear which may stifle ambition, or changes in circumstances, such as moving to a new place or starting a new job.
The writer presents thousands of years of knowledge and wisdom along with his own experiences and inspirational lessons.
― Chung Ah-young
Walking the Alley With You
Lee Dong-mi; Thinking Tree: 344 pp., 13,000 won
Travel writer Lee Dong-mi suggests a new way to explore the alleys of Seoul. Lee guides you through the maze and points out curious facts such as the traces of a quarry that are still left in Sungin-dong alleys, while an alley in Yongsan is named after trot singer Bae Ho.
As a reporter of a travel magazine, she traveled across the globe and found that alleys were the most interesting and inspiring places in any city.
Subtitled "Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter of Alleys in Seoul," she roamed around the alleys of Seoul for about a year and half and all her walks are recorded in the book. Lee's photos are rather familiar, as if she had taken pictures of one's neighborhood or friends.
The author mentions that the many alleys in Seoul are disappearing for the purpose of redevelopment and she thought she had to memorialize them at least through photos and essays.
― Kwon Mee-yoo