Friday, 30 October 2009

Q&A with director Yang Ik-june

Date: 07-11-2009, 20:00:00
Venue: Manchester Cornerhouse, 70 Oxford Street, Manchester M1 5NH, UK

Unlike other directors, YANG did not study at a film school nor was active as assistant director for a number of years. Rather, he first got started in the field as an accomplished actor and learn the tools of the trade and gained experience on location. In 2005 his first short film 'Always Behind You’ earned him the audience award at Seoul Independent Short Film Festival as well as numerous domestic film festivals, and earned him wide attention as a director. Thereafter he completed two more short films and having endured hardship trying to produce his debut independent feature, was selected for Pusan International Film Festival's Asia Cinema Fund, thus giving him indispensable post-production support. This film had world premier at 2008 Pusan International Film Festival.

“YANG Ik-june's Breathless closely follows the characters’ emotions with careful observation and filled with energy just as the indie legend John Cassavetes has done. The film has the power to make the audience gaze at the character’s furious face.”
LEE Sang-yong, Pusan Int’l Film Festival programmer

“The film's final moment seamlessly blends an ending that is filled with hope and joy, and shockingly tragic and despair.”
HUR Nam-woong, Film 2.0

“Breathless doesn’t put eyes on the realities of the characters but on our presences and wills to change them.”
HUR Ji-woong, Premiere

Park Chan-wook, South Korean Film Maker

Contemporary films tend to reflect Ethic values, which denote something’s degree of importance, with the aim of determining what action or life is best to do or live, or at least attempt to describe the value of different actions; it deals with correct conduct and good life, in the sense that a highly, or at least relatively highly, valuable action may be regarded as ethic “good” (adjective sense), and an action of low, or at least relatively low, value may be regarded as “bad”.
In collectivist countries within Asia, if a member expresses a value that is in serious conflict with the group’s norms, the latter may carry out various ways of encouraging conformity or stigmatizing the non-conformist behavior of its members.
That is why, I believe, many famous Asian artists and their masterpieces, which are based on national ideals such as patriotism, find difficulty in penetrating the European market as it is difficult to make onecountry believe the virtues of another.
However, despite extreme violence in his films, Park Chan-wook, who is regarded as one of the most acclaimed film makers in South Korea, has been extraordinarily successful in the European film industry with “The Vengeance Trilogy”, consisting of 2002’s Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), Oldboy (2003) and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005).
I met Park on 7th October at the Korean Cultural Centre UK in London.
He was about to launch his latest film “Thirst” in the UK and I was lucky enough to seek his views about the film’s philosophy.
Park grew up in Seoul and studied Philosophy at Sogang University, where he started a cinema-club called the ‘Sogang Film Community’ and published a number of articles on contemporary cinema.
Originally intending to be an art critic, upon seeing “Vertigo” he resolved to try to become a filmmaker.
Throughout Park’s “Revenge Trilogy”, the movies have generated extreme reactions from both viewers and critics.
Some reviews have blasted it as a crudely described black comedy while others applauded it as a masterpiece of human observation.
Thirst (2009) the new film from director Park Chan-wook is already a box officesmash in Korea.
Thirst was honoured with the Prix du Jury at the 2009 Cannes International Film Festival.
The film tells the story of a priest, who is in love with his friend’s wife, turning intoa vampire through a failed medical experimentand soon plunges into a world of sensual pleasures, finding himself on intimateterms with the Seven Deadly Sins.

Sang-hyun is a priest who volunteers to participate in an experiment to find a vaccine for the deadly Emmanuel Virus (EV) with the hope of saving even one life. The virus kills him, but he is miraculously resurrected by blood transfusion. Unfortunately, the miracle comes with a seriousside effect: he turns into a vampire. Only a continual supply of fresh human blood can reverse the symptoms of EV infection. News of his marvelous recovery is quickly spread to the devout parishioners of Sang-hyun’s congregation and they begin to believe that the man has a miraculous gift for healing. Soon thousands more people flock to Sang-hyun’s services. While grappling with his disturbing new habit-and superpowers-Sang-hyun becomes attracted to Tae-ju, wife of Kang-woo, Sang-hyun’s childhood friend. The two begin an affair. When Sang-hyun pleads with her to run away with him she turns him down suggesting that they kill her husband instead. At first, Sang-hyun feels a newfound vigor by his insistent bodily desires, but soon, he is aghast to find himself sucking down blood from a comatose patient in the hospital. After attempting to kill himself he finds that he is drawn back to the taste of human blood against his will. Desperately trying to avoid committing a murder, he resorts to stealing blood transfusion packs from the hospital. He is powerless to stop the faithful who regard his vampirism as a sign of being touchedby God: having committed a mortal sin outof love, he figuratively and literally drown sin guilt……

What makes Park so different is his ability to generate norms within his work frame; such norms are rules for behaviour in specific situations, while values identify what should be judged as good or evil; groups, societies, or cultures have values that are largely shared by their members; the values identify those objects, conditions or characteristics that members of the society consider important, that is, valuable.
In this sense, again, what makes Park’s film so valuable is he actually creates norms based on human instincts and conceptual visualization rather than emotions or cultural influences, which might differ from one country to another, resulting inbeing less agreeable to each other.
In other words, in his films, actors take part in a culture even if each member’s personal values do not entirely agree with some of the normative values sanctioned within this culture, which leads them to decide to take a particular action.
This reflects an audience’s ability to synthesize and extract aspects valuable to them from the multiple subcultures to which they belong.
Within this kind of frame work, the audiences are only able to agree with the concept of “good” or “bad” rather than “how they feel”.
Thus evidencing how Park has through his skill avoided relative values, which may be explained as an assumption upon which implementation can be extrapolated, but agreeably approached to the absolute standard.
This standard is philosophically absolute and independent of individual and cultural views, as well as being independent as to whether an object is discovered to have it or not.

Value system....
I believe that this concept is what Asianfilm makers or entertainers need to think about before they plan to penetrate this culturally different European market.

Written by LEE Hyung-wook, Editor in Chief, The East (

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

TE, TOBEYAKI: Tobe Japanese pottery Exhibition

Date: 18- 30 November 2009
Venue: 3 Bedfordbury Gallery, 3 Bedfordbury, Covent Garden, WC2N 4BP
Tel: 020 87765576
Organiser: tabi Arts

This is an exhibition which introduces Tobe Japanese Pottery (from Ehime Prefecture in Shikoku) for the first time in the UK. It will showcase approximately 250 pieces ranging from a tiny sake cup to a large-sized vase.
The main exhibits are works by master craftsman from the Baizan Kiln Studio, one of the most important kiln studios in Tobe, from a few emerging artists and selected pieces from the 19th century.
In the 1950s, the leaders of the Japanese Folk Craft movement, Yanagi Souetsu, Bernard Leach and Hamada Shoji, came to Tobe. Their visit influenced the Tobe potters and consequently helped them re-establish the quality of their craft which nowadays is highly regarded.
The exhibition is organised around the theme of TEhands, In Japanese this word, TE very often appears in everyday conversation indicating the intricate relationship people have with their hands when making things.

Discover Japanese Food #8: Atsuko's "Okonomiyaki" (THE EAST Campaign in Association with Atsuko’s Kitchen)

Okonomi means 'favourite', as you can choose your favourite toppings to put onto the pancake. It is a well known regional speciality of the Kansai area, which includes Kyoto and Osaka.
It is a very popular Japanese street food, commonly eaten at festivals as well as restaurants. Here the customers can cook their own okonomiyaki at their table, and eat it straight away from the hot plate.
The ingredients are very simple and one of my friends named it "economy yaki"... That make sense! But you can always select a good quality topping if you make at it at home.

Make a small size so that it is easy to turn over, and add a variety of toppings. Serve it while it is hot, to watch the katsuobushi (bonito
flakes) dancing on the top of okonomiyaki! This is fun at the party.

400g cabbage, 4 spring onions, 4 eggs

For frying:
4 tbsp vegetable oil

For the mixture:
2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 300ml dashi, 20g yamaimo (fresh Japanese yam potato available in the Japanese grocery shop in London)

For toppings:
4 thin sliced pork belly, 4 prawns, 1 squid (sliced), 200g grated cheese, A cup of sweet corns

For the sauce:
okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, ainori (green nori powder), katsuobushi (bonito flakes)

1. To make the mixture, mix flour and baking powder in a bowl and add dashi slowly to break any lumps of flour, and blend well. * don't stir too much as it will become a doughy texture.
2. Grate yama imo finely ( or use powdered yama imo ) and add to the mixture. It will be very slimy to touch, but gives it a soft texture.
3. Chop cabbage and spring onion finely.

1. Add the eggs to the cabbage and spring onion in a large bowl, mix well.
2. Add the pancake mixture to the cabbage mixture then mix gently.
3. Heat the large frying pan with high heat. When hot, spread the pan with oil. Spoon the mixture into the frying pan.
* make small portions, so it is easy to turn over. Repeat to make about
12 okonomiyaki. (3 per person)
4. Reduce the heat to medium, put your favourite toppings on the surface of the mixture then wait until the bottom turns brown.
* don't press down on the okonomiyaki or they will become hard and may not cook well.
5. Turn the okonomiyaki, and cook for a further 4-6 mins.
6. When the topping is cooked well, turn it over again.
7. Spread the top with okonomiyaki sauce, and mayonnaise, then sprinkle with katsuobushi and enjoy it dancing. Add aonori for extra flavour.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Japanese Buddhist Temple Cooking Class with Mari Fujii

Date: 8th November at 6:00p.m. & 9th November at 6:30p.m. - 2.5 hour session
Venue: The Grocery, 54 -56 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8DP
Tel: 07921 397792
Organiser: Atsuko’s Kitchen

Japanese Buddhist temple cooking class ( shojin ryori ) is presented by Mari Fujii who is a chef and author of shojin ryori, she teaches temple cuisine for over 20 years in Japan and recently she has promoted her cooking in New York and Paris. This November, she is coming to London to share the unique dishes based on fresh vegetables, and staples such as seaweed, grains and tofu.
It will be a nourishing experience for both body and soul.
This is a hands on cooking class with Mari Fujii.
The class is held in cafe area of The Grocery - you can get most of the Japanese ingredients you will need right here!
We start with introducing the ingredients, then a cooking session, and finally eating!

Korean Air expands routes to operate next generation premium seats

Korean Air is offering next generation premium seats on more routes to make air travel even more enjoyable!
Korean Air announced today that its next generation premium seats will be made available on more routes as parts of its ongoing commitment to making air travel more enjoyable for its passengers.
Starting October 25, Korean Air will begin to increase from three to nine the number of routes offering next generation premium seats, following the scheduled delivery of B777-300ER and refurbishment of B777-200ER aircraft.
The new seats will be offered on long-haul business routes to Americas, including Incheon-Los Angeles, Incheon-Washington D.C. and Incheon-Seattle, as well as mid-haul business destinations in China and Southeast Asia, such as Incheon-Beijing, Incheon-Shanghai and Incheon-Hong Kong. Additionally, flights on the Incheon-Jakarta route featuring the new seats will begin to operate daily starting from the end of this month.
Currently a total of four Korean Air aircrafts are equipped with the next generation premium seats; three recently delivered B777-300ERs and a newly refurbished B777-200ER. Four more B777-200ERs are scheduled to enter into service by next March, taking to eight the number of aircraft equipped with the new seats.
The recently launched next generation premium seats, Kosmo Suites (First Class), is the pinnacle of luxurious travel, bringing a touch of nature to the cabin while the 180 degree lie-flat beds have been widened by 15.3cm to provide passengers with added comfort. Prestige Sleeper (Prestige Class) features 180 degree lie-flat sleepers with 66cm wider pitch than the current Prestige Class seats, offering customers the level of comfort normally reserved for First Class at other carriers. Also, an enhanced state-of-the-art AVOD system, offering a 16:9 wide screen and over 60 movies, 40 short features, 300 CDs, 40 games and 15 audiobooks, will deliver a richer entertainment experience to passengers in all classes.
Upon the completion of the second phase of the refurbishment plan by April, 2011, Korean Air will have a fleet of 70 aircraft equipped with state-of-the-art facilities serving its mid and long-haul routes. Also, the airline will eventually operate 96 premium aircraft by 2014 including environmental friendly next generation aircraft scheduled to be delivered from next year, such as 10 A380s and 10 B787s.

Friday, 23 October 2009

The London Korean Film Festival 2009

Organised by: The Korean Cultural Centre UK, The Korea Creative Content Agency, The Barbican Centre, The BFI
Sponsored by: The Korea Tourism Organization, Asiana Airlines
Hosted by: The Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism

Date: 1st – 18th November 2009 (18 days in total)
London Barbican Centre: 5th – 12th November
London BFI: 1st – 14th November
Manchester Cornerhouse: 7th – 9th November
Nottingham Broadway Cinema: 16th – 18th November

Hosted by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and organised jointly by the Korean Culture Centre UK and the Korea Creative Content Agency, the London Korean Film Festival enters its 4th year. The Festival will run for 18 days from the 1st to 18th November, touring 3 cities – London, Manchester and Nottingham – and has invited Korea’s 3 most eminent directors – Park Chan-wook, Bong Joon-ho and Yang Ik-june to attend.

The London Korean Film Festival 2009 will screen 25 feature films and 4 animations, 34 screenings in total. In London, audiences will be invited to the prestigious Barbican Centre and the British Film Institute. The Barbican Centre boasts a variety of programmes: the Opening Gala with Director Park Chan-wook, Q & As, Animation Day and a Retrospective: Yu Hyun-mok including a lecture by Daniel Martin. Jury prize winner at Cannes this year, Park Chan-wook’s new feature ‘Thirst’ gets an exclusive Director’s Cut and introduction by the Director himself at the Opening Gala, chaired by BFI critic Tony Rayns. To commemorate one of three leading directors of Korea's 'Golden Age' (1959-70) and a pioneer of realist cinema, three of Director Yu Hyun-mok’s films chosen with the recommendation of the Korean Film Archive will be shown as well as a short talk on Director Yu’s life and works. The Animation Day comprises of 3 animations fit for all the family and a workshop with fun activities for the children.

For the first time, the London BFI is the platform for a Retrospective on a Korean director, Bong Joon-ho, whereby ten of his films from Blockbuster hits, short films and small-scale projects from his early career will be shown. On the last day, Tony Rayns will chair the ‘Conversation with Director Bong Joon-ho’ after the screening of his latest film, ‘Mother’. With the advantage of his expertise on Asian cinema, Tony Rayns will also be giving a master class on Director Bong’s works.

In addition, the Korean Film Festival will also tour to 2 other regional cities so that a wider audience can enjoy the best of Korean cinema. Following on from Oxford and Warwick in 2007 and Liverpool in 2008 this year, Manchester and Nottingham will be screening 3 films - ‘Mother’ and ‘Dream’ by Kim Ki-duk and ‘Breathless’ by Director Yang Ik-june. Manchester’s Cornerhouse will also have a Q & A with Director Yang on the 6th November chaired by Liverpool Festival Director Kate Taylor. At the Broadway Cinema in Nottingham, Director Bong will be present for a Q & A.

An Evening with Korean Artists in the UK

I returned to the Korean Cultural Centre in London on Friday 16th of October 2009 to attend an evening of performances given by Korean artists in Great Britain.
Having seen the varied programme I really had an open mind as to how I would enjoy the experience. I was impressed at the diversity of talent that was displayed and the ability of the performers.
The programme opened with the Visual Art Project.
The five different artists’ work was surprising and interesting. Explanations of the various materials used together with the meanings and themes of the completed projects were presented.

Bada Song-Sculptor
She deals with contemporary issues of form and identity using sculpture, installation and painting and has exhibited on numerous occasions in the UK.

Sunju Park-Glass artist
Is a freelance glass artist and has recently completed commercial contracts. She specialises in fusing glass acid etching and painting in glass for free-standing sculpture.

Young-Shin Kim-bookbinder
She is a specialist in fine binding, book restoration and box making and was awarded the 1st prize and Mansfield Medal for the Best Book of the Year in the “Designer Bookbinders Competition” in 2003.

Soon Yul Kang-textile artist
She was awarded an MA at Goldsmiths College and has been a resident artist at the Kew Studio in Richmond since1998 returning annually to lecture at the Ewha Women’s University in Seoul. Her speciality is hand woven tapestries.

Kitty Jun-Im McLaughlin-painter
Kitty’s work is inspired by her experience of both British and Korean cultures. Layers of Korean Hanji paper embraces her Canvases.

Six performances then followed.

Poetry Reading by Hye Kyung Park
“The rain that fell in season”

A poem was read in Korean and English with a pictorial backdrop. The content was quite thought provoking.
Hye Kyung Park is an international writer, poet and columnist. In 2006 she published her first book of collected poems in Korea titled “Togijangi House” and is the recipient of awards from the “Overseas Korean Foundation”.

Daegun solo by Dong Yoon Hwang
“Dance of Wind”

The first piece is from “Yeongsan Hoesang” which is an example of traditional Korean music of the 15th century.
Daegum is a traditional bamboo flute producing a rich sound and was suited to both contemporary and traditional music. Both pieces were beautifully played.
Dong Yoon Hwang studied the Daegum at Dong-Guk University in Korea and has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe festival in 2008 and 2009.

Classical Vocal by Heimi Lee
“Qui la voce sua soave” from “I Puratani” by Vincenzo Bellini
“New Arirang” by Dong Ji Kim

Heimi Lee started training as a singer when she eleven years old. She attended Ewha Women’s University and was awarded an MA in Vocal Studies. In 2006 she enrolled at The Royal college of Music and her vocal studies. She then joined the Royal Academy of Opera in 2007 and has given live performances.
What a voice-I had forgotten that a human being could reach such perfect high notes.

Kayagum accompaniment by Ji Eun Jung with Dong Yoon Hwang and Sungmin Jeon (guitar)
“People of the Sea” –occupants of rural Korean towns-1970 to 1999

A series of photographs which were taken by Korean photographer Jung Hoi Jung were shown. He is Ji Eun Jung’s father.
A stunning selection of black and white stills which showed stark and uncompromising images of the hardship of daily life of people who rely on the sea for survival and for those living in rural communities. The music brought the poignancy of the situations depicted.
Ji Eun Jung is a professional Kayagum performer. She also studied at Ewha Women’s University in Seoul and furthered her education by being awarded an MA in Asian Music at Dong-Guk University.
Her performances in the UK include London City Hall and Oxford University. She has also given performances in Korea, Canada, USA, Hong Kong, Brazil and European countries.

Piano and vocals by Younee
“East West”
“True to You”
“Home to You”

What a change in style-These three songs took me by surprise. I didn’t expect the quality of music she produced. I am looking forward to seeing her perform live at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Dean Street in London on 27th of this month.
Younee is an accomplished singer, songwriter and pianist- a classical pianist who plays rock as well as Rachmaninoff. A graduate of Yonsei University in Seoul she has performed with Grammy Award pianist Bob James. She has had two successful albums in Korea and has recorded “True to You” with UK producer Richard Niles. She is currently touring in this country.

Zen dance by Sunnee Park based on traditional choreography accompanied by musicians Therese Bann and Piero Pierini.

“Celebration of life”-read by Philip Gowman (The Events Presenter )
Velvet Dark and Serene/ Womb of Everything
You, a poor human being/Wake up!
Come, Come out of your self inflicted prison.
You are the World / The centre of the universe / The arena of this comedy
Hic et Nunc
Dawning, Beaming, Blowing /Vibrating, Crawling, Evaporating
Blossoming, Flowing, Flying / Whirling, Waning, Vanishing
What a Bliss!

A gong and drum producing strikingly simple sounds accompanied Sunnee Park as she ended the evening’s performances in a reflective mood-mesmerizing the audience with her fluidity of movement.
Sunnee Park was a member of a classical Korean troupe “Little Angels” from the age of eleven then became a member of the Korean Universal Ballet company. Having been awarded an MA in Dance and Music and a PHD in Korean Shamanistic Trance at Ochanomizu University she was a dance instructor in Tokyo and performed throughout Japan. She is currently studying for an MA in Dance Movement Roehampton, whilst working with children in London.

The evening was a resounding success and one to remember. The audience was given an insight of the talents of the Korean artists and performers in Great Britain.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Traditional Korean Music Performance

Date: Friday 30th October 2009: 19.00~20.30
Venue: The BP Lecture Theatre, The British museum
Booking Tel: +44 (0)20 7323 8181
Tickets: £5 – Concessions £3

As a part of this autumn’s programme of traditional music events the Korean Cultural Centre UK, the traditional Music Network Gugak FM and the British Museum bring to you Korea's 21st Century Music: There and Now: an evening of traditional Korean music and classical fusion.
The concert will be held at the BP Lecture Theatre of the British Museum on Friday 30th October at 7.00pm.

Performing both traditional and contemporary pieces, Korea's 21st Century Music: There and Now brings together some of Korea’s finest singers and musicians as well as the next generation of Masters: Su: m –2009, 21st Century Experimental Spirit Prize Winners and Bulsechul – 2007, 21st Century Arirang Prize Winners.
Many of you may be aware of the Gayageum (traditional Korean zither) Korea’s most famous instrument, however ‘Korea's 21st Century Music: There and Now’ is a rare opportunity to see and hear the supreme talents of so many traditional musicians performing on a variety of instruments, everything from the Korean mouth organ to the Hammered Dulcimer.

Korean Air Contracted as Boeing 747-8 Wing Part Supplier

Korean Air today announced, at the 2009 Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition, that the airline has been selected to produce the wing structure components for the new Boeing 747-8 aircraft.
The wide-body commercial Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental has a capacity of 467 seats and features a lengthened fuselage with a new wing design, as well as improved efficiency which aims for a quieter, more economical and increased environmentally-friendly performance.
A total of 105 orders for the Boeing 747-8 freight version and the Intercontinental have been received so far this year with more than 100 already sold.
Since August 2008 Korean Air’s ‘Tech Centre’ – the Aerospace Business Division, located in Pusan, South Korea - has delivered the first part for the ‘Raked Wing Tips’, ‘Wing Tip Extensions’ and ‘Flap Track Fairing’ of this aircraft’s wing structures.
Mr. Hang Jin Cho, Executive Vice President of Korean Air Aerospace Business Division said, “Korean Air has produced the components of the wing and fuselage for the Boeing 737 and 777 aircraft for over twenty years and in addition has also started manufacturing parts for Boeing 747-400s. As a result, Korean Air has been acknowledged as one of the leading aircraft manufacturers, utilising the most innovative and advanced aircraft manufacturing technologies. In July 2007, Boeing commended Korean Air as one of its best suppliers; something which has been achievable through the solid trust basis between the two companies.”
Since starting its Aerospace Business Division in 1986, Korean Air has successfully supplied aircraft parts for Boeing and other major aircraft manufacturers. As a key partner of Boeing, Korean Air has also participated in design and development of the B787 Dreamliner. Korean Air will continue to develop business opportunities with its advanced aircraft manufacturing technologies utilising carbon fibre materials.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Movers & Shapers Japan-UK Relations Seminar Series VI: The Iwakura Embassy in Britain

Date: 28 October 2009 - 28 October 2009 from 6.30pm
Venue: The Japan Foundation, London

As part of their diplomatic journey around the world in 1871-3, The Iwakura Embassy spent four months in Britain - the longest stage of a mission which was to profoundly affect the modernisation of Japan. Led by special ambassador Iwakura Tomomi , members of the embassy toured throughout the UK "assessing Western civilisation with a view to adopting those parts of value to Japan".

Graham Healey, Academic Director of Distance Learning Japanese Programmes at Sheffield University, will speak about The Iwakura Embassy's experiences in Britain. He was joint editor-in-chief of the translation of all five volumes of the embassy's official records written by the historian Kume Kunitake, including translating Volume 2 relating to their time spent in Britain.

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please email giving your name and the title of the event you would like to attend.

Slim, beautifully crafted VAIO X Series is world’s lightest notebook

Extreme mobility, usability and design come together beautifully in the new VAIO X Series notebook PC by Sony. Tipping the scales at weights starting from 655g1, the exquisitely crafted VAIO X Series is the world’s lightest notebook3.
A perfectly balanced package for style-aware business travellers, VAIO X Series is also breathtakingly slim, measuring no more than 13.9mm thin at every point across its elegantly sculpted body. It takes all the VAIO values of portability, performance and sheer desirability to new extremes.
This ultra-premium notebook is guaranteed to turn heads with a choice of three beautiful finishes: gold, black and premium carbon.
Customers in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain can choose the specifications that suit them best and create their own personal VAIO X with ‘VAIO by you’ custom ordering from Sony Style Store ( This includes the configuration of the VAIO X as light as 655g.

The thin, light chassis is stunningly sculpted in tough, light carbon fibre that offers exceptional strength and lightness. It’s enhanced by an aluminium palm rest that emphasizes the notebook’s luxurious looks further, while providing a stable base for comfortable, error-free typing on the responsive, comfortably-spaced keyboard.

Usability is enhanced further with a new multi-finger touchpad that simplifies navigation through your files with intuitive scroll, flick, pinch and zoom fingertip gestures.
The durable 11.1” X-black widescreen LCD with LED backlight technology gives a brilliantly detailed view of documents, web pages, videos and more. You’ll enjoy high contrast and vivid, true-to-life colours for a deeper, more natural viewing experience.

Despite its slender lines and arresting looks, VAIO X Series is a fully-featured tool for demanding business travellers who need to stay productive while they’re on the move.
Extreme portability counts for little if you’re constantly stopping to power up at the next mains socket. Thanks to its extremely low voltage processor and power-efficient LCD panel, VAIO X Series lets you stay productive through the working day (approximately 8 hours) with a single charge of the advanced lithium polymer battery. An optional extended X battery accessory boosts stamina further still, up to an incredible 16 hours battery life.

Even when you’re far from a Wi-Fi hotspot, VAIO Everywair WWAN lets you stay connected with high-speed access to 3G HSPA mobile broadband networks at download speeds up to 7.2 Mbps.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Boom by Jean Tay and wAve by Sung Rno

This autumn we’re touring two very different plays by two exciting and talented East Asian writers: Boom by Jean Tay and wAve by Sung Rno. Directed by Yellow Earth’s new Co-Artistic Directors, Philippe Cherbonnier and Jonathan Man, these two plays bring together a fantastic cast that will move you to laughter and tears.

Boom by Jean Tay
Charmingly offbeat and very funny, Boom is a warm exploration of what makes a home, and what makes us so attached to it once we’ve made the perfect one.Singapore 2008. With the economy booming and the demand for land intense, the young, the old - and the dead – are forced to jostle for a space to call their own: a property developer’s mother refuses to move from their family home to make way for his new and very profitable apartment block; whilst a psychic civil servant - charged with relocating a cemetery - has come up against the most stubborn corpse yet.

Director: Philippe Cherbonnier
Designer: Wai Yin Kwok
Lighting Designer: Douglas Kuhrt
Cast: Ashley Alymann, Jonathan Chan-Pensley, Louise Mai Newberry, Tina Chiang, Jay Oliver YipBoom was created by Singapore Repertory Theatre in 2008.

Boom was developed through the Royal Court Theatre’s International Programme in London.

wAve by Sung Rno
Loosely inspired by the Medea myth and with a chorus of comic characters, this dysfunctional love story veers from madcap farce to tragedy as an isolated Korean immigrant’s dream of a perfect life as an American housewife turns sour wAve is a passionate and satirical play exploring the collision of cultures from an award-winning American playwright. “a generously inventive play” New York TimeswAve was commissioned by Center Theater Group / Mark Taper Forum’s Asian Theater Project and premiered at Ma-Yi Theater Company.

Director: Jonathan Man
Designer: Wai Yin Kwok
Lighting Designer: Douglas Kuhrt
Cast: Ashley Alymann, Jonathan Chan-Pensley, Louise Mai Newberry, Tina Chiang, Jay Oliver Yip

Greenwich Theatre, London
Boom: 21, 22 & 24 October at 7.30pm
wAve: 23 October at 7.30pm, 24 October at 2.30pm
Theatre Royal Margate
Boom: 27 October at 7.30pm
Live Theatre, Newcastle
Boom: 30 October at 7.30pm
wAve: 31 October at 7.30pm
Gulbenkian Theatre, Kent
wAve: 3 November at 7.45pm
Contact, Manchester
wAve: 5 & 6 November at 8pm
Riverside Studios, London
wAve: 10, 11 & 14 November at 7.30pm
Boom: 12, 13 & 15 November at 7.30pm

Discover Japan #9: Kanagawa Prefecture (THE EAST Campaign in Association with Japan National Tourist Organization London Office)

Kanagawa Prefecture is a prefecture located in the southern Kantō region of Honshū, Japan. The capital is Yokohama. Kanagawa is part of the Greater Tokyo Area.

There are some archaeological sites of Jōmon period (around 400 BC). About 3000 years ago, Mount Hakone made volcanic explosion and Lake Ashi on the western area of this prefecture.
It’s estimated, Yamato Dynasty ruled this area from 5th century. In the ancient era, plains and damps were widely spread with few inhabitants.Kamakura in central Sagami was the capital of Japan during the Kamakura period. In medieval Japan, Kanagawa was part of the provinces of Sagami and Musashi.
During the Edo period, the western part of Sagami Province was governed by the daimyo of Odawara Castle, while the eastern part was directly governed by the Tokugawa Shogunate in Edo (Tokyo). Commodore Matthew Perry landed in Kanagawa in 1853 and 1854, and signed the Convention of Kanagawa to force open Japanese ports to the United States. Yokohama, the largest deep-water port in Tokyo Bay, was opened to foreign traders in 1859 after several more years of foreign pressure, and eventually developed into the largest trading port in Japan. Nearby Yokosuka, closer to the mouth of Tokyo Bay, developed as a naval port and now serves as headquarters for the U.S. 7th Fleet and the fleet operations of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. After the Meiji Period, many foreigners lived in Yokohama City, and visited Hakone. The Meiji Government developed the first railways in Japan, from Shinbashi (in Tokyo) to Yokohama in 1872.

The epicenter of the Great Kantō earthquake in 1923 was deep beneath Izu Ōshima Island in Sagami Bay. It devastated Tokyo, the port city of Yokohama, surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Shizuoka, and caused widespread damage throughout the Kantō region. The sea receded as much a quarter of a mile from the shore at Manazaru Point, and then rushed back towards the shore in a great wall of water which swamped Mitsuishi-shima.
At Kamakura, the total death toll from earthquake, tsunami, and fire exceeded 2,000 victims.At Odawara, ninety percent of the buildings collapsed immediately, and subsequent fires burned the rubble along with anything else left standing. Yokohama, Kawasaki and other major cities were heavily damaged by the U.S. bombing in 1945.
In the years after the war, the prefecture underwent rapid urbanization as a part of the Tokyo Greater Zone. The population was about 8.9 million as of 2008, and Kanagawa became the second most populated prefecture in 2006.

Kanagawa is a relatively small prefecture located at the southeastern corner of the Kantō Plain wedged between Tokyo on the north, the foothills of Mount Fuji on the northwest, and the Sagami Bay and Tokyo Bay on the south and east. The eastern side of the prefecture is relatively flat and heavily urbanized, including the large port cities of Yokohama and Kawasaki. The southeastern area nearby the Miura Peninsula is less urbanized, with the ancient city of Kamakura drawing tourists to temples and shrines. The western part, bordered by Yamanashi Prefecture and Shizuoka Prefecture on the west, is more mountainous and includes resort areas like Odawara and Hakone. The area, stretching 80 km from west to east and 60 km from north to south, contains 2,400 sq km of land, accounting for 0.64 % of the total land area of Japan.Topographically, the prefecture consists of three distinct areas. The mountainous western region features the Tanzawa Mountain Range and Hakone Volcano. The hilly eastern region is characterized by the Tama Hills and Miura Peninsula. The central region, which surrounds the Tama Hills and Miura Peninsula, consists of flat stream terraces and low lands around major rivers including the Sagami River, Sakai River, Tsurumi River, and Tama River. The Tama River forms much of the boundary between Kanagawa and Tokyo. The Sagami River flows through the middle of the prefecture. In the western region, the Sakawa River runs through a small lowland, the Sakawa Lowland, between Hakone Volcano to the west and the Ōiso Hills to the east and flows into Sagami Bay.The Tanzawa Mountain Range, part of the Kantō Mountain Range, contains Mount Hiru (1,673 m), the highest peak in the prefecture. Other mountains measure similar mid-range heights: Mount Hinokiboramaru (1,601 m), Mount Tanzawa, (1567 m), Mount Ōmuro (1588 m), Mount Himetsugi (1,433 m), and Mount Usu (1,460 m). The mountain range is lower in height southward leading to Hadano Basin to the Ōiso Hills. At the eastern foothills of the mountain range lies the Isehara Plateau and across the Sagami River the Sagami Plateau.

The East News