All posts by irishassociationofkorea

There’s no place like home.

The following is an account by Donal Ormsby, winner of the grand prize in our St. Patrick’s Day raffle.  He and his wife won return tickets to Ireland sponsored by Etihad Airways

I’m sure it doesn’t cross many people’s minds to spend their summer holidays’ lying at home with their parents and family, but for my wife Rosie and I, it was a holiday that we will never forget.

Ireland is where we call home and it always will be, but we had not stepped foot on the sacred soil for almost a year and to us it felt like a lifetime. We were so excited and could hardly contain ourselves as we landed at Dublin Airport to be greeted by our tearful relatives. A quick (fantastically Irish, lots of milk) cup of tea later and we were on the road back to our homes.
The next ten days were just amazing. We got to meet 3 new nieces that had been born in the year that we had been away. Brenna, Rosa and Elyse were as beautiful and funny as we had imagined. We got to spend time with our 2 very large families and all their children. We had a joint birthday party for my mum (65) and myself (30). We also had a party for Rosie’s sister Siobhan who is moving to Barcelona. It was a fun filled 10 days that went in far too quickly. We had left Ireland just 3 days after our wedding day, and, in fact, our wedding day was the last time we saw most of our family. It was an emotional journey home for everyone. Leaving again was very difficult.
We really loved our time at home. We would like to thank The Irish Association of Korea, Seoul Gaels and Etihad Airways for making our summer one of the most memorable we have had.
There is no place like home.



One month in Dublin by Choi In Gyeong.

The following is a piece written by Ms. Ingyeong Choi, winner of the Ireland Korea essay competition about her month in Ireland. We would like to take a chance to thank our sponsors, Etihad Airways, Emerald Cultural language Institute in Dublin and the Embassy of Ireland, Korea  and Listowel Writers’ Week for their continued support. 


Winning the Ireland Korea essay competition was one of the luckiest things that has happened to me this year. I spent one month in Dublin as the prize.

For the first two weeks, I had hard time getting used to the longer daytime of June in Ireland. It was bright from 5 a.m. till 10 p.m. I usually cannot wake up in the morning without an alarm, but the early sunshine opened my eyes automatically. Besides jetlag, that made me keep yawning during the English class in the Emerald Cultural institute, for some time.

My daily routine in Dublin was attending the Emerald Cultural Institute, a language school, which was part of the prize. What I was looking forward to was meet diverse people from around the world and I did. There were a lot of students who had different reasons to study English: a French surgeon, a Venezuelan official, English teacher from the Czech Republic and Italy, students from Japan, Uruguay, Brazil, Russia, and Spain. Could I imagine conversing with someone from Latin America, before leaving Korea? It was exciting to share ideas in English with people from different cultures and backgrounds.

I took two classes in the mornings, grammar and conversation. The teachers were experienced and gave out interesting topics to discuss. In the afternoon, I participated in an extra conversation class, where I freely talked in a smaller group.

During the classes I learned that I needed to learn more vocabulary and natural English expressions. One month study was not enough time to perfect my English, but the time left me eager to keep practicing English. Learning a language was never-ending, I thought.

On weekends, I went on trips outside Dublin, short excursions to Dun Laoghaire and the Wicklow Mountains. Also, I went on day tours to the Cliffs of Moher and the Giant’s Causeway. It was possible to travel from Dublin to the west coast or to the north end within a day. The prevailing scenes outside Dublin were so green. Indeed, I was in the Emerald isle.

The memorable scenes in the Dublin city were street artists and buskers. There was always music in the Grafton street and the Temple bar. The buskers are from a teenage boy to an old man. The music ranged from modern rock to harp melody. The street musicians made up a unique vibe in Dublin.

Also, pubs. There were pubs everywhere in Dublin. In the wooden interior, with nice music, drinks, and some good company, pubs are perfect places where you can feel alive.

I had heard a lot about Guinness before visiting Ireland, but I didn’t know Irish butter was so good. I found that Irish butter was superb. My host mother proudly said that it was because Irish butter was fresh.

It is difficult to generalize people of a country, but I had an impression that Irish people liked to dance. On a Saturday night, there was an old man singing and playing the guitar on the Temple bar. An Irish girl jumped in front of him and started to dance. She was quite a good dancer and people around started to sway to the music too. Once, on the Henry Street, I saw a pair of girls dancing to the street music in the middle of the day. Once, in a pub too. I guess good music brings some moves from people, but I witnessed it more often in Dublin.

I think I will always recall Dublin with its buskers. Ireland had many charms. The one month I spent there was stimulating. I felt one month was too short.

At the Emerald Cultural Institute with teacher Desmond


Landscapes of Ireland

Dun Laoghaire


The Cliffs of Moher


The Giant’s Causeway



On the way to Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge in Northern Ireland



 Irish Food

Seafood chowder& bread and butter



Irish coffee has whisky and thick cream in it



Guinness beef pie & some chicken dish



Leprechaun on the Grafton street



RASKB-Blue Dalmation photography workshop series. Part 2

The second Royal Asiatic Society, Korea Branch/Blue Dalmatian photography workshop will take place on Saturday, June 21, 2:00 pm~3:00 pm, at The Alibi, near Exit 11 of Gangnam Station. This month’s workshop’s topic is “Street Photography – Gangnam Style!” It will be led by our own Tom Coyner.

The agenda is as follows: * Past Month’s Photo Challenge Constructive Critiques * Equipment, Settings, etc. for Korea Street Photography * Selecting a Street Photography Location * Jay Maisel’s 33 Considerations for Street Photography * Other Street Photography Tips * Street vs Posed, Candid vs Buy-in * Legal and Ethical Issues * Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “Decisive Moment” * Street Photography Examples * The Camera is a Two-Way Lens – a perspective * Hands-on Street Practice! (roughly 2 hours) * After-practice Results Review back at The Alibi with optional refreshments Participation fee is W60,000, payable in cash at the door. All participants will get an Adobe PDF copy of the lecture presentation.

To add a bit of philosophical dimension to this particular workshop, please ponder the following: In David duChmin’s “A Beautiful Anarchy,” the famous New York street photographer Jay Maisel (whom we will be studying in the workshop) was approached by a student who asked, “How do I make more interesting photographs?” Without pausing, Jay replied, “Become a more interesting person.” That valid point not only applies to all the arts, but one may say to all aspects of life, including being an entrepreneur, corporate manager, carpenter or whatever. Whatever we do is a manisfestation of who we intrinsically are. If we are boring, over conventional, risk adverse, etc., our lives will be marked by corresponding demeanors and behaviors. Life is too short. Do what YOU have to do – including doing what you’re not supposed to do whenever there is inadequate reason for conforming to the herd. And that may well include trying one’s hand at street photography!

For more information, please contact Tom Coyner at and/or visit the Blue Dalmatian Photography Facebook page.

RASKB-Blue Dalmation photography workshop series

Or very own Tom Coyner is hosting this series of workshops. All the details are here;

RASKB-Blue Dalmatian Workshop series begins on Saturday, May 24th, 7:00 pm.

Please note we reserve the right to switch around the topics by month, based on workshop participants’ and facilitators’ preferences and requirements.  But as things stand, we have scheduled the following workshops:
May 24 – Getting to Know Your Digital Equipment - review of proper use of the basics and intro to the rarely used functions, including those used by professionals, that make up 90% of most equipment’s features. This first workshop is priced with an introductory 50% discount. 
June 21(?) – Korean Landscapes (field trip workshop): basics and handling unique Korean challenges
July – Informal Portraitures: basics and cultural nuances
August – Street Photography – Gangnam Style: dealing with Korean strangers on the streets of Gangnam
September – Lighting & Color: controlling and creating photo environments in Korea
October - On-site Application of What’ve Learned at Gyeongbug-gung (field trip workshop)
November – Evaluating One’s Own and Other’s Photo Portfolios
December – Exhibition: Seoul location to be determined
Future/Concurrent Workshops: 
Fine Art Photography (workshop series)
Applying Leadership Skills to Your Photography (single workshop)
* Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, etc. 3- and/or 5-day Photography Workshops (from 2015)

One does not need to participate in all or even a majority of the workshops.  However, regular participation is rewarded by having professional photo critiques by Sang, an experienced photographic arts professor, which will take place during each subsequent workshop’s review of the past month’s photographic challenge photo assignment.

Map and directions to the Workshop (may also be seen at
Spring Studio in the basement of 107-12 Nonhyeon 2-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul.

WALKING DIRECTIONS (5 minutes total): Come out Exit 3 of Gangnam-gu Office subway station on (Olive) Line 7. Go straight, with the street on one’s left. Pass the first alley (Hakdong 47-gil) and go 1 short block to Hakdong 45-gil (separates a coffee shop from a pharmacy). Turn right on Hakdong 45-gil, and go down the hill to a T-intersection facing the 우림 Motel. Take a left and go up the hill to just one block short of the main intersection at the top of the hill. Turn right at a multi-story noodle store on the right, on to Hakdong 41-gil alley. Go 3 short blocks. The studio is in the basement of a four-story building on the right with a coffee shop on the first (ground) floor.

Please bring your camera with you to the May 24th workshop!  

Please bring your friends to the workshops – but kindly have them to register with Tom Coyner first at or by phone at 010-9099-6195! 

The first 3-hour workshop, that starts from 7:00 pm, on Saturday, May 24, in Nonhyon-dong (Gangnam), is W50,000, or W45,000 for RAS members.  The subsequent workshops will also be 3 hours long at double that fee rate.  We are building the workshop series so that the total value will be greater than the sum of the individual workshops through ongoing individual monthly photo challenges/critiques.  There will be a photo exhibition of the workshop’s photographs in December.  In any case, people pay at the door in cash at each workshop.

The workshops are being led  by Sang-Bum Lim, a bilingual Korean fine arts photographer who studied 6 years at the Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California as well as worked as a commercial photographer and journalist in the US.  He is now teaching at Daegu Arts University and Choong-Ang University.  He has almost 20 years teaching experience.  I have been doing photography for 40 years and have taught workshops for the Royal Asiatic Society, Korea Branch and the US Embassy in Korea.

The workshops are very much individual photographer oriented so as to be able to provide genuine value at amateur to professional skill levels.

The first workshop will take place in a professional studio and we will return there for portraits workshop later this year.  I will uniquely dominate this first workshop, but Sang will take over the workshop at the end.  The first half of the workshop will be a presentation on the latest trends in digital gear as well as tricks and tips that the professionals use in their shooting that most amateurs are unaware.  Following that, Sang and I will consult each participation on questions and issues regarding current and possible future equipment.  Sang will then give a presentation on his fine art and documentary photography.  We will conclude the evening with Sang assigning a photographic challenge for the participants to take on during the coming four week.  Optionally, following the formal session, we will have a survey of the local beer found near the workshop location.

All participants will receive a 70+-page PDF equipment and tips guide that is reviewed during on the workshop.
Most of the future workshops will be outside, with a strong “hands on” orientation with Sang and me working closely with individuals.  The first workshop will be focusing on people being adequately up to speed with their digital equipment  There will be a lecture on some of the less obvious basics, some not well known tricks employed by seasoned professionals, extensive one-on-one cons

Sang and I look forward to meeting you all on May 24th.  

    Tom Coyner

   Onsite Studios Asia
studio-quality photography
  tel: +82-10-9099-6195


HBC Festival 2014- The Irish acts.

The HBC festival is happening this weekend, May 16th, 17th and 18th. The entire schedule and run down of acts can be found on their website.

Here are some acts involving our very own Irish….

Friday: Magna Fall will p lay at 11pm in Philly´s Basement

Friday: Ceolteori Seoul will play in VFW at 11pm

Saturday; Baekma will play in Rabbit Hole at 8pm

We´ll keep the list updated as we get the details.