About me

Matthias Lehmann
At Berlin Square in Seoul. Photo: Matt Lemon Photography

My name is Matthias and I was born in 1973 in Berlin, then commonly referred to as West Berlin. I left Germany in 2001 to study and work in England and later studied and worked in South Korea, Thailand and the North of Ireland/Northern Ireland. Since 2017, I live in Korea again where I work as copy editor.

Click here for a more detailed profile.

Prior to my late entry into academia, I tried unsuccessfully to enter film schools, but worked successfully as a cinema projectionist and events technician in Berlin, Hamburg, London. and Belfast. Studying and working in four countries has greatly enriched my life and brought me in touch with a wide range of people and their diverse view points. Film, photography and writing have remained passions of mine and I am using them as tools to collect impressions and memories.


2 thoughts on “About me

    1. Thank you for your comment and thanks for joining Research Project Korea on Facebook. To answer your question, first let me direct you to the ‘About’ section of my photography blog. [http://wp.me/P28VHZ-2] But I’ll add on to it.

      Nowadays, I suppose that Hallyu, the ‘Korean Wave’ that spreads South Korean culture around the world, and Korea’s economic sucess story from aid recipient to donor country, something they’re not tiring to of stating here, are getting many people interested in Korea in its own right. When I first got interested in Korea, however, the Korean Wave hadn’t quite taken off yet, and Samsung was still a far cry from becoming the No. 1 in the market for flat-panel TVs. So at first, I got interested in Japanese culture, simply because there was more of it around. You could find Japanese literature in translation easily back then, but try, even today, to find a Korean novel that is not related to the usual suspects of topics (The Korean War, the ‘Comfort Women’ issue, North Korea, or pop culture), and you will likely fail. The Korean government’s tourist and cultural organisations are heavily promoting Korea for all sorts of things, but in my opinion, literature is carelessly neglected.

      I was born in West-Berlin and my extended family was scattered over West- and East Germany. My cycle route to school ran along the Berlin Wall, and so, the division of the Korean peninsula was one of the aspects that got me interested.

      I also had several Korean friends in Berlin and through them I got to know other aspects of Korea. Those were, in no particular order, Samulnori (traditional Korean percussion music), Korean food, Korea’s own brand of patriarchy, Koreans’ strong emphasis on education, and more.

      One of my friends majored in Music and Korean Studies at SOAS, the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, and she encouraged me to apply for a degree in Korean Studies, facilitated a meeting with the head of the department, and so I became a student there in 2001. I believe the rest is covered by my section ‘Life | Research | Photography’ on my other blog. ~

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