In this issue of SEOUL, we visit Yongsan’s vibrant Passion Island, explore the natural splendor of the East Coast towns of Donghae and Samcheok, talk with film director Jang Kun-jae of “A Midsummer’s Fantasia,” learn about some of Seoul’s best burger joints, and much, much more.
And don’t forget the Goings on Around Town, our roundup of the month’s concerts, exhibits, festivals and events.
Painter Lee Quede (1913-1965) was, undoubtedly, one of the masters of 20th century Korean art. With his brush, he brought to life the pain and drama of the Japanese colonial era, national liberation and the Korean War, a chaotic period in Korea that stifled many a lesser artist. Because he defected to North Korea during the Korean War, however, his work – or even his existence – was not well known prior to Korea’s democratization in 1988. This exhibit will feature about 40 of his oil paintings, about 200 drawings and many of the artist’s archives and personal items. More importantly, however, the exhibit represents a rare opportunity to take in the work on an important but poorly understood genius.
VENUE: MMCA Deoksugung PERIOD: Thru Nov. 1 ADMISSION: Free MORE INFO: T. 02-2022-0600 GETTING THERE: City Hall Station (Line 1), Exit 1
Cool off this summer at the urban oasis Dragon Hill Spa!
Refresh body and Seoul at Seoul’s most famous spa, conveniently located just next to Yongsan Station, Line 1.
And if you bring the coupon in SEOUL, you can get get in at KRW 2,000 less!
Dragon Hill Spa is a one-stop leisure emporium, with saunas, pools, tanning facilities, massage rooms and top-quality restaurants bound to revive your heat-oppressed tastebuds.
This special exhibit at the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History explores Korea’s history of independence through the lives of ordinary citizens and how their lives intertwine with larger human events. The first part of the exhibit looks at those who returned to Korea after Liberation, as well as Korean War refugees. The second part examines changes in Koreans’ lifestyles during the postwar development era. The last part delves into the lives of todayâ€™s tech-savvy but economically stressed generation.
VENUE: National Museum of Korean Contemporary History PERIOD: Thru Sept. 29 MORE INFO: T. 02-3703-9200 ADMISSION: Free GETTING THERE: Gwanghwamun Station (Line 5), Exit 2
Seoul Fringe Festival
Seoul’s answer to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Seoul Fringe Festival is Korea’s leading independent arts festival featuring the very best in alternative theater, dance, music, performance art, visual art and video art. Founded in 1998 as an opportunity for young artists to break away from the authoritarian climate of the art world at the time, the festival has blossomed into a vibrant, multi genre space of artistic freedom and experimentation. Formerly held in the artsy Hongdae district, this year’s festival moves to the specious confines of World Cup Stadium, which will be transformed into a creative community and alternative ecosystem linking artists and art lovers.
VENUE: Seoul World Cup Stadium PERIOD: Aug. 1-9 MORE INFO: T. 02-325.8150 eng.seoulfringefestival.net ADMISSION: Free GETTING THERE: World Cup Stadium Station (Line 6), Exit 1 or 2
Antoni Gaudi: Barcelona
The brilliant Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi not only transformed the face of Barcelona but also rewrote the rules of architecture in the process. This exhibit includes Gaudi’s personal records and unannounced works, as well as photos, blueprints, models and sketches of his most representative architecture, including the world-famous Sagrada Familia. Also on display is a series of prints dedicated to Gaudi by the great Catalan artist Joan Miro.
VENUE: Hangaram Design Museum PERIOD: July 31-Nov. 1 MORE INFO: T. 02-837-6611 ADMISSION: KRW 15,000 GETTING THERE: Nambu Bus Terminal Station (Line 3), Exit 5. Transfer to shuttle bus, or green bus No. 4429.
RASKB Excursion: Donggang One Day Rafting Tour
Join the RAS as it takes an adventurous rafting tour along the scenic Donggang River in Gangwon-do. The Donggang is a serpentine, 60 kilometer-long stream flowing through rugged limestone terrain in mountainous Gangwon province’s Yeongweol, Pyeongchang, and Jeongseon counties. Besides boasting breathtaking scenery, the Donggang is an ecological jewel as it is the only remaining virgin territory in Korea, boasting a wealth of rare flora and fauna. It is often compared to Guilin in China, a world famous tourist destination owing to its picturesque limestone mountains; however, the Dong River retains a more pristine and serene atmosphere, according to tourist experts.
VENUE: Gangwon-do DATE: Aug. 8 COST: KRW 83,000 for members and KRW 99,600 for non-members MORE INFO and GETTING THERE: See link.
Changgyeonggung Palace in the rain. Photo by Robert Koehler.
Seoul Selection’s Free Book Giveaway – Our free book give-away continues! Check out the list in last week’s newsletter here.
Seoul Selection Offline Bookshop Sale –One of the greatest repositories of Korea-related English-language books anywhere, Seoul Selection is offering a 10% sale on any and all books published by Seoul Selection purchased from our OFFLINE bookshop next to Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Looking for Translators – Seoul Selection is looking for a few good translators (Korean to English) for general translation work. Those interested should send a resume and cover letter to Kyehyun at firstname.lastname@example.org. Experienced translators only.
Seoul Selection eBooks – You can purchase some Seoul Selection titles in ebook format via Amazon.com (for Kindle) and Apple’s iBookstore. Titles include Ask a Korean Dude, Moon Tides, Doing Business in Korea, Once Around the Sun, and seven volumes of our Korean Film Directors series: BONG Joon-ho, IM Kwon-taek, KIM Jee-woon, LEE Chang-dong, LEE Man-hee, PARK Chan-wook, and SHIN Sang-ok.
Send Your Event Info – If you would like to advertise any upcoming events you are organizing, please send us the press release material at email@example.com by the preceding Friday in order for it to appear in the following Tuesday’s issue.
Freelance Contributors Wanted – SEOUL Magazine needs writers who are fluent in both Korean and English. Writers should have a strong interest in Korean culture and be able to interview Koreans. Send your resume and writing samples to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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