April 3, 2016 / Issue No. 722
‘The Vegetarian’ On Sale at Seoul Selection
Pick up a copy of Han Kang’s critically acclaimed novel

Han Kang’s critically acclaimed novel “The Vegetarian,” one of the nominees for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize, is now available at Seoul Selection Bookshop (right next to Gyeongbokgung Palace).

About the book:

Before the nightmares began, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary, controlled life. But the dreams – invasive images of blood and brutality – torture her, driving Yeong-hye to purge her mind and renounce eating meat altogether. It’s a small act of independence, but it interrupts her marriage and sets into motion an increasingly grotesque chain of events at home. As her husband, her brother-in-law and sister each fight to reassert their control, Yeong-hye obsessively defends the choice that’s become sacred to her. Soon their attempts turn desperate, subjecting first her mind, and then her body, to ever more intrusive and perverse violations, sending Yeong-hye spiraling into a dangerous, bizarre estrangement, not only from those closest to her, but also from herself.

Celebrated by critics around the world, The Vegetarian is a darkly allegorical, Kafka-esque tale of power, obsession, and one woman’s struggle to break free from the violence both without and within her.

Read more about the book at the New York Times and Slate.

Price: KRW 22,000

SEOUL April Issue Out
Mangwon-dong, Yeoncheon and upscale dining

You know what makes the perfect accessory for your spring outing? A colorful, artisanally crafted copy of SEOUL, Seoul Selection’s monthly travel and culture magazine. In the April issue, we explore the cozy Mangwon-dong district, walk about the rugged outdoor beauty of Yeonchon, enjoy some fine Korean dining, and much, much more.

And don’t forget our Goings On Around Town, your roundup of the month’s top concerts, exhibits and events.

Map Banner Special Event

From December, SEOUL Magazine will be offering banner space in our magazine’s Maps & Guides section for the low, low price of KRW 50,000 a month. International visitors and expats make great use of our maps, which include detailed information about Gwanghwamun, Samcheong-dong, Itaewon, Dongdaemun, Hongdae, Gangnam and other tourist destinations. Our packages begin from three months (KRW 150,000, VAT not included). We can also promote your establishments via SNS as well, so please, send your inquiries to sense@seoulselection.com.
website: https://magazine.seoulselection.com
Instagram: @seoul_magazine

Enjoy SEOUL on the Go: Download our magazine app for your tablet! (iOS, Android)



Relaxed off-Hongdae neighborhood fends off gentrification to maintain sense of community

Rough Beauty

The rugged volcanic landscape of Yeoncheon possesses a prehistoric magic


A miscellany of high-quality hyperlinks from the week, courtesy of SEOUL editor-in-chief Robert Koehler




Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival

Yeouido’s famous cherry blossoms announce arrival of spring in Seoul. During the Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival, a feast of spring will unfold against the wide open Hangang River as 13 types of 87,859 spring flowers come into full bloom, such as azaleas, forsythias, royal azaleas, bridal wreaths and deutzia. For an even more romantic experience, go at night, when the cherry blossoms are all lit up.

VENUE: Yeouido Park and the Yeouiseo-ro
PERIOD: April 4-10
MORE INFO: T. 02-2670-3114
GETTING THERE: National Assembly Station (Line 9), Exit 1

Shinhan International Financial Center

Shinhan Financial Group’s recently opened Shinhan International Financial Center in Gwanghwamun provides comprehensive financial services for international customers and foreign-invested companies in all areas including personal banking, corporate banking and wealth management.

MORE INFO: T. 02-2151-2886
GETTING THERE: Located on the 1st floor of the Seoul Finance Center in Gwanghwamun. City Hall Station (Line 1 or 2)


In British playwright Mike Bartlett’s recent drama, “Game,” a young couple who are unable to afford a home of their own are offered the chance to live in the house of their dreams, but with one condition – paying customers, hiding behind one-way see-through walls, can watch them even in their most intimate moments, and occassionally shoot them with tranquilliser darts. The Financial Times called it “a knockout.” This Korean production is directed by award-winning director Jeon In-cheol.

VENUE: Doosan Art Center’s Space111
PERIOD: April 12-May 15
MORE INFO: T. 02-708-5001
ADMISSION: KRW 10,000-30,000
GETTING THERE: See this link.

D Museum: Gam:Sang (Imagine with the senses)

A Korean word for “appreciation”, the D Museum‘s “Gam-Sang” program aims to offer new experiences of exhibitions through appreciation at a deeper level. Conversations and discussions with educators and docents, plus creative activities including multi-sensory observation, writing and photography, allow a multi-faceted approach to appreciating artworks. Developed for groups of 10 or more adults or teenagers, this program can be reserved on the museum website or by telephone.

Eligibility: Groups of 10 or more adults or teenagers
Date/time: During regular museum hours (time to be confirmed after consultation with an educator)
Eligibility: Individual adults (program conducted in Korean)
Date/time: Every Wednesday, 10:30-11:30 (program runs only when five or more individuals reserve.)

MORE INFO: Call at 070-7124-1777 or email at amelia2506@naver.com.
GETTING THERE: Exit 4 of Achasan Station (Line 5)

Coffee Expo Seoul 2016

Coffee Expo Seoul, one of the best coffee exhibitions in Korea, will be holding its biggest year on record this April 14 to 17. Doubling the size of last year’s show, which saw more than 33,000 visitors, Coffee Expo Seoul 2016 will be expanding to use both COEX’s halls A and B. The show will once again be co-organized by COEX and the Korea Coffee Association.
Brazil will be featured as the Coffee Expo Guest Country this year, repeating the success of last year’s program which hosted Colombia, one of the top coffee producers in the world. At the marketing stage, Colombian coffee experts educated Coffee Expo Seoul 2015 visitors about food pairings using six different Colombian coffee regions. Brazil will be featuring a number of cultural products related to the coffee industry at this year’s show.

VENUE: COEX Halls A and B
PERIOD: April 14-17
MORE INFO: coffeeexposeoul.com
GETTING THERE: Samseong Station (Line 2)

The Three Musketeers: The Musical

Alexandre Dumas’s novel debuted as a musical in Korea in 2009. Since them, it has been seen by 400,000 fans, enjoying commercial success in not only Korea, but also in Japan, where the Korean production was a major hit. In 2016, it returns to the stage with a new cast and a new energy, but with the same music by Bryan Adams and Michal David, including the theme song, “All For Love.” The lead character of d’Artagnan will be played by one of four different actors: Kai, Park Hyung-sik, CNU and Sandeul.

VENUE: D Cube Art Center
PERIOD: Apr. 1-26
MORE INFO: T. 02-2211-3000
ADMISSION: KRW 60,000-130,000
GETTING THERE: Sindorim Station (Line 1 or 2), Exit 1

RAS-KB Excursion: The Imjin River: “The Korean War’s Thermopylae”

On 22nd April 1951, the greatest offensive of the Korean War was unleashed: A third of a million communist bayonets surged south. Their key breakthrough point was the Imjin River. Here, for three nights, a brigade fought an army. Then, in a death ride down an enfiladed valley, survivors fought free, but for one battalion, it was too late. The 1st Glosters – cut off and surrounded on an isolated hil – were wiped out in a tragedy that has passed from history into legend.

So immense was this struggle, it was later dubbed “The Armageddon North of Seoul.” The story of a band of outnumbered men, holding a key pass through the hills before being overwhelmed after a last stand, has been compared to Thermopylae, and US general and 8th Army commander James Van Fleet called the Glosters’ action, “The greatest example of unit bravery in modern warfare.”

RAS Council Member Andrew Salmon, author of the double award-winning “To the Last Round: The Epic British Stand on the Imjin River, Korea, 1951” will be your guide. He will brief you on both the tactical and strategic pictures, presenting maps, photographs and paintings, as he reveals what it was like to fight China’s awesome “human wave.”

VENUE: Paju, Gyeonggi-do
DATE: Apr. 9
COST: KRW 60,000 for members, KRW 72,000 for non-members
MORE INFO and GETTING THERE: See this link.



Spring colors of Changdeokgung Palace. Photo by Robert Koehler of SEOUL


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 atoz@seoulselection.com. 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 pubco@seoulselection.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 english@seoulselection.com.


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