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issue 126

May 2017

seoulvegan scene your quick-guide to eating vegan in seoul

Ultra korea 2017

seoul's hottest summer party returns

eating korea

an interview with graham holliday

What's in this issue Vol. 126 MAY 2017


Key People Meet Groove’s editorial team and a few of our talented contributors


What's on Festivals, concerts, happy hours, networking and events for every day of the month


The latest additions to Seoul's vegan restaurant scene.

Sponsor 16

lee Moon Won Clinic Dr Moon offers a helping hand with some solid advice in hair loss


Seoul's Grevin Museum Seoul's Grevin Museum offers Parisian magic in the heart of Seoul

community 22

Visiting the latest additions to Seoul's growing vegan scene The latest additions to Seoul's vegan restaurant scene.


4 May 2017

Wine from The Other Side Sip and savor on some tasty tipples at the upcoming Kiwi Chamber Wine Festivals in Seoul and Busan


How to... Drink in Korea A guide to the ins and outs of the culturally venerated Korean drinking scene


2017 hbc may music festival HBC Music Festival continues to rock in its 12th year


How To Earn $22,000 a month as an English Teacher If you're styaing in Korea, it's time to up your income


Kimchi: A Celebration of the Surreal and Wicked Bumbling about in the middle of a kimchi madhouse, searching for the heart of true Korea

music 40

Seoul’s hottest Summer Party Heading up its 6th edition, UMF continues to bring in the hottest EDM artists to Seoul

“Wine from the other side .” THE 9TH NEW ZEALAND WINE FESTIVAL IN SEOUL

Saturday 20th May 2017 4.00pm –8.00pm Grand Hyatt Seoul, Waterfall Garden

Price* KRW 95,000 (Members) KRW 110,000 (Non Members) KRW 120,000 (Door Payment)


Standard Chartered Bank 130-20-175098 The Kiwi Chamber



* Pre-registration is essential. No walk-ins. “No Shows” & cancellations after 5pm on 15th May will be invoiced the full amount.

What's in this issue Vol. 126 MAY 2017


An interview with Graham Holliday, author of Eating Korea.







pushing Boundaries A celebration of fashion and culture at Seoul Fashion Week


Groove Goes Art Egyptian Surrealism at the MMCA Deoksugung


Burlesque for a cause Local burlesque troupe hopes to raise funds for local LGBT youth center

Film 50

8 May 2017

Korean Movie Preview: may Gijang, Gangsters, and Gwanghae

All Things Fried Fried self-loathing at three Seoul locales


Eating Korea : Reports on a Culinary Renaissance An interview with Graham Holliday, author of Eating Korea.


Japanese comfort food for the Jetset Generation The best of Japanese comfort food in Itaewon


Gorilla Goes Ape for Gwangan Gorilla Brewing is ready for its close-up

bali's Ubud in the Twilight of Silence Silence and demonic violence in the cultural heart of Bali

we create balance

Just Imagine... F o r e h e ad


Miley Cyrus

Reece Witherspoon

E y e br o w s


Jennifer Lopez

Angelina Jolie



Keira Knightley

Penelope Cruz



Duchess Of Cambridge

Selina Gomez

Seoul National University College of Medicine graduate doctors and Foreigners friendly staff


Filler, Botox, Thread Lifting, Face Lifting, Neck Lifting

Eye surgery

Upper & Lower Eyelid Surgery, Canthoplasty, Brow Lifting

Nose surgery

Augmentation Rhinoplasty, Corrective Rhinoplasty, Nasal Tip Surgery

Breast surgery

Augmentation/Reduction Mammoplasty, Nipple Areolar Correction

Body contouring

Liposuction, Abdominoplasty

Female surgery

Vaginoplasty, Labioplasty

Dosan-daero 423 (Chungdam-dong 91-11), Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Mon - Fri 9:30am-7pm / sat 9:30am-4pm

02-515-6199 / 010-8357-5010 (Eng)

Key people Vol. 126 MAY 2017

Zev D. Blumenfeld

John Dunphy

Soo Choi

was somewhere between the Northern Michigan backwoods and the beaches of Southern California when the floor of reality suddenly dropped out from under his feet. "At that ugly moment, I knew the only thing left to do was to toss my fucking belongings into a storage locker and get as far away as possible," he recounts. "So I rode the aftershocks to Seoul." It's been weeks or years since the whole incident--nobody, including Blumenfeld, really knows for sure. He writes and edits on a freelance basis for the demonic spirits of the entertainment industry and saintly, non-native English speakers. Blumenfeld occasionally updates "(The) Circus," a (not) blog located somewhere in the far reaches of the giant cyber slick known as the Internet. "(The) Circus" was last spotted at:

arrived shortly after midnight in November 2005. Thirty-nine days later, he found a replacement and ran like hell back to the comforting bosom of his childhood suburban New Jersey home. A pair of community newspaper jobs followed, ending eventually in one of several sweeping layoffs. Following stints in a winery tasting room, local health food market and farm store, John triumphantly returned to Korea in February 2010. He fled again two months later, this time for free gallbladder surgery. Soon after, he accepted a job with Patch. com to edit their 100th local news website, a role he held until March 2013, when this glutton for punishment went a third time to Korea. Finally, it stuck, eventually leading to his crowning achievement as a contributor to Groove Magazine, starting in 2017. He currently lives in Busan.

is a filmmaker, astrology aficionado, and self-labeled gallivanter from Portland, OR. Currently working on her first book of poems, she spends most of her time writing (then re-writing), taking the perfect latte photo for her Instagram (@seascxpe), and combing the streets for new vegan restaurants. When she's not busy with her travels or ventures, or you'll find her at a local cafe, blogging her adventures for her friends back in Portland.

10 May 2017

Emma Kalka started her journey into music reporting whilst slaving away as a copy-editor for an English-language news media outlet in Seoul way back in 2009. Now she is the music editor of Groove, and still slaving away as a copy-editor for a different English-language news outlet, though will soon leave the land of office jobs behind. If she’s not at the computer writing music articles, she’s out catching a live show in Hongdae, getting a glass of wine (or beer) with friends, filming music interviews for a YouTube channel, daydreaming about her next project or playing with the world’s most adorable pup, Morgan.

Gil Coombe is primarily a university instructor. An editor of The English Connection. A part-time writer and copy-editor for Groove. A full-time procrastinator. A New Plymouth, New Zealand native. A movie enthusiast. A regular overeater. A reluctant gym-goer. An occasional cyclist. A constant hiker. A Hong Sangsoo doubter. A list maker. All of these things describe him, but do they truly describe him? Yes, they do.


Advertising General inquiries

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EDITORIAL emma KALKA jordan Redmond rob SHELLEY heather ALLMAN barbara BIERBRAUER gil Coombe photography steve SMITH peter KIM, robert EVANS

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W RITERS & CONTR IBUTORS Steve Lemlek, Zev D. Blumenfeld, Soo Hyun Choi, Lance Reegan-Diehl, Naheen Madarbakus-Ring, John Dunphy, EmJae Lightningbug and Anders Nienstaedt, Seoul Fashion Week, MMCA, UC Korea, HanCinema, Hae-joon Park, Jamie Koch, Graham Holliday, Crazy Multifly, Maum & Maum, The New Zealand Chamber of Commerce, Around Green, The Picker, Huggers, Vegetus, Grevin Museum Korea, AXN Korea, Hunter's, Rapaura Springs, Babich ART & DESIGN ART DIRECTOR A-GRID WORK PUBLISHER sean choi

To contribute to Groove Korea, email or the appropriate editor. To have Groove Korea delivered to your home or business, email To contribute to groovekorea, promote an event or share your opinions, please email or the appropriate editor.

Dr. Keith Kim & Dr. Young Lee U.S. licensed dentist and periodontist (Diplomate, American Board of Periodontology)

English-speaking doctors and staff

The articles are the sole property of GROOVE KOREA No reproduction is permitted without the express written consent of GROOVE KOREA The opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. © All rights reserved Groove Korea Magazine 2016

c o v e r i May 2017

92-12 5F, Banpo 4-dong (Seorae French Village), Seocho-gu, Seoul 02-3482-0028 Mon - Fri 9:30am-6:30pm / sat 9:30am-2pm Sinbanpo Station 4

Subway Line 9

Banpo Hillstate

Express Bus Terminal 5

Subway Line 3,7,9

Ultra Korea 2017 is once again returning to Olympic Stadium in Jamsil Sports Complex this year, set to take place on June 10 and 11. The festival will feature about 100 acts from all over the world performing in the country’s largest electronic music festival. Cover Photo by ULTRA Koreaitchener

Seorae French Village

Boston Dental Clinic 5F

Sheraton Palace Hotel

St. Mary's Hospital

Correction The phone number of Gombawi restaurant featured in the Food & Drink section of the April issue has been corrected to 02-511-0068.

What's on


Wiz Khalifa

when May 3 | where Seoul Sports Complex who Wiz Khalifa, Joyride, Zico, Club cheval:live, BeWhy


Miryang Arirang Festival

when May 18 - 21 | where Miryang-si, Gyeongnam

Arirang is a national folk song that was created by a warrior monk during the Imjin War. The song expresses the principles and faithfulness of the Korean people under Sung Confucianism. There are many varieties of the song throughout each region, with changes happening continually over time. Miryang Arirang Festival celebrates this important intangible heritage through many programs and performances.



when May 31 | where Understage, Itaewon

Boseong Green Tea Festival

Damyang Bamboo Festival

when May 3 - 7 | where Boseong-gun, Jeonnam

when May 2 - 7 | where Damyang, Jeonnam




14 May 2017


Hampyeong Butterfly Festival

Chuncheon International Mime Festival

when April 28 - May 7 where Hampyeong County, Jeonnam

when May 21- 28 where KT&G Sangsang Madang, Chuncheon-si



WHO Brian Aylward when & where May 18 @ PUB 210 (Bundang) May 19 @ HQ (Busan) / May 20 @ TILT (Pohang) May 25 @ Speakeasy (Gwangju) / May 26 @ The Royal Anchor (Ulsan) / May 27 @ RMT (Itaewon) / May 28 @ BearPaw (Pyeongtaek)

may 2017


World DJ Festival



when May 13 - 14 | where Jamsil Stadium

when May 18 | where Olympic Park

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

The Sheriff In Town

when May 3 who Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista

when May 3 who Sung-min Lee, Jin-woong, Cho, Sung-kyun Kim



Seoul Jazz Festival

when May 27 - 28 | where Olympic Park



Alien: Covenant

when May 9 | who Michael Fassbender, James Franco, Katherine Waterston

PIXAR: 30 Years of Animation

When Art Becomes Liberty: The Egyption Surrealists Exhibition

when April 7 – July 30 where MMCA (National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art) Deoksugung branch

when Until August 8 | where DDP, Dongdae-mun Exhibition


Melvin Moti:

when Until May 21 where Art Sonje Center, Jongro

The exhibition showcases the ways in which cutting-edge technology and art have been combined and developed together over the past century, making it possible to create animated films.

15 May 2017


CSpons OMM UNI orTY s

INSOMNIA DAMAGES YOUR HAIR! LET’S TREAT IT! Insomnia and hair loss According to clinical testing, hair loss occurrence increases in proportion to missed hours of sleep. Counting 8 hours of sleep per day as normal for hair loss problem prevention, sleeping only 6 hours increases the probability of hair loss by 3 times. If one sleeps only 5 hours, the increase is 3.5 times. Less than 5 hours sleep increases hair loss by 6 times.

LEEMOONWON insomnia treatment Insomnia simply inhibits your desire to sleep, and so has a harmful effect on hair condition. After fixing the problem with insomnia, hair loss treatment medicine will start having a more visible effect!  The release of insomnia treatment medicine is a huge step forward towards the provision of hair disease treatment results and also prevention. The formula for the insomnia treatment was confirmed and certified last year by receiving a patent: ‘A composition for reducing sleep induction time and prolonging sleeping time, and a method for preparing the same (불면 증상의 예방 및 개선용 조성물과 그의 제조방법)’.

Patented medicine for insomnia treatment

16 May 2017

The medicine is non toxic, non addictive Korean herbal medicinal ingredients made with organic products based on insomnia treatment medicine. A composition of cultivated wild ginseng, Euphoria Longana Lamarck, and organic brown rice extracts provide safe effects for people of any age, gender, and ethnicity. 

Recommended to people with the following problems 1. Taking a long time before falling asleep  2. Waking up while sleeping and difficulty in sleeping again  3. Constant feeling of anxiety or tension

Insomnia is a sleep disorder when people face difficulty in falling or staying asleep.

In providing treatment for hair loss patients, there have many cases where hair loss problems and insomnia were observed together. Indeed, insomnia has a negative influence on hair loss and worsens the problem.

Effect of insomnia medicine. 1. Reducing sleep induction time: makes it easier to fall asleep.  2. Prolonging deep sleeping time: prevent from waking up while sleeping. 3. Usually effect of the medicine can be seen regularly after taking the medicine for period of 1-5 months. Due to safeness of compound ingredients, medicine can be taken on a regular basis.

Mechanism 1. Ingredients of cultivated wild ginseng and Euphoria Longana Lamarck influence brain waves, thereby improving quality of sleep. 2. Contains ingredients of insomnia medicine GABA macro elements to control neuron’s excitement.  

How to use

Reduce of sleep induction time for 44% after using medicine

Lengthen sleeping time up to 90%

17 May 2017

Price 30 pouches 155,000KRW / 60 pouches 290,000KRW

1. Open stick pouch and take the mixture by squeezing it out. 2. Daily portion is 2 times a day: take 1st pouch 3 hours before sleep and 2nd pouch 1 hour before sleep.  3. It is recommended to keep taking 2 pouches a day. Once symptoms of insomnia get better, decrease portion into 1 time a day (1 hour before sleep).   *In case of strong insomnia symptoms take it consistently  The medicine was designed to simplify its intake, produced in syrup stick pouches to be taken one at a time.

CSpons OMM UNI orTY s

Seoul’s Grevin Museum 18 May 2017

Parisian magic in the heart of Seoul Story by Rob Shelley Photos Courtesy of Grevin Museum

to craft, with 15 experts working studiously, and each figure costs about USD $70,000. The wax figures require modern 3D modelling and, for living icons, usually get assistance from the celebrities themselves Visitors might who loan their bodies and faces enjoy having for scans, molds, and measuretheir likeness ments. 3D modelled Costumes for each figure and digitized, are often donated by the celebshooting hoops in to life at any moment. rities themselves to give them front of Michael Other figures have open a startling authenticity, while Jordan, having mouths were you can inspect historical figures wear clothes a Warhol-esque their teeth and tongues, if you’re made by professional designpainting made of a weirdo like myself. The details ers to match their time periods themselves, or are just that stunning. and iconic styles. The hair— playing roulette All of the figures looked which is the one thing you are at a table with great, but some were truly sunot permitted to touch—can reBrad Pitt... pernatural. I had the odd sensaquire up to 500,000 individual tion of surreal disbelief the secimplants. Figures also receive ond time around the figure of G-Dragon, who an average of 42 hours of make-up; not unlike I swore was going to punk me any second. I real actors in a Tim Burton film, no doubt. could barely get up the nerve to make eye conOne room hosting historic Korean leaders tact. I just couldn’t believe it wasn’t really him. like Yi Sun-sin and King Sejong really display There’s plenty of familiar celebrities to how amazing the figures can be. Even though take pictures beside. They range from movie there are no photographs of these figures stars like George Clooney and Tom Cruise, from centuries past, you can’t help but beathletes like Michael Jordan and Lionel Meslieve that this is exactly what they must si, and music icons like Psy and Mick Jagger. have looked like. In particular, the older There’s the former and current presidents of leaders, with their skin imperfections the USA, so whether you’re a Democrat or and graying hair, seem ready to come

19 May 2017


s I swung around the table to take a tentative seat next to Robert De Niro, I couldn’t help but feel nervous despite knowing full well where I was. While my wife maneuvered around to find the right angle for a picture, I glanced upon Bobby’s face feeling like a starstruck fool. I couldn’t shake the feeling that he would soon turn his head and speak to me as a sort of practical joke, revealing that I was on some hidden-camera reality show. That’s the surreal magic of the Grevin Museum, Korea’s only wax museum, just outside Euljiro 1-ga station. Founded in 1882 in Paris, the original Grevin Museum hosts 800,000 visitors per year, making it the 7th most-visited tourist attraction in Paris (itself the world’s most visited city). Over the last few years, Grevin has chosen what it feels are culturally unique sites to expand their enchanting magic around the world. They started a few years ago in Montreal, then Prague, and—in July 2015—Seoul. Since then they’ve built another in Switzerland, an hour’s drive outside Geneva, with plans for a few more. Grevin has over 2000 wax figures in total, with many in storage and new ones being made each year. Their wax figures take at least six months

CSpons OMM UNI orTY s

Republican you can stand beside your Commander-in-Chief in an Air Force One-style room. In fact, the Presidential Aircraft section was my favorite. The aircraft’s “windows” changed from dusk to dark, the floor seemed to sway slightly as if on a real aircraft, and— if you looked close enough— you’d notice that your pilot was Leonardo Dicaprio's character from Catch Me If You Can. Just behind your pilot you are invited to try landing the plane yourself. The Grevin Museum in Seoul has seven interactive zones. You simply scan your ticket at these zones and get to engage in some fun games and activities. In the Presidential Aircraft you could try to virtually land the plane. Each ticket holder gets one chance, where you can control the acceleration and pitch of the plane. It’s very realistic and challenging, and my stomach lurched when both me and my wife inevitably

crashed hard into the runway. I’d honestly pay money to play this landing simulator at an arcade. More fun can be found in the Inventors zone, where Steve Jobs stood in front of a classroom blackboard with Albert Einstein looking on. Each visitor is invited to sit at a desk and compete in a multiple choice trivia quiz, with the results on full display for everyone. Other visitors might enjoy having their likeness 3D modelled and digitized, shooting hoops in front of Michael Jordan, having a Warhol-esque painting made of themselves, or playing roulette at a table with Brad Pitt, among other things. For K-drama fans, the Hallyu zone had a group of famous Korean actors posing around a film set. My wife gushed over Lee Min-ho and Hyun Bin. However, my biggest “gushing” moment was probably in the Recording Studio where I picked up a guitar and sat next to John Lennon for a pretend jam. Although the museum was very quiet on the day we went, my wife and I still spent 90 minutes looking around. There were a lot of figures and the interactive activities were a blast. And the fun didn’t stop there. After we finished, the Grevin Museum emailed me a special link with pictures from my time at the interactive zones and a video with my silly 3D virtual likeness placed onstage besides Psy: a likeness which you have the option of getting 3D printed and sent to you. The Grevin Museum also has special events for Halloween and Christmas for some family-friendly activities, so you can find an excuse to visit again and again. Overall, it was a surreal, silly, and enchanting experience for folks of all ages. A masterful wax museum, straight from Paris, beating in the heart of Seoul.


add Grevin Museum, 23 Euljiro, Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea Hours Mon-Thu, Sun 09:30-19:00, Fri-Sat 09:30-21:00 tel 02-777-4700 Website


Visiting the latest additions to Seoul's growing an scene Visiting the latest additions to Seoul's growing vegan scene Story and Photos by Soohyun Choi


The Picker

- From part for The Picker

been curious and encouraging. Most people that come by have been just regular people on lunch break. Now we are starting to get more minimalists, vegetarians, and environmentalists that find us through social media." And so Korea's first zero-waste, precycling and eco-friendly "groceraunt" was born. They offer an expansive menu full of healthy drinks and dishes, separated by items for lacto-ovo vegetarians and vegans. The "Vegan Bacon Burger" and "Avo Green Salad," two of their best vegan menu items, were both piled high with fresh, local vegetables. You can taste the quality in every bite. On the other side of the store, customers can bring in their own containers or purchase one in store to buy anything from cacao nibs to dried cranberries, cashews, chia seeds, and every kind of legume your heart could possibly desire. And 70% of all of the items are certified eco-friendly or organic, while the entire store is package-free. It's every vegetarian's dream store. With their zero-waste and eco-friendly initiatives, still an ambiguous idea to most in Korea, they hope to encourage the precycling movement and make an impact on the amount of plastic and non-recyclable waste through delicious, healthy food and environmentally-conscious consumer goods. "I think there is too much plastic waste in Korea. We began The Picker as a sort of project and movement to reduce waste and offer eco-friendly alternatives." Location 13 Seoulsup 2-gil, Seongsu 1-ga 2-dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul Price KRW 8,000-12,000 Tele 010-8688-3828 Hours Mon-Sat 11:00am-8:30pm Menu Healthy, fresh, organic; Eco-friendly; Salads, sandwiches, smoothies Instagram @thepicker

23 May 2017

And so Korea's first zero-waste, precycling and ecofriendly 'groceraunt" was born.

Near Seoul Forest, there is a minimalistic white building with a few chairs decked on the turf out front, tucked out of the way from the drizzly Spring rain shower. At first glance, it doesn't appear to be much more than just another restaurant hopping on Korea's newest health-food craze. But go inside and you're transported to an entirely new world. Half of the store is decked with baskets of fresh fruit, hangers draped with reusable grocery bags, and stocked wall-to-wall with glass jars and bowls made of recycled materials, sitting neatly on the shelves beside bulk bins brimming with various beans, nuts, and seeds. It almost feels like walking into a Whole Foods Market in the States. Look across the store, and there are beautiful wooden tables, a row of potted plants, and a lovely Korean pair artfully crafting beautiful smoothie bowls, salads, and sandwiches. A zero-waste, eco-friendly certified "groceraunt," The Picker is a fairly new establishment—opened last July—with fairly new ideas brought to Seoul from abroad. "We first had the idea to open a store like this when we visited a zero-waste store in Germany," Gyeong-ho Song, the CEO, explained to us in Korean. "They used bulk bins, had very minimally packaged goods, some raw produce, and all of the customers were carrying their own containers and reusable bags. We wanted to bring something similar to Korea." Originally, their idea had been to start The Picker as a zero-waste store, such as the one they had seen. Later, they decided to host a restaurant next to the store, to offer health and eco-conscious food choices as well. Song's business partner nodded with a knowing smile. "Yes, it's still a pretty new concept in Korea," he laughed. "But so far, people have

24 May 2017


Around Green Upon walking into Around Green for the first time, it's easy to imagine yourself and your friends settled in one of the comfy benches on a Sunday morning, sharing stories and laughing over the renowned brunch plates and sandwiches. They run a restaurant, bakery, and cafe, all rolled into one little shop in central Mangwon-dong. Owned and operated by one woman, Around Green is a 100% vegan establishment serving smoothies, coffee, sandwiches, all-day brunch, salads, and seasonal ingredients inspired dishes. A home away from home for regulars, classical music and the sound of children's laughter from the playground just across the street is the comforting ambient track to match the bright aesthetics of the light-filled store. The tables are filled with students, foreigners, couples, and families, all either working on laptops, exchanging happy chatter, or reading quietly. There seems to be something for everyone to enjoy. The owner is friendly to everyone that walks through their rustic wooden doors, and is clearly meticulous about detail. She and her sweet Maltese puppy greet incomers like old friends, and the customers, once strangers, naturally exchange conversation among each other as they wait for their drinks and warm, homey meals. From the little paintings on each wall, to the blankets

not stopping her. The counter is filled with draped across the chairs, and beautifully garfreshly packaged gluten-free scones, cookies, nished food, everything matches with each and biscotti. Some days, she even has a few other. different cakes in the back of the kitchen (you "I get a lot of inspiration from blogs and have to ask for it, though). You'll go in for the books, but mostly Pinterest," she admits with meals and succumb to the wonderful aroma a little laugh. of fresh baked goods, leaving with dessert, For only having opened in January of too. Just don't forget to try the handmade ice this year, they've gained a good reputation cream—it comes with three small scoops of between both foreigners and natives, as well tri-flavored cold, creamy goodness topped as vegans and non-vegans alike, for being an with cacao nibs and fruit. Around Green has optimal brunch and date spot. "I started as just just about everything you could possibly crave a regular cafe. But the more I learned about from your non-vegan days. "I just want to dairy and eggs, the less I began to use them. make delicious food that everyone can enjoy, Now, we're a fully vegan cafe." The french even non-vegans." toast plate—one of their most popular dishes— With the menu of delicious blended drinks, comes with french toast, a hash brown, tofu generous and photogenic dishes, and a quiet scramble, season fruit, salad, and muesli with hidden location, it's clear that soy milk, all for only KRW Around Green will be many's 9,000. The prices, compared summer favorite this year. to the quality and quantity, I just want to is quite modest. She also uses make delicious Location 405-1 Mangwon 1-dong, a lot of organic products and food that Mapo-gu, Seoul Price Drinks KRW 4,000-5,000, tries to use all healthy, wholeeveryone can Meals KRW 8,000-11,000; Desserts some ingredients. enjoy, even nonKRW 2,000-5,000 Desserts has always been vegans Tel 02-6080-9797 her specialty, and her new veHours Mon-Sat 12:00pm-9:00pm; -Owner of gan lifestyle change is clearly Closed Sundays Around Green Menu Healthy, brunch, sandwiches, dessert Instagram @around_green


So where does this ever-growing burger, dessert, and drink joint see themselves in five years? "In five years time, I'd love to see us on a main street location. We'd like to be in a more mainstream, central location with a bigger [dessert] bakery, too. It would show that veganism is both accessible and delicious, and help us continue to better serve delicious plant-based burgers to both vegans and non-vegans." Location 8 Yongsandong 4ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul Price KRW 9,000-12,000 Tel 02-749-9493 Hours Mon-Sun 11:30am-10pm Menu Burgers, dessert, drinks; Comfort food Website Instagram @huggersveg

25 May 2017

When Coexistence Cafe closed its doors in 2014, many were left disappointed with the loss of their favorite vegan restaurant. In Summer of 2016, however, its previous owner reopened with a fresh slate and new ideas. That restaurant turned out to be Huggers—the new all-vegan burger joint that just about every vegan in Seoul has at least heard about, if not visited and loved. Many describe walking into Huggers as walking into their favorite restaurant in the States. Its location in bustling, foreigner-packed Itaewon and their American pop playlist may have something to do with it, but so does the owner, AJ. We observed him as he bounced about the large shop, wiping tables and straightening out chairs, always pausing to exchange a few words with the customers—asking about their day and if the food is to their liking. "Hey, how are you?", he calls as a young man—presumably a regular—strolls through the door and smiles fondly. Most come to enjoy the famous Basil Pesto Avocado Burger or newly popular Jalapeno Pepper Cheese Burger ("People have described it as a party in your mouth," AJ adds), and end up staying for dessert. The bakery case, sitting beside the counter, is stocked with various desserts of all shapes and sizes, ranging from gluten-free donuts, cupcakes, cheesecake, brownies, muffins, cakes, and cookies. The resident cat, Nabi, wanders about the restaurant, weaving between tables, greeting customers, and hopping on friendly open laps for quick naps. The industrial and minimalistic decor is softened by the natural light that streams into the store all day. As a fairly large location, compared to many vegan restaurants, Huggers is frequented by larger parties as often as the smaller gaggles of couples and solo-goers. The menu, which always seems to be growing, offers many kinds of burgers for every kind of taste, including the BBQ Burger, Double Cheeseburger, and Guacamole Burger. They also offer ramen, pancakes, and tofu scramble. A large drink menu sits below the main menu; craft beer, ades, smoothies, and coffee being customer favorites among the list. "When we first opened in June, we had maybe six burgers on the menu. Now we have twelve." He and the restaurant’s chef are always bouncing ideas back and forth, brainstorming together, and testing different combinations for new burgers and drinks to appease their growing crowd. And if the delicious, extensive, and ever-expanding menu isn't enough to draw you in, it may also help to know you are benefiting animals with every purchase, as 10% of all profits and tips are donated to CARE (Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth), an animal rights organization in Seoul.

C OMM U NI TY 26 May 2017

Vegetus "I'm almost tempted to buy another dessert, for to-go." A woman was staring longingly at the small bakery case as her friend laughed and patted her back. They continued to rave about the food as they exited the restaurant. "Thanks, everything was delicious!" Reopened post-renovations in March, Vegetus now occupies a lofty, quiet spot at the top of Haebangchon, just off the main hill. The sweet aroma of spices draws you in with a familiar warmth. With clean white walls, high ceilings, wooden tables, green foliage tumbling out of pots, and a well-stocked wine rack sitting in the corner, it has a sort of homey feel as you walk in. Vegan burgers, "tuna" wraps, and burrito bowls are just three of the five items on the small but cozy menu. And in contrast to many vegan establishments that condemn alcohol on their premises, Vegetus offers an entire menu devoted to drinks. "I love wine," Dajung Jung, Vegetus' health and environmentally conscious chef/CEO says with a sly grin. "I'm also going to buy some organic, biodynamic wine to sell here soon." With such diverse offerings, meals stemming from international flavors, and healthy, local ingredients, it's no wonder why the place has gained so much recognition in such short time; there's something for everyone here. "I love healthy food, and nice presentation." When Jung brings out the burger—their

bestseller—it's almost plated in an artful way. A smoky lentil-and-rice based patty is piled high with fresh veggies and sits between a soft, sweet bun smeared with cilantro sauce. A small heap of salad, a few potato wedges, and a little cup of vegan mayo accompany the main dish. The flavors are familiar. Comforting. This would be the kind of meal you crave after a bad breakup. Or "ooh" and "ahh" over at Sunday brunch with your friends. Yet somehow at the same time, it's fresh, healthy, and doesn't leave you feeling sluggish. "My idea was to just provide healthy food." Jung said that she is not vegan, but realized that vegan food was one of the easiest, environmentally-friendly, and most delicious ways to eat healthy. So when she decided to open a restaurant, she wanted to create dishes that would prove that healthy food was not bland or boring. Inspired by her European travels and her love for spices, cilantro, and wine, her menu boasts flavorful, healthy, 100% vegan comfort food. "My slogan is: being vegan is not difficult." Location Sinheong-ro 59, Yongsan-gu, Seoul Price KRW 8,000-13,000 Tel 010-4413-4431 Hours Tuesdays 5-9pm, Wed-Sun noon-9pm (Mondays off) Menu 100% vegan; Healthy; Strong spices, burgers, burrito bowls, wraps, emphasis on Mexican flavors website

SooHyun Choi is a filmmaker, astrology aficionado, and self-labeled gallivanter from Portland, OR. Currently working on her first book of poems, she spends most of her time writing (then re-writing), taking the perfect latte photo for her Instagram (@seascxpe), and combing the streets for new vegan restaurants. When she's not busy with her travels or ventures, or you'll find her at a local cafe, blogging her adventures for her friends back in Portland.

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27 May 2017

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e n i W


e d i S r e h t O e h T

The Kiwi Chamber presents the return of the New Zealand Wine Festival in Seoul and Busan this spring.

28 May 2017

Story by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring Photos courtesy of The Kiwi Chamber, Hunter's, Rapaura Springs and Babich


he New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Korea (or the Kiwi Chamber) proudly presents the return of the 2017 New Zealand Wine Festival to welcome in the spring. Choose from the ninth annual New Zealand Wine Festival in Seoul on May 20th, 2017 at the Grand Hyatt, head south to Busan for the fifth annual event on June 3rd at the Park Hyatt, or attend both events for a tantalizing wine experience.

This year’s theme promotes ‘Wine From The Other Side’, to offer wine lovers a taste of New Zealand in each and every glass. Festival guests can take a break from the hustle and bustle of Korean city life to embrace an evening’s entertainment from the Southern hemisphere. Start the journey to the other side of the world by sampling an atmosphere that channels the country’s clean air, pure water and exceptional wine offerings at this year’s

New Zealand Wine Festival. New Zealand prides itself on its fruitful wine offerings with both festival sites presenting bottles from over 20 vineyards. Kiwi Chamber Chairman Dr. Tony Garrett explains “New Zealand has a unique geography and perfect climate which makes its wines truly special”, providing all wine enthusiasts with the opportunity to sample a tasty tipple. A collection of world-renowned red and

This year’s theme promotes ‘Wine From The Other Side’, to offer wine lovers a taste of New Zealand in each and every glass.

Whether looking to taste some exquisite wines, sample some wonderful cuisine or enjoy an evening full of Kiwi-style entertainment, the New Zealand Wine Festival promises to bring a taste of wine (and culture) from the other side of the world, straight here to the peninsula. Seoul The 9th Annual New Zealand Wine Festival Date Saturday 20th May 2017 Time 4.00pm-8.00pm Location Waterfall Garden, Grand Hyatt Seoul (will be moved indoors if raining)   Tickets KRW 95,000 (Members), KRW 110,000 (Non-Members), KRW 120,000 (on the door) Transport Itaewon Station (Line 6, Exit 2) Busan The 5th Annual New Zealand Wine Festival Date Saturday 3rd June 2017 Time 6:30pm-10:30pm Location Grand Ballroom (2nd floor), Park Hyatt Busan Tickets KRW 95,000 (Members), KRW 110,000 (Non-Members), KRW 120,000 (on the door) Transport Dongbaek Station (Line 2, Exit 3) Website Email

29 May 2017

white New Zealand wines will be available for guests to smell, sip, and savor. Celebrating established winery brands including Hunter’s, Cloudy Bay and Rapaura Springs, there will be a sweetness or acidity to suit every taste bud. As Dr. Garrett comments “With well over 700 vineyards spread across the country, consumers have a wide variety of vintages from Hawke’s Bay in the north Island to Central Otago in the South to choose from”, firmly placing New Zealand on the global wine map. Alongside the wine festivities, a New Zealand-themed buffet will also provide guests with a mouth-watering culinary experience. In Seoul, the Grand Hyatt’s outdoor Waterfall Garden presents a BBQ-style buffet ranging from a choice of salads, meat cuts and vegetable dishes to complement a selection of

breads and desserts. The Busan evening, which takes place in the Park Hyatt’s Grand Ballroom, will serve up a delectable tapas buffet selection while guests can enjoy spectacular views overlooking the Marina. The festival will also provide entertainment with a backdrop of music and a live lucky draw will announce winners throughout the event. Spectacular prizes include a return economy ticket to New Zealand by sponsors Singapore Airlines, bottles of wine and other goodies for guests to win and enjoy. Undoubtedly, the Wine Festivals have been a significant factor toward building firmer relationship ties between local Korean and New Zealand business communities. The recent Korea-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which was signed at the end of 2015, removed 15% wine import tariffs to the ROK, seeing a higher frequency of New Zealand wines appearing on Korean supermarket shelves. Dr. Garrett remarks how “New Zealand wine exports increased 31% during the first full year of the Korea-New Zealand FTA. This is a great story for wine lovers who can now enjoy top-notch Kiwi wines at more affordable prices”. Now the 10th largest exporter of wine to Korea, there are more than 50 world-class New Zealand wine brands for consumers to choose from, with many showcased at this year’s festival. The 2017 New Zealand Wine Festival offers a taste of Kiwi culture in one evening.


Here’s a few sample offerings which shouldn’t be missed at this year’s 2017 New Zealand Wine Festival.



Sauvignon Blanc

Hunter’s hails from the Marlborough area on the South Island. The dream of Jane Hunter, this winery has continued to grow as an independent, family-owned establishment in just 30 years. In 1986, Hunter’s won the highly acclaimed Sunday Times Vintage Festival accolade with an oak-aged Sauvignon Blanc. Since this surprise win, the flagship wine has continued to turn heads in New Zealand and globally for its distinctive taste. Tasty Tipple Tip Traditionally, wines from Marlborough, shows a mixture of herbaceous capsicum, passion fruit and ripe tropical fruit aromas. Wine enthusiasts can experience a very refreshing variety of fruity tastes to the palate. These flavors and aromas leave a fresh and lingering finish, making it a fully satisfying wine with a balanced acidity.

30 May 2017




Rapaura Springs

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Located in the Marlborough area and heading south to central Otago, the journey of Rapaura Springs wines begins at the mouth of the Wairau River. Embarking on a six-month journey through a rocky aquifer, water released to a spring then weaves through the vineyard to provide the winemakers with crystal clear, pure, water for the vines to flourish. The family-run Rapaura Springs winery recently collected two prestigious awards as New Zealand Wine Producer of the Year and the Sauvignon Blanc Trophy at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC). Regularly appearing in the critics reviews, Rapaura Springs continues to bottle superior quality and premium tasting wines, year after year.

Tasty Tipple Tip This wine has pink grapefruit, white nectarine and passion fruit aromas combined with lifted herbal and zesty citrus notes. A textural, fruit driven, wine which offers layer upon layer of delicious citrus and tropical fruit notes. An underlying, attractive flinty-ness combines with these tasty fruit flavors and crisp acidity to deliver a long and refreshing finish.




Marlborough Pinot Noir

Babich is a family run winery, which now boasts two vineyard locations. The Babich Auckland Winery and the Henderson Valley Vineyard is a wine haven for any North islander. In 1916, Babich Wines started a spectacular legacy which now spans over three generations to continue bottling some of the best quality reds and whites in the country. Accolades for numerous bottles are continuously awarded each year. More recently, the 2017 Royal Easter Show Wine Awards brought the winery silver medals for the 2015 Winemaker’s Reserve Pinot Noir. With no less than nine different wine categories to choose from, bottles hailing from the classic to the 100-year wine range makes any occasion special. Tasty Tipple Tip Coupled together with stir-fried lamb and eggplant or a steak and mushroom pie, experience the earthy dark fruits of this Marlborough Pinot Noir. Using open vats of various parcels of fruit, the skins are drained off after an extended period and moved to oak casks to elevate the raspberry and cherry components. Enjoy the taste of elegantly tasting fruit with dark tarry notes and a vanilla finish that lingers on the palate after a fine and succulent sip.

“Wine from the other side .” THE 5TH NEW ZEALAND WINE FESTIVAL IN BUSAN

Saturday 3rd June 2017

Price* KRW 95,000 (Members) KRW 110,000 (Non Members) KRW 120,000 (Door Payment)


Standard Chartered Bank 130-20-175098 The Kiwi Chamber



* Pre-registration is essential. No walk-ins. “No Shows” & cancellations after 5pm on 15th May will be invoiced the full amount.

31 May 2017

6.30pm –10.30pm Park Hyatt Busan, Grand Ballroom


How to… in Korea k n i r D

Korea’s most popular drinks, games, and ways to survive the aftermath of the inevitable hangover the next morning Story and Photos by Heather Allman

32 May 2017


hen discussing the culture and habits of specific countries in casual conversation, their palate for drinking and debauchery always seems to come up. Germans, Brits, Russians, Spaniards, and even Americans (just to name a few) are known for their ability to drink, and drink, and drink… One country that may not be noted as often, however, is South Korea. After visiting the small yet mighty nation, one quickly learns that drinking is a large part of Korean culture. While the actual leader of the global best-selling spirit category is often debated, soju, South Korea’s national drink of choice, continues to be recognized as one of the top two most consumed liquors in the world. Many people who live outside of Asia have never even heard of this deliciously cheap (and excruciatingly strong) libation. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, South Koreans drink more hard liquor than anywhere else in the world per capita. That means, if you’re really trying to fit in, it’s time to put on your drink-

strue this label, however; soju isn’t weak at all. Usually served neat and in shot form, the popularity of flavored soju and soju cocktails has grown significantly over the past few years. Costing anywhere from KRW 1,000 to 5,000 In order to understand the ins and outs of (depending on where you order), and with an Korean drinking culture, it’s first necessary to alcohol content upwards of 10%, familiarize oneself with Koresoju is the cheapest and easiest an drinks. Whether you desire It’s time to put way to kick off a strong night out. something strong, something on your drinking sweet, or even something meant pants, pick your to help your well-being, Korea poison, learn Makgeolli (막걸리) has just what you’re looking for. the rules to This traditional, cloudy, rice liqsome nationally uor, also known as nongju(농주)— revered drinking farmer’s liquor—was originally Soju (소주) games, and pull consumed by farmers as a break It would be impossible, and unup a seat at the time snack during long hours in thinkable, to discuss Korean ajusshi table. the fields. Makgeolli has a sweet, drinking culture without mencarbonated taste, and has retioning soju. Dating back to the gained its popularity in urban areas over the 13th century Goryeo Dynasty, soju has become past couple of decades. Carrying an alcohol the backbone of South Korean drinking. Regucontent of 5-7%, makgeolli has turned into an larly regarded as a “weaker version of vodka,” event in itself. At makgeolli restaurants, for soju is enjoyed with dinners, on holidays, and each kettle ordered, another round of food is at casual meetings with friends. Don’t misconing pants, pick your poison, learn the rules to some nationally revered drinking games, and pull up a seat at the ajusshi table.

drink game

brought to the table. Makgeolli is also regularly enjoyed by hikers both during and after climbing Korea’s mountains.

Bokbunja-ju (복분자주) For those who love wine, bokbunja is a fruit wine made from Korean black raspberries, for which the drink is named. Generally stronger than standard red wine, bokbunja has an alcohol content of 12-19%. The wine is moderately sweet, and due to the berry’s high concentration of antioxidants, has recently been regarded as good for health and well-being. Bokbunja-ju serves well as an after dinner drink and dessert wine. A drinking session in Korea would be incomplete without some very simple, yet very dangerous, drinking games. Try one, or all, of these games with expats or Korean nationals next time you find yourself out on the town. An added bonus? They’re a great way to strengthen your Korean counting skills.

3-6-9 game This game is extremely easy to play, and extremely easy to lose. Players each say a number in consecutive order, the first player beginning with 1. What’s the catch? Any number that contains 3, 6, or 9, must be replaced with a clap of the hands. Furthermore, if a two digit number contains any more than one of these numbers, the player must clap their hands twice. While 23 only requires one clap, 36 requires two. Forget to clap—or forget to clap twice, and you can also forget about your sobriety, as it’s time to take a drink. Baskin Robbins 31 game In this counting game, each player has the choice to say one, two, or three consecutive numbers. Starting from the beginning, the first player can choose to say “one,” “one, two,” or “one, two, three.” The next player continues from where the previous participant left off, once again counting up to three numbers. The player who is forced to say the number 31 loses, and must take a drink. Unfortunately, this game has nothing to do with the 31 flavors of Baskin Robbins ice cream, but there are no rules against enjoying a scoop or two afterwards.

Once the drinks have been consumed, and the games have been enjoyed, it will be easy to go home feeling pretty satisfied. It isn’t until the next morning, however, that the reality of one’s decisions and the severity of Korean drinking culture may truly set in. Luckily, a country so dedicated to drinking, haejanghada (해장하다), which literally means “to eat or drink in order to get over a hangover” can take on a variety of forms.

Hangover Drinks (숙취해소 음료) If you’ve ever wondered about the small cans and bottles lining the top rows of the refrigerators in the convenience stores, you’ve been missing the solution to what may be one of your biggest problems. Korea has an industry dedicated to relieving a hangover, and these drinks are their biggest seller. Two of the most well known are Dawn 808 and Morning Care (모닝케어). Dawn 808 is made of 100% natural ingredients, while Morning Care’s most active ingredient is milk thistle. Both are sworn to work wonders on a hangover, and after assimilating yourself into Korean drinking culture, chances are, you’re going to need one.

Hangover soup (Haejang-guk / 해장국) After a long night out, it is not uncommon to gravitate toward heavy, greasy remedies in the form of full breakfasts or fast food menus. Koreans, however, took it upon themselves to create a food solely meant to heal the war-torn bodies of those who find themselves stumbling in during the wee hours of the morning. Haejang-guk (해장국), widely known in English as “hangover soup,” is a spicy ox bone soup. While the ingredients and recipe vary by region, this spicy, boiling broth, mixed with some combination of meat and vegetables, forms a hearty and alleviating remedy for the imminent aftermath of a good night out. It is believed that the soup first appeared in the Goryeo Dynasty in the Nogeoldae, an ancient Chinese manual, which referred to a dish which in translation means “soup to get sober.” An antidote that has been relied on for centuries to counteract the detrimental side effects of drinking is one that should not be argued with.

Heather Allman comes from the United States and currently resides in Jeonju. With a background in International Relations and Spanish, she has a dexterity for language and a passion for world travel. Heather’s ambition is to combine her loves of writing and globe trotting into one big, multilingual, career fantástico.

33 May 2017

Soju cap game The game is in the name. The object is to flick the tail off of the soju cap in order to make your neighbors around the table drink. To begin, take the cap from a soju bottle, take the bottom seal of the cap, and pull it so that it is sticking straight out. Twist the tail so that it is nice and tight, and feels like it could almost break. Now, take turns flicking the tail of the cap until it flies off. The two people seated next to the person responsible for breaking the cap must take a shot of soju. Repeat each time a new soju bottle is opened.


2017 hbc may music festival Story by Lance Reega n-Diehl Photo by Alecia Janeri o

34 May 2017


he Hae Bang Chon May Music Festival will take place on Friday May 26th, and Saturday May 27th. This is the 12th year of the Hae Bang Chon music festival for the newly named “green” area of HBC and the endurance of the longest running independent music fest. The definitive expat and international music fest in Korea. Made up entirely of independent music artists and performers from Korea and a host of other countries. The street is side walked off with tape and tents for people to travel from venue to venue, and once again the local Yongsan-Gu Police are there to assist and keep traffic moving in good ole HBC. The festival is provided by local business owners who give independent artists a place to play, and it’s the end of spring and the summer kick-off party for all patrons. While not every business in the area is a venue for live music, there are many who openly encourage the festival. These businesses can be clearly recognized by the HBC Fest posters which deck their windows, and the support they give to HBC Fest. Additionally The Workshop, Bedrock, V-Lounge, Alley Bunker, and Phillies host live music just about every weekend or some kind of pub event is going always on at these venues throughout the year.

The main street “Yongsan-2Ga , or Sin-Heung-Ro” where the action happens, became very famous as a local expat hangout. The Hae Bang Chon festival has made the entire HBC area blossom as more people find it an attractive neighborhood and a cool place to be. The festival has always adapted to the demands of both musicians and venues, and with that the size and scope of the festival has fluctuated through the years. Festival venues V-Lounge, Phillies, Bedrock, Alley Bunker, The Cave, Hair of the Dog, Camarata Music, Genie Pub, Thunderhorse Tavern, Boogie Woogie, The Rabbit Hole, The Workshop, and Hidden Cellar. Many of the acts are small, acoustic acts, there are still several live band venues, Phillies Pub, Camarata, Bedrock, Thunderhorse Tavern, and V-Lounge the music is loud and bands are a rocking, the majority of the sound buffered due to their basement locations. Street level acoustic performers entertain the busy bars upstairs. Band highlights include: Crackshot, Randy Renos’ last show, Dongmyo Police Box, Grand Soul Central, Drowning River, and a host of solo performance along with many returning acts, and some new additions from the local Hongdae rocker circuit. Live Venues Hair of the Dog, Al Matto, Chimac Life, Camarata Studio, Rabbit Hole, Genie Pub, Bedrock Phillies Pub, V-Lounge, The Cave, Alley Bunker, The Workshop, Hidden Cellar, Thunderhorse Tavern, Boogie Woogie Supporting venues Casablanca sandwiches – Great food, great hosts, always supportive of the fest.

And the best sandwiches in HBC. Burgermine – Gourmet burgers and all you can eat specials. Al Matto – Food cooked in a real Dutch oven. Thin crust pizza and salads are their specialty. The owner has supported the fest since 2012 Maloney’s Pub When May 25th 9pm to 12 - BAD HORSIE Thunderhorse Tavern 9pm / May 26th 9pm to 12 HBC May Fest. 8 venues running 9pm - 12am / May 27th 3pm - 2am -HBC May Fest. 14plus venues running 3pm - 2am / May 28th 7pm Open stage at Hidden Cellar where DEELEEBOB Music - HBC Festival, 47-B1, Sinheung-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea tel 070 7538 4716 EMAIL website

The HBC Festival is a DEELEEBOB Music Production, with Lance Reegan-Diehl being the central point between artists, venues and business owners. Music sponsors include Sound Drive Amplifiers, Swing Guitars, Graphtech Guitar Parts, Olympia Strings and Straps, along with all participating business owners.The festival begins on Friday, May 26th the music starts at 9pm and runs until after midnight. Saturday, May 27th is an entire day of music from about 4pm until 1am with 14 plus venues. The festival began in 2006 and it is a showcase for independent musicians in the city to perform to larger crowds. The 'Fest' was originally started by Lance Reegan-Diehl and James Gaynor, and at that time it was the beginnings of the DEELEEBOB Music Company, which Lance currently owns. Lance Reegan-Diehl continues to perform at the fest. and continues to be the central organizer for the HBC festival.

How To Earn $22,000 a month as an English Teacher

Stop working at hagwons and build your own


2,500 a month. That’s the going rate for a Native teacher in Korea. The big rollers in the prestigious hagwons in Seoul make a bit more, and the countryside folks earn a bit less. You can give or take a few hundred bucks from either side, but that’s a fairly common rate. It’s not a bad salary for a young buck who wants to travel the world. When I first arrived in Korea, a few months shy of 24, I was more than happy to receive that pay if it meant I could live in a foreign country. That’s not such a unique mindset, either. Most of my peers feel the same. We’re here to experience life in a different country, not to fill our pockets. But, if you wind up staying here, and a single year voyage into an ESL career turns into a five-year stint, that low monthly salary can be unsettling. You could take a part time job at your local Papa John’s in the States and earn much more. While you may have been happy to accept that initial salary of $2,500 in exchange for a life abroad, the years have a way of changing your priorities. As you get older, you want security. Or perhaps your circumstances demand a certain amount of security. You get a girlfriend (or boyfriend), you get married, you have kids, your parents get ill, or any number of money-demanding situations. At some point, that 2k ain’t gonna cut it. I’m 28 years old. My life isn’t over. I still enjoy going out at night. I love rambling around the Korean highways on my yearly road trips. But I can’t live like a pauper. So I opened my own hagwon. I opened up shop in 2014 and it’s been a blessing, a curse, but more than anything else it’s been a nice way to earn a reasonable income as a native English teacher in Korea. Before I dive any further into the topic, let me break down the hagwon industry for you. Hagwons are academies. They’re private institutes that act as both educational facilities and babysitters for busy Korean parents. They come in all forms: English, martial arts, math, and even pole dancing. All together,


But, if you wind up here, $ andstaying a single year voyage into an ESL career turns into a five-year stint, that $ low monthly salary can be unsettling. You could take a part time job at your local Papa John’s in the States and earn much more.

$$ $ $$




they represent $16,000,000,000 of Korea’s spending. An individual English school with 80 students (that’s enough a for a husband and wife to run comfortably), can turn $22,000 every month. Korea is education wild. They want their kids, little Bobby and Becky, to be the brightest in the world. The public schools aren’t cutting it. So parents send their kids to hagwons to improve their skills. Now... since Korean parents are so voracious in their appetite for educational excellence, they’ll happily fork out cash if it means their kids will ace their tests. Especially English tests. Koreans are English crazy and they send their kids to private English hagwons for about five hours per week. The monthly tuition is anywhere from USD $250-$500. These things aren’t cheap. These academies are born out of a re-

Story by Steve Lemlek

sponse to demand. Since so many parents craved English hagwons, would-be Korean entrepreneurs decided to build English hagwons. The hagwon industry is extremely lax in regulations. Anyone who wants to earn a buck can open up a school and start charging tuition. As more and more hagwons pop up, more and more parents are becoming savvy to the tricks of the “English-entrepreneur.” They’re more critical of English curriculum. Dolled up in the freshest hiking fashion, and tipping the scales in the heavyweight division, these helicopter moms are starting to push their might at academies. So I started Hal & Steve English. Since so many moms distrust English academies, and especially disregard institutes without international certification, I decided that could be my unique selling point. And it’s not just me. There’s a whole generation of men and women just like me. They came to Korea to teach English, ended up staying here a bit longer than they should have, and married a Korean. We’ve decided that we’re tired of working at low paying teaching gigs with employers who don’t know much about education. We’re tired of our students entering class with misconceptions of English education. They’ve been drilled, day after day, by rote memorization of grammar concepts that just wastes their time. So we opened our own schools. It’s just a happy coincidence that education in Korea is so closely tethered to money. We’re motivated by revolutionizing the way Korean kids learn English; but Korea has so successfully monetized English education that we can also turn a buck. To all of you one-year sojourners, make sure you enjoy your time here. If you have the slightest itch to stay here for any longer, then investigate how to start your own school. It’s well worth it.

Steve Lemlek is the handsome (and beautifully bearded) half of “Hal & Steve English,” an English education startup trying to change how English is taught in Korea.


i h c Kim A Celebration

of the Surreal and Wicked Story by Zev D. Blumenfeld Illustrations by EmJae Lightningbug and Anders Nienstaedt

Two of society's most defective breeds, journalist Zev Blumenfeld and his boorish advisor Mr. Binx, find themselves bumbling about in the middle of a kimchi madhouse, searching for the heart of true Korea.

36 May 2017


esus, look out! They’re closing in on us!” And suddenly, we were surrounded by seven-foot-tall vegetables swaying from sideto-side in some kind of hedonistic ritual. The cabbage twins gyrated viciously and a radish rolled by like a boulder that had come alive. My advisor Binx and I found ourselves inside Seoul Plaza for the third annual Seoul Kimchi Festival. The organizers had promised a transformative experience for visitors, placing interactive and performance-based programs across the 6,000 square meter venue. They were determined to create a “mega kimchi-making place,” or so the website claimed.

“Foreigner-friendly” sections and activities had been assembled for the unassuming tourist. Best of all, the venue was easily accessible by metro, taking place just steps from Exit 6 at the City Hall stop. Any visitor in the plaza that weekend would have found information tents with guides providing assistance in both Korean and English. Opposite these, stood the “Big Tent”— a giant inflatable building labeled “Seoul Kimjanggan.” Live musical and taekwondo performances took place throughout the day on the mainstage. And in the middle of the plaza sat what could only be described as a dormant volcano made of cabbage. But who would expect anything less from a three-

day fiesta dedicated to the hallowed tradition of pickling vegetables? But were these mutant vegetables what the organizers had intended? I reasoned that I must have fallen into some sort of psychotropic-induced trance. For all I knew, in a moment’s time, I’d awake, safely barricaded in the comforts of my Los Angeles apartment, the evening light of a California sunset radiating through the window, and it would be then that I’d realize this whole time I had been staring at what amounted to a pile of ash. No, this was real (or as real as it got anyway). A red pepper snuck up behind us with

and donated their spicy creations to various social organizations. We passed through and arrived at the booth for the English-led event, appropriately titled, “Foreigners Making Kimchi.” For a nominal fee, guests could stop feeling like lost tourists and register for the kimchi-making event, kimjanggan. Every foreigner partaking in this event received the cabbage, sauce, and a storage container for the nominal fee of KRW3,000—a steal compared to the Korean-led events. Lost tourists gathered in the “Foreigners Making Kimchi” booth. Some smeared the pre-made red pepper paste on the wilted leaves. One fellow prepped the kimchi while arguing mid-call, phone tucked between his ear and shoulder. “I told you we needed the 400-piece corn tortillas… Do you have any idea how far this is going to set sales back?” Judging by the agitation, I would have guessed “very far.” His voice competed with the demonstration leader standing at the front near a projection screen, but she didn’t seem bothered. Already having fallen victim to an unfortunate tent setup, she had been forced to battle the incessant drone of the tent’s generator. The woman had lost all drive to entertain. She shifted into autopilot. “Kimchi fermentation is very complex. The kimchi refrigerator was invented in the 1980’s in Seoul, which… is where we are now,” she muttered. I wasn’t sure what to make of this statement, watching as she took a long knife and slashed through the head of cabbage. The look on her face indicated that the next time the blade dropped it wouldn’t be through cabbage, but through the neck of the Kimchi-Making-Tortilla-Phone-Man. She’d use his blood for next year’s fermentation paste. Why not?—no sense in leaving it. Koreans were a resourceful bunch.

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cies of her proposal, she had ripped out her outstretched arms. “Run for the hills!” yelled smartphone, applied the filters, and struck a Binx. But the crowd didn’t budge. Had they pose, V-sign and all. Her reflex was fluid—a seen this all before? Maybe it had been gesnapshot from inside the crease. I felt stuck in netically woven into some part of the collecthe mud, lost in the tidal wave of technology tive consciousness, passed down through the and youth that had suddenly swept upon us. everyday Korean from generation to generaThe sound of Lil Jon’s “Let’s Get F*cked Up” tion. I didn’t know for certain. blared from the plaza speakers. “You’re on your own then,” I shouted to the Was this the true face of crowd. Korea? Fifty years of sacrifice If they weren’t going to save and rejection of “the old way” themselves, what was the point? This was about distilled into this moment? Besides, we had come on assigngetting to the Gone were the days of families ment to live like true Koreans. root of what gathering to make kimjang, reYes! This expedition was one it meant to be linquished to the grip of industo explore sacred customs. The Korean - to dig trialism and modernization, all frolicking vegetables were meredeep, feel the in the name of a supposed “proly a sideshow—a distraction pulse, sink our gress.” Had the hanbok become a from the purpose of it all. This teeth into the simple costume? She sighed drawas about getting to the root of unspoken creed matically. what it meant to be Korean—to that kept the “You’re right, stop being so dig deep, feel the pulse, sink our complexities of dramatic—never did anything teeth into the unspoken creed this cultural for anyone anyway.” that kept the complexities of machine spinning, She nodded, but I could tell this cultural machine spinning, and touch the distance had grown between us. and touch the undercurrent undercurrent Had the connection not been skimmed by many, but truly unskimmed by genuine? Were we merely modderstood by few. In fact, kimchi many, but truly els in her flash photo op? I hadn’t was one of the few customs that understood by few. come to terms with this sort of hadn’t been debased by depart“disposable world,” the transiment stores or the blinding light ence of the cyber realm leeching of smartphone ads. into us. Brevity had replaced depth, breaths Binx and I stumbled past the volcano and grew shallow, heartbeats quickened not from ran smack-dab into a line of people. If they passion but paranoia. “Hyper-stimulation,” were any indication, the massive inflatable the academics had called it. The legs of techtent that lay before us held the archaic secrets nology outpaced by the torso of human bioloof preservation and fermentation. gy and conscious thought. And on this day, at “This is the heart, man. The crux of it all!” this time, paranoia in the concrete jungle had I said to my advisor. “Inside that bubble lie the reared its wicked head. secrets we’ve been searching for.” I snapped out of the knot of Brainworms He nodded in agreement. “They’ll have in an anxious sweat, face on fire, our badges at the front.” “I can smell it…the kimchi…we’re close!” “Excellent! They ought to know the imporMy advisor cocked his head to the side, tance of our attendance. We’re f**king journal“Where the hell have you been the last ists, man—reporters bridging cultural undertwenty minutes?” He rolled his eyes. standing. Shining light into the dark crevasses We had made it into the tent. of society.” Its sides looked as though we “Well, not reporters exactly,” he said. were sitting in the Michelin I opened my mouth to reply, but was Man’s crotch. Everywhere I stopped when two “princesses” moved in our looked, people stood dressed direction. They were clad in floral hanbok in orange aprons with bandresses, looking as if they had stepped out of danas wrapped over their the Joseon Dynasty. heads. On the tables lay For the first two days of the festival, visipounds of cabbage, gartors had the opportunity to rent these hanboks lic, and gochugaru—chili and participate in a guerilla-style flash mob. pepper. We passed on dressing up, but somehow the The Big Tent included hanboks had found us. four daily kimchi-making “Let’s make memories,” the girls exevents, three of which claimed. were presented in KoreAnxiety rushed through me. They had an. A notable area was the caught us off-guard. “That’s what we’re here to “Hope-Sharing” kimchi secdo!” Memories!” I screeched. tion. Here, large groups made But before I fully understood the intrica-

C OMM U NI TY 38 May 2017

“Phase 1 lift the leaf, Phase 2 spread the sauce, Phase 3 put the coated cabbage in the plastic bag.” It was as simple as that, she did it meticulously, but I could tell in her dulled eyes that she was somewhere else. Perhaps, next year they’d say, “F**k it,” and bring store bought kimchi to dump in front of these unassuming tourists. I figured it’d be for the best. Across the aisle, I noticed a display had been set up. Here, on a raised platform, mincing garlic, sat none other than a famous kimchi master herself. Her permed, short hair signaled ajumma—old Korean woman. Centuries of tradition rushed from the scene (it felt like a reenactment from a History Channel documentary). On her face ran the scars of time, canals of transformation. From outside the building, a roar drew my attention. A swarm The look on her of audience-goers watched as a face indicated slender woman waded through that the next time a sea of confetti falling from the the blade dropped sky. Around her waist was a it wouldn’t be kitchen table on wheels. She was through cabbage, the centerpiece. but through “Maybe she’s a sacrificial the neck of the offering to whatever vegetable Kimchi-Makingbeasts stewed inside the cabbage Tortilla-Phonesued. Suddenly, a voice rose volcano,” I said to my advisor. Man. She’d use from the plume. There was no telling. his blood for “Everybody, don’t panic it’s She trudged through the next year’s just cornstarch. It’s not toxic.” confetti to the live music coming fermentation “Maybe so,” I thought. “But from the main stage. “F**ker,” paste. Why how do we know for sure?” Binx said under his breath. He not? - no sense People began choosing looked worried. “Look at all this in leaving it. sides, splintering into clans. A filth. We’ll never get out.” Koreans were competition was brewing. The “What’s wrong?” I asked. a resourceful plaza divided into four lines “Haven’t you ever seen an ocean bunch. stretching from the center—terof confetti before? Where do you ritory had been split. Everybody think it all goes? They dump that knew where he or she belonged, except for one shit down Flipper’s blowhole after the landfills group: the dancing line-train of foreigners that are at capacity.” pranced about oblivious to all form and order He shook his head viciously, making a outside of themselves. piggish grunt. “That’s ugly, man. Ugly!” The four lines began removing cabbage “Righty-o, man, righty-o—ugly indeed, but from the “mound-volcano” and passing the an absolute necessity in the eyes of a throwheads in all directions. It was a race—move the away, capitalist society.” He wasn’t having it, cabbage to your team’s designated corner and and wandered away. pile it into a “cabbage tower.” The team with As the tides turned, yanking the table-lathe highest tower wins. dy out into the horizon beyond, the audience “Don’t stand around. It’s precious food so… shifted. A shadow had drifted over the plaza. be careful,” the announcer trailed off dully. Acrobats from the group, “Project Fly,” hung in She too had drifted into a fatigued autopilot of the air. I couldn’t tell you what happened next. sorts. It could have been the barrage of dust swirlThe speed of the cabbage passing caused ing into a gigantic storm or maybe the plastic a storm of leaves to fly around. Meanwhile, sheet being dragged across the plaza, trapping the colored dust storm mushroomed. Heads of everyone in its path. cabbage moved from hand-to-hand. I rememThe dust storm grew thick in color—blue, ber a boy picking up a cabbage twice the size of green, yellow, red. A boy stumbled past, blood his head and deciding to bypass the entire line dripping from his nose. “Duck and cover! It’s to set it on the mound. spreading.” I could hardly speak over the bass “This symbolizes the annual harvest,” beldrum thumping from the speakers. lowed the announcer. People darted about. Pure chaos had en-

At the sides of the plaza, daily homeless visitors stood in shock. Some looked as if they were standing at the footsteps of the pearly gates only to find out Heaven had been overrun by a Moonlight Party of Millennials. When all had finally quieted and the fermentation dust settled, we stood, and in her worn voice the announcer girl called the winner. But who remembers exactly? Who cared? There was something bigger going on. The crowd was united again as one community. Even the foreigner-train embraced the moment, jumping and giving high-fives like a high school cheerleader squad. Maybe this was “true Korea.” Through the dust, smells, and brow-dripping labor, a unified country had prevailed. Maybe even we, the visitors attending the festival on that strange autumn day, were in fact a part of what “true Korea” had become. But underneath the smiling faces and flashy entertainment lay something more ominous—an unmistakable pain. A hushed wickedness most would only see had they stopped and looked past all the distraction. It lay in the faces of those who pushed forth with bent backs, grinding against the force of time, all in order to put on the extra layer of disguise—that extra coat of sheen. “This is Korea, baby!” shouted Binx as he ran up to take pictures of the cheering crowd, covered in confetti and remnants of dust and cabbage. “No way,” I thought immediately. “Not even close. More investigation would be needed—months, if not years, most likely.”

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Seoul’s Hottest Summer Party

UMF comes back to Korea for its 6th edition

m usic

Story by Emma Kalka Photos by Ultra Music Festival Korea

40 May 2017


s summer inches ever so closer, it’s time for music fans to start planning which music festivals to hit up over the coming months. While most offer a variety of genres, there is only one that has been dubbed the hottest party of the summer – that’s right, UMF Korea is back in June. Ultra Music Festival Korea will hit Jamsil Olympic Stadium on June 10 and 11, this year bringing around 100 acts from all over the world to perform in the country’s largest electronic music festival. This is the sixth year that the festival has been held since it started in 2012. The festival, which originated in Miami, Florida, prides itself on bringing in top-ranked DJs that have graced DJ MAG’s Top 100 list, and this year is no different, with the likes of

Tiesto, Hardwell and KSHMR taking the stage at the two-day festival. This year’s edition features four stages, with a few new twists as well. So sit back, relax and let Groove take you through the ins and outs of UMF.

History of UMF Starting in 1999 in Miami, Ultra Music Festival is now considered the world’s leading electronic music festival. In 2017 alone, UMF will take place in 10 countries around the world, including Croatia, Spain, South Africa, Japan, and Singapore. The festival series kicks off every year in March at Miami Music Week, according to the festival’s press release. The festival brings in top DJs and crowds, causing the city’s economy to grow remarkably each year. This year

it was held on March 24-26 and attracted over 100,000 people. At the time Ultra started in 1999, electronic dance music was still mostly just a European thing and had yet to really gain a foothold in the U.S. It was against this backdrop that the festival’s founders, Russel Faibisch and Alex Omes came up with the idea to host a one-day EDM festival to coincide with the Winter Music Conference – an annual EDM conference in Miami. The festival exploded and after a repeat performance in 2000, it moved to its current home, the Bayfront Park in downtown Miami. Later in 2007, it was expanded to a two-day event. As EDM grew in popularity in the States, so did Ultra, with the festival completely selling out in 2010. It then grew into a three-day

festival in 2011. Around 2007, the festival began spreading internationally, with the first overseas UMF taking place in Ibiza, Spain, followed by Sao Paulo in 2008. Other countries quickly joined the UMF bandwagon starting in 2012. The festivals share many of the same acts, and this year, between three series of events under the Ultra brand, Ultra is set to hit 19 countries on five continents.

History of UMF Korea UMF landed in South Korea for the first time in 2012. The company had announced that it was planning to bring the festival to Asia, but hadn’t said which country. Many fans speculated it would go to one of Singapore, Hong Kong or Tokyo, but it was Seoul that was ultimately chosen.

According to UMF Korea organizers, Seoul was chosen as the first UMF venue in Asia due to the rapid growth of its arts, culture, fashion and beauty industries, including the global spread of K-pop. The first festival in 2012 – spread out around Olympic Stadium at Jamsil Sports Complex -- brought in 50,000 attendees over two days from Korea and abroad and featured artists such as Skrillex, Tiesto, Steve Aoki, Carl Cox, John Digweed and many others. The event also attracted a smattering of Korean celebrities to its VVIP section, with folks such as Psy, Kim Bum-soo, Yoon Do-hyun and Jang Geun-suk spotted mingling in the roped off tent. Following the first edition, the 2013 and 2014 festivals saw increased success, bringing in such artists as Armin van Buuren, AVICII,

Kaskade, Carl Cox, Boy George, Above & Beyond, Steve Aoki, Steve Angellow, Paul Van Dyk and M.I.A. Festival attendance hit a record 110,000 at UMF Korea 2015, with explosive sets by Hardwell, David Guetta, Knife Party and Skrillex. Last year’s festival only continued the momentum, bringing in a rousing 150,000 people and 100 acts, with the festival expanding to three days. It was the fifth anniversary of UMF in Korea, and certainly went off with a bang, bringing in Afrojack, AVICII, Axwell A Ingrosso, Deadmau5, and many others. The festival has also proven to be a great stage for local acts, bringing in both DJs and MCs to perform. Such names as DJ Koo, Zion.T, The Koxx, Juncoco, Kingmck, Illinit x Illevn, Guckkasten, Idiotape and Delispice

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While it is predominantly an electronic music festival, UMF Korea has brought in a variety of genres throughout the years, mostly through the festival’s Live Stage, which has hosted rock bands, hip-hop artists, and DJs.

m usic 42 May 2017

the beat dropped, everyone would scream. have taken the UMF stage at some point in its When Amber sung her first notes, there was history. a really loud scream,” he said. “Like, a really While it is predominantly an electronic loud cheer of support. They weren’t afraid to music festival, UMF Korea has brought in a be vocal, both during the songs variety of genres over the years, and in between.” mostly through the festival’s Live Both receptive Stage, which has hosted rock and reflective. UMF Korea 2017 bands, hip-hop artists, and DJs. Like, it was British duo July Child performed Ultra Korea 2017 is once obvious how they again returning to Olympic last year on the Live Stage and felt at all times. said that, as a more relaxed house Stadium in Jamsil Sports ComWhenever the beat plex this year, set to take place group, fitting in wasn’t an issue. dropped, everyone on June 10 and 11 – going back “It’s funny because initialwould scream. ly when we got the offer, I was to a two-day setup. The festival When Amber sung kind of like, does our music fit in? will feature about 100 acts perher first notes, The main theme of the festival is there was a really forming on four different stages hard-hitting EDM. But again, the loud scream. Like, spread out in the stadium and promoter was steadfast. He was its surrounding auxiliary staa really loud like, ‘We love your sound. Korea cheer of support. diums. They include the Main is going to love your sound,’” said Stage, Magic Beach Stage, Live They weren’t producer Kiks. afraid to be vocal, Stage and the Resistance Stage, “The Live Stage was set up which is making its first appearboth during the incredibly, to the point where ance in Korea. songs and in part of it was like, we kept lookThe Resistance Stage is a fubetween. ing at each other going, Jesus turistic stage that accommodates - Kiks, July Child Christ, this is huge. We can fit a a variety of electronic dance mufew hundred people here.” sic. It was introduced this year in He added that the crowd at Ultra Korea line with the current global trend of electronic has its own essence, different from other audidance music gradually becoming more varences they’ve played for. ied, according to organizers. The stage will be “Both receptive and reflective. Like, it was helmed by Sasha & John Digweed. obvious how they felt at all times. Whenever Currently, two-day tickets are available

for 165,000 won or US$165 for foreign ticket buyers. One-day tickets are available for 120,000 won. There are also premium general admission two-day tickets for 210,000 won. The festival will also once again offer VVIP tables for groups of up to 10 people, which come with bottle service, valet parking and discounts on additional VVIP tickets over the 10 that come with the table. For an extra layer of luxury and the celebrity treatment, there are also VVIP suites available for groups of up to 15 people. The suites come with discounts on additional tickets, private butler service, bottle service, and valet parking. One more step above that is the VVIP Skybox, which can accommodate up to 40 people and has an unlimited cocktail bar, catering, bottle service and private butler service. All VVIP packages also come with access to VVIP-only restrooms, exclusive VVIP red carpet entrance and access to VVIP-only zones.

The Lineup So far, UMF has only released its phase one lineup, with others to follow leading up to the show. So far, the headliners are Alesso, Dash Berlin, Dubfire, Hardwell, KSHMR, Martin Solveig, Nic Fanciulli, Nicky Romero, Sasha & John Digweek, Steve Angello, Tchami and Tiesto, with many regional DJs and performers to take part as well.

Ultra Music Festival Korea 2017 Lineup

Dash Berlin is a Dutch trance/ progressive house music group consisting of friends Jeffrey Sutorius, Eelke Kalberg and Sebastiaan Molji, though the face of the group - Jeffrey Sutorius - also performs alone under the group’s moniker. Dash Berlin first gained attention with its track “Till the Sky Falls Down” in 2007. Later in 2010, it debuted on DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJs at No. 15.

Dubfire is an Iranian-American techno and tech house DJ and producer. He was formerly part of the Grammy Awardwinning duo Deep Dish, though has since moved away from the progressive house style of the group. Recently, Dubfire has co-produced tracks with British electronic music act Underworld. He started his label SCI + TEC in 2007, which has continued to grow and now has a roster of internationally based artists.

KSHMR is an American DJ, producer and musican from California, mostly creating electro house, progressive house and big room house music. Previously he was part of hip-hop production duo The Cataracs, which created such hits as “Like a G6” with Far East Movement, “Bass Down Low” with DEV and “Stars Dance” off Selena Gomez’s debut album. He started out at No. 23 on the Top 100 DJs list in 2015 and currently sits at No. 12.

Hardwell is a Dutch big room house and electro house DJ, producer and remixer. This is his second appearance at Ultra Korea. Hardwell was voted No. 1 on the Top 100 list in 2013 and 2014 and is currently ranked at No. 3. He first gained attention in 2009 for his bootleg of “Show Me Love vs. Be” and recently premiered new tracks at Ultra Music Festival Miami in collaboration with Olly James, Austin Mahone, Maddix, Moksi and Henry Fong.

Tiesto is a Dutch DJ and record producer and was named the greatest DJ of all time by MixMag through a fan-based poll. In 2013, he was voted by DJ Magazine readers as the best DJ of the past 20 years. He is currently ranked at No. 5 on the magazine’s Top 100 DJs list, though he ranked No. 1 three years in a row from 20022004. In 2015, he won a Grammy for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical for his remix of John Legend’s “All of Me” and last year

launched the deep house label AFTR:HRS to promote the genre. Sasha & John Digweed which will headline the new Resistance Stage at this year’s festival, are a progressive house DJ duo from the United Kingdom. The two started out teaming up for DJ sets together in early 1993 while both were at Renaissance. They often performed in tandem, focusing on track selection and technical mixing abilities. Since then, they have released six mix albums in the UK and three in the U.S.

43 May 2017

Alesso is a Swiss DJ, record producer and musician. He has worked with many artists over the years, including Tove Lo, Theo Hutchcraft, Ryan Tedder, Calvin Harris, Usher, David Guetta and many more. He has graced the stages of many a big-name festival including Coachella and Tomorrowland, and was named one of the “EDM Rookies to Watch” in 2012. In 2015, he was ranked 13 on DJ Magazine’s list of the top DJs, and most recently released the fulllength album Forever in May 2015.

ays, w n u r e h ets to t ffers e r t s e h t From eek o l W n o i h s Seoul Fa into the colorfu ea a glimpselture of South Kor im youth cu Dianne K ion Week Story by h

g n i h s u P daries n u Bo

s Seoul Fa Photos by Kim e n and Dian



Pushbutton 2017 F/W


Youthquake in Seoul

44 May 2017

Fleamadonna 2017 F/W


efining the sartorial style of Koreans who The way to power trooped to the 2017 of the cruelest F/W Hera Seoul regimes of the Fashion Week is a challenging, modern history futile exercise. The street ramp led them to the leading to one of the entrances destruction of the futuristic building Dongof everything daemun Design Plaza (DDP), the ambiguous and regular site of the fashion shows, controversial, was nothing short of a visual denying its overload. Some leggy girls were people the right wearing outfits with an accessoand ability of ry that used to be a fashion faux critical thinking. pas: fishnet tights that either peek out from their strategically ripped jeans or shown completely above the waistbands of their miniskirts. A band of impossibly tall, nonchalant-looking dudes were all wearing head-to-toe black, metal studded motorcycle jackets over oversized hoodies, skin-tight pants, and leather boots. Hair colors in reds, purples, pinks, grays, and platinum blondes were so bright they can be seen from the other side of the road. Aside from the palpable air of excitement that can be felt from the crowds, the loud clicking of cameras can be heard everywhere. It’s a schizophrenic one week affair where everyone who dresses up has one collective goal – to be seen.  

Perhaps a better way to describe Seoul Fashion Week is that it’s an experience more than anything. It offers a glimpse of not only trends and styles on the streets, but it’s also a peek into the inner workings of the millennial philosophy: take pics or it didn’t happen. Every day was a chance to be “instafamous” and young Seoulites made sure they made their presence known with each post on social media. Of course, they get major points if some of them made it into the street style coverage of online magazines. But in general this isn’t something merely superficial or contrived – these kids take fashion seriously, and it’s in that one short week where they can express themselves fully through clothes. To phrase it in a more clichéd term, fashion is their passion. Most of them aren’t even show-goers; they simply go there for the sheer joy and excitement of dressing up and being different for a day. It’s in this venue where their creativity is exposed, and fashion week is their outlet. Whether it’s wearing high end clothes or cheap knock-offs, the unique styling of South Korans shows their inventiveness, as most of them resort to adding DIY and custom fixes to their overall look. Experimentation was also seen from the way they mix not only high and low brands, but also trends like punk, grunge, and vintage, bridging the gap between opposite worlds – the past and modern styles, and western and Asian aesthetics. W Magazine put it perfectly in its scathing yet positively insightful recap on this year’s Seoul Fashion Week: “This is what globalization looks like.”

MUNN 2017 F/W

This season, another huge trend is emerging and it came in little packages: toddlers who are stylishly dressed in ultramodern streetwear that rivals those of the older sets. No one could resist these little charmers as they tot about wearing mini versions of Supreme hoodies, denims, caps, tiny Nikes, you name it, they have it. The photographers went wild for these little style stars, much to the delight of their stage moms who brought bags of extra clothes and accessories for their kids to change in. There was even one girl with long straight hair, wearing a big pink fur on top of her black midriff and leggings combo, who, upon seeing cameras directed on her would strike the most modelesque pose, with fierce eyes, legs slightly crossed, and hands on the rails. While most of the kids appeared to have fun and love all the attention, some of them were throwing tantrums due perhaps to exhaustion and the swarming crowd. Is this a case of getting kids into the world of fashion too much, too soon? That’s a topic for another day, but it’s undeniable that these adorable babies upstaged the grown-ups, and their emergence only proves that fashion can be for everyone, no matter what age.

Trend Forecasts

The real stars of the Seoul Fashion Week are the big name and up-and-coming designers (Generation Next) whose works will dictate this coming Fall trends. Some designers reveled in fantasy and drama, with pieces that boast of bold prints and maximalist details. Big Park showed a collection with a constellation motif, Miss Gee sent timeless and elegant gowns down the runway, while Greedilous showed a fur-lined cape worn in deep emerald green. Trench coats seem to be a favorite focal item this season, with a striking reinvention from Kumann Yoo Hyejin, who designed a mash up of two different coats in one piece. Rubina and Route 1 made trench coats in 80’s silhouettes with ruffle blouses and romantic flower prints. For the most part, streetwear is still the dominant theme as was last year’s and the previous ones, as designers take their cues mostly from the young, fast-paced, and urban vibe of the streets of Seoul. Crowd and KPOP star favorites Cres E. Dim, KYE, 87MM, Beyond Closet, and Supercomma B. Push Button literally pushed their boundaries this season as it always does, as it featured a mix of pop culture, film noir, and golden age of Hollywood glam all in one, colorful, psychedelic collection. Color plays a key role in this season, with standout hues that come in different styles: bright lime green, deep red, and royal blue. Velvet is one of the fabrics of choice and


45 May 2017

Little big stars

it was pared down from being a luxe item to cool, casual wear. Menswear is also at its peak, with designers Resurrection, Munn, A.AV, and G.I.L. Homme showing that next trend men should look out for are print-on-prints, bold patterns, and neutrals. Aside from cameras clicking away at the stream of popular models, the blinding flashes were directed at the KPOP stars who filled the front rows. Girl’s Generation members Tiffany, Seohyun, Sooyoung, and Hyoyeon were among the regular show-goers, while Sistar’s Bora, Minzy, Shinee’s Key, B1A4’s Jinyoung, and Red Velvet were among the idols who went out to support the designers. Elusive K-Drama stars you only see on TV such as Park Si-yeon, Cha Ye-ryun, and So Yoo Jin displayed their personal sense of style as they joined in on the festivities. As the crowd disperses, the music tones down, and the lights turn off, signaling the closing of fashion week, it will only be a matter of time before DDP comes alive again. Jung Kuho, the executive creative director of Seoul Fashion Week said in an interview with W, referring to fashion fans and designers, “Now, young people are trying to explore their character and identity… You have to stand out; and then the rest will follow." For now, everyone will just have to mark their calendars for the next season.

e v o o r GGoes Art Long Live Degenerate Art Story by Barbara Bierbrauer Photo courtesy of MMCA

46 May 2017





he art scene in Seoul has once again proven that it can surprise and once again offers something, not seen by the international community before. But let´s tackle things one at a time. Often in the history of the humankind the art clashes with the politics. The sensitive souls of artists as barometers respond to the slightest changes in the society, and the view take their stand against the majority. Long time the role of the art has mostly been religious, decorative and illustrative. Its newly discovered The way to power challenge as a critical voice of of the cruelest the society is relatively young, regimes of the dating back to the Impressionmodern history ists in the1860s, as it changed the led them to the approach of the art forever. The destruction idea of freedom of expression inof everything fluenced many art groups and ambiguous and schools all over the world. The new controversial, movement turned its back to the denying its at the National Museum of “classical” art, which presents the people the right Modern and Contemporary characters “as they are,” trying to and ability of match the original as close as poscritical thinking. Art (MMCA), Deoksugung Branch, that presents the exsible and creating a scenery that hibition of Egyptian surrealists put the individuals into a favorable “When Art Becomes Liberty.” light, not asking questions but giving answers. Egyptian artists in the 1930`s were closeAs opposed to this, faces were torn apart and ly interrelated with the European affairs. In dropped like hot wax by Picasso, and a naked 1920´s “Tutmania,” the hype about Egyptian woman was accompanied by dressed men by culture swept all over the western countries Manet: art became more and more questionfrom the USA to France, the country was able, challenging and uncertain. prosperous and enjoyed the Freedom from the The way to power of the cruelest regimes British Empire. The 30´s put many challengof the modern history led them to the destruces – Egypt was directly affected by the Great tion of everything ambiguous and controverDepression, the parliament and government sial, denying its people the right and ability of were involved in corruption scandals and critical thinking. Hitler's regime labeled variheavily unpopular among common people, ous art movements as Entartet (degenerated), the rise of National-Socialist Party in Germabanning them from the public. Mao´s Cultural ny, emerging dictatorial powers, all that is felt Revolution destroyed the art and culture of in the Egyptian artist scene. the own people. Pol Pot`s Red Khmers razed On December 22nd, 1938 a group of Egypthe whole culture to the ground. Stalin starved tian artists, journalists, writers and lawyers those artists, who were not following the preissued a manifest “Long Live Degenerate Art,” scribed directions, to death in GULAG. But art taking a stand against oppression, doctrines, in some countries is on the periphery of genand xenophobia. Their call for freedom of eral interests, and this gap can now be closed

thought and expression is followed and restless artists join them, creating what is now known as the Egyptian Surrealist movement. Their works, presented by the MMCA, are the canvas of free, thoughtful and courageous individuals. Also, their appeal from 1938, on the edge of the Second World War war, seems still to be as hot of press as ever: “O men of art, men of letters! Let us take up the challenge together! We stand absolutely as one with this degenerate art. In it resides all the hopes of the future. Let us work for its victory over the new Middle Ages that are rising in the heart of Europe.” One cannot overemphasize the importance of this. When Art Becomes Liberty The Egyptian Surrealism (1938-1965) when July 30.2017 where MMCA Deoksugung WEBSITE

Barbara Bierbrauer is a German reporter and writer. She enjoys living in Songdo IFEZ and checks different venues for the readers of Groove Korea




1 Abdel Hadi El Gazzar, Peace 1965, Oil on board, 80x170cm, Museum of Modern Egyptian Art 2 Kamal Youssef, Noble 1940s, Oil on board, Sharjah Art Foundation 3 Mohamed Riyad Saeed, Dreams at the Aqsa Mosque 1973, Oil on wood, Museum of Modern Egyptian Art

t r a 48 May 2017

e u q s e l r u Bfor a Cause WhiteLies Burlesque Revue raises money for Seoul Pride Story by Emma Kalka Photos by K I Photography, Finnelly Sharrocks

49 May 2017


removing shoes or jewelry and doesn’t necesor Nell Fox, leader of WhiteLies sarily mean always going down to underwear BurlesqueRevue, community plays and panties. a large role in the success of her She believes this mentality and the fact group. They wouldn’t be who they that she and others have been reaching out are without it. And it’s because of this that she is more is the reason why more women have passionate about giving back to the community. joined recently. And the fact that from now, The group is currently set to stage a special she is taking a more relaxed approach to the charity show on May 20 at The Link in Itaegroup’s productions. won, with the proceeds to help fund the Korea “I was so hung up on those details of tryQueer Festival, also known as Seoul Pride. ing to make it look like a smooth, flawless “A lot of WhiteLies performers identify as show,” she said with a laugh, before admitting one flavor of queer or another. And a lot of our that in all honestly, people come to shows and audience members are that. We’re a part of get drunk and just want to have a good time. the community and we want to give to it,” she They aren’t focused on the sound said. “We would not be who we or lighting or props. are if it weren’t for the commuIf the audience “This year… I am like, it’s not nity around us. And part of the feels good after about rules. It’s not about being reason we have a community – the show, any top-notch, high quality. It’s about it’s all about support.” minor problems having a good time. Because if She continued that you can’t during the the audience feels good after expect to have a thriving comshow will be the show, any minor problems munity without giving back to overlooked. It’s during the show will be overit. And while she and the group not about the looked. It’s not about the minor may not have much to give, they minor hang-ups hang-ups – rather, it’s about the give what they can. In this case, – rather, it’s entire whole and in cases like putting on a show to raise money about the entire this, it’s about the charity that it’s to help the LGBT community. whole and in going to.” “I’ve talked to the performers cases like this, The group does the best they it’s about the and I’m like, I don’t want you to charity that can, she said, but added that you think I’m using you, but let’s give it’s going to. have to keep in mind that no wherever we can. We all are, as one is a paid professional — not performers, in a position to give Nell Fox, WhiteLies even the sound guy — so they and it costs us nothing to just do co-founder make the best with what they what we do anyway,” she said. have. Though what they have is Nell said they are doing a bit a creative group of people: ranging from army of a different show than their usual format, wives, to English teachers, to foreign wives. accommodating the smaller layout of the venShe added that with the new members, ue and the large number of performers taking many are more open to being public about part — there are about nine regular members their membership in the group, which is a welperforming with one or two possible guests. come change as it makes promoting the shows She also hinted that this show may be a bit easier. However, she does respect those who more interactive than usual. have to be more private about their involveIn connection with KQCF, the theme for ment due to the professional risk of being in a the show is queer-friendly, though she said she burlesque group. is leaving it open to each individual performer’s “Again, it’s community. Which is part of interpretation. Nell explained that she likes to why what’s happening is happening. The more keep the themes loose so that the performers people that reach out and support it, the more never feel constricted or uncomfortable. awareness is raised. The more awareness is “That’s part of how we feel welcoming to raised, the more something is done about people,” she added. it,” she said. “It works, whether it’s for a good A welcoming attitude is something that cause, like a youth center, or for a burlesque applies to more than just the audience, says group.” Nell. It’s something that she keeps in mind The show is set to take place at The Link for performers who wish to join. WhiteLies in Itaewon, located near Spa Land, on May has picked up several new members this year 20. The show will run from 11pm to 1am with compared to last. acts every 30 minutes and a live DJ set in be“All genders are welcomed. Any ethnicitween. All proceeds will be donated to the Koty is welcomed. Any experience or lack of is rea Queer Festival, which is expected to take welcomed. Any body type is welcomed. And place in July this year. For more information, if you don’t want to strip, we will figure somevisit the WhiteLies Facebook page. And for thing out,” she encouraged, though adding more information on KQCF, visit their website that burlesque, as an artform, does involve at some striptease. Granted it could be simply

Korean Movie Preview: May Gijang, Gangsters, and Gwanghae Story by Gil Coombe Photos courtesy of HanCinema





t has been a quiet start to the year in terms of box office receipts for domestic offerings in Korea, with only two major breakouts so far (Confidential Assignment and The King) and a number of others receiving middling returns (Fabricated City, New Trial, Bluebeard). Things are looking a little more rosy on the festival circuit, however, with two Korean films being selected in competition at Cannes – Bong Joon-ho’s Okja and Hong Sang-soo’s The Day After. (Yes, that would be his second release of the year, after On the Beach at Night Alone, and a third (!) is screening out of competition at Cannes as well – Claire’s Camera. It appears that his brush with the gossip pages has only fueled his creative fire.) May is not traditionally a month in which high profile Korean movies are released nor one which generates a great deal of box office winners, but with a deluge of summer blockbusters from the US on the way (The Fate and the Furious has just been released, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 soon to arrive), here are three Korean films trying to carve out some space in the marketplace.

The Sheriff in Town

50 May 2017

Release date May 3, 2017 Directed by Kim Hyung-Joo Starring Lee Sung-Min, Cho Jin-Woong, Kim Sung-Kyun, Jo Woo-Jin Distributed by Lotte Entertainment

A Korean genre staple, the crime comedy, offers yet another installment this month with The Sheriff in Town. As is typical of

this cinematic brand, it appears to be a bit of a showcase for Korean character actors to step out of the shadows and carry a film. This time around, it is Lee Sung-min, who is listed as having appeared (or due to appear) in 38 films in the last 14 years (including A Violent Prosecutor, The Piper, and The Attorney, among many, many others) who takes the reigns. Lee plays Dae-ho, a former detective who likes to think of himself as the “sheriff” of his neck of the woods (Gijang, Busan, in this case). Alongside him is Deok-man,

loyal lackey and brother-in-law, played by another familiar face from the margins of many other films, Kim Sung-kyun (20 films in 6 years; The Prison, Hwayi: A Monster Boy, South Bound). Together they work to uncover the secrets held by Dae-ho’s childhood friend, Jong-jin (the always lively Cho Jin-woong; Bluebeard, The Handmaiden, A Hard Day), who has returned to Gijan from Seoul as a successful businessman.

The Sheriff in Town marks the directorial debut of Kim Hyung-joo, and it appears as if he has been watching the likes of Miracle in Cell No. 7, Attack the Gas Station, and Going by the Book as preparation for this. If anything, the trailer makes it seem even broader than those, with a number of pratfalls and comedic beats revolving around physical violence, a comedy style that can be very hit-or-miss. However, there is something to be said for watching a handful of character actors chew the scenery, so here’s hoping the alchemy is just right in this one.

Film fans - remember to check The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) website regularly for updates on English subtitled screenings of Korean films occurring in Seoul. ( jsp) Also, don’t forget to support the independent cinemas around Seoul KU Cinematrap(, Seoul Art Cinema(, CGV Arthouse(, Emu Artspace(

Release date May, 2017 Directed by Byun Sung-Hyun Starring Sol Kyung-Gu, Siwan, Kim Hee-Won, Jeon Hye-Jin Distributed by CJ Entertainment

Another month, another prison drama. Following The Prison, which was previewed in the last issue, comes The Merciless, which will be hoping to find the same audience that has allowed the former to do relatively well at the box office, holding its own against the onslaught of Beauty and the Beast. Swapping in for Han Suk-gyu is another kingpin of Korean cinema Sol Kyung-gu (Public Enemy, Hope, The Tower), who plays

Warriors of the Dawn Release date May 31, 2017 Directed by Jeong Yoon-chul Starring Lee Jung-jae, Yeo Jin-goo, Kim Moo-yul, Park Won-sang, Esom Distributed by 20th Century Fox Korea

Jae-ho, second in command of an organized crime ring who is bridling to eventually take over at the top. This is complicated by the fact that he is currently incarcerated, but this hasn’t stopped him wielding power over all of the other prisoners in his penitentiary. Headstrong new prisoner Hyun-Soo (Siwan, member of K-pop group ZE:A but better known at the cinema for his excellent turn in the Song Kang-ho vehicle The Attorney) draws his attention and becomes pivotal to Jae-ho’s quest to take over the gang upon his release. The Merciless has been invited as a midnight screening at Cannes (the same spot Train to Busan had last year), which is a good sign that it offers something more than the standard profane verbal throw-downs and shiv-happy bloody finale that the premise suggests. The trailer backs this up – well-cut and bombastic, some of the shot selections suggest that director Byun Sung-hyun is making a huge stylistic leap from his first two movies, the hip-hop drama The Beat Goes On and

Director Jeong Yoon-chul started his career with a bang at the box office with Marathon back in 2005, but hasn’t been seen since the underrated A Man who was Superman in 2008. However, May sees his return, and this time he has dived into that right of passage for all self-respecting mainstream directors in Korea, the historical epic. This is probably the most likely of the three movies here to score at the box office, though Jeong’s track

record has never exactly suggested that he is a natural for this type of film. Set during the Imjin War that waged between Joseon and the invading Japanese between 1592 and 1598, the movie focuses on Prince Gwanghae, who is forced to take charge of the defense of his kingdom when his father King Seonjo flees the fallen capital, and his army of proxy soldiers, a group of

the romantic comedy Whatcha Wearing? It will also be good to see a swaggering Sol being given excellent material to work with for the first time in what seems like forever. Public Enemy seems so long ago.

men who are paid to serve in the army by others who wish to avoid service. Certainly, with the political unrest at home and abroad in 2017, the chance is there to strike a chord with some old-fashioned historical heroics. Prince Gwanghae is played by Yeo Jin-goo, who has grown up on the big screen and TV since his debut at age 8 in the 2005 film Sad Movie (aren’t they all?) and who recently transitioned to leading man status in Hwayi: A Monster Boy. The real drawcard is of course the ever-popular Lee Jung-jae, who takes the role of the head of the proxy army To-woo, and who appears to be committed to a grimier, less bland performance than his typical fare (though his inscrutable demeanor can work perfectly in certain contexts, such as New World). Time will tell whether being the only person to be able to see Mi-so, and being tasked with helping her achieve her last wish, will pull him out of his despair. It sounds a little predictable, and the trailer does nothing to dispel this suspicion, with its mix of golden-hour lensing, comic bumbling with invisible ghosts, and totally inevitable tears. But Lee is the reason to see this; if he can recreate the genuine emotion of his debut, then this could be a pleasant piece of counter-programming to the big-budget action and historical dramas coming down the pipeline later this year.

51 May 2017

The Merciless


All Things

d e i r F

Indulge yourself and others Story by Jordan Redmond Photos by Steve Smith


lot of cultures claim to fry everything. The Scots are infamous for their deep-fryer experiments, deep-fried pizza being one particularly pride-inducing result. In the American South, they fry dill pickles, creamed corn, and everything and anything that comes out of the ocean. However, it is Korean cuisine that happily fries all and sundry and does it pretty damn well, better than everyone else. The Korean government has long liked to push the line that foreigners should eat Korean food for its health benefits. Good-for-your-gut fermented foods and vegetable-heavy rice dishes are the official message. But one walk down the streets reveals the truth on the ground: mounds of golden-brown fried goods just waiting on your word to go back into the bubbling oil and be reborn like some greasy phoenix, bacteria be damned. Korea can boast some pretty spectacular fried food achivements. The corn dog, a fried item itself, spliced with french fries, two already fried items merged to create a bulky, street food mutant. Traditional fried foods such as jeon and bindaetteok have traditions built around them such as being a great food to eat during wet weather but one half-suspects that this is just an all-too-convenient excuse to eat more fried goodness. Here are a few places around this fair city to indulge in all the fried foods that your stomach or blood pressure can handle.

Wonjo Mapo Halmeoni Bindaetteok If such a thing as a buffet dedicated entirely to fried food exists, it's here, just out of Gongdeok Station in central Seoul. In fact, the whole market is dedicated to the frying arts. Upon entering the covered market area, you will be offered a basket and implored to fill it right up. It is here that one must weigh their desires against their wallets and most importantly, the amount of self-loathing one wishes to acquire. After going over the selection several times and filling your basket, they will weigh it for you just so you know, to the gram, just how much you should hate yourself. Some standout choices include jeon of fried pyogo beoseot or shiitake mushrooms, oysters, giant shrimp, doenjang, and more. For that foodie in your group, some cow's lung or shisimo bursting with roe. Arriving early allows one to get a good table and watch the place fill up. On your third bottle of top-notch Neurin Makgeolli, you might just join in with the large, raucous tables of salarymen around you in the fried bacchanal. Add Mapo-gu, Manlijae-ro 23

53 May 2017

(원조마포할머니 빈대떡)


After going over the selection several times and filling your basket, they will weigh it for you just so you know, to the gram, just how much you should hate yourself.

54 May May2017 2017

Sunhuinae Bindaetteok (순희네 빈대떡) An institution amongst institutions, this is the place for bindaetteok, the thick fried mung-bean disc which is probably the biggest reason to go to Gwangjang Market. Skip the perpetual line and take a seat outside. The outside seat will allow you to rub shoulders with some strangers and watch as wide-eyed tourists toddle by, either due to the sheer amount of food on view in the market or the amount of said food that they have already eaten. The brusque ajumma will scold you for asking for extra soy sauce but do it anyway because she's going to scold you for something regardless as she hawks for customers even though the line is 20 people deep. If hunger pangs strike while you're waiting, just watch the hypnotic maetdol or traditional stone that churns and grinds the nokdu or mung bean. The pork bindaetteok that will arrive needs...needs to be chased with beer. Something, anything to cut the grease. Add Jongro-gu, Jongro 32-gil 5

55 May 2017

FOOD & DRINK 56 May 2017

Nakseo Pajeon (낙서파전) In areas like Hongdae or Sinchon, the university feeling mingles with that of everyday consumer life. However, at Hoegi Jeon Street, the university feels are deep and well-signified by the insanely cheap prices. No place better exemplifies that neighborhood than Nakseo Pajeon. Only KRW 9,000 for a monstrous, deep-fried jeon which is more like a jeon trapped in a donkasu body. Pair it with a fiery kimchi jjigae with tuna and the bill will roughly equal an extravagant Kimbap Cheonguk meal. The surroundings here really help make the meal as well. You sometimes enter through the kitchen having to take your shoes off while being careful not to disturb a roiling pan of third degree burns. The walls are covered in graffiti and you should feel free to add your own (perhaps "FRIED LYFE 69" or "#fried"). The only places where wall graffiti isn't visible is due to the numerous makgeolli and soju posters. Come feeling broke, leave feeling rich. Add Dongdaemun-gu, Hoegi-ro 28-gil 11

a e r o K g Eatin Reports on a Culinary Renaissance In conversation with Graham Holliday Story by Jordan Redmond Photos courtesy of Publisher

58 May 2017



lot of food books have been written about Korean food in recent years, most of them about how to make kimchi at home or glossy cookbooks from LA or NY-based Koreans. These books scantily engage a gigantic part of enjoying Korean food: eating it in Korea. The irreplaceable atmosphere of brusque service, heated floors, and and no nonsense decor, these things, as much as the food and ingredients themselves, make the Korean dining experience. And however much Korean food has traveled, you're not likely to get offal-crammed sundae gukbap or fiery chicken feet anywhere else quite like you would here. Travel author and journalist, Graham Holliday, appreciates the little things that are the composite soul of Korean food. Having lived in Jeolla-do 20 years ago as an English teacher, Holliday came back to Korea in 2015 for a three week whirlwind tour to discover what had become of the country and food he had so thoroughly enjoyed. The result is Eating Korea: Reports on a Culinary Renaissance out on Anthony Bourdain's food-book imprint, Ecco Books, as of mid-March. The changes that Holliday finds wallop him as much as would a deep whiff of cheonggukjang. The pretenseless Korea that he knew is barely recognizable, simple meals seemingly having been replaced by fruit pizzas and a more refined version of the food. As Holliday travels around the country, he tries to make sense of just how the country has changed by visiting one-dish hole-in-the-wall joints and through his conversations with Koreans of all-stripes: from educated younger people resentful of embarrassing food smells or loutish ajeossi, preservationists of traditional Korean food looking to elevate the cuisine by using the best possible ingredients, and older folks resigned to living in a country whose culture moves at lightspeed. The scope of Holliday's experience in the short time he spent in the country is amazing. The author is an acute observer; his eye for detail and the resulting powerful descriptions of people, place, and food are a real strong point of this book. Holliday's ability to paint a scene in minute detail might become cloying to some but those who have lived in Korea for any amount of time will revel in the familiar scenes that he sets. More than a nostalgia trip, Eating Korea is a fantastic food writing-cum-travelogue with strong dashes of social observation that manage to accurately portray that ever-moving target, South Korea.

Twenty years is a long time between visits. What was your main motivation in returning to Korea to write this book? Firstly, to eat. I really missed Korean food and Korean restaurants, the whole buzz, the people, the fun of it, the variety, the smells, the noise. Since I left Korea, I’ve eaten Korean food in Vietnam, Britain, France, Rwanda, Senegal and I've cooked it myself, but it simply isn’t the same. It’s not just the food, it’s the whole experience; the surroundings, the day to day of Korea going on all around you, you can recreate the taste of some of the food reasonably well elsewhere, but all these other things going on around the food are impossible to replicate outside of Korea and as a dining experience they count as much to me as the food itself. Secondly, when I lived in Iksan, I read a book called 'To Dream of Pigs’ by Clive Leatherdale. Over the years I’ve been surprised that no-one has written a follow up. As far as I know, there hasn't been a single English language travelogue about South Korea published by a major publisher since ‘To Dream of Pigs’. I can’t think of another developed country that has had so few traditional travelogue books written about it, there’s more on closed North Korea than the open South which I found utterly bizarre. 'Korea and Her Neighbours' by Isabella Bird-Bishop was published in 1898, 'Korea: A Walk Through the Land of Miracles' by Simon Winchester came out in 1988 and then Leatherdale’s book which dates from 1994. Fortunately for me, Anthony and everyone at Ecco Books agreed Korea needed a fresh coat of paint.

even if they had the desire. It’s these kids who will be the ones who push Korean culture forward. You can see that energy coming out in music, literature, architecture, design, and in food, too. Korean cooks do things with food that no other country does, some great things, some totally bizarre. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that it is Korean-Americans who are seen as the big innovators in food in the United States today. Koreans have a really unique and interesting way of looking at things and that’s beginning to be appreciated further afield. Even some of the older Koreans you met seemed ambivalent about their past having disappeared. Is there a connection between them and the younger generation in that regard (in their attitude towards the past)? Good question. All the older Koreans I met were ambivalent about the past, it was truly amazing. There has to be a connection between that and the younger generation. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the younger generation inherited that ambivalence to the disappearing past from listening to their parents and grandparents going on and on about how awful everything used to be. And, there’s the media of course; everything shiny and new is good, everything old is bad. I imagine it would be difficult to fight that onslaught even if you wanted to. What are a few places you visited that readers of your book should most endeavour to dine? I visited all nine provinces and about twenty cities, towns, villages and hamlets while researching this book. Each place had something uniquely interesting to offer; whether it be the seafood scene in Busan, the punchy heat and freshness of Jeollabukdo, the gochujang free food of Jeju, or the overwhelming variety of Seoul. It’s impossible for me to limit my answer to one place or restaurant. I hope my book is more about instilling a desire to explore regional Korean food wherever you happen to live or visit. I wrote it in such a way that it is possible for readers to follow and visit specific places, however I’m not sure whether that would be the most rewarding experience. I’d hope that people who read it might feel like discovering regional specialities on their own, to have their own adventure. What do you hope that readers take away from this book? Hopefully they will learn a little about Korea, Korean food, culture and society and they will be enthused enough by what they read to try the food or visit the country.

Eating Korea Reports on a Culinary Renaissance is out now on Ecco Press.

59 May 2017

I hate to dodge the question, but I found someTo you, what does the particular kind of thing in all of them; from the simple kongnamfood you were searching for reflect about ul bap in a small bunsik in Iksan, to a massive the Korea that you knew? sashimi blow out with old friends in Jeonju (not I think what I liked so much about Korean food in the book), that marvellous hagfish shed on back then was that it was very honest, there Jagalchi market in Busan (a total chance find), was just zero subtlety to it and I really came or the sam gyeop sal in Anguk-dong on my to love that. I suppose that might have been a last night with one of my oldest friends in Koreflection of that generation of cooks who grew rea. I guess if I had to choose a ‘type’ of place up in the war, and where Korea was at as a sowhere I most found the kind of Korean food ciety by the mid-90’s. Plus, I lived in Jeolla and experience that I enjoy, it would be the simple, Jeolla food is all power flavours: garlic, gochubare bones sheds and shacks—they’re always jang, old kimchi, tonnes of sesame, etc. I guess run by older women—and they it’s fair to say that the food I reonly ever offer simple, unpretenmembered and missed so much tious food with just three or four reflected somewhat harder times Korean cooks side dishes, a gas burner in the than today, the whole scene was do things with middle of the room, barley tea on rougher, food was still fuel back food that no the go. There’s a drop of alcohol then, not some grand, aesthetic other country not too far away and a line of old experience. Korea was still a dedoes, some great people out the door. veloping country in the mid-90’s, things, some albeit fast becoming a developed totally bizarre. Your book is as much about one, and in retrospect the food of wider Korean society as it is that time was arguably 'post-war’ about your own personal food nostalgia or 'transition food’. As I discovered, it’s evolved journey. Is writing about food necessarily so much since then and continues to do so. sociological? I’m not sure, but that seemed like the most apYou seemed to dig up a lot of fantastic propriate way for me to write this book. The restaurants around the country. What kind book is a journey in regional food, around of preparation did you do for this book and Korea, in a clockwise direction, a journey in how much of finding these places was just which I look at the past, the present, and think pure happenstance? about the future in light of what people I met I mapped out a route around Korea, plotted retold me and from my perspective as an outgional dishes I wanted to try, and in many cases sider. It just made sense to look at other facI planned a specific restaurant where I wanted tors in Korean society, however tangential the to go and eat a particular dish. In that sense, I connection to food may appear. Also, as soon was very well prepared before I arrived. Howas I landed back in Korea, it became very obever, I would say that maybe fifty percent of vious to me that this was a very, very different what actually ended up in the book happened country on every level. I had expected change, by chance. I invariably met someone who but to actually see it, the scope of it, was really steered me in some unexpected direction and quite breathtaking and I wanted to reflect that those chance encounters ended up leading the as honestly and accurately as I could. book as much, or probably more than, my preplanned ideas. Four months before I arrived, In your book, you meet a lot of younger KoI contacted everyone I knew who either still reans trying to break with the past. What lived in Korea or had some connection to Koreasons did you find for their trying to do rea or Korean food. Many of these people then so? How is that trying to break away reflectput me in touch with yet more people, so it was ed in their ideas about food? like a chain reaction. In addition, I did a great I’d never met a Korean who didn’t like kimdeal of research online which I stored on pinchi in the nineties. Now not liking kimchi board a thing for some, a kind of a fad maykorea/ I read a lot of blogs, contacted a lot of be. And I was surprised at how many young bloggers, and I read (or re-read in some cases) a Koreans preferred western food over Korean lot of non-fiction books about Korea; also a lot food at a time when westerners themselves of Korean fiction in translation, some of which are becoming more and more interested and I purposefully mention in the book as a way of enamoured with Korean food. Korean kids introducing readers to modern Korean literaare like kids everywhere; they don’t want to ture. And I listened to a tonne of podcasts: The do what their parents did, at least not in the Korea Society, The Korea File, Korea and the same way. Of course, a lot of that is just talk World, and Colin Marshall’s series on Korea when you’re young before real life hits you. among others. But some of these folk are really driven to do what they want to do in ways that their parIn what restaurant did you most find what ents could never have done twenty years ago, you were looking for?



Comfort Food for

the Jetset Generation The best of yoshoku in Itaewon. Story by Jordan Redmond Photos by Robert Michael Evans

60 May 2017


f you've ever watched Netflix's recent series, Midnight Diner, or picked up the manga on which it is based, known as Shimya Shikdang in Korean, then you will likely have the conception that Japanese food, even at its simplest, can captivate. Part of it has to do with the obsessive craftsmanship than can go into something as simple as making an omelet and some of it also has to do with the very particular Japanese filter that can boil something down to its truest essence. Take the Lawson egg salad sandwich or a simple salted and grilled yakitori skewer, a lot of thought goes into doing the simple things right. At Maum & Maum, or Mind & Body (translated from Korean), a lot of care goes into small aspects of each dish. The restaurant, having opened just last year, specializes in Japanese comfort food like you'd find it from Tenjin to

Takadanobaba. Owner/chef, Won Hee Oh, spent his formative years as a cook working in Park Hyatt hotels around Japan learning the techniques and tastes of Western-influenced Japanese food, otherwise known as yoshoku. His menu is filled with yoshoku standards such as omurice, hamburger steak, and pasta. The omurice, if one were to just take the restaurant's Instagram tags as any indication, is the star of the show here. A moist, jiggling mound of egg arrives on the table. The viewer is given a second to take it in before the server slides a butter knife down its center, spilling out the omelet's yellow, barely solid guts, which unfold neatly onto either side of a football-shaped mound of ketchup-spliced rice. Having shown itself to the world, the omelet is covered with a made-in-house demiglace, neither too rich nor too light, like velvet in

your mouth. It's truly a sight to behold, a bit of tableside magic that, like the classic flambe, serves to amaze and appetize. The food, just as the pre-dining experience, will be gone before you know it. The ruby salad is also a must-try. True salad lovers must always inherently have a bit of the Buddhist about them as truly enjoying a salad demands presence. Those who are existing solely in the moment will find quite a bit to appreciate in this salad. For one, it is beautifully presented. The citrus from orange and grapefruit, and acidic bite of balsamic vinegar, balance perfectly with the creamy avocado and greasy housemade bacon bits. You will be scooting bits of mescaline around your plate searching for those little brown bits of pork which are made from thick cut bacon and packed full of real porcine flavor. And oh yea,

The omurice, if one were to just take the restaurant's Instagram tags as any indication, is the star of the show here.

there is also grilled chicken, candied walnuts, blue cheese chunks, and red radish in the mix. Then, there is the soft-boiled egg. It's like a the hall of fame of salad ingredients come together to fight your hunger. Maum & Maum's menu offers the omurice and ruby salad along with other main dish options as a set menu which comes on a multi-leveled serving tray. The clientele on the day seemed to be mostly women in their 20's, a reliable sign of the tastefulness of any establishment these days. In fact, the restaurant's basement Kyunglidan-gil location makes it an intriguing locale. Patrons would be forgiven for thinking they'd stumbled into Japan after descending down the steps into the previously unseen dining room.


Add Yongsan-gu, Noksapyeongdae-ro 222 Jiha 1F Tel 02-790-5284

FOOD & DRINK 62 May 2017

a l l i Gor

Goes Ape for Gwangan Busan craft brewery opened new location April 1 Story by John Dunphy Photos by Haejoon Park

brewery to operate in the Gwangalli area, after Galmegi. Like Gorilla's hop-happy neighbors a short hop down the same road, Gorilla Brewing Company also offers beers besides their own. Guest brews at Gorilla are exclusively from other Korean brewers, including regional favorites like Galmegi, Praha 993, Trevier, and Whasoo, as well as several from the Seoul metro area like Hand & Malt, Playground, Goodman, Magpie, Hop Mori, Amazing, and Brewery 304, with even more to follow. Gorilla beers range from KRW 5,000-7,500, with guest beers priced from KRW 5,900-8,500. Unlike other types of businesses, Green notes craft breweries benefit most through mutual cooperation, not cutthroat competition. “It can only grow if we work together,” he says. And grow it has. It's certainly a far cry from what Green and Edwards say they were greeted with when they arrived in Korea about 10 years ago. “The market was dominated by major Korean brands, even more so than it is now,” says Edwards, one of the original founders of Galmegi Brewing Company.

63 May 2017


et's address the 800-pound gorilla in the room. Korean macro-brews have never been known for big flavor. Historically, unless your tastes trended toward those light-bodied, mass-produced lagers that dominated supermarket coolers and bars throughout the country, you were pretty much out of luck. In Busan, all that began to change with the opening of Galmegi Brewing Company in 2013. Since then, as options have continued expanding in Seoul, craft beer culture has also taken hold throughout Korea's second-largConsistency is est city of about 3.4 million. Varsomething we ious taphouses, breweries and always work on. bottle shops have sought to capiWe're willing to talize on the seemingly limitless learn, willing trend. to collaborate Nowhere has this popularity and learn from caught fire faster in Busan than others. on Gwangalli Beach. Located a less than 15-minute subway ride from Haeundae, the city's second most-popular beach area has come in first when it comes to craft beer. Not only did Galmegi open its own brewery there in 2014 (their beer was brewed by an outside contractor in its first year), Owl and Pussycat opened a bottle shop and, later, a taphouse; the Wild Waves sour beer brewers opened a pub; Slice of Life, a popular New York-style pizza restaurant, opened a second location, this time as a massive taphouse; and established local watering holes like HQ Gwangan, Sharky's, and Beached, among others, began offering more craft beer options. cited to further establish a “craft beer culture” Amid this boom, Gorilla Brewing Compain Busan. ny co-owner Andy Green says it made sense For this pair of former ESL teachers from that his business needed to move to the area, the United Kingdom, this addition to the craft as well. beer culture includes a large open industriDebuted on April 1, the new Gorilla loal-tinged floor plan that's already popular cation replaced their former, considerably in both their home country and the United smaller site in Millak-dong. Although about a States. It's a place where customers include 15-minute walk from Gwangalli Beach, it was young, trend-conscious locals who linger over seemingly a world away from Busan's craft pale ales, work-weary businessmen savor beer epicenter. IPAs and thirsty expats order another “Extra The new location arrives barely a year Stout”, infused with coffee from FM Coffee, a after the first as Green, along with co-owner popular local roastery. It includes large spaces Paul Edwards, quickly realized it would not be where people can enjoy a pint or three (or four? enough. “If we kept growing, it would be imIt was a long week and you're worth it) on a possible to continue in this space,” Green says. Friday night, perform a few life-reaffirming The pair quickly began scouting for new downward facing dogs during yoga Saturday locations. Eventually, they stumbled on mornings, then take in a Brewdog-sponsored Gwangnam-ro 125 in Suyeong. “The first time “beer school” seminar in the afternoon before we saw it, I thought, 'oh man, we have to have tucking into a plate of fish and chips from the this,'” Green says. open-air kitchen during an acoustic perforThe new bar, easily accessible from both mance that evening. Gwangan and Geumyeonsan subway sta“The space opens up a lot of possibilities,” tions, is 10 times the space of the original. Green says. “We wanted to create a certain With a brewing capacity of 6,000 liters—triple vibe. It's not just a pub.” the original location—Green says they are exGorilla's new location is now the second

FOOD & DRINK 64 May 2017

“Few places sold 'world beers', and craft beer was non-existent.” Today, Edwards, who left Galmegi in 2015, says Busan is following the model set by Seoul with craft beer becoming widely available across the city. “Gwangan is at the forefront of the Busan craft beer scene,” he says, praising the area's walkability and accessibility. “It's great news for all of us living in the area.” Green notes Gorilla's former location, best accessible by car (or a lengthy walk), saw significantly more local customers than foreigners. He credited that both to more Koreans owning cars as well as their greater willingness to travel for something recommended. Across the board, however, Green says their customers have run the gamut, which he and Edwards expect to grow with their new, more convenient location. “It could be seen as a craze, as a trend,” Green says of the area's seemingly-insatiable thirst for craft beer. “But, others have proven its popularity, and it's just gone from strength to strength.” The success has not come without hard work. Edwards says Gorilla's attention to detail, from the space to, of course, the beer, has been their hallmark. “Consistency is something we always work on,” he says. “We're willing to learn, willing to collaborate and learn from others.” With further success, both partners say this new location is not likely to be their last. “This is just the beginning,” Green says.

Add Gwangnam-ro 125, Gwangan-dong, Busan Hours Sun-Thurs 5pm-12am, Fri-Sat 5pm-1am (earlier opening times in the summer) Tel 051-714-6258 (bar), 010-8516-0400 (Korean), 010-9257-2885 (English) Website facebook @gorillabrewingcompany

John Dunphy has lived, taught, written and edited in the Busan area since 2013, having had an on-again, off-again relationship with the country since 2005. Read more at

65 May 2017

s ’ i l a BUbud in

the Twilight of Silence Nyepi, ogoh ogohs, and the essence of Bali

66 May 2017


Story by Rob Shelley Photos by Jamie Koch and Rob Shelley


treet dogs laze along the narrow roads, motorbikes and vans speeding down upon them. The drivers don’t slow down; the dogs don’t hurry up. They know there’s no need. Just before disaster, the dogs sluggishly trot to the shoulder of the road—safe and sound. That’s Ubud, the heart of Bali.

The city of Ubud, in central Bali, exists as a contradiction of chill relaxation and insane bustle. In one way, it has become the cliche place to find yourself in that hippie, new-age spiritual way. My wife visited recently for yoga, meditation, and chakra healing, and she decided go back for her spring break. This time she took me. I just finished five years as a hagwon teacher in Gangnam and was excited to unplug. Like most folks today, I find myself spiraling deep into a techno-vortex of smartphone screens and stimulus addiction. I can barely eat or wash the dishes without the glow of TV or the drone of a podcast reverberating in my ears. I hoped the warm weather, friendly people, and chill island vibe would reboot my brain; along with a healthy dose of meditation, yoga, and massage. I could also eat clean food. I don’t know if it’s the inevitable result of West-coast hipsters flocking to the island’s cultural capital, but Ubud is in many ways the spiritual sibling of the Pacific Northwest. Many of the restaurants are vegetarian or vegan. Cafes not only have quality espresso but next-level options like butter coffee, nitro cold brew, and tons of dairy-free milk. It is like being in Vancouver or Portland—organic-this, locally sourced-that. I also saw shops offering the neopolitan ice cream of hipster fashion: tattoos, body piercings, and dreadlocks. I thought everything was aligned for us to have a peaceful and restorative vacation, but Ubud was not the cliche I expected.

67 May 2017

Relaxation and balance


The mostly Hindu Balinese seem never to run out of festivals. I figured the ongoing Spirit Festival might be just what I needed to nestle into Bali’s nurturing hands. But like many things in Bali today, the Spirit Festival was for tourists. The only real signs of a Spirit Festival were packed streets and a weekend-long music festival with DJs and musicians from around the world. Luckily my wife and I stayed at a quiet resort on the edge of town, near the rice paddies. Unfortunately, the resort next door held the music festival. The bass was still thumping when we fell asleep after 3am. The town of Ubud was also much busier than my wife led me to believe. I guess it was this festival. Motorbikes flooded the streets of Bali, outnumbering cars by about 8 to 1. And a strong minority of these bikes were driven by shaky tourists. Bali is a kingdom of motorcyclists. My wife’s coworker warned us of their danger. A Korean, he had taken a ride on a motorbike taxi that had toppled over. Later, his mother visited Bali and he warned her not to take the motorbike taxis. She didn’t listen and she, too, toppled over. My wife and I both love walking, and now had a wary attitude towards motorbikes, so our feet carried us hour after hour

while zooming down the street. This was one while we sweated underneath the Indonesian of about a dozen times I figured I saved my sun. The problem with walking in Ubud is that own life. it takes the concentration and reaction time The roads buzzed with traffic. You had to of a competitive video gamer. The sidewalks look down. You had to look over are less than 3ft (1m) wide and your shoulder. There wasn’t a are somewhat busy themselves. single crosswalk, traffic light, or However, they are also obstructIt’s like a series stop sign that I saw. Needless to ed with parked bikes and other of isolated say, it wasn’t the relaxing, balvehicles. Worst of all, they are earthquakes anced atmosphere I had enviin a state of disrepair that should hit only Ubud’s be criminal. It’s like a series of sidewalks. Stones sioned. isolated earthquakes hit only thrust upward at Ubud’s sidewalks. Stones thrust random spots and Twilight of silence upward at random spots and anangles, and great gles, and great gaps are scattered Two days before leaving for gaps are scattered throughout the city. If you don’t throughout the Bali, my father-in-law asked us city. If you don’t look down closely enough, you what we planned to do for Nyelook down closely pi: the Balinese day of silence. could literally fall into the sewenough, you could Apparently, right in the middle ers and die. literally fall into of our spring break vacation, the With your eyes glued to the the sewers and die. entire population of Bali planned sidewalk in front of you, you see the need to frequently step into to take the day off. Many take a the street to walk around obvow of silence or even fast for structions and missing sections. But if you forthe day. The airport shuts down. Every busiget to look (which is surprisingly easy considness shuts down. It’s illegal to even step onto ering the Balinese drive on the opposite side the streets. Presumably, the street dogs finally of the road from Koreans and Americans) you get to nap between lanes. could also die. One time, I managed to glance Luckily, as tourists staying at the beautiful over my shoulder before stepping out: a tourByasa resort, we were allowed to speak and ist, clearly afraid of Ubud’s thick and chaotic use electricity. Most of the island even keep traffic, had been hugging the curb behind me their lights off for Nyepi.

69 May 2017

Noise and danger

TRAV E L 70 May 2017

Musicians played odd, horror-movie music, and little children grabbed the bamboo scaffoldings of these demon floats and staged mock battles to the delight of the crowds. As the twilight before Bali’s day of silence descended upon Ubud, tourists and locals alike drank big glass bottles of Bintang lager and applauded the children.

However, leading up of the day of silence was a festival sort of like our Halloween. Residents presumably spent many months crafting parade floats designed as anime-style demons, called Ogoh Ogohs. Just before sunset, crowds gathered in the streets to watch and cheer. Musicians played odd, horror-movie music, and little children grabbed the bamboo scaffoldings of these demon floats and staged mock battles to the delight of the crowds. As the twilight before Bali’s day of silence descended upon Ubud, tourists and locals alike drank big glass bottles of Bintang lager and applauded the children. The day of silence itself was our first opportunity for true relaxation. All the restaurants were closed, but the owners of the Byasa invited us to share homecooked meals with them. However, there happened to be another festival on Nyepi that, one server told us, only comes to Ubud once every 40 years or so.

I found it hard to believe that our luck could be so bad, again, considering our accidental proximity to the music festival days before. This new festival, on the day of legally-enforced silence, involved some sort of wooden contraption clanging and banging without melody or discernable rhythm, hour after hour.

Bali bali Once the excitement of the festivals was over, things in Ubud became more like I expected. The lines at the famous Yoga Barn were no longer blockbusters, and we could actually sign up for some meditation. We did two music-based sessions. The first, called Sound Medicine, consisted of two musicians playing different instruments and walking around the room, while we laid down, about sixty of us, and centered ourselves. At one point I became so centered that

I woke myself with a thunderous snore. The proceeding adrenaline from embarrassing myself kept me from sleeping, or even relaxing, again. Still, there’s nothing quite like emptying your mind in the quiet dark while a dude plays the didgeridoo a foot from your head. It’s an experience to feel your hair follicles vibrating. The next meditation was called Gong Bath. It took place in a sort of crow’s nest where there was a canopy surrounded by open walls. It was at night and it rained heavily throughout, which was itself insanely peaceful. The gong bath consisted of another meditation leader playing several gongs after asking us to consider the possibility that each gong was tuned to the frequency of the planets. Somehow the suggestion was enough to allow me to have a mild psychedelic experience where I imagined myself floating through space, eventually entering a black hole and appearing in another universe.

versation glue people together. A lover of communication, our driver, despite barely speaking English, informed us that he was well on his way to barely speaking Mandarin. When he found out that we lived in Seoul, he told us that lots of Koreans had started coming to Bali, and showed us that he could say 안녕하세요. We got into a conversation about Korea and Bali—conversation barely ceased between us the whole trip—and we praised his island’s relaxed vibe. He told us about his casual schedule and all the things he liked to do to chill, proclaiming things like “Dis is da Bali way!” Then I thought of another Korean word that I knew would both explain the essence of Korea and be useful to him when talking to Korean tourists: Bally bally (hurry hurry!). It wasn’t until I heard the words out of my mouth that I understood what I had said. Bali, the home of chill island people, was also the word

for Korea’s anxiety-driven obsession with hurried productivity. The three of us—my wife, myself, and our driver—sat there in our first uncomfortable silence, days after Nyepi had ended, stunned by how the word Bali could encapsulate two very different peoples, and that we were soon leaving one for the other.


Suddenly, I became aware people getting up and leaving. I thought it the very definition of rudeness, until I realized there was no more gong. Apparently, announcing the end of the session wasn’t our leader’s style; his style was to leave half-sleeping people in the dark to just figure it out for themselves. Aside from the street dogs, this might have been the most quintessentially Bali experience. Soon it was time to leave. Our driver was a local guy who my wife had hired a few times before. Like all Balinese people we met, he was both extremely nice and also nearly incomprehensible. With all the Balinese I talked to, it seemed as though if something wasn’t understood in conversation they felt it was better to just laugh and pretend to understand; remaining chill and happy rather than risk embarrassment or stress. In Bali, meaning slips through the cracks but the easy, positive vibes and constant con-





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72 May 2017

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Yongsan Intl. School (02) 797-5104 • San 10-213 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul Seoul Intl. School (031) 750-1200 • 388-14 Bokjeong-dong, Sujeong-gu, Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do Branksome Hall Asia (02) 6456-8405 • Daejung-eup, Seogipo-si, Jeju Island Daegu Intl. School (053) 980-2100 • 1555 Bongmu-dong, Dong-gu, Daegu

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HEALTH ORIENTAL MEDICINE Lee Moon Won Korean Medicine Clinic (02) 511-1079 • 3rd fl., Lee&You bldg. 69-5 Chungdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Specializes in hair loss and scalp problems and offers comprehensive treatments and services including aesthetic and hair care products. Soseng Clinic (02) 2253-8051 • 368-90 Sindang 3-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul FITNESS Exxl Fitness Gangnam Finance Center, 737 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul • UROLOGY & OB Sewum Urology (02) 3482-8575 • 10th fl., Dongil bldg., 429 Gangnam-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul Tower Urology (02) 2277-6699 • 5th fl. 119 Jongno 3-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul DENTAL CLINIC Boston Dental Clinic General dentistry / Periodontics / Orthodontics (02) 3482-0028 • 92-12 5F, Banpo 4-dong (Seorae French Village), Seocho-gu, Seoul


National Palace Museum of Korea (02) 3701-7500 • 12 Hyoja-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul This museum has a program called Experiencing Royal Culture designed for English teachers to help learn about Joseon royal culture. Seodaemun Museum of Natural History (02) 330-8899 • 141-52 Yeonhui-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul Don’t know where to take your kids on weekends? This museum exhibits a snapshot of the world and animals. National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea (02) 2188-6000 • 313 Gwangmyeong-ro, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do Leeum Samsung Museum of Art (02) 2014-6901• 747-18 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed on Mondays, New Year’s Day, Lunar New Year and Chuseok holidays. Kumho Museum (02) 720-5114 • 78 Sagan-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed on Mondays. Gallery Hyundai (02) 734-6111~3 • 22 Sagan-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul The first specialized art gallery in Korea and accommodates contemporary art. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed on Mondays, New Year’s Day, Lunar New Year and Chuseok holidays. Plateau (02) 1577-7595 • 50 Taepyung-ro 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul 10 a.m.-6 p. m. Closed on Mondays. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (MMCA SEOUL) (02) 3701-9500 • 30 Samcheong-ro, Sogyeok-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul Daegu Art Museum (053) 790-3000 • 374 Samdeok-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu Art space for local culture presenting Daegu’s contemporary fine arts and internationally renowned artists.

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73 May 2017

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74 May 2017

Groove Korea 2017 May  

Ultra Music Festival Seoul; Seoul's hottest summer party, Vegan restaurants guide Part 1; visiting the latest additions to Seoul's growing v...

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