Groove Korea 2017 June

Page 1

issue 127

June 2017

Aaron Cossrow Meet the Hatter; Mad Tee-Party with Aaron Cossrow


in the Sun Music festival season has arrived


we Would

Listen To

Seoul Community Radio's Pirate Ethos

Nekkid Wings Nekkid Wings break from American and Korean chicken traditions

04 contents


june 2017 18



THAAD Protests The sleepy town of Seongju becomes a battleground for international military opinions and human clashes

Big Pigs, Black Waves and Bad Girls Groove previews three upcoming Korea movies including Bong Joon-ho's new movie, "Okja."




Blogger Spotlight Groove highlights local blogger Mika Wells, TheSeoulChild


Something We Would Listen To Groove sits down with SCR's Richard Price at his internet radio station's studio

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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

International Beauty Expo Korea The surreal and paranoid journalist, and his trusty advisor Binx, explore Korea's absurd obsession with beauty


Seoul Vegan Guide: Part II Volume two of Groove's Seoul Vegan Restaurant Guide


How to… Make Bibimbap How to prepare and enjoy Jeonju's most celebrated meal from the comforts of your own home



Impressions from jiff Groove catches up with famous Russia film critic Anton Dolin fresh off his appearence at Jeonju IFF

art 44

Groove Goes Art Itaewon´s best spot - creativity, freedom and fun


Making Strides Model Han Hyun Min is set to change Korea's fashion scene


The (Dark) Future is Now Nobel Prize Laureate Svetlana Alexievich talks about the threats of Chernobyl, Fukushima, and the hope for humanity

08 contents


june 2017 54


Changing world, changing words A forum for the future of literature

music 54



Pushing Farther Electric duo Love X Stereo has embarked on an ambitious, yearlong project, creating music that is personal and spontaneous


Music in the Sun The one-stop guide to this summer's best music fests

food&drink 62

TIMA House A health food restaurant serves an 1,825-day old drink with healing properties


Ain't No Thing But a Chicken Wing Nekkid Wings offers a new setting for expats and the option of solo dining for chimaek fans


Trench town The geniuses behind the Rye Post bring Jamaican food to Itaewon




Photographer's Spotlight

King of Korean music festivals back bigger than ever Valley Rock Festival is back with more big name artists and Groove has all the details

Pentaport brings in eclectic line-up Incheon's Pentaport Rock Festival tries to outdo itself this August

Add Your Name To The Blacklist Quality cocktails and friendly charm in Itaewon


Photographer's Spotlight This issue shines the spotlight on two talented photographer's shots of the Korean cityscapes at night

10 key people

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

Anuj Madan

june 2017

photography came to Anuj fairly recently, but in his short few years of learning the craft he has managed to work for some amazing local as well as international clients alike. From Forbes to Kelloggs, and dozens of top local restaurants in Seoul, Anuj is on a self-prescribed mission to expose the soul of Seoul through capturing portraits of the amazingly talented chefs and food in this dynamic community of expats. Visit his work at and keep up with him @whereisanuj_insta on Instagram.

Robert Michael Evans is an internationally published photographer from Atlanta, Georgia who has has been calling Seoul home for the last three years. He received his B.S. in Anthropology which helped him develop a keen eye for his life behind the lens. When he isn’t busy taking photos (which he almost always is), he can be found cruising the streets of Seoul on his beloved motorcycle. To see more of his work visit

Andy Hume is a part-time speech and debate teacher and full-time glutton currently living in Haebangchon, Seoul. A native of Glasgow in Scotland, he was drawn to Korea because the freezing winters and heavy drinking reminded him of home, and stayed for the samgyeopsal and the chance to eat his way around east Asia. Andy blogs at

Neil Kirby published more than 500 articles on crime, business, government, and the arts for newspapers in upstate New York before he came to Korea in 2010. He has been a finalist or semi-finalist in several writing contests and holds a distinguished teacher award from the Korean Association of Foreign Language Academies. He is currently working on his dissertation to complete an M.A. degree from University College London's Institute of Education.


Boston Dental Clinic Better than your back home dental care

• Dental care for expat community since 2003 • All scopes of dental & surgical therapies :

cosmetic & orthodontic treatments to dental implants • Gentle & thorough care • Insurance documents for claims

Advertising General inquiries

EDITORIAL emma KALKA jordan Redmond rob SHELLEY heather ALLMAN barbara BIERBRAUER gil Coombe

photography steve SMITH peter KIM, robert EVANS

WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS Rob Shelley, Heather Allman, Soo Hyun Choi, Zev D. Blumenfeld, Barbara Bierbrauer, Dianne Pineda, Hadrien Diez, Emma Kalka, Gil Goombe, Neil Kirby, Jordan Redmond, Andy Hume, Robert Michael Evans, Anders Nienstaedt, A.C. Parsons, Mika Wells, Steve Smith, Mark Prusiecki, Daniel Kim, Anuj Madan, with a special thanks to Seoul Fashion Week, The Daesan Foundation/Arts Council Korea, NBA Buzzer Beat Festival 2017, VU Entertainment, HanCinema, Aaron Cossrow, and Anton Dolin.

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

English-speaking doctors and staff


PUBLISHER sean choi

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

Seorae French Village

Boston Dental Clinic 5F

Sheraton Palace Hotel

St. Mary's Hospital

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. 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

14 what's on june 2017



Ultra Music Festival concert


Nicky R omero


when June 10 & 11 where Jamsil Sports Complex, Seoul

Ultra Music Festival Korea hits, 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.


Dash Berlin

Sasha& eed John Dig w



Britney Live in Seoul

when June 10 | where Gocheok Skydome, Seoul









PIXAR: 30 Years of Animation

when Until August 8 | where DDP, Dongdae-mun

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.

16 what's on

Roads of Arabia-the Archaeological Treasures of Saudi Arabia Exhibition

when Until August 27 where National Museum of Korea in Yongsan, Seoul

june 2017

The first large scale survey of the history and culture of Arabian Peninsula in Korea. Tracing ancient incense trade routes and early-Islamic pilgrimage roads that once spanned the peninsula, 466 objects ranging from human-shaped steles dating back the 4th Millennium BC to gilded doors that once graced the entrance to the Ka’ba at Mecca will be displayed. Roads of Arabia, organized by the National Museum of Korea and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


The Selby House

when Until October 29 where Daelim Museum in Jongro, Seoul

Through the photographs full of warmth and curiosity and fashionable illustrations, Todd Selby's work intimately portrays creators around the world and the spaces in which they live and work. Selby is renowned for his passion for working with creatives in diverse fields ranging from fashion to design, film, architecture and cooking. His uniquely upbeat, uninhibited works evoke positive energy and provide artistic inspiration amid the monotony of everyday life. The exhibition presents a comprehensive collection of works from his most notable photography series to colorful illustrations, films, and large site-specific installation.


The Mummy

when June 6 | who Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella and Russell Crowe



when June 6 | who Kim Ok-vin, Shin Ha-kyun








Transformers: The Last Knight

when June 21 | who Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins and Josh Duhamel



when June 29 | who Ahn Seo-hyun, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Tilda Swinton, Byun Hee-bong


Anarchist from Colony

when June 29 | who Lee Je-hoon, Choi Hee-seo,



18 community

THAAD Protests The sleepy town of Seongju becomes a battleground for international military opinions and human clashes


f you’ve lived in Korea, especially Seoul, at anytime at all, you could not help but see the many references to THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) or “SSAD” as it is ironically called, locally. During Park Geun-Hye’s presidency, the South Korean government made agreements with the US to allow for the installation of the THAAD system into Seongju as a deterrent against missile attacks from North Korea. However, China, another strong ally of South Korea, had other ideas, and felt that the THAAD system was an affront to their longstanding relationship. As a defensive system, THAAD does not pose a direct threat to China, but strong arguments exist that China desires to use the issue to drive a wedge between South Korea and the US. Moreover, it’s arguable that China feels virtually surrounded by US allies such as Japan, Taiwan, the ASEAN countries, and Australia.

Story by Maxwell Johnson Photos by Maxwell Johnson


1 A long line of protesters march next to a police line on the main road in Seongju. Hundreds of villagers, monks, priests, farmers, and concerned citizens from all over the country marched hand in hand, shouting and singing songs to display their displeasure with the rocket installation. 2 Police stand on the bridge leading to the THAAD site, separating the rocket system from the town of Seongju.

1 2

As China pushes to create “soft power” in the Asian continent and Pacific, the game was played out, at least partially, in the tiny town of Seongju, South Korea earlier this month. As huge trucks drove through the town, finally fulfilling the agreements between the US and Korean governments, hundreds, if not thousands, of protesters met the trucks with signs, songs, and chants. The shouts ranged from concerns about their town becoming a target for attacks - to the US being the “Axis of Evil” and everything in between. Sadly, there were unfortunate events on both sides. Stories of a phone video from one of the US Army drivers, laughing at the protestors, ran rampant. Meanwhile, several protesters were severely injured clashing with heavy police escorts. As tempers cooled, the town got into full-protest mode. Stages were set, food was delivered, and two very long lines of National Police busses were brought in to control the crowd. Chants and Parades The people of Seongju organized quickly, bringing shelters, toilets, and makeshift restaurants to accommodate the protesters. Many local farmers brought portions of their crops as donations, which were given out free of charge, along with water and other refreshments to keep morale and energy up on such a hot day.

20 community 3 Mixed messages are sometimes sent as various groups intermingle during the protests 4 As rain fell, so did the high tempers of the march attendees. Shouts turned to song, and megaphone speeches turned to musical performances. The peaceful lessons learned in the Park Guen-hye protests were remembered, and the mood was one of quiet resistance. 5 The temple is so full with praying monks, there is overflow on the outside step. Photos of monks long gone hang from the walls, a quiet symbol of strength to younger monks eager to find their own way toward peace.



3 4

Strong Opinions and Fear Even Buddhist monks, usually remarkably quiet and reserved, spoke out strongly at the protest. Though still quite peaceful, their message was clear - the rocket system made their small community glow bright red on North Korea’s radar. Other protestors, those more connected to diplomatic or political avenues, felt that the economic reflux was already too much to bear. China had all but banned their citizens from traveling to South Korea as tourists by forbidding their travel agencies from processing Korean visas. This hit Korea right in the pocketbook, and no one is more keen to notice than Korea’s new president, Moon Jae-in. He has stated that his intent is to have the rocket system removed as quickly as possible. Time for Refreshment Storm clouds approached as the tension grew between protesters and police. Far up the road, toward the bridge to the THAAD system, Buddhist monks and farmers worked together to build a large cairn: a permanent symbol of their communal unity and a prayer for peace. Prayer for Peace and Change Knowing they have only a handful of ways to change the course of the THAAD system, the villagers, doctors, accountants, factory workers, and monks will begin to focus their efforts on a way forward, both in peaceful mass resistance and in prayer. Again, hearkening back to the incredibly successful Park Geun-hye protests, they intend to keep their minds and their hearts aimed at change, and show that the people of South Korea are able to create change, again and again, without conflict. Protests will continue in the town of Seongju, presumably for months, as President Moon determines how he will deal with both his country’s military needs, as well as his people’s desires.

The SeoulChild, Mika Wells

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Blogger Spotlight Story by Rob Shelley Photos by A.C. Parsons

What got you into blogging? Did you start writing here or were you writing before? I got my MFA in creative writing, and I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I’ve blogged on and off for years, really, but it never meant much to me; it was more of an outlet for any thoughts I had that weren’t directly tied to my writing. But in my second year of grad school, I took a course where I was tasked with creating a themed blog and keeping it up for the entire semester. My foremost loves were classic movies and fashion, so I’d write blog entries about Golden Hollywood-era movies and actresses and discuss the fashion of that time. When I came to Korea, I was totally burned out from my thesis and turned off bywriting in general. It was actually my mom who pushed me to get back into the blogging game. “You see so many interesting things,”

The Best Lux Spots in Seoul?

Tell us about your blog. What inspired it? What was your proudest moment? The genesis of The SeoulChild that exists today came from a bout of sheer laziness. I had initially begun to plan a trip to Vietnam in 2015, but quickly grew tired of it all; I didn’t really want to get on a plane, and I didn’t want to do all of the traveling. However, I also didn’t want to spend my whole break in my small apartment, so I came up with the idea to use the money I’d originally allocated for my Vietnam trip to do a series of “staycations”: I picked 4 luxury hotels that I wanted to stay in, and I traveled between them. The idea of blogging about those experiences came to mind, and that’s how my Lux Staycation series came to be. I consider the real anniversary of my blog to be December 2015 just because of that. The name “The SeoulChild” is a play on the words “soul child” and “Seoul.” My parents said that I was a free spirit even as a toddler, and I also find myself getting in tune with the beat of what’s going on around me: that’s where the “soul child” part comes from. Then, of course, I’m based in Seoul. The focus is on luxury travel and lifestyle, and I create the content of my posts with those things in mind. I’ve never been a milestone kind of girl, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that I should be pushing myself further and shooting for loftier goals. However, knowing that I’m putting something out there that people can enjoy and learn something from is quite rewarding in and of itself.

I received a question on Instagram that asked me this: "What do you think your best 'fancy hotel in Korea' experience has been?" My short answer was pretty immediate, but it did have me thinking about the places I've stayed at thus far and how I would rank them. So, without further ado, here is my ranking of the lux hotels I've stayed at in Seoul (so far).

What does the future hold for you and/or your blog? I see myself blogging more about FOOD! So many great restaurants are popping up all over the place! This summer I’m staying in the “lux” sphere, but I’m going to branch out a little bit; I’m planning it all right now, and I’m really excited about it. Website

1 Four Seasons Seoul If you want the total luxury experience, you need look no further than the Four Seasons brand. The year-old Seoul location experienced some growing pains in the beginning, but by the time I settled in for my 3-night stay back in May [2016] this hotel was well on its way to the top of the heap. Both lux and contemporary with great customer service, great food, superb facilities and a central location, this is where you want to be, whether you're a staycationer or a tourist (and provided that you have the money).

2 The Conrad Seoul I've practically written sonnets about the Conrad, and if the Four Seasons hadn't swooped in, it would be numero uno. With spacious rooms and even more spacious facilities, this hotel is situated in the heart of Yeouido's business district. The customer service is second-to-none, edging the Four Seasons out by a hair.

3 The Grand Hyatt Seoul This was a new stay for me, but I can still honestly say that this was quite the business hotel. And yes, it's a business hotel: situated on the south side of Nam mountain, tourists would have a tendency to feel a little isolated, especially if they'd rather do the walking tours than the bus tours. Still, with Club Olympus access, a rather cool-looking lobby lounge, and a plethora of activities and events during the summer and winter months, this is one of the places to be.

4 Park Hyatt Seoul For being in the same price range as the Four Seasons, it doesn't offer as much in the way of customer service, which is why it's here at #4. However, despite the Park Hyatt's age (it's older than both the Four Seasons and the Conrad, and the second oldest on this list), it still holds up with its beautifully designed guest rooms. With a deluxe room bigger than any other on this list, it was a dream oasis. The Park Club is a great facility, too, bar the tiny fitness room, and houses an amazing infinity pool. However, for me, it just couldn't crack the top three. Do keep in mind, however, that I didn't eat at the restaurants and therefore can't comment on them (but they do have great reputations).

5 The Shilla

Mika Wells considers herself a jack of all trades but a master at none. She has lived, worked, eaten and written in Seoul since 2014.

What a gorgeous business hotel, really. Situated on the opposite side of Nam mountain from the Grand Hyatt, it's isolated in a different way (at least for tourists), and then the rooms leave just a little to be desired decor-wise. However, the hotel's sauna and duty-free game are both second-to-none, as is the food in their executive lounge.

Excerpt from (originally published 10/17/2016)

What interests you the most about this country? The marriage between the traditional and modern. You see it everywhere: from watching young women and men in hanbok, selfie sticks in hand and crossing an intersection with bumper-to-bumper traffic, to the juxtaposition ofa hanok village amongst a sea of glass and concrete buildings. Where I’m from, the line of demarcation is much clearer: old and new don’t bleed together as evidently as they do here.

she insisted. “Why don’t you write about them?” She pestered me for about a year before The SeoulChild was finally born.



hat brought you to Korea? What ultimately brought me to Korea was the desperate need for a change of scenery and surroundings. It was early 2014, and I had been in Chicago for four years as not only a full-time graduate student but also as a full-time employee. My work week was pretty intense: I’d wake up at 6:30am, work from 7:30 to 4:00, and barely have a couple of hours to get to my apartment, grab my school books, and eat a quick meal before I’d have to get to a four and a half hour class...and then on top of that I had my thesis and, later on, my part-time CELTA classes. I knew I wanted to venture into teaching, but I wasn’t sure how to do it or where. I grew up traveling, so the idea of teaching abroad really appealed to me. I’d lived in Japan as a little girl due to my dad’s profession, but I didn’t feel the same connection with Japan I once had, so the possibility of teaching there was nixed. However, I’d had some friends who had taught in South Korea and really enjoyed their time there. I’d never been to Korea before, and as I read up on the country I thought, “Well, this is cool. Why not?”

24 community

g n i h t Some uld we Wo To Listen

Story by Rob Shelley Photos by Robert Michael Evans

Interview with Seoul Community Radio’s founder Richard Price



atekeepers and tastemakers What is the value of traditional media in today’s age? Network and cable TV is dying, the circulation of print publications is shrinking, and radio is a shell of its former self. With internet-based services like Netflix, Spotify, and the immense blogging and social media world, what value is there in traditional media? Here’s your answer: Gatekeeping. Now that we don’t need significant financial resources to broadcast or publish, the only value left in traditional media is being a gatekeeper—being the curator that sifts through the ocean of content to select what’s worth your time. Think of all the blogs out there and try to quickly separate the good from the bad. It’s impossible. But paying for a subscription and following the rules of media corporations isn’t always worth getting curated content. Luckily, the current age of the internet is fixing that, too. Radio from the past, for the future Richard Price, the founder of Seoul Community Radio (SCR), recently told me about growing up in London in the 90s, where it seemed like everyone got into dance and underground music from listening to Pete Tong every evening. “It would be the one time on BBC Radio One where they'd shelf the pop and there would be club music on. And that would sort of set the scene for you getting ready, going out, then listening to similar music.”

26 community

The BBC gave Rich’s generation in London something cool and underground to listen to on a mainstream platform. And that helped shape his generation. “I guess the radio for me was really important in terms of shaping taste. Help you discover more music, help discover what else is out there.” But even the BBC had its limits. Rich credits the UK dance club explosion not only to BBC Radio One, but to the pirate radio stations that weren’t satisfied with just Pete Tong in the early evenings. The UK has a rich history of DJs and musicians hacking the FM airwaves and broadcasting music that was edgier than what most people were used to. “Just all the time—deeper, heavier cuts. And people MCing over the top [of it], people trying new things, people scratching, people doing all sorts of stuff from a DJ perspective.” But the real value in the pirate radio movement wasn’t just access to new sounds, because mixtapes could accomplish that. Rather, it was the curation of music. These tastemakers went to the clubs, brought talented, underappreciated DJs to the airwaves to present their music, promoted the club scene, and took risks. Now the internet is offering an even wilder DIY ethos for the whole pirate radio station game. There’s no need to hijack the local FM airwaves when you can broadcast high-quality audio and video to every corner of the world. That’s what SCR is doing, and they are proving that internet radio can be a success. "There's one [Facebook Live] we did when this German DJ, right? So we got 80,000 people seeing him.” In total, Rich estimates their Facebook Live videos have reached over 10 million unique viewers. What the f**k is internet radio? Rich is a little blown away that someone came to interview him about SCR while knowing almost nothing about club music, the underground scene in Seoul, or pirate radio. When I ask him what it is he does, he tries to think of a way to explain it to me. He thinks of his mom. "If I try to explain this to my mom, or someone like that, it's really hard. 'So you're radio? OK got it. And then you've got [it] all on the video and social media stuff like that? And then now you tell me you're broadcasting festivals live.' And it's like, 'Ahh... are you radio or are you TV? What are you?'" That’s the wild and exciting opportunity of the internet. SCR is radio: it broadcasts audio 24/7. But there’s some serious upgrades from the old pirate radio days. First of all, you can hear the broadcast world-

wide. Rich showed me a website (radio. garden) that loaded a Google Earth-type map of the globe, filled with internet radio stations. We listened in on a broadcast in Turkmenistan for a moment before exploring East Asia and narrowing in on SCR in Seoul. It’s as simple as that. SCR also do their shows in video format. Their studio has a green screen that DJs and programmers can play with. You can check out their videos on Facebook and YouTube or, if you simply want to listen while you workout or do chores, you can visit them on SoundCloud or their website. Yet, with all the exposure and huge numbers—Rich estimates that, before the end of their first year, they were pulling in 5,000-10,000 viewers a week—pirate radio broadcasters aren’t exactly looking to the traditional revenue model.

The thing is, with the kind of radio we're making, it's kind of like a 'F**k commercial radio' kind of vibe, you know that the sh*t, the jingles, and adverts, it's not what we are. So we wanted to make something that we would listen to Pirate treasure “The thing is, with the kind of radio we're making, it's kind of like a 'F**k commercial radio' kind of vibe, you know the sh*t, the jingles, and adverts, it's not what we are. So we wanted to make something that I would listen to." It’s not that internet radio stations are allergic to money, it’s just that they are weary of losing that edge that makes them what they are. But as RIch tells me, it takes about $10,000 to start up a high-quality internet radio station and the programmers and DJs

at SCR still have day jobs. So there has to be revenue, but it’s on SCR’s terms. “Kind of f**k brands, f**k advertising, that doesn't work on me. But if we do events that are cool and brands are able to support that with their resources, we can make something really good that we can't [ourselves].” SCR’s main revenue stream comes from live events. They’ve brought the party to clubs and, at times, have even brought the bar. Rich says it’s the closest thing this country gets to an illegal, underground party. Sometimes these events are sponsored by companies, but they are always broadcast live and help promote local artists and venues. They were even invited to Hong Kong for a pop-up event and helped set up Hong Kong Community Radio. “It's loose [speaking of the lack of real focus on ads and revenue] but it works. I think if we were more organized, people would be put off by it. If we were more polished and a bit more... I don't know... it's takes the edge off it. But because we're DIY, I think people are down with that.” The past and future of SCR Rich chuckles when I ask him how this all got started. “It's a bit weird, I'm trying to remember when and why I started it. Actually, we started it as a podcast.” About a year and a half ago, Rich and other expats started a podcast named SCR, but the quality and content wasn’t like it is now. Also, he says it was dangerously close to being “expat radio,” which would be against the whole community focus of pirate radio. Now he estimates that it’s about 70% Korean programmed, but still appeals to an audience around the globe. “[The international listeners] like the fact that we're showing a little bit of a cooler side of Korea other than the stereotypes which all we know. I don't even need to go into it. But it's cool because [SCR] is showcasing a really cool side of the country which I've grown to like a lot.” This also blew me away. A cooler side of Korea? I once thought it was possible but, after six years living in and around Seoul, I almost gave up on the idea that there are thriving subcultures underneath all the K-Pop, K-Hip Hop, plastic surgery, and male cosmetics. “If you scratch the surface,” Rich assures me about the Korean subculture, “people can get wild, you know? People just don't see it straight off.” SCR evolved from a podcast to a legit internet radio station via a core group of friends and resident DJs who helped build the studio into what it is. “There are a number of people who deserve massive credit with


the formation of SCR who are doing other cool things now-the effort owes a lot to that” says Rich. Although it was a risk, Rich said he was confident. “It was a bit of a leap of faith and everyone was like, 'Yes you should totally do it.' And we put in a little bit of savings into it. I had a feeling it would work though.” From there, they strove to get 24 hours of content so they could play through a whole day non-stop. They added video and then—the holy grail—live broadcasting. Now they have more content than they know what to do with, all managed by a hard-working team of programmers and some slick computer software. But it wasn’t without its growing pains. Rich says he still wakes up in the middle of the night, anxious about what’s playing on his station while it’s on auto-pilot. “We tried to have this thing, the jingle,” Rich says, “we had a few jingles that would play every two hours but I f**ked that up in the beginning and I woke up and it was just the jingle repeating. But those miscues are a thing of the past. SCR is big, really big for something that’s only about a year old. They now get emails everyday of from what Rich calls “bedroom DJs” that hope their content will get played on SCR. And the submissions come from all over the world. But even though SCR has certainly outgrown amateur DJs—having

featured artists like UK grime star AJ Tracey, established French electronic names like Bambounou, Teki Latex and Jacques, and German techno mainstays like ATA and Oliver Hafenbauer—the pirate ethos still reigns at SCR. “Some bedroom producer who's making some sort of strange hybrid of hip-hop and other futuristic, crazy sounds, we give him a listen. [Sometimes] it's like 'This is sick!' It's just a kid in his bedroom and he doesn't know where to... maybe he's sort of tried to get his music out and no one paid attention but he said 'I'm gonna keep making it.' And we encourage that [with] anyone who is making music in Seoul, whether they're Korean or foreign.” And SCR isn’t just for club music. Although they lean towards certain genres, they will play music of literally any type. Rich, in particular, loves the wild, unusual, and bold. Just remember to submit at least 30 minutes of mix, although he says an hour is best. “They can message us their ideas and then if it's original then we'll definitely weigh it up. Like I said, the quirkier the better. We just want to provide a service where people can artistically let loose. It can be anything, really. No genres are off limits. I like people letting their hidden talents come out.” Coda RIch tells me that Seoul Community Radio’s

core team are “made of Koreans from different backgrounds such as Juhwan aka DJ Bowlcut the content director, graphic designer and creative director Seulki Lee, and Curd, Hyunjee and Hyunsoo the ardent studio team.” He also adds that SCR is planning to celebrate their one-year anniversary with “a unique event in mid-summer so people should look out for that. We’re also hoping to showcase more Korean artists overseas soon too so keep an eye out for that.” Finally, Rich says that the best way for a new listener to check out Seoul Community Radio is on their Facebook page. That’s where the best of the best can be found. And, again, that’s the value of having an internet radio station over other streaming platforms. The presentation, the local connection, and the love and care that goes into it. The live interviews with guests, popup events, local promotions, and the unique tastes of their DJs and programmers. “[We’re] music with presenting. That curator there, that's the main thing. Or else we'd be like Spotify.” Time SCR is 24/7 but most live programming happens sometime between 6pm-2am Website YouTube @Seoul Community Radio Facebook @seoulcommunityradio/ (Check for schedule of live streams) Instagram @scr_radio SoundCloud @seoulcommunityradio

28 community

International Beauty Expo Korea Give Your Face The Gift of Placenta


Story by Zev D. Blumenfeld Illustrations by Anders Nienstaedt

t had been sometime in the early morning, Binx and I had been tipping back soju shots in Hongdae’s “Main Bar” while discussing the merits of spring roll sauce, when I saw the text. “They want us to cover a beauty expo.” I had said. “A beauty expo? Sounds like a cakewalk.” “Think so? All right, why not?” The details following this exchange were foggy, but apparently I had agreed because that morning, between the hours of 9 and 10 a.m., my phone rang. I answered, but immediately regretted it. The voice on the other end was distorted, which was just as well since I wasn’t one for piddling phone conversation. Through the static I was able to make out the words “International Beauty Expo,” “abhorrent disregard for punctuality” (which if the voice was referring to me was an egregious accusation), and “leave now or else.” The phone call didn’t make immediate sense. What did a beauty expo have to do with me? Had they hoped I’d participate? It didn’t add up. When I got to the subway platform, my advisor was waiting. He was visibly agitated, a stark contrast from the ruddy-cheeked howls of his inebriated laughter in the bar. When I approached, he stopped pacing. “I recommend we get the f*ck out of this country while we still can,” he spat. “That last festival practically ate us alive, and now they want us to go to some makeup party totally unprepared and unfunded. These Collareds have no respect for the working writer.” “Where’s your journalistic integrity, man?” I said. “We can’t just jump ship in the middle of the gㅗddamn ocean. We’re on a mission, an exploration only fit for the strongest of heart.” Before he could respond, the train arrived, and the crowd that had gathered swept us in like flies caught in a stampede. The massive COEX convention hall was the venue chosen for the International Beauty Expo. I had been there on a number of occasions, each time feeling more and more bewildered by its sheer magnitude. There had been dessert shows,

electronics shows, education shows, baby merchandise shows, even money shows; because if a niche audience existed, its only purpose was to be exploited. After all, there was money to be made. And if for whatever reason you didn’t take the bait and step into these spending-traps, the labyrinth that was COEX’s underground shopping mall would snag you for sure. It was the largest underground mall in Asia, accented with a movie theatre and aquarium-a consumer’s wet dream (and what I imagined hell would look like). But that’s what people wanted-a way to “live better,” hoping that their next big purchase or “enhancement” would inch them closer to finding their “ideal self.” This philosophy had become popular in Seoul. The idea that with a little tuck here or a little sculpting there, one too could reach his or her optimal beauty. Accessorize yourself with the ‘correct’ surgery, cosmetics, fashion, and possessions, and even you could discover the ‘ideal self’ and make your fantasy a reality. We were the only men in the subway car. Everywhere I looked women sat, fiddling with pocket mirrors, brushing on makeup, and curling their eyelashes. This must have been the express train to the event, I reasoned. And then I felt it-the inescapable sense of being watched. It may have been from the dregs of soju still floating

around my bloodstream, but as I glanced down the car it seemed to elongate. With a mechanical click, the eyes I had felt quickly blinked back to their respective hand mirrors. “Dammit, they’ve spotted us, man. We’re fish out of water,” I said to my advisor. “Don’t worry, we’re almost there. Just be cool.” I was sweating buckets. I felt my peripheral vision expanding in some kind of hyper-focus. The outlines of everything became thick. It was like we were sitting in the middle some kind of a fㅗcking cartoon. A lady seated opposite us stared, and I remember thinking she might have been the poster woman for Botox-gone-wrong. Her lips were as thick as a stack of buttermilk pancakes and protruded out beyond her mink scarf. She had the eyes of a vampire bat. I felt exposed, dirty, penetrated by some sort of ajumma echolocation. Had she seen us before? Did she know where we were going? What we were about? “Holy hell, it’s hot in here, man,” I spouted in a jumble of sounds and syllables that may have been words. Binx didn’t respond. Suddenly, the bat-lady’s lips started drifting apart into two flat, gooey pancakes that edged towards us, expanding outwards. I backed into the corner of the seat.

ing, hair treatment. We ducked through a large crowd of excited women that had spread from a stall where cloth menstrual pads with floral designs were sold. A line of visitors waited for their chance to participate in a “Spin the Wheel” game. One girl in overall shorts shrieked as the wheel ticked to a stop on a winning space. She received a mask, which the male host seemed equally as excited to give away. Not more than ten minutes into our initial walk-through, a salesman with thick eyebrows and a brown blazer sprang from behind one of the booths, bombarding us like a wild banshee. He shoved a shiny package the size of a paperback book into my face.

The truth is you should never trust a smiling salesman; their motives are never clean, in fact, most have the purity of fool’s gold or sewer water “Holy hell, man!” I screeched. “It’s a mask made of pig’s placenta!” he spat eagerly, waving the package around. “Have you heard of placenta?” “Placenta? Why, no.” I said. Like anyone who had passed fifth grade sex-education I of course had, but I had a method of dealing with these folk. The truth is you should never trust a smiling salesman; their motives are never clean, in fact, most have the purity of fool’s gold or sewer water. However, it’s a mistake to simply shoo these f*ckers away. It’s like swatting at a mosquito-you won’t rid yourself of the problem, they’ll just come back in greater numbers. If you’re forced into contact with one of these creatures, the first thing to do is make direct eye contact-make him acknowledge your presence. After all, you’re no pushover. Ask him as many questions as possible, as fast as you can. Pretend you’re playing some sort of game where you know all the answers, but you ask the questions anyway just to see how he will react. Remember you’re the ringleader of this circus. Eventually, he’ll

tire, defeated. The smart ones will even realize they’ve been chasing their tails the whole time, crown you king, and spread your name throughout the sales wasteland. “You’ve never heard of placenta before?” he said perplexed. “Nope. What’s it do? How can it help us? How’s it improving the world?” I pressed. “Well, it’s very nutritious for the skin.” “Is that right? Well, we need smooth skin, that’s what makes us human-separates us from the rest of the beasts, hell, without that we’d be lost in the shuffle. It’s why God put us on this planet. You do believe in Jesus Christ don’t you?” "I’m at church every Sunday.” He was lying and everyone in a 10-meter radius knew it. Even through the soju haze, my colleague could smell the bullshit. “Pig placenta, eh? What’s the purpose?” asked my advisor. I could see where this was going and it wasn’t good. Troubled by Binx’s question, the salesman stared at me as if he thought I might throw him a life preserver. I had to smooth the waters. But what came out only made matters worse. “Is this some esoteric ritual from the Joseon Dynasty or are you just f*cking with us? What’s the score? How long until the jig is up?” “It’s very good, very good,” he said quickly shifting his eyes back to his booth. As his smile faded, I could tell we had reached the turning point. “You’re telling us to put this pig uterus on our faces and you can’t tell us what it does? Is this some kind of sick joke?” “Calm down, you giant sea turtle,” I said to Binx. “We don’t want to rile up security. They’ll feed us to the wolves!” “Then the wolves it shall be!” Binx said defiantly. “This buffoon has duped for the last time.” Making waves with the locals was ill advised, especially in a place like this. But my colleague had a point. What kind of sick practical joke was this? Putting a sack that nourishes fetal pigs on a human face? There was something we were missing. “Look we’re all hardworking gentlemen? Wouldn’t you agree?” I said. “There’s no use debating. A little exaggeration is called for from time to time.” But the salesman wasn’t following. “Hell, Sales controls the media nowadays,” I continued. “That’s why we live outside the bubble-play our own bongos all day long-o.” The salesman nodded and sensing defeat wandered back to the shadows where he had come. “Conniving bastard,” Binx spat.


The mink scarf sprouted a head that popped up from the woman’s shoulder. It started shrieking and hissing. “That scarf’s alive, gㅗddammit!” I shouted. Everyone on the train stopped. The mirror maidens turned in my direction. “Hissing scarf? You’ve lost your beans,” whispered the advisor. “Sit down and relax. You’re making a scene.” Thirty minutes (or a lifetime) later the door opened and I stumbled out. As we walked through the underground mall, a thought occurred. “I hope they let me into this thing,” I said. That morning, I had nearly tripped into my clothes and fallen out of my apartment in the rush. I wore faded jeans and an Old Navy V-neck, two sizes too big. It’s not that the outfit was uncommon, but in what I assumed would be a gathering of statuesque perfection, it seemed I had come ill-prepared. In fact, the guards would probably take one look at us and say something like, “Sir, your attire doesn’t meet the prestigious standards of this event.” I’d have to be quick on my feet, “Of course it does. We’re models. We set the fashion standard. ‘What is it we model?’ Well, a fresh perspective-common sensesome might call it a way of life. But trust me, every second we’re prevented from entering this venue you’re putting lives at risk. We take our jobs seriously, man.” They’d look confused, likely exchange a few words in Korean, and let us in out of pity for our primal, foreign drab and strange demeanors. We were submersed in a culture where personal appearance meant everything. Rumors circled that some women in relationships even went as far as waiting until their boyfriends fell asleep before removing their cosmetically enhanced face. Men were often “left in the dark” both literally and metaphorically, but based on all the purse-holding and couple outfits I had seen around, the men seemed to have embraced this trend. Past the guards and through the turnstiles we went without disruption. But as we lurched into the enormous cube-shaped exhibition hall, the weight of this event dawned upon me. Salesmen and women leapt from every booth in a tribal rhythm of chaos. Visitors walked in all directions, up and down rows passing some 264 different vendors. Names like “Jeju Technopark,” “Aroma Dead Sea,” and “Skin Factory Co.” hung on banners at the top of each booth. They had it all: free samples, live beauty events, manicures and pedicures, nail paint-

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We had no choice but to press on, deeper into this circus. Everybody in the venue swarmed to find perfection, beat back the encroachments of unavoidable human biology. Deny, deny, deny. But this was nothing new; the modern world lived in a constant state of denial with the belief that technology would cure all. Denial-that’s how rogue politicians, like the infamous Park Geun-hye, scurried around for as long as they did like termites in the walls. You could ignore them, pretend they weren’t there, but eventually you’d lose your house and all your belongings because of them while they enjoyed a cushy feast at your expense. If denial didn’t suite your fancy, there was always comfort in faith, especially in faith lacking foundation. It helped empower and perpetuate the flotsam and jetsam of society, giving spurious government officials voice, helping churches stay afloat and otherwise bogus companies thrive on promises as real as pixie dust. Be loud, be proud, scream with vengeful tenacity, and no matter how unfounded your message, you can speak truth. But f*ck it, why not? Play the game or watch it play you. It was all for one and one for all. We bypassed the empty pressroom and headed for the hall of beauty contestants. The first contest of the day had already begun. As many as twenty models, all wearing clay masks, lay stretched out on massage tables like seals basking in the sun. They had on pastel pink bathrobes. Estheticians stood above, gazing down at their respective model, pounding hammers to shape each mask. Judges walked around, clipboards in hand. I became distracted when a female version of cupid, wrapped in a dress of Italian villas, pirouetted into the middle of the room. The whole thing was fascinating to someone, I assumed. Was this their idea of paradise? Stretching out for hours under the floodlights, hoping an ideal self would be revealed? Maybe so, but I wasn’t going to wait around to find out. “I’m bored. Let’s come back for the beauty contest.” Back in the main hall, we ambled about, passing booths with breast implant samples, syringes with leaking stem cells, and for the very important persons, masks made from 24-karat gold. If none of that appealed to visitors, there was always the infrared Robocop-looking helmet, which the sales team pledged would unclog pores and eliminate any and all acne. “Just twenty minutes a day!” gloated the rosy-faced man. We passed by a plain booth advertising sulfur products. The inventor happily engaged us without breaking into a pitch. “Ah, a newbie!” I thought. It turned out, while in the depths of his

fashion studies at the New School in New York, he had a nervous breakdown and retreated on a meditative soul-search to what he claimed was a mineral spring in Yellowstone. Here, he had an epiphany. Why not make skincare products out of sulfur? “It’s the first of its kind,” he assured me. I had no doubt about this, and obliged when he asked if I wanted a sample. Out of nowhere came a Collared holding a red container of eye patches said to possess anti-wrinkle powers. He reached in with plastic tweezers. “Try one,” he laughed. “They’re made from snake venom.” Before I could swat his hand away, he had popped one onto my face. “Snake venom, eh?” I said. Koreans were quite a giving people on the whole. Even if you flatly refused, they’d find a way to sneak the food into your mouth or a gift into your pocket… or, in this case, the snake venom into your blood. “This is too much for me,” slurred Binx. “I’ll be down at the bar.” “There’s no bar downstairs, you swine. Even if there was, I’ve put a notice out telling the locals not to serve hairy mammoths dressed in Hawaiian shirts,” I said. “Well, we’ll see who's laughing after you find yourself upside-down when that snake venom kicks in. You ready for that? Covering the beauty contest while fighting off poison milked from the world’s most dangerous cobra?” “It’s just a marketing tool, you imbecile, and you’re propagating it.” “You sure about that?” he said. “Get out of here, then.” He walked away laughing. A woman with dyed orange hair and ferocious nails gawked in our direction. I remember saying aloud, “Jesus, is that Edward Scissorhands? I immediately wanted to apologize, but at that moment a paralyzing clamminess shot through my spine. I tried to move, but it felt like I was caught waist deep in a swamp. I looked back at the Snake Venom

Man whose face had twisted into a sinister snarl only the devil himself could make. I had overstayed my welcome. It was time to leave, but where were the exits? The height of the booths had obscured any indication of them. A blue knockoff Teletubby trudged by, human-sized makeup bottles emerged from the stalls, yelling at me to come inside. This expo had become a free-for-all, and without an exit there was no getting off the ride. Madness scurried in every direction. Humans began looking like robots. Some waited in lines at various booths, others were getting manicures. A couple in their early thirties stood at a miracle water stand. The Korean man-bot was buried under a mound of shopping bags. I remember his blonde, American wife swiping her debit card, proclaiming, “What a bargain! Only 30,000 won for a ten-pack!” Had the whole place been drinking miracle water? Or was this all in my head? When the venom finally wore off, I found myself staring from the outside of the exhibition hall looking in. The Beauty Contest had passed. All the booths had been cleared out and now stood empty. Across from me, hung an advertisement picturing a woman-the Marilyn Monroe type. She rested, posing with her chin on her hands, eyes transfixed on something outside the picture-something far away. It was then I noticed in bold letters the words, “Plastic Surgery Clinic,” and a question printed underneath that read, “Have you found your ideal self, yet?”

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n a g e V I I l t r a u P : o e e S u id G

Your guide to eating vegan at the newest popular health food restaurants around Seoul

Story by Soo Choi Photos by Soo Choi


Fruits Basket Raw veganism. It's still an ambiguous concept to most Koreans. But those who frequent the little juice and raw food cafe on a side street in Gangnam, couldn't be happier to have a place to visit every day. Fruits Basket, located near Seolleung station, is a 100% vegan and raw food establishment serving cold-pressed juices, smoothies, coffee drinks, and raw meals, all for a fraction of the prices you would find anywhere else in Seoul. Outside the warm, open-door cafe with both indoor and outdoor seating, a dog greets me at the door as I walk in. Studio-style lights, artistically placed decor, Me Before You projecting on one of the minimal white walls, and a rack of Kinfolk magazines: I already feel right at home. As both owner and chef, Jun Min-Ha (with her adorable Shiba puppy) runs the place on her own, in tandem with her old college friend who runs the second branch in Busan. She first sparked an interest in raw veganism about two years ago-living in New Zealand. She was eating very unhealthily and was overweight, but didn't realize how serious the problem was until she landed back in Seoul. She tried every diet and weight loss medicine within her reach, but continued to struggle with her health. At last, she changed the way she ate and thought about food, and that's when she finally began to see improvements. "I tried juice cleansing and raw veganism, and naturally began craving more healthy foods," she said, recalling her first months. She shows me photos of herself at her unhealthiest, and it's truly hard to believe that the figure in the photo is the same person as the healthy, glowing woman sitting in front of me. Then when she visited New

add 917-1 Daechi 4(sa)-dong, Seoul | Tel 070-4306-0707 | Hours Mon-Fri 11am-8:30pm. Sat 11am-4pm Menu Cold-pressed juices, smoothies, raw food | Website | Instagram @fruitsba_

York with one of her old college friends, they became smitten with the abundance of raw food restaurants and juiceries. When they came back to Korea, they were disappointed to learn that juiceries were few and far, even in Seoul, and very expensive. Raw food restaurants were even rarer, and often charged obscene amounts of money for small portions, just because it "used a lot of produce." The two began formulating the idea to open up their own stores. Jun chose to open her shop in Gangnam, because she wanted customers to be able to utilize the Gangnam-exclusive cheap delivery service apps (배달의 민족 and 띵동). Since then, Fruits Basket has grown into a raw food powerhouse. Offering an expansive menu of smoothies, 13 different juices, and a juice cleanse program, they use organic ingredients and never use any sugars, syrups, additives, or water. They use the fruit and vegetables' water and sugars, resulting in flavorful, nutrient-packed, coldpressed juices and smoothies. "We use agave sometimes, for some of the smoothies, but nothing else. No water, no sugar-that's a very important concept for us. We want to preserve as much of the fruit and vegetables' natural form as possible." They've even released a raw vegan recipe book, and expanded to create a juice cleanse program. The most popular juices on the menu are the Minions Power, Miranda Kerr, and Green Blossom. The watermelon juice, their summer bestseller, she says, is almost like a freebie to help entice people into coming back to try the other menu items and start their raw journeys. She blends a huge chunk of watermelon for the juice, and the price barely covers

the amount they use. In most cafes, if you order a fruit juice, it tastes like water and sugar, with a hint of the fruit. This was the complete opposite-it was like drinking a watermelon through a straw. Sweet. Refreshing. Reminiscent of hot summer days on the beach. "Customers will order the watermelon juice, and then come back the next day and order it again, just so they can watch me make it. They don't believe that it's literally just pure, blended watermelon," she laughed. Those that get tired of drinking only liquids between juice cleanses also appreciate her small menu of raw dishes. Among the favorites are a Ssambap dish using kale and doenjang sauce; a plate of zoodles (spiralized zucchini or cucumber noodles) topped with an in-house spicy sauce; and the vegan sandwich, made with soy meat, some vegetables, and vegan house made mayo, between slices of whole-wheat bread. Fueled by a passion to offer affordable, healthy, delicious, and accessible raw vegan food to everyone, Jun hopes that people who come to her cafe can find solace in desperate times, just as she had when she first discovered juicing. People who enter into her three-day juice program often end up coming back to do it a couple times a month. "Eventually, people's tastes change, and they realize how much the way they eat (things like ramen, meat, junk food) affects their body and health." In a country where people think they must sacrifice taste and lots of money for healthy food, Fruits Basket is a true godsend. "I'd like people to realize that eating vibrant, healthy, raw food really affects your mood and gives you so much energy, too."

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add 56 Hoenamu-ro, Seoul | Tel 02-797-7090 | Hours Mon-Thurs 8am-8pm, Fri-Sun 8am-10pm Menu Acai bowls, salad bowls, rice bowls | Website | Instagram @bari_whatameal

"Hi, welcome!" Two bright, smiling staff members swing open the large window facing the street and wave as I walk toward the door. Windows envelope around the entire skirt of the kitchen. The counters are piled with fresh ingredients and jars of various sizes, utensils are clinking in a melodic rhythm, and a man is cooking in the back; everything is visible from the street. Full transparency-something you don't stumble upon often these days. How refreshing. When Lim Tae-Kyun, the owner of BARI, first began exploring yoga and health food two years ago, he never would have imagined himself opening the doors to his own restaurant. "I used to eat really unhealthy," he admitted with a little laugh. "I loved alcohol, pasta, pizza, burgers, things like that." But now, occupying a lofty space on busy Gyeonglidan near the posh UN Village, he seems quite excited to keep inventing and serving acai, salad, and rice bowls to his growing audience. As he explains the story behind the restaurant, quite a few customers are heard ordering out of sight. I glance over; the part of the kitchen that juts out toward the street-with the aforementioned swinging window-is almost like a human drivethru. People can order takeout without even stepping foot in the shop (who wouldn't want to, though?). It's a very innovative use of space. In fact, I note as I scan the interior, the entire restaurant has a sort of distinctively polished, industrial-chic look to it. It looks like something out of an interior design magazine. A past architect major, Lim designed the entire place himself. From the blank, minimal white walls, to the plants and vines tumbling out of their pots, to the strategically placed canvas paintings and the wide open kitchen, everything has been placed with purpose. The three abstract-looking lampshades in the middle of the hall, Lim mentions, were painted by an

eight year old. Suddenly, the array of splashes and strokes of colors make sense, and somehow, fit very well with the restaurant. Originally, BARI began as an online franchise. They delivered pre-packaged ready-to-go acai bowls. The most popular and basic combination was the acai puree base, with small bags of granola, chia seeds, and fruit for the recipient to top their bowls with. "I wanted to provide light meals to those looking for healthy and tasty food", he said. Acai bowls fit the bill. But as demand increased, Lim realized he wanted more of a connection with his customers. So two months ago, the storefront was born. They expanded the menu-and are continuing to do so-now offering rice bowls and salad bowls in addition to acai bowls. They also have a drink menu with smoothies, and coffee drinks using almond milk. Though many menu items include light meats such as salmon or chicken breast, most can be easily veganized. People can also choose to build their own bowl by adding various vegetables, a choice of protein (salmon, shrimp, chicken, natto, tofu, egg, or their special anchovy-nut mix), dressing (green yuja, wasabi, yogurt, or miso), and garnish (cheese, hemp seeds, quinoa, or ground flax) to the existing brown rice and romaine-kale base. He put together a special vegan bowl for this occasion, using brown rice, kale, romaine, natto, avocado, pickled lotus root, hemp seeds, almond slivers, and their wasabi dressing. The bowl is rather generous for its kind prices, and the food is filling without feeling heavy or dense. Everything is fresh, and the dressing is a flavor I've never experienced before. All of the dressings are made in house, from recipes by Lim himself. He never went to culinary school or learned how to cook from anyone but his mother, but he'd always had a good sense for flavor pairings.

"I found that if I imagine some things tasting good together and I try it, it usually does." For example, he'd always thought that yuja and samgyeopsal tasted good together. He imagined the same dressing with salmon, and ended up creating one of their bestselling combinations. But the seemingly simple rice bowls have a long past. Originally, Lim wanted to find a way to export and serve bibimbap to the United States. But he began to think that it would be unsuccessful in becoming popular because of its inflexibility and lack of change or improvements. It was difficult to stray from the namul-and-rice combination while still calling it bibimbap. When he began mixing up his own rice bowls at home was when he noticed that they were very similar. Now fast forward to the present; the rice bowls at BARI are inspired by bibimbap. They emulate the Korean traditional food, but have more versatility to them. Many people tend to avoid spending money at salad shops because they think that healthy food is boring, or because they believe they can make the same thing at home for a fraction of the price. That is simply not the case with BARI, however. Lim is dedicated to making healthy food taste as good as it is for your body-and this determination stems from his own experiences. "In Korea, so many people believe that you must sacrifice taste if you want to be healthy. I grew up with eating foods I didn't like, with my mom telling me, 'just eat it for your health.’ But it's not truehealthy food, if made well, is delicious. You will begin to crave it, just like any other food you love." So BARI continues to constantly improve itself. Lim is currently working to set up a small patio area above the restaurant that overlooks HBC and Namsan Tower; dressings and drinks recipes are always being refined; and they are even looking to add sandwiches to the menu in the future.

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Little Forest Nestled on the second story of a pet supply store, Little Forest is just as its name suggests; the healthy brunch cafe feels much like entering a little haven. Occupying a small but bright location in the hipster district of Yeonnam-dong, Little Forest opened its doors just last August. Since then, the rustically minimalistic, whitewalled, open kitchen, greenery-draped, sun-soaked shop has been serving up open sandwiches, salads, and smoothie bowls for hip women in their 20's & 30's and their Insta-feeds. Though the restaurant simply calls itself a "health food cafe" and is not strictly vegan or vegetarian, many with dietary restrictions do come in and the owner is happy to accommodate. "Most of the menu is already vegetarian, anyways," the owner

add 101 Yeonnam-dong 241-45 | Tel 010-9616-6816 | Hours Mon-Sat 11:30am-8:30pm. Closed on Sundays Menu Salads, sandwiches, soup, smoothie bowls | instagram @littleforest.iii

gesticulated toward the menu, "if you just omit the seafood or poultry toppings." Veganized versions of the most popular items, such as the pasta salad, are usually the go-to choice. A bed of greens, cubes of tofu (in lieu of chicken), asparagus, broccoli sprouts, and whole wheat pasta are tossed in tahini dressing to create a fresh, nutritious salad-perfect as a light mid-day meal. Or pair with the "soup of the day" or an open sandwich, and you can put together the perfect brunch meal on a lazy Sunday. And with the growing demand of veganism, she plans to implement more vegan dishes and even vegan desserts-so in the future you can prepare to enjoy a full-course meal. The owner was inspired to open Little Forest when she realized how difficult it

was to find food that was both nice to look at and healthy to eat. "On social media, most viral food trends are pretty unhealthy, and people go to a lot of 'pretty' restaurants mostly for the interior shots, not for the food. I wanted to be the first to make healthy food with potential to go viral". So she wanted to create a "healing space" away from the downtown bustle, with a photogenic interior and serve beautiful, healthy food. The plan seems to be working-she tells me that most customers find her through Instagram. "Most customers are women in their 20's and 30's. Some come for visuals, some come for the healthy food," she shrugs, indifferent. To her, both are equally important as it is to the people who visit.

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How to… Make Bibimbap An insider’s perspective on making Jeonju’s most meaningful and notorious dish

Story by Heather Allman Photos by Heather Allman


ention the name “Jeonju” (전 주) to anyone who has heard of it, and it is more than likely that they will immediately respond with the word “bibimbap,” (비빔 밥), usually followed by something along the lines of “number one,” or “most famous.” “Jeonju” and “bibimbap” are almost synonymous to Korean nationals, and any list of “things to do” in Jeonju will advise eating the city’s notorious fare. While bibimbap itself only started to appear about a century ago, it is derived from Goldongban (골동반), a similar dish consumed during the Joseon Dynasty, which literally translates to “rice mixed with various types of food.” But what is it that made Jeonju known for the simple, yet satisfying combination? Why do restaurants from Seoul to Busan name themselves “Jeonju Bibimbap” when serving the century old meal? To the people of Jeonju, bibimbap is a lot more than a mix of rice and fresh vegetables with an egg served on top. I decided that the best way to learn about bibimbap-and how to make it-would be to sit down with a Jeonju native, and pick her brain about why bibimbap

means so much to the people of Jeonju. Lee Eun jong has lived in Jeonju since she was born, and was more than happy to tell me everything she knows. While talking, it became obvious through her words and expressions that food is more than just a form of nourishment to Lee, but is an integral ingredient to finding happiness in her life. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today! So to start off, I’d like to ask you why bibimbap is so important to Jeonju, and to you personally? Jeonju is known as the city of taste and education. People in Jeonju know how to make delicious food, which comes from the great quality of the ingredients that we have access to from the plains surrounding the city. Jeonju sprouts (전주콩나물) are famous across Korea, and those are one of the most important parts of bibimbap. Everything used in bibimbap comes from near or around Jeonju, even the Gochujang Red Pepper Sauce (고추장) is famous here. The freshness of each ingredient is what has

made it become so famous. So, there is more than one style of bibimbap? There are so many types of bibimbap! Beef tartare bibimbap (육회비빔밥), Kimchi Bibimbap (김치비빔밥), Bulgogi Bibimbap (불 고기 비빔밥), Tuna Bibimbap 참치 비빔밥, Radish Kimchi Bibimbap (열무 비빔밥), Bibimbap in a large brass bowl (양푼비빔밥), I could go on forever! I never realized there were so many kinds! Which one is your favorite? I actually prefer a much simpler style of bibimbap at home. To us, bibimbap is actually what we make it. It is whatever makes us happy. There isn’t one specific recipe or style that we have to follow. I like to eat bibimbap with greens, sprouts, red pepper sauce, and most importantly, sesame seed oil. And then I eat dongchimi (동치미) on the side of the bibimbap. I really like it. Bibimbap is spicy but [the spiciness] disappears with the dongchimi and it feels so cool to eat. There is no one special way

Lee Eun jong’s Bibimbap Recipe Ingredients For the Main Dish

K imchi b ibim 김치비빔밥 bap

Cup Bean Sprouts (콩나물) 1 cup / 230 g Glutinous White Rice (흰쌀밥) 2 cups / 460 g Spinach (시금치) - 1 cup / 230 g Carrots (당근) - 0.5 Cup / 115 g Sesame Seeds (참깨) - 1 tbsp. Korean Seaweed (김) - 1 package

Ingredients For the Sauce Minced Garlic - 1 tsp. Soy Sauce (간장) - 1 tbsp. Gochujang Sauce (고추장) - 3 tbsp. Sesame Oil (참기름) - 1 tbsp. Sugar (설탕) - 1 tsp. Water (물) - 1 tbsp.


to make the sauce, 1 First, combine gochujang, sesame

oil, sugar, water, soy sauce, and minced garlic in a bowl. Mix very well. Set aside.

Bibimbapss bowl a in a larg e br 양 푼비빔밥 to eat bibimbap for me. It is just delicious no matter what. It is so simple to make. (Laughs) I want to eat them now! I can tell you’re very passionate about the food, especially when you talk about it. It’s obvious that it means so much to you. Food is such an important part of Korean culture, and such an important part of our life. Bibimbap, the kind that we eat now, originated at memorials for family members. After the side dishes (반찬) were laid out on the table for the deceased, the family would later mix everything with rice and eat it. This became bibimbap. My mom used to make it for us growing up. Bibimbap is something we usually make it because it is so easy, especially when we can’t think of anything else to cook. My mom would go in the refrigerator and take out any side dishes she had, and we would put them all on top of rice and mix them. You must mix everything very well. That’s how we really see bibimbap. It’s about simplicity and happiness.

R adish bibimbK imchi 열무비 ap 빔밥

It shouldn’t be complicated. Do you make bibimbap at your home? If so, how do you make it? Yes, of course! I have made bibimbap many times, but it isn’t the formal style that you tend to see at restaurants or in pictures. Usually, people only make bibimbap that way for a special event. At home, people make normal bibimbap and enjoy it in their everyday life. We usually make it because it is so easy to make, especially when we can’t think of anything else to cook. When I make it, I first boil the sprouts, then add any greens and vegetables that I may have around. I always stir everything in with hot rice and then add sesame oil. It’s all about the sesame oil. Sesame oil is so savory and has such a calming feeling. I feel like there isn’t a strong enough way to express in English how I feel about the sesame oil. I think it really makes bibimbap what it is. Some people like to put the fried egg on top, but I like to keep it simple. Bibimbap is what you want it to be, and what makes you happy.

water, adding the bean 2 Boil sprouts and spinach (in

separate pans) until they are very soft. Drain each vegetable, lightly season them, and set them aside.

the Korean seaweed into 3 Slice long thin strips, using as much as you see fit for your dish.

and julienne the carrots. 4 Rinse Add a small amount of cook-

ing oil to a frying pan, and once the oil is hot, add the carrots, cooking for 3-5 minutes, until softened.

the egg in a pan, sunny side 5 Fry up. (This step is optional.) the rice in a bowl, and add 6 Put the assorted vegetables and Korean seaweed on top. Add the sauce, and place the egg on top. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the dish. Drizzle additional sesame oil over the top, if desired. Mix very well and enjoy!

Note While this recipe does not contain meat , it can easily be adjusted by adding 3.5 ounces (.5 cups) of cooked minced beef. Season the beef with 1/2 tsp. of soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and minced garlic each in a frying pan, and cook until brown on a hot stove. Add the meat at the end with the vegetables.

Lee Eun jong was kind enough to share with me how she chooses to make bibimbap. I’d sincerely like to thank her for her time and help. From what I learned, it seems that there is not one correct way to create the dish at home, and part of it’s allure is the ability to make it your own.


e rtapr a t f Bee bibimba 밥 비빔 육회

40 film Story by Gil Coombe Photos courtesy of HanCinema

Korean Movie Preview: June

Big Pigs, Black Waves and Bad Girls


ox office returns for Korean movies have been relatively modest so far this year – though The Sheriff in Town has made a bit of a wave at the box office, almost keeping pace with Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2., Confidential Assignment remains the only true break out hit. However, the Korean film industry is still basking in a successful 2016, both artistically and internationally. In early May, the 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards had their say on the best of Korean cinema from 2016, with the Grand Award handed out to The Handmaiden (nothing last year was as exquisitely uncomfortable as watching the graphic sex scenes as part of a full house crammed into the cozy Emu Artspace), Best Film to The Wailing (to my mind, an

uneven first half redeemed by an excellent third act), Best Director to Kim Ji-woon for The Age of Shadows, Best Actor to Song Kang-ho for The Age of Shadows (incredibly, the first time he has won an award here) and Best Actress to Son Yejin for The Last Princess. The first three films here all made significant waves with overseas critics, so observers are looking for the next crop of films to advance Korean cinema’s profile with international audiences. Yeon Sang-ho, director of Train to Busan, has already started filming his next film, Psychokinesis, which is billed as a black comedy, as has Woo Min-ho, the director of Inside Men. A period piece set in 1970s Busan, the most exciting sounding thing about Drug King at the moment (it is certainly not the title!) is that it reunites

two of Korea’s most talented actors, Song Kang-ho and Bae Doo-na, for the third time. Given that the other two films were Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and The Host, there is cause for optimism that this could be something to look out for. But that’s not to say there is nothing for the here and now. Below are three films looking to get summer cooking early. 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) support the independent cinemas around Seoul KU Cinematrap( Seoul Art Cinema(, CGV Arthouse( Emu Artspace(



Release date June 28, 2017 Directed by Bong Joon-ho Starring Ahn Seo-hyun, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Tilda Swinton, Byun Hee-bong, Giancarlo Esposito Distributed by Netflix

Release date June 29, 2017 Directed by Lee Joon-ik Starring Lee Je-hoon, Choi Hee-seo, Kim In-woo, Kwon Yool Distributed by Megaplex Plus M

Director Lee Joon-ik is coming off last year’s Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet, which was a major player on the domestic awards circuit last year, winning among other things the Grand Prize at the 52nd Baeksang Arts Awards. Managing to mix commercial and critical success so far in his career (The King and the Clown, Hope, The Throne), Lee has been one of the most consistently successful Korean directors over the last decade, albeit one who has yet to make much of a name for himself outside of Korea. The next film off the rack has a secret weapon at its disposal: the underappreciated Lee Je-hoon, who gave a superb performance in Bleak Night (seriously, check it out). Like Dongju and The Throne, Anarchist from Colony is a historical biography, this time looking at Korean independence activist Park Yeol (whose name was also going to be the English title; who knows, it may still end up being so if someone decides to point out the grammar error in the current option). Park formed the anarchist group Heukdohwe (“Black Wave”) during the Colonial period and agitated for independence. In 1923, he was arrested, along with his Japanese lover Fumiko Kaneko (Choi Hee-seo; Dongju, How to Break Up with My Cat) for an alleged plot to kill Crown Prince Hirohito. The trailer has a much lighter tone than you would expect from the synopsis above, and plays almost like a fictional comedy. It’s certainly not the tack I expected Lee to take given the current national mood for triumphant nationalism. But with Lee Je-hoon on board, all bets are off.

The Villainess

Release date June, 2017 Directed by Jeong Byeong-gil Starring Kim Ok-vin, Shin Ha-kyun, Seong Joon, Kim Seo-hyeong Distributed by Next Entertainment World

In addition to The Merciless, Okja, and the two Hong Sang-soo joints, Claire’s Camera and The Day After, the fifth Korean making the trip to Cannes, this time for a midnight showing, is The Villainess, directed by Jeong Byeong-gil. Kim Ok-vin, who was exceptional in Park Chan-wook’s Thirst back in 2009 but has not really found anything as compelling since then, stars as Sook-hee, an assassin from (wait for it…) North Korea but trained in China who comes to the ROK to start a new life. You probably don’t need me to tell you that things don’t go to plan on this front, and she finds herself caught between two guys, Joong-sang (Shin Ha-kyun) and Hyun-soo (Sung Joon; Pluto, Dangerously Excited). Director Jeong, who previously helmed Action Boys and Confession of Murder, looks to have aimed for a singular look, with the trailer consisting of lots of first-person shots and tight hand-held action layered with the odd weird flourish (e.g., sword fighting on motorcycles). Whether this is enough to overcome what appears at first glance to be one of the more cookie-cutter premises – I mean, assassins, North Korea, love triangles; throw in a comic relief supporting character and we must be close to winning Korean action movie Bingo – remains to be seen. Two points in its favor: the Cannes invitation in the same slot where Train to Busan started its international roll out last year and Shin Ha-kyun, who has been relatively quite in the last few years, having only appeared in 5 films since 2011 after dominating the early to mid 2000s (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Save the Green Planet!, Welcome to Dongmakgol), but who is always a bit of a wildcard and good for a scene or two of jittery energy.

41 May 2017

Anarchist from Colony

Sure, this is probably cheating somewhat, given that this is not really a Korean film per se, but you will forgive me this once because this is Bong Joon-ho we are talking about, probably Korea’s highest profile director at the moment, alongside Park Chan-wook (though, not necessarily the best, not if Lee Chang-dong and Na Hongjin have anything to say about it). This is his sixth feature, and he is on a streak of four good-to-great films (unlike many, I’m not a huge fan of his debut, Barking Dogs Never Bite, and I think – unusually clumsy and overexplained last 20 minutes notwithstanding – Snowpiercer is a fine piece of filmmaking), so who cares if this is actually a Netflix release? If Cannes can hold its nose to fit it into the competition slate this year, then I can pretend this is a Korean funded movie and include it here. The story is relatively simple in its set up: Mi-ja (Ahn Seo-hyun; The Housemaid, Monster), a young girl living in rural Korea, befriends and grows up with the titular giant pig-like creature, and when Okja is kidnapped by your typical heartless multinational company (headed by a CEO played by the wonderful Tilda Swinton, who stole the show in Snowpiercer), Mi-ja sets off on a rescue mission. This is then complicated somewhat by the intervention of various groups, each with their own stake in Okja’s odyssey. With the Cannes premiere only days away at the time of writing, you’ll be able to see whether Bong has kept his streak alive. But it will be a surprise if he can’t. In his career so far, Bong has been able to adroitly mix tones and genres (think about the black comedy of Memories of Murder and then it’s wonderfully accusatory final shot), so if anyone can get what the director describes as “a love story, albeit one involving a girl and an animal" to work, it will be him. And even if it doesn’t hit the heights of his previous work, at least we will have the wonderfully singular Swinton to marvel at.

42 film

Impressions from jiff Russian film critic Anton Dolin about Korean cinema, polite audience and widening the perspectives

Interview conducted and translated from Russian by Barbara Bierbrauer Photos courtesy of Anton Dolin


his year´s Jeonju International Film Festival (Jeonju IFF), held from April 27 to May 6, attracted thousands of moviegoers from Korea and around the world. With an elaborate program showcasing 229 films from an astonishing 58 countries, 50 films of which were world premieres, it offered a platform for innovative, controversial, and adventurous cinema. Guests from around the globe, directors, actors, screenwriters and film critics attended the festival, observing the newest trends happening outside mainstream commercial cinema. In an exclusive for Groove Korea, Barbara Bierbrauer spoke with high profile Russian film critic Anton Dolin. Dolin, a leading light for liberal and progressive Russians, is an intellectual, journalist, and author of books about Lars von Trier, Alexei German, Andrey Zviagintsev, and Takeshi Kitano. Probably the most popular film critic in Russia, he was invited by the Jeonju IFF to present the films of Russian director Alexei German. The Jeonju IFF supports films that might be considered ugly, radical, uncomfortable, or terrifying. As Jeonju IFF programmer Jang Byun-won said in his interview, they are chosen to “widen the limits of perspective” or to be shocking. Did they broaden your perspective? Did the festival manage to shock you? It is rather difficult to shock me or to widen the limits of my perspective in cinema. I watch very many different films, and I have not had any personal taboos for a long time. The movie should exhibit talent; how and by who it is made is a secondary question. I tried to attend Korean films that for a foreigner are difficult to find and watch outside Jeonju. I also watched one older film by Im Kwon-taek to make an acquaintance with traditional Korean cinema because I know this director only from the movies he released in the 21st century. While choosing films to watch, what criteria do you use? I was able to watch comparatively few films from the Jeonju festival´s program – I came

just for three days, and had to present films from the Alexai German retrospective daily. But what I did watch impressed me a lot. The International Competition and the Cinemascape Programs are selected with taste and tact; one can appreciate the diversity of world cinema and its most significant trends. The quantity and quality of Korean pictures in several programs

Especially valuable and rare quality for a moviegoer – if they could not understand something in the film, it was considered a result of their own narrowmindedness, and not a fault of the movie. (International Competition, National Competition, Cinemafest, Special Focus) were impressive. The Seeds of Violence, a film about the relationship between domestic violence and violence in the Korean army is stamped in my memory, as is the documentary Bamseom Pirates, Seoul Inferno, which strikingly finds the parallels between the social and political situation in South Korea and the activity of an alternative punk band. Some people claim that Cannes and Busan have become commercial enterprises, where art for art´s sake has given way to more commercial considerations. Do you agree with this statement? I have not been to Busan, but from judging its program from a distance, I assume the claim is incorrect. Cannes, without a doubt,

is a commercial festival, but not without reason. It accommodates the biggest European film market. But at the same time, it is the largest platform for innovative and experimental cinema. Don´t forget that Cannes has many different parallel programs running and that every year it awards a prize for the best debut, so the number of novice directors is quite high. And many of them are extremely inventive. Besides, many today's most prominent filmmakers were discovered and made famous by Cannes. Can you tell us how the films of Alexei German were chosen for the program? How did you come to present them? I’m told one of the programmers of the festival saw German`s It´s Hard to be a God at another festival and was extraordinarily impressed. He set a goal to organize a full retrospective. Given that there are only six films, the task was rather simple. Though here another movie was added – the Kazakh picture The Fall of Otrar, which is based on a scenario by German and his wife Svetlana Karmalita. That is pretty rare, and it was the first time I had seen it on the big screen. I was asked to present the retrospective as an expert on German`s work. I am the author of the first and currently only interview book with him, which we worked together on for a long time and which later won a prize from the Russian Guild of Film Critics. The book also includes my essay about German`s unique, like nothing else on Earth, cinematography. How were the audiences? I felt very welcomed; the audience seemed to be very attentive and enthusiastic. And they exhibited an especially valuable and rare quality for moviegoers – if they could not understand something in the film, it was considered a result of their own narrow-mindedness, and not a fault of the movie. Further, I was surprised that not a single person left during any showing. This is impossible to imagine at any film festival in Moscow. Members of the audience leave, alas, even from the best films, and all the more from showings of experimental classics.


Korean filmmaking is currently flourishing. K-dramas are becoming more internationally popular, and films like Train to Busan and The Wailing have not only been favored by critics but were also commercially successful. What is happening with Russian cinema? What kind of films can Russian directors offer to Korean audiences? What would you suggest we watch? A lot can be written about Russian cinema, so we will not manage to cover much in a short interview. We have many great auteur directors who are quite popular not only in Russia but also internationally. This year, the world waits for the new films from Andrey Zvyagintsev (Loveless) and Sergei Loznitsa (A Gentle Creature). Both have been included in the Cannes competition (together with two Korean films). Both directors are very famous and popular, and I hope that Russia will not be left without a prize. Loznitsa was actually a guest at the Jeonju festival with his previous picture Austerlitz. Also highly anticipated are the premiers of new films by Alexey Fedorchenko (Anna´s War) and Alexey German Jr. (Dovlatov). In addition to this, Boris Khlebnikov´s new film is finished and Kirill Serebrennikov is working on his next project. Things are a little worse for commercial cinema, but nevertheless, we have learned to make competitive blockbusters that are popular in some countries outside ours. I would recommend Attraction by Fedor Bondarchuk, The Crew by Nikolai Lebedev, and The Duelist by Aleksey Mizgirev, which was also presented at the Jeonju IFF. And this is without forgetting those living legends – Andrei Konchalovsky and Alexander Sokurov. By the way, Sokurov´s student Kantemir Balagov will also represented at this year's Cannes with his film Closeness, in the program Un Certain Regard program. Korean society has overseen the peaceful removal of the corrupt head of government and next week a new president will be elected. Probably the most famous Russian film at the moment is Leviathan, which looks at the power of authority and the helplessness of a single person. What role is Russian cinema and its directors playing in the political scene? Russia lacks political films. Nevertheless, Zvyagintsev, Loznitsa, and Serebrennikov are making topical pictures which remain popular for the cultured and educated, at least. And despite some recent censorship incidents, the audience still has the opportunity to legally see these movies on the big screen. But anyway, when it comes to political mobilization, we are way behind South Korea. Are you planning to visit Jeonju IFF next year? I will come when I am called and when the time allows. But I would be glad to repeat this experience.

44 art

Groove Goes Art Mad Tea-Party with Aaron Cossrow Story by Barbara Bierbrauer Photos by Steve Smith



here was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and the talking over its head. ‘Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse,’ thought Alice; ‘only, as it's asleep, I suppose it doesn't mind.’” To join the mad tea-party, you have to climb all the way up to the top of the Hooker Hill. After passing clubs, bars, and saunas, the Micook Oppa studio is hard to miss - the walls are covered with bright and colorful murals, which distinguishes them pretty well from the tristesse and wickedness of the surrounding. Inside, an explosion of images, designs, compositions, and forms expect you. When James Beckwith opened Micook Oppa back in 2014, it was a restaurant and a café offering burgers, pizzas, and craft beer. Since then, the concept of the place has changed, becoming a full-scale community center, shared workspace, creativity hub, and just a different spot on the top of the Hooker Hill. We met one of the creatives, who

call the Micook Oppa their home - Aaron Cossrow, a Philadelphian artist, who is probably the best chronicler of Itaewon, portraying it and its locals in his art. Cossrow graduated from the University of Arts where he studied Industrial Design and has been in and out of Korea since 2008. “I decided to build myself up as a professional artist” he explains of his career, “I used to go to Hongdae every weekend and draw people, sometimes 50 people a day. And I started doing comic journals about my day.” The effort and hard work paid off; besides the increasing demand for murals for places such as restaurants and bars, selling prints, and tutoring painting events, Cossrow has been invited by the organizers of the first Comic-Con Seoul that, highly expected, will open its doors on the 6th of August this year, to present his works in the Artist Alley. The genre of the comic has developed a lot since its beginnings in the early 19th century; a variety of new styles have emerged, ranging from commonly accepted superhero comics to niche fetish and bondage comics. Cossrow remains true to the comic’s original meanings of “new humor” or “funnies,” describing his comic style as “stupid funny.”

46 art


Cossrow’s comics are… about Itaewon… the part where crazy drunken people who mutate to goblins and gargoyles, while sitting in Seoul Pub; and hookers on their way to work. And there is John Snow and Gollum at the street food stand.

Cossrow’s comics are, like his interests and habitat, about Itaewon. Not the shiny new-polished coffee shop and fancy bars with office clerks sipping on their Latte Decaffeinates, but the part with crazy drunken people who mutate to goblins and gargoyles, while sitting in Seoul Pub; and hookers on their way to work. And there is John Snow and Gollum at the street food stand. Cossrow sees the brighter side of the craziness and viciousness of Itaewon: “Every time I go dark, I feel like it’s not me. I really like the dark places, like Hooker Hill, and all other dark places on Itaewon; people drunken dead on the street. But in these scenes, I like to illustrate something funny, like a couple of elves jumping on them. I make it funny”. But it is also about hardworking people, who can be easily overseen by partying crowds - Mama Kim, the owner of the Grand Ole Opry, who has run the place for an incredible 42 years; or the nameless guy, who runs the chicken rotisserie truck; or the CU owner, always smiling and always kind and welcoming. With a sharp pencil for graphics and a sharp eye for details, stories, conflicts, unexpected beauty, and irony, Cossrow’s art is the best of both worlds - an insider look of a partygoer and resident and the observing and catching look of an artist. Aaron Cossrow website Micook Oppa add Yongsan-gu Hannam-dong 732-15, Seoul facebook @micookoppa1

48 art

Making Strides This Korean-Nigerian teen is on his way to becoming Korea's next top fashion and role model

Story by Dianne Kim Photos courtesy of Seoul Fashion Week


an you speak English?" Han Hyun Min, a Korean-Nigerian model in Seoul said when I asked if I could interview him. Then I realized I committed the same impression everyone had whenever they met him for the first time-that he's a foreigner in Korea. I've watched him walk the runways for Seoul Fashion Week about two months ago, and in fact, he was in almost all of the best designer shows. Sometimes he would even "open" the show, a task only seasoned models are usually given. took notice of Hyun Min and did a feature on him, in a headline that speaks volumes and sums up what he has accomplished in such a short period of time since he started modeling: "This Korean-Nigerian Model is Breaking Boundaries in Seoul." But back

then, this wasn't always the case. Hyun Min, who has a Korean mother and a Nigerian father, shares in Korean language, "Basically, Koreans do not like people who are different from themselves. At first, they did not like me very much. Even until now, not many companies or brands are open to working with me." The 16-year-old high school student continues, "If I develop my strengths, I'm hoping that the people will start to acknowledge me." Growing up as a bi-racial child in Korea isn't always ideal, as the country is known for being homogeneous and nationalistic, even if it is starting to become global. "My skin is dark so when I was a kid, the other kids would tease me. It was very hard," he says. "When I was in school my nickname was anchovies, because even if I eat a lot,

I don't get fat." He first dreamt of being an athlete, but having four siblings and with his family barely having enough to get by, he gave it up and stumbled upon something that would seem even more far-fetched-the world of fashion. To relieve stress he would watch videos on YouTube, then he chanced upon a clip of a fashion show in Milan. "And I felt like this is my thing. I just wanted to do this," Hyun Min says. "Suddenly, I heard an explosion in my head." That was his first encounter with fashion, and eventually he developed a unique sense of style and a taste for spotting trends. Every week he and his friends would go to some spots in Seoul that are known for their vibrant and fashionable youth culture: Myeongdong, Garosugil, and Hongdae.

Basically, Koreans do not like people who are different from themselves. At first, they did not like me very much. Even until now, not many companies or brands are open to working with me. For the young impressionable teen, wearing nice clothes and wellknown brands was more than just having bragging rights. His craving for fashion went far deeper than his sartorial taste. "I feel really good when I wear branded clothes that others do not know of. Of course, those clothes are so expensive so I really save money just to buy some pieces. In that sense, being a model became my dream job." He felt like he had to do something more than just buying clothes. He wanted to be a part of that elusive, glamorous world. In an industry that's saturated with Korean models, it was certainly not easy to "break in." Many people took advantage of his desire to model. "I got scammed six times in just three months," he said, counting in his head. There was one time when he was called for a photo shoot that promised to take him abroad, only to cancel on him without any explanation. Then there was an online fashion site that called him out for a shoot in a hotel in the middle of the night. He did get to do

the shoot, but with some shady conditions: they wouldn't pay him if the clothes he modeled for will not sell. "Then they told me they didn’t sell anything so I did not get a penny," he says, disheartened at the memory. His mom told him to continue being a model, but only as a joke. But she didn't discourage him, either. He shares, "My mom gave me some advice: 'If you have the passion to do whatever you want, you can overcome any difficulties.'" As if in good timing, Youn Bum, creative director of SF Models, saw his photos on the internet and gave him a call. They met at Holly's Café in Itaewon and Youn Bum asked Hyun Min to walk on the big street in front of the cafe. As a young, junior high school student wearing a uniform, it didn't occur to him that it was right there-on that ordinary street on a normal day-where he got his big chance. "As soon as I saw him, he smiled brightly and he told me, 'Can you smile once?' And then he asked me to walk on that big road." The rest, as they say, is history. Youn Bum asked him to sign a contract to become part of SF models right after he saw Hyun Min’s distinct look and confident stride. Hyun Min beams, "I still remember Mr. Youn Bum’s face and the background music; it was 'Take On Me.'” Since then big opportunities have come knocking on his door. Of his most memorable modeling jobs, Hyun Min couldn't choose one, but says, "Han Sang Hyeok of HSH brand. He styled me with short red hair and made my debut show as the opening model. I also did Star Wars Rogue One show and Hyundai car. I did it for three seasons straight. I'm always thankful." With almost 30,000 followers on Instagram and a growing fanbase, people from all over the world would send Hyun Min messages of encouragement, telling him how much of an inspiration he is to them. Yet he still remains humble: "I don’t think I’m successful now. I think the most important thing is now I will try harder. So I can’t stop doing this. I will do it for the people who believe in me," he says. Perhaps it's not his bloodline, language, or home that makes him completely Korean. His perseverance, humility, and "I will always do my best!" attitude makes him more Korean than others. Or perhaps "being Korean" shouldn't even matter. In this case, for Hyun Min, "It’s not about simply being a model. Anything you do your best in-even if it’s hard-anyone can achieve what they want. I want to be the hope for anyone who wants to try." Maybe soon he will be able to add the words "role model" to his portfolio.


"I couldn’t buy clothes because it’s so expensive, and we will wear clothes and take photos in the fitting rooms. We would go around and if we found people who wore something really cool, I would ask them, 'Where did you get this? What’s the brand?'" he reminisces. "When I approach people they always get surprised."

50 art Story by Barbara Bierbrauer Photos by Mark Prusiecki and Barbara Bierbrauer

The (Dark) Future is Now Nobel Prize Laureate Svetlana Alexievich talks about the threats of Chernobyl, Fukushima, and the hope for humanity


Now the distinction is between us, living humans, and that which is not alive, technology.


er entrance is like that of a rock star. The staff of the 4th Seoul International Forum for Literature lead her to the podium. No questions are allowed before or after the forum; you can just sit and listen. Svetlana Alexievich, the Nobel laureate in Literature for 2015, is here to talk about the present, the future, and the threats and challenges we face. Almost every seat in the small conference hall is occupied. Alexievich takes her place at the podium, together with the other speakers at the event. In front of them, a microphone and a small bottle of water. After a short introduction, she starts reading. Her voice is strong and confident, with no trembling even when she tells us about her experiences, some of which seem unspeakable. And that´s Alexievich´s strong suit – speaking the unspeakable and acting as a loud and strong voice for those who lost theirs in some of the biggest tragedies in modern history. She has written about wars, like World War II and the war in Afghanistan. She wrote about the fall of the Soviet Empire and what was left of it in her most recent book, Second-Hand Time, which has been translated into Korean. By speaking about these tragedies, especially Chernobyl, she paints a big picture by tell-

ing small stories of ordinary people. “She wasn´t a baby, but a tiny living sack, all sewn up, not a single opening apart from her eyes.“ Alexievich recollects what she was told by the mother of a girl born after the Chernobyl catastrophe. “Here´s what it said in her medical records: ´Infant girl. Born with multiple abnormalities: anal aplasia, vaginal aplasia, renal agnesia.` That´s how it sounds in academic language, but put simple: no pee pee, no poo poo, one kidney.” She reads about a newlywed wife who could not say goodbye to her dying husband, a firefighter at Chernobyl. “The doctor said ‘Don´t come close to him. Kissing is forbidden. Touching is forbidden. This is not a beloved person; this is a radioactive object.’“ Why are these stories important? Since Chernobyl, Aleksievich thinks humanity has been living in a different world, a world where the threat to life comes not from the outside, not from “them,” but from the technology created by humans. Chernobyl and Fukushima, says Alexievich, have taught us a lesson that we are not ready to learn yet. She has been asked what the future will bring and what kind of role literature will play in it. “The human brain will invent trains that will deliver people two minutes earlier to their unloved ones; it will be a goal for goal's sake, and this will go on,“ Alexievich says. “Our relationships will be relationships with the technical world created by our imagination.“ The world full of technology, in particular the world of nuclear technology, is something that creates questions that humanity is not ready to answer. The development of different fields of science open doors that cannot be sufficiently analyzed yet. “Recently, in China, a unique operation was [performed] – a dying person becomes the head of another person.* He will get a head of another person! Can you imagine what the wife of the other person thinks? This person´s wife? What kind of new person is it?” Alexievich answers: “These are new predispositions. Not like before – I come from Belarus, you live in South Korea,

the world is not as separated as it used to be. Now the distinction is between us, living humans, and that which is not alive, technology. We will be given a completely new kind of life. Now we can say that technology is surpassing people, and sometimes a feeling is emerging that our culture is a trunk with ancient manuscripts.“ So are we already experiencing the Apocalypse, are we already in the middle of the end? Surprisingly, Alexievich has hope: “I don´t think we need to fall into despair; us humanitarians, we will find something useful. I think [the future] is an excellent question, a question for the future and our present knowledge is not extensive enough to give it an answer. In Chernobyl, I was mostly impressed by the understanding of our lack of knowledge. This was the biggest discovery at Chernobyl. A new world has opened and we are standing in front of it in amazement.“ There is applause and the speakers leave the podium. Svetlana Alexievich rushes out. The audience leaves the building, and I walk the streets of Seoul, observing people who wear masks. I see advertisements for air purifiers, which require energy, that is produced by coal plants, which pollutes the air, to clean the air that was polluted by producing and running them. Maybe Alexievich is even more correct than she knows and another Chernobyl is already happening without anyone noticing it.

52 art Story by Hadrien Diez Photos by Daesan Foundation / Arts Council Korea

Changing world, changing words A forum for the future of literature



ill we still read literature in the future? If so, how? And will there be authors writing literature at all? Even if there are, the artform itself might mutate and adapt to the spirit of the times. It is easy to imagine works of fiction entirely composed of 140-character messages, disseminated daily through Twitter in the fashion of 19th century serialised novels. It could also be that our understanding of what authorship means will be transformed. Just consider this: in 2008, two American computer scientists “edited” an enormous volume of 3000-plus poems of great lyrical quality attributed to various poets. An outcry soon ensued and several artists protested that they actually had never composed the works they were credited for. The provocative prank showed how big data – in this case, the random use of specific words and other stylistic figures recurrent in poetry – might one day revolutionise literature. Changing Paradigms The Seoul International Forum for Literature (SIFL) is no small affair. Held every five

years, the event balances rarity with the quality of the participants it brings together. Two literature Nobel Prize-winners, J.M.G.

it is easy to imagine works of fiction entirely composed of 140-character messages, disseminated through Twitter on a daily basis in the fashion of 19th century serialized novels. Le Clézio (France) and Svetlanan Alexievitch (Belarus), along with an impressive array of literary heavyweights, accepted the invitation to this year's edition, which was organised for the last week of May. International star novelists such as Amitav

Ghosh (India), Nuruddin Farah (Somalia), and Yu Hua (China) rubbed shoulders with local literary favourites – the amazing poet Ko Un, the novelist Kim Soom, the critic Yu Jongho, to name only a few – to discuss the ambitious, if somewhat all-encompassing, theme of “Literature and its Readership in the Changing World.” Needless to say, discussions were robust. “The theme of the changing world is deliberately multifaceted. It comprises technological evolution, of course, but also economic, social, and ecological evolution, as well as the various changes our world is currently experiencing. We wanted to keep the largest possible perspective when picking the theme” explains the poet Kwak Hyo-hwan of the organising committee. “Literature has always had a dimension of engagement, particularly in Korea. For us it is important to show that it still is a pertinent realm to discuss the major social issues of our times.” Organisers divided the programme into several topics to channel the exchanges. Discussions on ecological change were particularly gripping, with Svetlana Alexievitch powerfully noting how the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, which continues to



affect Eastern Europe more that 30 years after the tragedy, had ushered humanity into a new paradigm (see next story). Layered Ambition The SIFL is more than just another academic symposium, and the ambition of the event exceeds its thematic discussions. It is organised by the Daesan Foundation, a non-profit body funded by the Kyobo Life insurance company, which also supports the authorship, translation and publishing of Korean literature. Daesan has for example contributed to the success story of Han Kang's The Vegetarian by funding its translation into English and its publishing outside of Korea. With additional support by the Arts Council of Korea, the Forum serves the wider agenda of cultural projection and the “soft-power” of its organisers. “Back in 2000, when we organised the first edition of the SIFL, our main aim was simply to present Korean literature to the world and to promote it on a global stage,” Kwak recalls. “Now that Korea's voice is recognised on the world's literary stage, we want to contribute


to the shaping of the conversation. It is important to bring different perspectives to this conversation, certainly in relation to the West, and to make it a poly-vocal exercise.” While championing literature in Korea, an obvious aim of the SIFL is also to maintain a strong bond with the readership in the country – Kyobo Life is linked to the chain of Kyobo bookstores, although the chain does not directly fund the Forum. Discussions were scheduled to always leave time for the public to engage with the speakers, and all the exchanges were recorded and will eventually be available online to reach out to a wider audience (see for more information). “The bond with the public is central to our endeavour, but we aim to do more than just enrich the local literary culture,” Kwak explains. “I personally think that literature has a lot to learn from its readership. As French thinker Jacques Attali showed for music, the boundary between the producers and consumers of culture is blurring. The future of literature might well be written by its readers!”


서울 국제문학포럼

2017. 5. 23


Literature and Its Readership in the Changing World

새로운 환경 속의 문학과 독자 Time & Venue

10:00am~6:00pm, 교보컨벤션홀, 세미나룸(광화문 교보빌딩 23층) Kyobo Convention Hall & Seminar Room [23rd Floor, Kyobo Bldg., Gwanghwamun] Ha Jin

김기택 Yu Hua 김혜순 김애란

김우창 박재우 김성곤 Hirano Keiichirō 김숨 J.M.G. Le Clézio

정현종 김승희 박형서 곽효환 방현석 백민석 고은 Robert Hass 홍정선


Ben Okri Nuruddin Farah 장강명 황선미 최윤영 윤혜준 Jan Costin Wagner 최원식

정과리 Amitav Ghosh 윤상인 김사인

임철우 황석영 은희경

오정희 Omar Pérez López 유종호 진은영 현기영 Nora Okja Keller Svetlana Alexievich 정유정 이인성 Antoine Compagnon

김경욱 김연수 Stuart Moulthrop 이승우

좌석예약 : 2017 서울국제문학포럼 홈페이지 상단 배너 프로그램 ▶ 신청하기

주 최

후 원

미디어 후원

협력기관 국제PEN한국본부 한국문예창작학회 한국문인협회 한국소설가협회 한국시인협회 한국작가회의 미지센터

1 Amitav Ghosh(ⒸEmilio Madrid-Kuser) 2 Ko Un(ⒸWilliam Yang) 3 Le Clezio(ⒸEditions Gallimard)

54 music Story by Emma Kalka Photos by Steve Smith, Daniel Kim

Pushing Farther Love X Stereo embarks on year-long, ambitious project


he pressure to release albums is real for many an artist. For electric duo Love X Stereo, it’s no different. “People, especially critics in Korea… whenever we released a good EP, they always say they want to listen to our LP. And it’s kind of a standard requirement to be heard as a serious artist,” said vocalist Annie Ko. “We don’t think that, but they do.” She said that, last year, she and guitarist/producer Toby Hwang decided they wanted to finally release an LP - their first but were looking at a few obstacles. “Releasing an LP actually costs a lot of money and time. And back then we

had a label, but now we don’t. So we had to figure out a way to be relevant and be engaged with our fans as well as producing a good LP,” she said. So, the two came up with an ambitious, year-long project on website Patreon called “37.” The basic gist is that they will release 37 songs throughout the year - typically three a month - through their Patreon site, along with three videos a month. While some will be official music videos, more often than not they intend to release more personalized content that doesn’t require “fancy editing and stuff.” Once they’ve put out eight to nine tracks there, they intend to release an official LP via other music

platforms. Love X Stereo just released their first official LP under the project on May 12 “37A”. The LP includes nine tracks as well as a bonus track - a remastered version of the single “Rage is Not Enough,” which they released last year. Shortly before the album release, the duo released the official video for “Rage is Not Enough” on April 21. The powerful video was created by writer/director Pablo Fuentes and a cinematographer, who Ko said deserve all the credit. “That wasn’t us,” she said laughing. “The guys did a great job. They have the full credit. We did nothing.”


We wanted to try something very personal. We wrote all our own songs. He (Toby) mixed and mastered all of our songs. The cover art and videos will all be done by us. It’s very DIY.

She continued that one of her favorite parts of the video were the scenes shot at the recently ended candlelight protests that started in South Korea in November, which fit in with the theme of the track. “We discussed that together. We thought it would be nice to have those scenes,” she said. Ko said so far their subscribers on Patreon, who get exclusive access to all the releases as they come out, have enjoyed the tracks, but she hopes after the release of “37A” more people will go over and join the team. It’s an ambitious project for the two, who said they intend to do everything themselves. “We wanted to try something very personal. We wrote all our own songs. He (Toby) mixed and mastered all of our songs. The cover art and videos will all be done by us. It’s very DIY,” Ko said. She described the new LP as more of a mix of a collective playlist, mixtape, and LP. “It’s not like a traditional LP,” she said. “It’s a very casual piece.” Hwang added that, so far, time has become an issue with getting content ready and up, and sometimes it can get tiring. Touring has already pushed back the schedule a bit. The two traveled to the U.K. for the first time to perform at Wrexham for Focus Wales and a couple shows in London, in May, which means they weren’t able to release consecutive tracks that month. But Ko said they explained to their patrons, and added with a laugh that “because we’re going to the U.K. the songs can be London-y.” Besides these shows, Ko said for the most part their strategy for this year is less shows and more making music. The entire project is an exercise in creativity for the two, and allows them to be more natural and spontaneous with their music. “Before this project we usually had a strict concept for an album - like an EP or a single. But this project is more spontaneous. If we have an idea, we go straight ahead. So people can expect very various songs that they haven’t heard before from us. That’s a big point of our project,” Hwang said. “We don’t even know what’s coming up as well,” Ko admitted with a laugh. She added that typically they look to current events for inspiration, as well as seeing movies, going to exhibitions, even just listening to people. Beyond that, “37” is very personal to Ko and Hwang, which is something they hope fans will catch on. “The sound is very important to us as well as the lyrics. Just try to, you know, lis-

ten to the music twice - not once. Let it sink in. And if you want more to know about these songs, join the club,” she urged. Using Patreon means that the entire project is funded by fans. Patrons can sign up for a monthly subscription, ranging in tiers from $1 to $1,000 per month. Each tier comes with special access to the project - the lowest allows just access to the project feed where Love X Stereo routinely interacts with their fans, all the way up to the group coming to wherever the patron is and performing a show just for them. Ko said so far most of their patrons are from overseas, but they do interact with them often. “We send weird videos to them. We do! We do! We send videos monthly,” she said, giggling. She added that they prefer it to other crowdfunding platforms because it is subscription-based which makes it more casual. And they have nothing to lose. “Whenever we try to do crowdfunding for a CD or vinyl or whatever, it’s kind of hard to convince people to chip in. The hardest part is the waiting,” she said. “You never know if you’re going to succeed or fail. But this project is more… very casual. If [you] want to join, please do! And see how it goes.” To support Love X Stereo on their “37” project, visit their site at, and sign up for a monthly subscription. “37A” is currently available on various music sites such as iTunes. And to keep up with the band, follow them on Facebook and Twitter by searching “Love X Stereo.”

56 music

t h n e i S c i u s n u M A guide to the best music festivals this summer

Story by Emma Kalka Photos by NBA Buzzer Beat Festival, VU Entertainment, Steve Smith, Emma Kalka


emperatures are rising and so are hemlines, heralding that summer is now upon us. And this can mean only one thing. It’s music festival season. It can be tough keeping up with all the major festivals, let alone some of the smaller ones that go on throughout the season. Here at Groove, we have compiled information on the largest and best music festivals going on this summer. No matter what kind of music you like, there is a bit of something for everyone.

Rainbow Island Music & Camping Festival date June 3-4 | website

For two days Jarasum will become an island of music and fun this summer as the annual Rainbow Island Music & Camping Festival is returning with the theme “Beautiful Escape.” Performances are expected to run all day and night. This year’s lineup includes Skull & Haha, Bolbbalgan4, Kim Ban-jang with Windy City, Eddie Kim, My Q, Gogostar, Shin Hyun-hee and Kim Root, Seo Samuel, Oju Project, Luna Fly, Dguru & Ffan, Tiger Disco, Martin Smith, Toyo, DTSQ, Kilala, Soul Moon, and many more. It is highly recommended to camp during the festival, as sometimes transportation there and back can get tricky. But never fear, camping is actually a huge part of the festival as well. Several camping packages are available for the duration of the festival, offering a variation of camping supplies for rent. Auto camping packages run from

55,000 to 99,000 KRW, caravan packages run from 400,000 to 600,000 KRW, 2 to 4 person camping packages run from 66,000 to 80,000 KRW, stage camping runs from 66,000 to 88,000 KRW, with forest camping running from 66,000 to 88,000 KRW. Visitors can also rent just a camp site with no supplies provided for 40,000 KRW. Currently early bird tickets are available for purchase for 66,000 KRW with the full price set at 99,000 KRW. Festival-goers can purchase those and camping tickets at Yes24, Interpark, TMON, Naver, Melon Ticket, and Coupang. Shuttle buses will also run from Jamsil Sportvs Complex and Hapjeong stations in Seoul to the festival grounds. Those tickets are 22,000 KRW for round-trip, 12,000 KRW for one-way, and 15,000 KRW for one-way if purchased the day of.

58 music

Waterbomb Festival date July 29 | website | facebook

Seoul’s wettest music fest is coming back this year. The festival brings together some of the hottest hip-hop artists and DJs in Korea for a one-day mega water fight between the red team and blue team at Jamsil Sports Complex. This year’s Waterbomb is bringing in rising heavy bass start Looka, Skull & Haha, Jessie, C Jamm, Sleep, Punchnello, DJ Koo, Juncoco, Insidecore, Toyo, Peachade, DJ Aster, Didi Han and MC Prhyme, with more artists to be announced later. In keeping with the water theme, there will be several pools set up along with a beachy area to relax while listening to the music. Swim wear is highly recommended as you will get soaking wet - if not from the stage water works then from the hundreds of people running around with water guns. You are allowed to bring your own and there will be water guns for purchase at the venue. Tickets are currently available online at Yes24, Interpark, TMON, Naver, and Coupang for 77,000 KRW, though the original price is 110,000 KRW.

NBA Buzzer Beat Festival date July 8 | facebook @rapbeatshow

For those who are of the hip-hop or basketball persuasion, the NBA Buzzer Beat Festival is the summerfest for you. Organized by the NBA, Culture Think, and RAPBEAT SHOW, the one-day festival features a plethora of Korea’s top hip-hop artists as well as a selection of booths and activities at KBS Arena in Seoul, both inside the venue and out. The lineup is seriously a who’s-who of Korean hip-hop, including Jay Park, Zion.T, Heize, Changmo, Huckleberry P, Nucksal x Code Kunst, Okasian, B-Free, Bryan Chase, Hanha, JUSTIS, Microdot, Punchnello, Groovy Room x Sik-K, Ja Mezz, Ravi, Crucial Star, Skull, Zizo, and many, many more. The festival includes two stages with a ton of NBA booths and programs, along with food and beverage booths. Coat check is also available. Early bird tickets are currently available for 39,000 KRW with a second round set for 59,000 KRW. Full price tickets are set at 79,000 KRW. They can be purchased at Yes24, Interpark, Melon Ticket, Ticket Link, Coupang, TMON, and Auction.

The Jeonju Ultimate Music Festival date August 4-6 | website

The Jeonju Ultimate Music Festival (JUMF) is billed as the hottest festival to hit the traditional city, bringing in a variety of genres to tickle the music funny bone of every music lover out there. Running for three days at the Jeonju Sports Complex, the festival this year is bringing in the likes of Simon Dominic, Loco, Samuel Seo, Romantic Punch, Hanato Chiruran, 69 Chambers YB, No Brain, Crying Nut, Crash, Lazybone, The Koxx, Galaxy Express, Lee Juck, 10CM, Magna Fall, Life and Time, and more. Tickets are available online at Interpark, Melon Ticket,, Ticket Link, Naver Reservation, and TMON. They run 105,000 KRW for a three-day ticket, 85,000 KRW for two days and 65,000 KRW for one day, though there are discounts available through Korail, Hana Tour, and those who have JB Card or KJ Card. Foreigners who do not have Korean bank cards or are otherwise unable to order tickets online can contact the festival through its official Facebook page to get advance tickets. Just search “Jeonju Ultimate Music Festival.”


Seoul Soul Festival date August 16-17 | facebook @SeoulSoulFest

King of Korean music festivals back bigger than ever


World Club Dome Korea date September 22-24 | website

Why not end the festival season by attending the world’s biggest club? World Club Dome started in the heart of Frankfurt five years ago and is organized by BigCityBeats and is hosting its first-ever event in Seoul, South Korea. The organizers promise that, for the weekend, they will create the biggest club in Asia and “a perfect party night.” So far the lineup includes top international DJs such as Afrojack, Armin Van Buuren, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, DJ Snake, Don Diablo, Le Shuuk, Lost Frequencies, Marshmello, Martin Garrix, Robin Schulz, Steve Aoki, Sven Vath, and W&W with more to be announced.Set to take place at Incheon Munhak Stadium, early bird tickets are now available. Two-day club tickets are 160,000 KRW with two-day VIP tickets at 210,000 KRW. Three-day club tickets are 200,000 KRW with three-day VIP tickets set at 320,000 KRW.

alley Rock Music & Arts Festival is no stranger to having big names take its stage. In the seven years it has been in existences it’s had the likes of Oasis, Muse, Nine Inch Nails, Skrillex, and Red Hot Chili Peppers headline. But never has it had a lineup with this much punch. It can get expensive to bring more than two big names at once, but Valley Rock Festival seems to have outdone itself this year, bringing in Gorillaz, Major Lazer and Sigur Ros as headliners, with other international acts including Asgeir, Gallant, Goldroom, Lorde, Lukas Graham, The Amazons, Slowdive, Lany and more. Not to be outdone by foreign bands, local favorites such as Glen Check, Nell, Janabi, Lee Juck, Life and Time, Silica, and many more will stage performances at the three-day festival. Once again set to take place at Jisan Valley Ski Resort just south of Seoul, pension, hotel rooms, and cabins in the surrounding area booked up quickly in anticipation of the festival, with few left available as early as April. However, camping packages are still available and shuttle/accommodation packages should be available in June through the festival’s website. Camping tickets can only be purchased by three-day ticket holders. Outside of music, there is set to be a variety of food and drink booths, with a plethora of other merchandise available for purchase as well. While outside food and drink are mostly not allowed in, festival goers are free to bring in their own chairs, picnic mats, and tents to combat the sun and high temps. The third round of advance tickets are currently available with oneday tickets selling for 130,000 KRW. Three-day tickets are available for 220,000 KRW. The original prices are 160,000 KRW for one-day tickets and 260,000 KRW for three-day tickets if purchased at the festival or in the few days before. They can be purchase at Yes24 and Interpark in advance. English booking is available. Valley Rock Festival will also offer shuttle buses from several location in and outside Seoul directly to the festival grounds.

Story by Emma Kalka

Soul fans, rejoice! Seoul Soul Festival is returning this year. While there have yet to be any lineup announcements as of publication, last year’s premiere festival included such artists as Maxwell, Eric Benet, Mayer Hawthorne, TY Dolla $ign, Musiq Soulchild, Gallant, Robert Glasper, Jeff Bernat, Crush, BJ The Chicago Kid, The Stylistics, Rual Midon, Hoody, Skull, Dean, and others. Blind tickets opened up for sale on May 24 for 125,000 KRW. Other prices and ticket sales information will be available at a later date.

60music Story by Emma Kalka

Pentaport brings in

eclectic line-up W

hile they might lack the big names of Jisan, the Pentaport Rock Festival -running from Aug. 11-13 - is certainly trying to outdo itself with this summer’s lineup by bringing in an eclectic mix of international names. The biggest headliner announced so far is French electronic duo Justice, best known for incorporating strong rock and indie music into its music and image. The group’s debut album in 2007 received critical acclaim and was nominated for Best Electronic/Dance Album at the Grammys that year. Following them in the lineup are British indie pop band Bastille, Australian rock band 5 Seconds of Summer, English indie rock band Circa Waves, Japanese rock band Her Name In Blood, and an assortment of Korean music festival staples such as hard rock band Pia, The Solutions, and Vassa-

line. More groups will be announces in the runup to the festival. Pentaport is also opening up applications to local groups for its Penta Super Rookie stage. It will be accepting applications for festival volunteers until June 8. It will feature camping, with information on booking camp sites and tent rentals to be posted on its website at a later date. The festival is set to take place at its home base - Pentaport Park in Incheon, west of Seoul, where it’s been the past several years - and is sure to include a variety of food and drink booths as well as offering space to local music and clothing vendors. Tickets are set at 220,000 KRW for a three-day pass through Hana Tour. Information on one-day and two-day passes has not been released as of publication. The festival will also run shuttle buses from a handful of locations in Seoul to the grounds. Information on locations and ticket prices will also be announced at a later date.

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Healthy ethical food, detox diets, and a special fermented elixir that might cure what ails you

Story by Soo Choi Photos by Soo Choi



f you're willing to climb to the top of the highest hill in Gangnam, you're in for a real (healthy) treat. At the very top is a spacious, bright restaurant surrounded by lush greenery-almost a novelty sight in the fast paced, skyscraper-loving city of Seoul. The venture up isn't as hard as it may sound. As you draw further and further away from bustling Gangnam Station and its in-your-face, packed main street, the world around you morphs into something of a fairy tale. The sound, or lack thereof, is the first thing you'll notice; the silence is somehow both jarring and comforting at once. Just follow the soft tinkling of classical music to the top, and you'll be greeted by the beautiful garden and two-story brick building that is TIMA House. It has a sort of elegantly nondescript charm to it-almost as though a luxurious residential home has been renovated into a charming, photogenic little restaurant for foodies, naturopaths, and health-conscious eaters alike. And that's just what it feels like-home-as you walk into the building to be greeted by the friendly, smiling staff and smell of delicious food wafting from the kitchen. Perhaps this is part of the reason why, though they opened less than a year ago, they have already gained recognition from customers, health communities, and even the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. A chalkboard sign placed right in front of the entrance reads in Korean: "Sorry, we don't serve coffee. But... At least once in a while, wouldn't you prefer drink and food that is good for your body?" So, you may ask, if they don't serve

coffee than what exactly do they serve? The menu takes up just one page, divided into six sections: TIMA drinks, TIMA vinegar drinks, salads, gluten free, vegan, and yogurt. What does this all mean, though? It almost seems to be written in an alien language, but the staff are more than happy to decrypt it for you. With whatever you choose from the food options, you'll be more than pleased. Each dish is healthy, flavor-packed, and artfully plated. Whether you're vegan, vegetarian, pesco, gluten free, or simply trying to shed some pounds before summer, TIMA has something for everyone. Their goal being to serve healthy and naturally healing food, you can be assured that anything you order is nutritionally dense and that every ingredient has been carefully thought out. Accommodating and understanding of

different dietary restrictions, the menu is also pretty flexible, and they are willing to veganize/vegetarianize many items. Using refined techniques to ensure the best outcome and preserve as much flavor possible, they spend a tremendous amount of time and energy on each dish. The Root Veggie Salad, for example, is comprised of vegetables that have been steamed for 14.5 hours and comes with house-made vinaigrette. The Gluten Free Pizza crust is made of broccoli, cauliflower, unpolished brown rice, and fermented for three days to achieve the perfect texture. The Gluten Free Tomato Pasta is made of tofu "noodles"-pressed and dried tofu cut into noodle strips and covered in fresh tomato sauce. The Vegan Stew is a mix of 20 different vegetables softened in vegetable stock and boiled for over 24 hours. The Vegan Steak, one of their most popular dishes, is presented with soft asparagus spears, a ring of tomato sauce, broccoli sprouts, is made of eight kinds of beans and seven kinds of mushrooms, and is aged three days. Serena Lee, the CEO of TIMA, is dedicated to using fresh, high-quality, and unrefined ingredients. She was extremely knowledgeable and kind, easy to laugh, with a comfortable smile and passionate disposition. She told us that most components of their dishes are house-made, and everything is inspected and carefully hand picked. They sparingly use pure, unrefined sugar and even make and use their own salt-a fermented yeast that boasts a 20% less sodium content than regular table salt. All of this labor yields phenomenal results-the food truly tastes different.

64 food&drink

The vegetables, though steamed, completely retain their individual flavors while being tender and soft. The stew is a harmonious blend of spices and veggies, and the pasta sauce tastes like fresh tomatoes picked off the vine. You would never imagine that cooked food could be so flavorful. TIMA is anything but just another health food restaurant. The sophisticated, artfully plated menu items may be what often catches attention on social media, but the stars of the show are actually their reset diet program and the TIMA 1825-a drink made using the extract of an original blend of fermented fruit, vegetables, seaweed, and mushroom.

They sparingly use pure, unrefined sugar and even make and use their own salta fermented yeast that boasts a 20% less sodium content than regular table salt. "TIMA is the old Latin word for time," Serena told us. "And 1825 is the number of days we ferment it." 1825 days. That's five years of fermenting in large jars at the TIMA factory in Naju, South Korea. So why would they spend that much time on fermenting a bunch of produce in jars? And why is it such an important component of the restaurant? She says she's watched it help people get rid of skin problems, diabetes, obesity, irregular menstruation, digestive problems, while leading to improved organ function, lower cholesterol, and help in regulating the level of glucose in the bloodstream. She also explained how her father originally came to discover the magical combination with healing properties. "He was a soldier in the Vietnam War. He came back to Korea and was totally fine, but started to cough and got sick after a year. He kept going to hospitals and took [a lot of] medicine, but it didn't help. He suffered [for] over two years." So Serena's father turned to natural medicine. Trying the elimination diet, he cut out certain foods from his diet, believing it would help his body and organs rest and "reset." It was during this time he also discovered the power of different food combinations and fermentation.

Because our bodies ferment the food we eat, pre-fermenting certain combination of food and drinking its extract gives the intestinal organs a break, while delivering pure nutrients to the bloodstream for fast absorption and creating healthy blood cells. "He got better and better, started collecting large pots in our backyard, and fermenting more and more until he finally got the best final combination." And this age-old combination is what they use to this day, to help the people in their search for an answer to their chronic problems. "He started to share the extracts with people, and [other sick] people got better and better, too. You could see their immune systems getting better and better. The Ministry of Food and Drink [eventually] offered my father help to keep making this product." It's been over 30 years since this first step was taken to publicly share the extract, and Serena opened TIMA House and implemented diet programs last September in hopes to help as many people as her father had. Diet-seeking clients choose between the two-week program or four, depending on the severity of their condition. They first go in for an initial consultation so the team can learn about their current diet, exercise, ailments, and needs. Like any detox diet, they are only allowed to drink the designated drink throughout the days, combined with set amounts of water. They are advised not to eat or drink anything else in order to properly let the body reset. Serena and the other CEO guide clients throughout the entire program-personally communicating with and advising each and every one through Kakao Talk. For people who are interested in trying the drink, but not fully committed to the program, they can purchase the drink at the restaurant, as well as many other variations of it. It has no aroma and tastes fruity and sweet, with an underlying vegetable tone (onion makes an appearance, but it surprisingly works quite well with the flavors). For being something so healthy, it tastes pretty good. Aiming to open more stores all around Korea-in the future, perhaps even abroad-TIMA seems to be growing endlessly. With their magical elixir and growing line of happy testimonials, they will continue to serve natural, healthful food, and their special healing drinks to the public for years to come. With all the growing attention on natural medicine, health, food, and wellness, TIMA House may actually be pioneers in paving the path to a brighter, more health-conscious future for the meat, chimaek, soju, and street-food loving peninsula country.

66 food&drink

Ain't No Thing But a Chicken Wing Nekkid Wings aims to be your trusty winghouse

Story by Jordan Redmond Photos by Robert Michael Evans

whether or not they planned to open a Korean branch and having had his hopes dashed by an unresponsive corporate entity, he decided to take matters into his own hands by opening his own temple of wings. Saeahm enlisted friends, Youngwook Suh and Junki Cho, to start testing if his dream, in fact, had any wings. It was all a very methodical process. A Google survey of friends and friends-of-friends uncovered a lot of useful data for an aspiring restaurateur like the answers to really granular questions such as "What parts of the chicken do you like or dislike the most?" and "If you don't finish your plate of chicken, why is that?". One interesting quirk of the chimaek system that Saeahm found was that an order of chicken from a typical chicken joint is too large for one person to eat in a sitting.

Nekkid seems to be going for a sleeker image, more in-tune with the currently pervasive industrial-chic design trend. Saeahm and company seem to be consciously trying to break with winghouse precedent, especially considering their logo of an unpeeled banana. An order of wings is smaller and could be a solution for the chicken-seeking solo diner. With these questions, Saeahm and co. were calibrating their restaurant. The three then rented a test kitchen in Itaewon and over the course of five months perfected their flavors and systems by inviting friends over to taste test. Other than simply trying to hone their wings, the co-founders were also looking for a way to appeal to Korean tastes and to find out how to make their project viable for the local market. The resulting menu is a compromise between tried-and-true American wing flavors such as buffalo and lemon pepper along with sauces more attuned to Korean tastebuds such as a take on the sticky red yangnyeom sauce that coats a lot of birds here. There are 10 flavors in all. The standout is the house sauce called "Amazinger",

which is indeed zingy with a building heat due to cayenne pepper. The buffalo sauce is creamy and will be a nostalgia-inducing taste of home for some. The parmesan-garlic was also a star. The texture when parmesan meets a warm, moist surface such as the top of spaghetti coated with sauce, that magic happens here on these wings as well. For hot wings fanatics, there is the Amazing Xtra to put the hurt on you. One platter of 10 wings along with fries or chips, celery and carrots with a dipping sauce (appropriately, blue cheese or ranch) will run you KRW 16,000. The wings are good-sized, not the miniscule things sometimes being passed off as chicken wings here. The portion of chips served was ample. Perhaps some malt vinegar could be supplied to really set them off. Beers are in the KRW 8,000-7,000 range. On the higher end of things for sure but the list of made up of local favorites such as Magpie and Hand & Malt so at least your money is going back into the local economy. It is slightly regrettable that a cheap Korean beer option isn't available but you could say that about several similar foreign-food driven Itaewon establishments. Having just opened at the beginning of April, Nekkid Wings is already popular. The restaurant's thirty seats were almost full on a Tuesday night. The restaurant, unlike American wing spots, has no television to be seen and definitely none in the bathroom. Instead of a sports bar vibe, Nekkid seems to be going for a sleeker image, more in-tune with the currently pervasive industrial-chic design trend. Saeahm and company seem to be consciously trying to break with winghouse precedent, especially considering their logo of an unpeeled banana. Why? Because, according to Saeahm, every other place has a chicken on their sign so why not be different? It's this level of thoughtfulness that should help Nekkid succeed in being an Itaewon institution. Add Yongsan-gu, Noksapyeong-daero 174-11 tel 010-5891-7411



here are wings and then there are wings. The former the kind of limp, sad items placed on menus to attract folks into helping empty the kegs midweek. The latter, however, can be objects of adoration bordering on addiction. The flavor hit from a hot, crispy, well-sauced chicken wing can lead a man to dye his hair blond, wear his sunglasses on the back of his neck, and yell non-sequiturs. Small but powerful items, then, chicken wings. And there's a multitude of reasons they've become perhaps the go-to bar food in the United States, a country full of hedonic dishes. Wings are a sauce lovers dream, capable of coming dressed in an infinite amount of flavors, the array of which are the sticky sweet dream of capitalism. Also, good wings are incredibly tactile, the act of using one's hands and teeth to rip at flesh and economically separate crispy skin and succulent meat from bone (and even bone from bone) no doubt tickling the more primal parts of our brains. Lastly, wings are one of the few food items known to humankind that can make a shitty beer taste incredible. Seoul has made great strides in recent years as far as the breadth and quality of American food goes. In fact, almost all of your bases are quite well-covered: pizza, burgers, tacos. But wings? Outside of a few wing nights, virtually nowhere has been brave enough to specialize. In the Land of Chicken and Beer, the reason is so painfully obvious that we can't see it. Good chicken is too pervasive with chimaek on every corner, relatively cheap and usually very delicious. By starting an American-style wings joint, you're basically banking on expat support being all one needs to survive. In other words, not exactly a viable business plan when there are still only 150,000 Americans living in the entire country. However, if you're just steps away from a large American military base and located in food-forward Itaewon where flocks of young Koreans swarm searching for an authentic taste of abroad, then you might just have a fighting chance. Nekkid Wings is hoping to have found that celery stick-sized hole-in-the-market. The restaurant, located in the same alley as Linus BBQ and Sweet East Cafe, is the passion project of Saeahm Lee. Saeahm picked up his jones for wings while living in Arkansas having become a devotee of Buffalo Wild Wings, an American chain specializing in the art of the chicken wing. Listening to Saeahm talk, one can detect a bit of Arkansas drawl in his English even though he was born-and-raised in Korea. Having moved back to Korea, Saeahm got in contact with Buffalo Wild Wings about

68 food&drink

Trench town Everything’s Gonna Be Alright


Story by Andy Hume Photos by Anuj Madan

ven on the sunniest of summer Seoul days, it isn’t exactly easy to close your eyes and imagine yourself on a Jamaican beach with the sand between your toes. At Trenchtown, a new Caribbean rum bar and restaurant in Itaewon, they’re doing their best to help you try. Brought to you by the people behind the excellent Rye Post a few blocks away, Trenchtown - named for the Kingston, Jamaica neighborhood where Bob Marley grew up - has a relaxed, casual atmosphere that’s predictably heavy on the West Indian theme (any Groove readers who can’t stand reggae might prefer to give this one a miss) but tastefully decorated nonetheless. The first thing that greets you as you walk up the steps is the bar, stocked with around forty varieties of rum. Although the menu emphasis currently is on cocktails such as the Mai Tai and the old-fashioned grog, owners Matt Choe and So Im plan to offer tasting flights of rum to help introduce customers to a drink that’s still under the radar in Korea. If you can make it past the temptations of the bar, you’ll find plenty of tables to sit down and check out the food options. Trenchtown’s menu leans on classic combinations of jerk-spiced meats like chicken or ribs served up with coconut rice, beans, and coleslaw. Jerk ribs are pleasingly meaty and cooked to perfection, and well priced at 17,000 KRW for a very sizeable half rack. The jerk chicken, served off the bone, is juicy and addictive. Purists will wish the heat of the seasoning was dialed up a bit more; as tasty as it is, it doesn’t have quite the bite and aromatic kick of an authentic West Indian jerk seasoning. That said, if the spice level isn’t up to your preference, there’s a trio of hot sauces available: including a fiery yellow Scotch Bonnet sauce that will bring tears to your eyes. Trenchtown also offers something which doesn’t appear on too many Seoul restaurant menus, a terrific goat curry which may well be the star of the show – peppery, full of flavor, and tender, it’s a must-try even for less adventurous visitors, and a good talking point. Many customers are already coming

back just for this, and it’s easy to see why. Away from meat, there’s a range of sides such as sweet potato fries, Caribbean-style dumplings (think fried dough balls rather than mandu), and fried plantains. The sides are efficient rather than spectacular, but the coconut rice and beans that are served with most of the dishes will hit the spot, particularly with the provided gravy poured over the top. Standard plates range between 15,000 and 22,000 KRW, with sharing platters combining two or more main dishes with various sides available from 32,000 KRW and up. You can also add extra meat or chicken to your order, and bigger eaters may find that to be a wise precaution. Aficionados of authentic West Indian food may find things to quibble about with Trenchtown’s offerings, but there is no doubt that for those of us who can only daydream about a Caribbean holiday, it’s the next best thing. Everything at Trenchtown is done with care and attention to detail, and it’s well worth checking out.

Trenchtown also offers something which doesn’t appear on too many Seoul restaurant menus, a terrific goat curry which may well be the star of the show – peppery, full of flavor, and tender, it’s a must-try even for less adventurous visitors... Add Yongsan-gu, Bogwang-ro 105 tel 02 794 9992 Hours Tuesday – Sunday 5:30 – 10:30pm, with lunch opening planned from June onwards. Closed Mondays.

70 food&drink

Add Your Name To The BLACKLIST A place that pleases the particular while welcoming the regular

Story by Neil Kirby Photos by Anuj Madan


ong before he ever thought of being a bartender, much less a co-owner, of one of Seoul’s newest, hottest establishments, Christopher Shin Packard strolled into a bar for a beer and a burger after a three month road trip across the U.S. He would be having his first cold beer in over a year and hoped for a relaxing, rewarding, welcoming experience after planting his roots in Bowling Green, Ohio. He didn’t have one. “The bar had no soul,” he said. So he tried another joint. The second one was also no good-the place was a dive. But the third “scratched every itch,” he said. “Warm, clean wood on the bannisters, friendly people, local hillbillies arguing politics and sports-a mixture of Cheers and Moe’s Tavern.” Shin Packard became a regular, and was eventually offered a gig as a bouncer, later working his way up to bartender. And it was the features of that watering hole that helped foster a “love of Americana” that Shin Packard brought to Blacklist, the newly opened bar in the heart of Itaewon. Except “bar” hardly describes the venue, which features a mix of classic cocktails and Shin Packard’s own inventions, along with cold craft beer, high-quality but reasonably priced wine, and above all, an atmosphere that first strikes you as clean and cozy without being pretentious, a curious amalgam of the present and past that’s hard to pinpoint, much like bar stories from years prior, told and retold to new friends as if they happened yesterday, giving new life to an old theme. But make no mistake-it’s the people that make the place. The diverse clientele has included those from a variety of careers, and even an ambassador has mingled there. The crowd generally consists of “awesome people doing awesome things,” Shin Packard said, just as

a half-dozen gorgeous women entered, Shin Packard greeting them like an old friend. Some of the other perks of the place include top-tier brand house spirits and wine, a cut above what’s often available elsewhere. In addition to that, they boast a spotlessly clean bathroom-a rare find in the wee hours in Itaewon. And while Shin Packard can be creative with his own concoctions, don’t expect him to screw up a classic. “It’s amazing-wherever you go in the world, how often they destroy it,” he said of the classic martini.

The name of the place refers to the blacklisting of thousands of Korean artists and writers denied the chance of government support because Park Geun-hye found them unfriendly to her administration. With his creativity co-existing with a reverence for the classics, it’s clear the place wouldn’t be much without a skilled craftsman like him behind the bar. “Using the proper methodology and doing the small things right, you can deliver better value and better quality for the customer,” he said, slicing the flesh of a cucumber with the meticulousness and care more common in a sushi chef than in a bartender.


“Chris is the face of the bar for a reason,” said Sean Walker, one of the four co-owners. “Without him, th–ere is no Blacklist.” The name of the place refers to the blacklisting of thousands of Korean artists and writers denied the chance of government support because Park Geun-hye found them unfriendly to her administration. For poorer artists, inclusion on the list could have been devastating. For anti-establishment thinkers such as Ko Un, a famous South Korean poet, being included on the list was an honor, as Ko Un told the New York Times, “This shows how disgusting the government is.” The owners of Blacklist all agreed on the name as a nod to the scandal, intending to flip the negative connotation into a positive, as artists like Ko Un have done.

But let’s get back to booze. It’s Korea after all, and if you’re having a cold one or a cocktail you will also no doubt be having anju. In the case of Blacklist, you won’t be disappointed by the house homemade beef jerky-a recipe that requires two days of patience and effort. “I have so much fun when Koreans try my jerky,” Shin Packard said. Likely they may have been expecting the store-bought variety, which is often soaked in sugar and may lack the proper texture. (He doesn’t stop there-you know those cherries they plop into cocktails? He soaks them in his own special brew himself. No maraschinos in sight.) In addition to serving jerky and spiced nuts, the venue has been doubling as a popup restaurant on occasion. The latest event featured beef tartare, garlic scented gambas, curried pork ribs, and a number of des-

serts for about the same money you’d pay for samgyeopsal. Checkout their Facebook page, to see when the next event will happen. They’ve also just switched over to their summer menu, including drinks with lighter flavor profiles and humidity-killing beverages. Go there, and Shin Packard-you can call him Chris-might regale you with tales from the seemingly countless places he has lived and which he ticks off like a grocery list-or he might simply serve you a cocktail to his own specifications, which are mighty hard to beat. It’s a blacklist. But unlike many of the artists mentioned, it may be a boon to you. You’re not shut out. You’re welcomed in. Add Itaewon-dong 66-2 3rd floor, Yongsan-gu tel 010-2437-1178 Hours 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Closed Mondays

72 photographer's spotlight Edited by Steve Smith

Photographer Noah Gampe Instagram @n0ah_kg Photo Cityscape, Olympic Expressway Photographer's notes I'm a southern California kid living in the big city of Seoul. When taking these long exposures, you get to see each car or bus going its own way. Everyone has their own life and their own story, and watching them pass by one another - weaving in and out of each others’ lives - makes me happy.


Photographer Justin Howard Photo Songdo at Night

Groove Korea welcomes Photographer's Spotlight. This section brings some of those special shots from our very own GK photographers to give you a snapshot into their world‌

74 listings




American Embassy (02) 397-4114 • 188 Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Novotel Ambassador Gangnam (02) 567-1101 • 603 Yeoksam 1-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Seoul Samsung Hospital 1599-3114 • 50 Irwon-dong, Gangnamgu, Seoul


Canadian Embassy (02) 3783-6000 • (613) 996-8885 (Emergency Operations Center) Jeongdonggil (Jeong-dong) 21, Jung-gu, Seoul

Grand Hilton Seoul (02) 3216-5656 • 353 Yeonhui-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul

Asan Medical Center 1688-7575 • 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul

Somerset Palace Seoul (02) 6730-8888 • 85 Susong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center (053) 250-7167 (7177 / 7187) • 56 Dalseong-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu


British Embassy (02) 3210-5500 • Sejong-daero 19-gil 24, Jung-gu, Seoul Australian Embassy (02) 2003-0100 • 19th fl, Kyobo bldg., 1 Jongno 1-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul Philippine Embassy (02) 796-7387~9 • 5-1 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul Spanish Embassy (02) 794-3581 • 726-52 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul French Embassy (02) 3149-4300 • 30 Hap-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul

HOTELS & RESORTS Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul (02) 2250-8080 • San 5-5, Jangchungdong 2-ga Jung-gu, Seoul

Park Hyatt Seoul (02) 2016-1244 • 606 Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Lotte Hotel Busan (051) 810-1000 • 772 Gaya-daero, Busanjin-gu, Busan Park Hyatt Busan (051) 990-1244 • 51, Marine City 1-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan 612-824, Korea

Airlines Korean Air 1588-2001 Asiana Airlines 1588-8000 Lufthansa (02) 2019-0180 Garuda Indonesia (02) 773-2092 •


Jeju Air 1599-1500

Gangnam St-Mary’s Hospital 1588-1511 • 222 Banpo-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul

T’way Air 1688-8686

Yonsei Severance Hospital (Sinchon) (02) 2227-7777 • 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul

British Airways (02) 774-5511

Seoul National University Hospital 1339 • 28-2 Yeongeon-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Delta Airlines (02) 754-1921

Jin Air 1600-6200

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 \

Dulwich College Seoul Dulwich College Seoul offers an exemplary British-style international education (including IGCSE and IBDP) for over 600 expatriate students aged 2 to 18 from over 40 different countries. 6 Sinbanpo-ro 15-gil, Seocho-gu, Seoul, Korea. 02-3015-8500

Cathay Pacific Airways (02) 311-2700

Emirates Airlines (02) 2022-8400




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FAMILY & KIDS Eton House Prep (02) 749-8011 • 68-3 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul A unique British-style Prep School for children of all nationalities from 2-13 years of age. A broad, challenging and innovative curriculum preparing pupils for senior school and life beyond. / AMUSEMENT PARKS Everland Resort (031) 320-5000 • 310 Jeondae-ri, Pogokeup, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do Lotte World (02) 411-2000 0 • 240 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul Pororo Park (D-Cube city) 1661-6340 • 360-51 Sindorim-dong, Guro-gu, Seoul Children’s Grand Park (zoo) (02) 450-9311 • 216 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul Seoul Zoo (02) 500-7338 • 159-1 Makgye-dong, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do BOOKSTORES What the Book? (02) 797-2342 • 176-2, Itaewon 1-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul • Located in Itaewon, this English bookstore has new books, used books and children’s books. Kim & Johnson 1566-0549 • B2 fl-1317-20 Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul

HEALTH Animal hospitals Chunghwa Animal Hospital / Korea Animal Transport (02) 792-7602 • 21-1 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul /

MUSEUM & GALLERIES National Museum of Korea (02) 2077-9000 • 168-6 Yongsandong 6-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul The NMK offers educational programs on Korean history and culture in English and Korean. 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 ORIENTAL MEDICINE • 78 Sagan-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul Lee Moon Won Korean Medicine Clinic 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed on Mondays. (02) 511-1079 • 3rd fl., Lee&You bldg. 69-5 Gallery Hyundai Chungdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (02) 734-6111~3 Specializes in hair loss and scalp problems • 22 Sagan-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul and offers comprehensive treatments and The first specialized art gallery in Korea and services including aesthetic and hair care accommodates contemporary art. products. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed on Mondays, New Soseng Clinic Year’s Day, Lunar New Year and Chuseok holidays. (02) 2253-8051 • 368-90 Sindang 3-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul Plateau (02) 1577-7595 FITNESS • 50 Taepyung-ro 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul Exxl Fitness 10 a.m.-6 p. m. Closed on Mondays. Gangnam Finance Center, 737 Yeoksamdong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul • National Museum of Modern and

Hair & Joy Trained at Toni & Guy and Vidal Sassoon Academy in UK Color, Perm, Magic Straight, Treatment and more English Spoken For more info, call Johnny Tel 02.363.4253 Mobile 010.5586.0243 3rd fl. 168-3 Donggyo-dong, Mapo-gu

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

Hair & Joy

Lotte Cinema Samsung Plaza

Qunohair Gangnam / Apgujeong Branch Tel 02.549.0335 10-6, Dosan-daero 45-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul


Hongik Univ. Station

Line Line #2 #2

DENTAL CLINIC Boston Dental Clinic General dentistry / Periodontics / Orthodontics (02) 3482-0028 • 92-12 5F, Banpo 4-dong (Seorae French Village), Seocho-gu, Seoul

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.

The most personal care for life’s most personal issues confidentality guaranteed | STD Testing

Comprehensive urology services STI related exam & treatment Voiding dysfunction Sexual dysfunction General urology LGBT friendly Dr. Sean, Sung Hun, Park, M. D. Clinical Associate Professor of Urology AÂĄou Universjty, School of Medicine US Trained Urologist

10F Dongil Building 429. Gangnam-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul, Korea 02-3482-8575 / 010-3811-8575 (English Speaking Counselor) Mon - Fri 10:00am - 6:00pm / sat 10:00am - 3:00pm

Appointment recommended