Groove Korea 2019 September

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From the Editor-in-Chief


Cover art: Cess Rodriguez Cover photo and official logo courtesy of: Zandari Festa


I’VE COVERED MANY A CONCERT AND MUSIC FESTIVAL during my time as a music journalist, but Zandari Festa will always hold a special place in my heart. Ever since my introduction to it back in 2016, it’s been the highlight of my year every year. There’s something special about it. Even though each year brings in about 100 bands, there is a definite intimate feel to it. Perhaps it’s the fact that the venues are often smaller and allow for an up close and personal experience with each band that takes the stage. Or perhaps it’s because the artists themselves are so accessible, often popping in and out of sets, most eager to see as many bands as they can alongside performing. And they are willing to talk to just about anyone. It is the only showcase festival in Korea and truly one of a kind, bringing together bands from all over the world along with musical professionals from here and abroad. It’s a great place to meet folks, as well as enjoy a variety of music (and more than a few beers). More than that, I feel like I created a small family of festa regulars - those like me who eagerly attend every year. In a time when so many other festivals are folding, it’s nice to see a smaller festival - that truly works to build not only the indie scene but supports small, local venues as well going strong eight years later. No matter what you’re interested in, there is sure to be a set for everyone. So be sure to stop by and support. Get a beer. Chat with a band. But more than that, enjoy the music.




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HOBBITS & MARVEL & PIRATES, OH MY! Comic Con Seoul goes bigger for third year


BEAUTY IN IDENTITY Somali-American Muslim model teaches us that you can have faith in fashion and vice versa


A SMALL FEST IN THE MOUNTAINS Small fest has big dreams in Gangwonand fun


A GEM OF THE PHILIPPINES: PALAWAN Eco-friendly tourism - excitement and relaxation without the guilt


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A FESTIVAL OF OPPORTUNITIES Showcase festival Zandari Festa is back and bigger than ever


A VISIT FROM LEGENDS Rugby legends visit Seoul in runup to World Cup


A ROLLER RINK WITH STYLE Roller brings new style and fun


STICKY RICKY’S A love letter to ice cream, made with every batch


KOREA EDITORIAL Editor-in-chief


Food & Drink











General Inquiries

SPECIAL THANKS TO Zandari Festa, ...Whatever That Means, Billy Carter, Burning Hepburn, Choi Sam, Ergo Function Error, LAYBRICKS, Zoobombs, Pom Klementieff, Billy Boyd, Dulwich College Seoul, Hyun Kim, Julien Baek, Ashley Robbins, Tibaeg, ROLLER GROUND PFAAP!, Jay Diaz, Ahn Dong Ho, Angelica Slater

PHOTOGRAPHY Creative Director


GRAPHIC DESIGN Design Director




STAFF WRITERS / COLUMNISTS Amy Benham, Katie Martin, Jill Robbins, Jiaying Lim


To contribute to Groove Korea, email or the appropriate editors. To have Groove Korea delivered to your home or business, email To promote and 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 2006



Andong Mask Dance Festival

Jinju Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival

September 27–October 6

October 1-13 Jinju Namgang River

The festival is held in Andong area which is considered the capital of Korean traditional culture, with the theme of mask and mask dance.

Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival originates from the lantern lighting custom used during the Jinjuseong Fortress Battle of the Imjinwaeran War (Japanese invasion, 1592) as a military strategy to prevent Japanese troops from wading the Namgang River. The highlights of the festival are the floating of lanterns carrying personal wishes of the citizens along the Namgang River, and the parade of lanterns created by the students themselves.



Seoul International Fireworks Festival October 1-5 Fireworks teams from around the world are invited to perform fireworks displays and to light up the Yeouinaru Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 4. Yeouido Station (Seoul Subway Line 5, 9), Exit 5

Hyoseok Cultural Festival September 7-15 Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do Honoring modern Korean writer Lee Hyo-seok and his popular novel “When Buckwheat Flowers Bloom,” which demonstrates the connection between human life and the beauty of nature through the dazzling scenery of Bongpyeong.


Korea’s Premier K-12 International School

Accredited by western association of schools & colleges

Our mission

We develop curious minds, creative spirits, and compassionate hearts...

388-14 Bokjeong-dong, Sujeong-gu, Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea 031.750.1327 •



The ChainsmokerS

Shawn Mendes

September 6 KSPO Dome, Olympic Park

September 25 KSPO Dome, Olympic Park


Hans Zimmer September 28-29 Olympic Park

ZANDARI Festa September 26-29 MUV Hall @ Hongdae and 9 other venues in Hongdae area

EK Language Services Translation and Editing services


Seoul Forest Jazz Festival September 28-29 Seoul Forest in Seongsu-dong


English, French, and Spanish native speakers on 24/7 basis Affordable price Professional and Guaranteed Quality translations 24-Hour Turnaround 10+ years of experience

Partners with Hyundai Motors, Groove Korea, KIWI Chamber of Commerce, British Chamber of Commerce, Embassy of Finland, GS Shopping and more


Erik Johansson: Impossible is Possible Ends September 15 Hangaram Art Museum at Seoul Arts Center 12,000w

The GREEKS: Agamemnon to Alexander the Great Ends September 15 Hangaram Art Museum at Seoul Arts Center 15,000w

Bernard Buffet Ends September 15 Hangaram Art Museum at Seoul Arts Center 15,000w



MAGNUM in Paris September 25 Hangaram Art Museum at Seoul Arts Center

Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a Classic SOMA (Seoul Olympic Museum of Art) at Songpa-gu Adults 15,000w / Children 12,000w A collection of the original drawings not seen in Disney animation.

Jaime Hayon: Serious Fun Daelim Museum at Jongno-gu 10,000w (Closed on Mondays) A solo exhibition of the most influential creator and a visionary, Jaime Hayon explores the artist’s unique and intriguing perspective of the world through diverse mediums such as design, furniture, sculpture, sketches, and large-scale installations





Zandari Festa opens doors for local and international indie artists





t’s that time of year again, when indie bands and musicians from around the world descend upon Hongdae for a long weekend to play music, connect with music industry professionals, drink beer, and just have fun. Spread out over nine venues within 10 minutes walking distance in the heart of the indie music scene in Seoul, Zandari Festa is set to run from Sept. 26-29 this year.


The showcase festival has a total of 119 bands and artists playing over the weekend with 65 local acts and 54 international acts from 20 countries including Taiwan, Hungary, France, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, China, and the UK. “For us, it’s very important to support local live clubs that also help us productionwise with their professionalism,” said organizer Livina Tanovic. And while there will be dozens of sets for music fans to catch with a range of styles from jazz, to punk, to hip-hop and EDM, the core of the festival is to connect bands and musicians with others from around the world along with concert and festival promoters. It is this international aspect that makes it unique. “It’s all about diversity and it’s truly global, but still intimate,” said Tanovic. “Artists, professionals and even audiences who come to Zandari Festa get along together through music no matter where they are from or what they do.” This year marks the eighth installment of the showcase festival since its start as a town festival in 2012. It has grown into the international event that it currently is, showing off Hongdae culture and the nonKpop music scene to the world. In line with its continuing growth, this year features a few new features. There are more special stages hosted by countries and cities, including Taiwan, Hungary, Busan, France, Canada, Hong Kong, and the UK. The festa is also opening its doors to teens through the new project “Music TEEN-dustry”. Underage attendees can now buy tickets to certain showcases and participate in conference sessions. “We believe that involving young people

will help to encourage the scene that is not a part of a huge entertainment industry such as Kpop,” Tanovic said. Also, the festival is branching out and including hip-hop acts this year. There is a special Busan showcase featuring rapper JTong with local band Lowdown 30, as well as a set by local female rapper Choi Sam and internationals acts HAMZA from France, Antoha MC from Russia and Too Many T’s, an old school hip-hop trio from the UK. Zandari Festa is not a festival that books so-called “headliners” that sell tickets, according to Tanovic, so the best experience the audience can have is just enjoying the musical diversity. “If you’re interested in the music business or industry itself, Zandari is actually the


Date: September 26-29 Location: Prism Hall, Veloso, Flex.Lounge, Redbig Space, MUV Hall, Club STEEL FACE, The Con-vent Live Club, Evan’s Lounge, Ryse Hotel (Hongdae, Seoul) only international event in Korea where you can participate and learn,” Tanovic said. She added that what they look for in selecting acts are bands that can deliver what they want to express through their live performances. And it must be doing something right - its garnered the attention of bigger festivals such as Focus Wales and Liverpool Sound City. While organizers believe that each one of the 119 bands performing this year are worth checking out, a few to keep an eye on are some of the bigger international names - The Sherlocks (UK), Amazing Show (Taiwan), Jordan Klassen (Canada), Fran Palermo (Hungary), Schnellertollermeier (Switzerland) - as well as emerging new

Asian acts such as Pyra (Thailand), Harahells (Japan), and The Hormones (China). Some of Tanovic’s personal picks are Airy, DTSQ, Platform Stereo, Organic Beer and Baek Hyunjin from Korea, and Guess Band (Japan), Two Weeks in Nashville (UK) and ba. (Lithuania) on the international side. For the future, Zandari Festa doesn’t necessarily hope to get bigger. “We hope we could earn a bit more profit so that we could keep doing this,” Tanovic said. “Other than that, always the same - we hope people come listen to music, drink beer, and make friends.” Tickets and more information are currently available at Zandari’s website.

Tickets: Zandari Pass Includes entry to official showcases One-Day 44,000 won All Days 88,000 won All Days Includes after party 121,000 won Special Pass One-time entry to special stage 33,000 won per day Zandari Special Package Official showcases + Conference + Special Stages) One-day: 66,000 won *Zandari Teen Pass Some showcases + conference One-Day: 11,000 won Fri-Sun Pass: 33,000 won *Only available to those under 18




What is your band name and where do you hail from? We are WHATEVER THAT MEANS. I’m Trash and I play bass in the band. We are based in Seoul, Korea, but our members are multinational from Korea, the USA and Poland. How would you describe your sound/vibe to someone who has never heard your music before? Simply put, we’re pursuing an American pop punk band sound from the 90s. Is this your first time playing at Zandari? If not, how many times have you been a part of it? We started participating in 2014 and have enjoyed it steadily every year. Why did you want to perform at Zandari Festa? How did you find out about it? Since 2009, I have been performing in the punk scene and decided to participate in 2014 because I wanted to meet more people and broaden the spectrum of our show. Zandari became interesting because it was a “oneself” festival that fits well with the DIY concept that we pursue. Many of my band friends started to participate. What are you looking forward to the most about the upcoming festival? I am most excited to be able to sing to a new audience every year. I am also looking forward to the opportunity to find, hear and see new bands and the international bands. Are there any acts that you want to see? If so, who and why? Every time there is a lineup of international artists that I’m interested


in listening to. The bands I’m looking forward to are the UK’s “IDestroy” and Japan’s “Zoobombs”. If you’ve performed at Zandari before - how did playing here affect you/your band? Were you able to book any tours/ gigs here in Korea or abroad through the festival? Not only do we have the band but also our vocalist Jeff and I made a punk label called WDI. As a band, I succeeded in getting overseas tours in the US and Southeast Asia at a little small punk rock festival called IT ’S A FEST!. So I think that the biggest positive effect is that Zandari shared certain networking and global musical exchanges that help in running the band rather than influencing our band’s music. In addition, we often receive requests to plan performances with overseas artists. This year, even though the event officially closes on Sunday, the bands IDestroy (UK) and Zoobombs (Japan) will join us on

Monday. Club Convent, (Hongdae) has planned a fun performance with them. Come listen to cool and fun punk rock! :) I think this kind of fun after-party party is possible because artists gather in Seoul and Hongdae in Korea. Why do you feel showcase festivals like Zandari are important to the music industry? If you have the courage and preparation, you can actively and personally enjoy these opportunities with others who want to make their band known to a wider variety of people but don’t know what to do yet or don’t want to perform only in limited places. In addition, the fact that planners and artists from all over the world come together to share new music with each other is also very important to create diversity in the K-pop-focused Korean music industry.





What is your band name and where do you hail from? Hi, we are ‘Billy Carter’ from Seoul. How would you describe your sound/ vibe to someone who has never heard your music before? Blues based music with a psychedelic touch and the punk attitude. Our music is about love, peace and fight. Is this your first time playing at Zandari? If not, how many times have you been a part of it? It’s our annual routine since 2013 Why did you want to perform at Zandari Festa? How did you find out about it? Bebe, our dearest friend, gave us the information of Zandari Festa at the


beginning. We took part in because we needed some money for recordings but after the first year of our participation, we realized there would be much more opportunities we can get from it. What are you looking forward to the most about the upcoming festival? Festival itself! Are there any acts that you want to see? If so, who and why? Jina : Romantiqua Jiwon : Fleche Love If you’ve performed at Zandari before - how did playing here affect you/your band? Were you able to book any tours/ gigs here in Korea or abroad through the festival?

Yes. We met good people during Zandari Festa for many years who liked our music and performance that we could have chances to play at Primavera Sound Festival, the Great Escape Festival, Liverpool Sound City Festival, Eastern Tunes Festival, Dour Festival and many other beautiful places in different cities and countries. Those were life changing experiences! And we’ll be playing at Rock In Rio this October! Isn’t it awesome? Why do you feel showcase festivals like Zandari are important to the music industry? It can be a gateway for musicians who are strongly willing to do something special. It can be a chance, it can be a party or it can be just nothing. It’s all up to you.



What is your band name and where do you hail from? Our band name is Burning Hepburn and we’re from Daejeon, South Korea. How would you describe your sound/ vibe to someone who has never heard your music before? Based on punk rock, we are expanding our musical spectrum by combining ska, garage and hard rock. Is this your first time playing at Zandari? If not, how many times have you been a part of it? This isn’t our first performance. It’s our fifth performance. Why did you want to perform at Zandari Festa? How did you find out about it? We’ve been participating in Zandari Festa steadily for the past three to four years. Every time there is a lot of good memories, and it is a good opportunity to see the performances of various bands. We learned about Zandari Festa from through the

promotion of the festival itself. Also, other band friends and acquaintances introduce it to us as a good festival. What are you looking forward to the most about the upcoming festival? What we look forward to at Zandari Festa seems to be diversity. Because different teams are gathering and performing together, we can meet various audiences. We also look forward to the performances and exchanges of other genres of music that we have never performed with, and meeting teams from overseas.

If you’ve performed at Zandari before - how did playing here affect you/ your band? Were you able to book any tours/gigs here in Korea or abroad through the festival? In the past, there were some aspects of sticking to punk rock style. There are many opportunities to experience a variety of music at Zandari Festa, so the experience there will have a positive impact on us. Unfortunately, we have never had the opportunity to do overseas performances through Zandari Festa. But it would be nice to have a chance.

Are there any acts that you want to see? If so, who and why? We usually have a lot of interaction with teams of similar genres, so we have high interest and expectation for those teams. However, Zandari Festa is an opportunity to see various teams perform, so every time we anticipate bands of different genres, bands that don’t have the opportunity to perform together. We look forward to the performances of bands who do music in different genres.

Why do you feel showcase festivals like Zandari are important to the music industry? At Zandari Festa, we think it is a place where both domestic and international music officials can gather. And we feel that Zandari Festa is actively trying to connect music people with bands, so I think it is a place where new opportunities can be created for indie bands. In addition, I think performances and exchanges with various teams can help bands grow.




What is your band name and where do you hail from? I’m Choi Sam from Daegu. How would you describe your sound/ vibe to someone who has never heard your music before? It is my personal story and about the minority.

Why did you want to perform at Zandari Festa? How did you find out about it? While walking down the Zandari Street, I was curious about the meaning of Zandari and searched its definition. I’ve always wanted to perform at a festival and so I applied for Zandari Festa.

Is this your first time playing at Zandari? If not, how many times have you been a part of it? This is my first time.

What are you looking forward to the most about the upcoming festival? I’m looking forward to seeing how the fans react and how Zandari Festa goes.


Are there any acts that you want to see? If so, who and why? I’ve listened to songs by NINE9, Karara, and Idiotape and I want to see the bands perform at the festival. Why do you feel showcase festivals like Zandari are important to the music industry? Although it’s not widely known in broadcast or various other media, I think it is an opportunity for the public and music planners to meet and communicate with good artists.



What is your band name and where do you hail from? We’re Ergo Function Error from Seoul. How would you describe your sound/vibe to someone who has never heard your music before? Based on two genres with different personalities, we add colors from many genres to create a color unique to Ego Function Error. Is this your first time playing at Zandari? If not, how many times have you been a part of it? It’s the sixth time since 2014. Why did you want to perform at Zandari Festa? How did you find out about it? I don’t know any band in Hongdae who hasn’t heard of the big festival called Zandari Festa or wants to enjoy it together. We’re happy to be involved this time. What are you looking forward to the most about the upcoming festival? Zandari is a delightful festival where you can watch countless bands in three days. As always, what I most expect from Zandari is to make musician friends that cross country boundaries and toast with them. After all, the most enjoyable thing seems to be the coming together of those who make music and love the stage at the same time. Are there any acts that you want to see? If so, who and why? Bohemian Betyars, HARAHELLS. We learned about both teams learned through Zandari’s ties, and they also performed together in Zandari Festa and Korea. We’re excited to meet these two attractive teams again.

If you’ve performed at Zandari before - how did playing here affect you/ your band? Were you able to book any tours/gigs here in Korea or abroad through the festival? Sometimes it happened. We got to meet with a very long-standing band. Tsushima Mire was a long-established band that had a great influence on the music of Ego Function Error. After actually meeting at Zandari in 2015, we went on Tsushima Mire’s national tour. We are continuing our strong friendship by joining in a performance at the “Welcome to Yeonnam Music Festa

2019” which is planned by vocal Minjung. Of course, we are looking forward to the event with the musicians friends who are close to Zandari Festa. Why do you feel showcase festivals like Zandari are important to the music industry? It is meeting place. Delegator meetings, musicians meetings. It’s a huge workforce market. Over 100 teams showcase their musical skills at home and from abroad with their own stories. We are fierce and cheer on each other .. :)




What is your band name and where do you hail from? Hello, LAYBRICKS is a hybrid twomember band consisting of Seo Kwangmin (vocal / guitar) and Yoo Hye-jin (drum / vocal). We work mainly in Seoul, South Korea, and also do overseas activities. How would you describe your sound/ vibe to someone who has never heard your music before? LAYBRICK’s music pursues a simple yet well-adapted melody and dancer rhythm. It’s a good combination of Britpop, Alternative, and Pop, but in fact it’s appropriate to say that we play “feel good music” that people prefer and are influenced by, without being limited to a particular genre. Is this your first time playing at Zandari? If not, how many times have you been a part of it? Since 2015, this is the fifth time that we’ve been in Zandari Festa. Why did you want to perform at Zandari Festa? How did you find out about it? At first, we didn’t know the concept of a showcase festival. However, we gradually became aware of the charm of a


showcase festival and started to promote and prepare. As the world of music opens, we thought we should sell our products. What are you looking forward to the most about the upcoming festival? It’s a place where you can meet and play with overseas musicians and music officials every year. There are musicians and officials who get close to each other year after year. And the opportunities we get from the Zandari Festa have allowed us to participate in showcase festivals in other countries. Of course, there have been other opportunities over and over again. I think it’s a series of opportunities. We’re constantly looking for new opportunities. Are there any acts that you want to see? If so, who and why? A band called Mile Life (M1ILDL1FE) from Singapore. In 2016, I became acquainted with the band Lightcraft of Indonesia at Liverpool Sound City, and we came to know each other. Last year Mile Life’s bassist was a delegate and we all became friends. The three bands (LAYBRICKS, Lightcraft, M1ILDL1FE) gathered in our studio and had fun together during the day. I haven’t seen the stage of MileLife yet, so I want to see it this time!

If you’ve performed at Zandari before - how did playing here affect you/your band? Were you able to book any tours/gigs here in Korea or abroad through the festival? As I said before, Zandari Festa was a solid stepping stone to the beginning of LAYBRICK’s overseas journey. In 2016, I bought a plane ticket to the UK and planned a ‘DIY UK Tour’. We went to Liverpool Sound City and took part in the V-Rock Festival in Vladivostok, Russia that year. In the process, We were offered a tour of the CIS region from a Ukrainian tour agency that watched LAYBRICKS. So in the same year, we went on LAYBRICKS’ first long-term tour of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus for two months. Also, the relationship with a Japanese promoter we met at the V-rox festival continues to be a good relationship. We have been invited to Okinawa, Japan for three years, to participate in festivals and conferences every year. We also participated in the Mongolian Playtime Festival in 2018 through the founder. In this way, I think we’ve constantly made the next step. We’re so excited about what new challenges we have this time around! Why do you feel showcase festivals like Zandari are important to the music industry? I think the world of music is open. In particular, Zandari Festa is not typical or clerical and is free and natural. In fact, every year, as showcase festivals are held in various places around the world, some of them change countries and always meet. I think it’s good to be able to play naturally with each other like friends during the festival period. I’m going to go from place to place year after year for places that aren’t reachable! :)



What is your band name and where do you hail from? Zoobombs. Tokyo, Japan How would you describe your sound/ vibe to someone who has never heard your music before? Rocking with super high energy. Also we are cute. Is this your first time playing at Zandari? If not, how many times have you been a part of it? Yes. So excited. Why did you want to perform at Zandari Festa? How did you find out about it?

My Canadian friend who once lived in Seoul suggested. And we got friends playing in a band in Seoul, they also recommended Zandari. Actually, we once had a chance to play one big festival in Seoul in probably 2001 or so. But there were some political issues between our government, so all the Japanese banda were canceled. Now we are really happy to go to Korea. Hope there is no political problem. What are you looking forward to the most about the upcoming festival? I’m really interested in the Korean music scene these days. No, not only music but all youth culture. I’d like to see what’s

going on. And sure, we’ll introduce our music to you. Are there any acts that you want to see? If so, who and why? Not really but I’d try to see lots acts as possible. Especially the band in Korea. Why do you feel showcase festivals like Zandari are important to the music industry? Very good for the beginners as their entrance to music they don’t know. The atmosphere is feeling free. Easy to access. Open to the world. And for the band, we can make lots friends and fans. We love that.


Hobbits & Marvel & Pirates Oh My! Comic Con Seoul goes big for 3rd year Story EMMA KALKA Photos DANIEL KIM & EMMA KALKA


Rightful king of Asgard!

Beer’s in the bucket


omic Con Seoul stuck to its goal of making each year bigger and better, with its third year bringing more guests and activities. Along with an all new (and bigger) setup for cosplayers that allowed more people to get ready at the event as well as store their luggage, the event featured more panels by local pop culture experts and influencers. It also brought in more international guests, featuring three Hollywood stars and several Japanese voice actors. For many, the highlights of the event were none other than the three top guests - Pom Klementieff (who plays Mantis in the MCU), Billy Body (known for playing Pippin in “Lord of the Rings”, and Kevin McNally (Gibbs from the Pirates of the Carribean franchise). All three did several panels, photo ops and autograph ops throughout the weekend. And Groove Korea was there to see and experience it all. Take a look at some of the photos and check out our exclusive interviews with stars Billy Boyd and Pom Klementieff. ▶




Pom Klementieff Interview EMMA KALKA & NOELLE DE LUNA :What was it like to be cast as Mantis? Did you read all the comics to prepare? Pom Klementieff: It was incredible, it changed my life. I was a huge fan of the Marvel Universe before getting to be a part of it, so I was really excited about that. And then, of course, you start stressing out. Like, oh my god. It’s pressure. It’s a character in the comic books that is depicted in different ways from different writers. So she never looked the same throughout the years. And even her behavior is different from one writer to another one. And, when I had the audition with James Gunn, even his version of the character seems to be completely different from the comic books. So, I was really confused. I asked him - do I need to read all the comic books? I kind of want to, but I feel like your vision is very different from what I’ve read and what I saw. And he said, “You know, you don’t need to - it’s a totally new vision of the character. And you can, if you want. But we’re creating something special and different.” And so I just trusted him. Because I loved his movies so much and I decided to go with his vision and have fun with it and create something unique. And I think that’s what we did in some way. Because she’s very different from the other, you know, female Marvel or other superhero characters. She’s more weird and special, and it’s fun to bring something new, I think. :Now that it’s safe to talk about Endgame, what was your favorite scene to film? PK: I was really excited when they added the scene with all the female characters going to fight together. On set it was so fun. We were just goofing around and hugging and just like... dancing. And just like, “Yea, let’s do this!” And, you know, we love one another. All the actresses. There’s no competition. So we’re just... let’s make sure that everyone is seen. You know, because it’s very technical. When you have to do a scene like that, you have to see all the characters and the camera it moves a certain way, so you have to make sure not to hide someone… Just make sure everyone has her moment. I remember watching it on the monitor, you know, just after shooting it, and had goosebumps. I was like, oh my god!

:Which was more difficult - fighting Josh Brolin in Oldboy or fighting Josh Brolin in the Avengers? PK: It was actually more difficult in Oldboy because I really had to do some martial arts movements and train for, I think, two months back then. And it was new for me. I had been training a little bit, thinking of the movie before getting cast. But, I was more new to it. Now I’m much better because I’ve been training for years. But that then it was more stressful and I was afraid to actually punch him in the face and give him a black eye. (Laughter) No, but you have to be careful. Because he runs towards you and you have to do a fake punch. But if you mess it up, you could actually hurt him and then it’s going to look different. And then he’s the lead of the movie and it’s not cool. It was totally stressful. And for Endgame, it’s funny that I got to try and kill him twice, no three times. I was telling him, it would be cool to find a rom-com or something where we’re actually friends. Something where I’m not trying to kill you. :Are you looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? What do you think or hope will happen to our favorite space crew now that Thor has joined? PK: I mean, I can’t tell anything. I know that we’re going to shoot Guardians 3. We might or I might shoot other Marvel movies, but I’m not really allowed to talk about them. But that’s really exciting too. But yea, I read the script for Guardians 3 and it’s incredible and hilarious and heart-breaking and it’s really amazing. I can’t wait to shoot it and for people to see it.

it would be great to have more interaction with like, Nebula, for example. Because I love Karen in real life and we don’t actually really have scenes together. I would love to have scenes with Shuri. I think they would be on the same... same vibe. They’re both funny and weird, and you know. We’ll see. :I really love your take on her and how weird she is. PK: It’s so funny because so many things, like, I see on Twitter, like “Oh my god, did you see what she did in the background?” And like, no one saw it.And then one day someone sees what I actually did. I do so many things, but the camera is never on me, so I’m like, whatever. I’m going to do it anyway. :Some actors with a Korean background, like Steven Yeun from The Walking Dead, have really embraced this and been embraced by Korean fans in turn. Has your Korean background figured into the way Korean fans relate to you, and if so, how? PK: I feel a connection for sure. I feel like people see themselves in me in some way when they have a Korean background, because my mother was Korean. It’s amazing to be here and to have a connection with them. So yea, it’s really nice. I, myself, was raised by my French family in a very French way. But my mother was Korean, so there was always, for me, I had a connection with Korea by watching Korean movies. Like Park Chung-woo movies, Bong Joon-ho, Kim Ki-duk. Incredible directors. And really felt a strong connection with that, with these movies, because they’re beautifully shot and crazy dramatic stories. Like Greek tragedies. The violence. I feel a connection with that, for sure. And also, I’m a quarter Russian, so that kind of craziness, I dig it. I’m not saying that Russian or Korean people are crazy, but, you know what I mean. ▶

:So without giving anything away, but just for you personally, what would you like to see more of from Mantis’ character in the future? PK: You know what, I just trust James Gunn’s vision. So whatever he thinks is good for the character, I’m sure it’s going to be awesome. He’s really good with that. We’ve seen it. I just want to have fun. I would love to have more interaction with the female characters, because oftentimes it’s more with the guys. Which is cool too, but Pom Klementieff with Groove Korea’s Editor-in-Chief Emma Kalka



Billy Boyd Interview EMMA KALKA Photos DANIEL KIM

There is an effervescent joy that seems to exude from Billy Boyd. Whether he’s on-stage answering questions from fans, or taking selfies, or even joking around in a noisy green room before an interview, there’s a warm friendliness about him that can put even the most nervous of fans at ease - myself included. To say I’ve been a long-time fan would be an apt description. My introduction to him as an

Comic Con Seoul in August was pretty much a high-school dream come true. I spent nearly the entire day before the interview freaking out (my friends will confirm this), but managed to calm myself down somewhat before walking in to meet him. His friendly and bright attitude helped me relax even more as we launched into a nearly 45-minute conversation that included just as much joking around as it did heartfelt and thoughtful answers to questions.

actor came by way of wandering into “The Fellowship of the Ring” one Saturday afternoon in 2001 with my best friend, having heard of the books but having absolutely no clue what it was about. We walked out instant fans and ran off to purchase the entire Lord of the Rings series and then read them all over the following month. While at the time we both were in love with Orlando Bloom as Legolas, I always held a Billy Boyd soft spot for the hobbits - let’s face it, were I to ever live in Middle Earth, I’m certainly Life as an actor not graceful enough to ever be an elf. No, While most famous for his turn as Pippin, I’d undoubtedly be a hobbit. I related to Boyd has appeared in a variety of projects Pippin knocking over the body and armor, over the years, starting with a production at alerting an army of orcs to the Fellowship’s a rec theater in St. Andrew’s - a golf town in whereabouts. I can’t even make it through my Scotland. Since then he’s appeared on stage own living room without knocking something and in TV shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy”, on over or running into my sofa or coffee table. top of films “On a Clear Day” and “Midsummer So, having the opportunity to sit down with Dream,” where he voiced the character of Puck. Billy Boyd (aka Pippin) while he was here for Though he’s quick to say that he prefers

different mediums at different times. “Sometimes it’s nice to pop into a film and do a week or two and pop back out,” he said. He then went on to say that while he’ll always love theater, it’s a massive commitment, which can be rough when you’re balancing work and family life. “And then, being part of a TV show is great because you kind of pop in and out. And you never really know where your character is going to go, so that’s kind of interesting.” Boyd said that he also enjoys the random surprise projects. Sometimes they come with the opportunity to try something new. One of which was voicing the son (or daughter - he admits that we’re not really sure which) of Chucky in the horror film “Seed of Chucky.” He’s not really into horror films, admitting that he doesn’t get them most of the time, but the project was one that came “out of thin air” and was really cool.

I’m always telling young actors… don’t make it everything in your life. Because it can be such a disappointment. So if you have other things that you do - music, photography, art, whatever else - it’s good. “When I did read it, it was a sort of crossgender thing. There were interesting things in it that I thought, this is really interesting, you know? So, that has to be fun,” he said. One of his other favorite roles was that of Barrett Bonden in “Master and Commander: Far Side of the World.” “It was great. Just being on boats… Climbing the rigging and setting sail and learning how to fire a cannon,” he said. Though he added that while fun, cannons were stressful, with a team of five needed to work in perfect timing for it go right. Probably most recently, fans have seen him in the fourth season of Starz hit show “Outlander,” playing Mr. Forbes, one of Brianna Randall’s (played by Sophie Skelton) many suitors.While he was mum on details about the upcoming season five, he did confirm that he’s been on set filming. “I’m not allowed to tell you anything,” he joked, though quickly expressed his disappointment that Brianna ultimately did not choose Mr. Forbes, leading to a rather long back and forth extolling the qualities of Forbes over that of Brianna’s choice - John Grey (played by David Berry). “He’snotthatinteresting,Idon’tthink,”hequipped. “I think that little guy was more interesting.” “I know. I mean, seriously, what


was she thinking?” I replied in jest. “I still ask her every time I see her on set. What were you thinking?” he said while chuckling. Even though the season ended with Brianna ultimately reuniting with her true love, Boyd still holds hope. “You should sing on Outlander,” I suggested. “You could still keep it in character.” “That could be what puts Brianna over the edge… ‘Yea, I’ve written a song for you,’” he mused. On a more serious note, Boyd said that it’s been lovely filming the series, which is currently set in the Amercian colonies just before the Revolutionary War, though is filmed mostly in Scotland, a beautiful, yet temperamental place to film thanks to the weather. “That time in history is so interesting. You know... how this British culture and Scottish, and then going to America. All these things clash. And… Native Americans, slavery. And then, England’s just taken over Scotland,” he said. “There’s a real weird energy going on. So it’s really fun to be a part of.” A life of music On top of acting, Boyd has long been a musician, starting his first band when he was 14. He says that there’s only been about five years of his adult life when he hasn’t been involved in a band. There is a cliche where he grew up in a housing estate in Glasgow, he commented, that there are only two ways out - playing football or starting a band. While there are more than those two ways to get out, he said those are the ways that stick out. So he started a band. There’s always been a crowd around him making music, he said, and as an actor, he had a lot of downtime during which he always turned to music. His band, Beecake, is currently finishing up its fourth album which is slated to drop before the end of the year. “I’m always telling young actors… don’t make it everything in your life. Because it can be such a disappointment. So if you have other things that you do - music, photography, art, whatever else - it’s good,” he said. “And music’s always been my thing in the background. And then sometimes they intertwine and you do musicals or put a song on a TV show or something.” Different things at different times influence him both as an actor and a musician. Someone once told him that all artists are basically trying to tell one thing that is their “sort of seed.” “You basically write all these albums and do all these things to get this one thing through. I’ve not worked out what that one thing is yet, but I think being positive is a major

Billy Boyd as Gerald Forbes in Outlander Season 4

thing,” he said. “I think being negative and cynical is an easier route. So trying to put out positive art, joyful things is more difficult.” “I always try to put out not hope, but a sort of joy in these things.” And while he says that most of the time he doesn’t usually have fan moments, he did have one when he got to meet musician Prince someone he calls the musician of a generation. “People are just people - good actors, good musicians. Whatever. But I think his music just got me at the right time when I was growing up. It was so important to me,” he said. “I was lucky enough to go to his house and he played a concert to 30 people or something. It was amazing.” And while a fan of Prince, if he could do a concert with any musician - living or dead - he’s not so sure that he would choose the artist, saying that Prince would be so far above him as a musician that he’d feel out of place. Yet another saying once told to him that has stuck in his head is that when you start a band, it doesn’t matter how good you are as long as everyone is on the same level. “That’s not bringing down who else I

Source: Sony Pictures

would say, but I would say maybe John Lennon would be great to play with,” he said. “Just the truth of all his music and how connected he was to it - brilliant.” Lord of the Rings But of course, an interview with Billy Boyd wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the series that launched his career - The Lord of the Rings. He can’t quite pinpoint any exact memories from the films that are his favorites - he says it was a long part of his life and it would be like asking someone their favorite memory from their last four years. Though he did say that if Middle Earth were a real place, he would be a hobbit. “I’d love to say an elf, but I don’t think I’m that elfy. I think I’d rather sit with a pint, eat good food,” he commented. Not to mention, the hair alone would be too much management. Boyd said when he first saw Orlando Bloom in his wig without any styling during costume checks in the beginning of the project, he thought it was a joke. ▶

You basically write all these albums and do all these things to get this one thing through. I’ve not worked out what that one thing is yet, but I think being positive is a major thing. Billy Boyd


Billy Boyd as Pippin; The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring (2001)

“Orlando walked in in this… and I was like, ‘That’s… is that… What? Is that a joke or something?’ And he was like, ‘No.’ I just couldn’t get it out of my head what it was supposed to be,” he admitted. “And then when the whole look is finished and you’re like, ‘Oh my god.’ They were visionary how they put all that together. The wigs were incredible.” The movies have led to some of Boyd’s most memorable fan experiences, however. He recalls a young woman who wrote to him, saying that she hadn’t been out of the house in a year or so, but after watching the movies and seeing the heroics of the hobbits, she found the courage to go back out in the world. “Things like that are cool,” he said. “And I love how people meet up doing things like this - the conventions… that’s the stuff that really touches you.” Lord of the Rings also gave Boyd the opportunity to combine his job with one of his loves - music. He wrote and sang “The Edge of Night” for “The Return of the King” which was then used for the trailer of the last installment in The Hobbit series, “The Battle of the Five Armies.” As such, director Peter Jackson then approached him about writing and singing the ending credit song for the movie - “The Last Goodbye.” Boyd said the song became about more than just the movie; it was the end of a journey. Well… sort of. “It was a really great experience being there and watching the movie. And it became a song about more than the movie as I was going to cafes where we used to hang

Source: 2001 New Line Cinema

There’s a real weird energy going on. So it’s really fun to be a part of Billy Boyd

out,” he said. “And whether it’s there, I mean, you could say that it is the end, but here we are in Korea. Talking about it.” What’s more, Amazon is set to release a new Lord of the Rings series set in the Second Age, which Boyd commented was a good time to tell the stories, though he doesn’t know anything about the series itself. “I just hope they keep close to the source material. I think that’s one of the reasons Pete Jackson’s films did so well. That and also, Pete was so passionate about it and got the right people involved,” he said. “As long as they don’t feel like they have to try and fit into another mold of whatever’s successful at that time. Just tell the story as it’s meant to be told, and I’m sure it’ll be amazing.” And while, in a way, he does consider his time with Lord of the Rings over, he says that he’s open to being involved with the new series. “I wouldn’t mind doing the music for that one,” he said. “Put that out there. ‘Yea, Amazon… I’ve thought of somebody who knows a little about Middle Earth…’” Billy Boyd with Groove Korea’s Editor-in-Chief Emma Kalka



A visit from legends Rugby World Cup players visit Seoul Story EMMA KALKA Photos DULWICH COLLEGE SEOUL


ith the Rugby World Cup taking place this month in Japan, rugby fans in Seoul got a special treat when three of the sport’s great players paid a visit. Israel Dagg, former member of the New Zealand World Cup team from 2010-2015; Joel Stransky, best known for the famous winning drop goal that won the World Cup for South Africa in 1995; and Rod McCall, a member of the World Cup-winning


Australian team in 1995, were all invited to Seoul by their respective chamber of commerces for the 2019 Seoul Rugby World Cup Charity Dinner. They then took part in a special training session at Dulwich College Seoul. At the dinner, which took place on Aug. 30 at the JW Marriot, the three entertained the crowd with humorous and colorful tales of their time on their countries’ world cup teams. The event was attended by various local rugby clubs across the country as well as various chamber of commerces based in Seoul. Stranksy, in particular, spoke in depth about his experience playing on the first

World Cup team from South Africa, which ultimately won in extra time against New Zealand. The next day, the rugby greats were invited to a special training session at Dulwich with young local rugby enthusiasts. “All three of our visitors are World Cup-winning rugby legends, but more importantly, wonderful ambassadors for a game that bonds people so tightly around the world,” said Graeme Salt, headmaster of Dulwich. “I know their passion for rugby and immense expertise will inspire another generation of young rugby players. It has been our privilege to host them in support of this great game in Seoul.”


SOAP SHAKE More than your average laundromat




t’s a pristine facility, all white tile, with steel accents. Four heavy-duty washers line one of the back walls, as well as five dryers. There’s also a café equipped with an espresso and coffee machine, as well as a plethora of craft beer choices – and even hand-crafted sausages! You will not find yourself going hungry at this laundromat. Having nuts and raspberries with your beer is also an option. The quiet and spick-and-span seating area is an inviting place to sit and wait for your laundry, where you can choose to sit at the giant table, or one of the few individual desks. Walking in the space, you are immediately hit with the gentleyet-soothing scents of soaps and fabric softeners. You instantly find yourself asking, “Why aren’t ALL laundromats like this?!” Soap Shake is the brainchild of Hyun Kim. Oddly enough, this isn’t his first career choice. He’s also a lawyer at Lee & Ko – the second-largest law firm in Korea. “After wasting my youth for a couple of years, I decided to take a bar exam to become a lawyer,” Hyun said. “Luckily I finally passed the exam at the age of 26.”


When asked why he decided to open and run a laundromat in addition to his work as a lawyer, he replied, “Before I went to the states to attend the USC law school, I didn’t have a chance to use a coin laundry machine… In the US, I had to use coin laundry to wash my clothes. After coming back to Korea, I found many of the youth do not have enough places to dry their clothes.” This is certainly something most Western expats can relate to upon coming to Korea. Nearly every English teacher here at one point or another finds themselves lamenting the lack of warm tumble-dried shirts or fluffy towels this first few months in Korea. “Nowadays, the lifestyle of the youth in Korea is becoming more American,” Hyun said. “…They pursue the convenience. The change of lifestyle in Korea persuaded me to open the self-laundry store.” But, as stated before, Soap Shake is more than just a laundromat. Rarely do you find yourself with the desire to sit and relax in the same setting as your laundry. Soap Shake changes that. After a friend complained about waiting in his car being preferable to waiting in the laundromat,

Operating a laundromat in the area is more than just providing services. It is an act of attributing to the diversity of the area

Hyun was inspired to create a space that evoked a welcoming and comforting atmosphere. Occasionally people will come to order coffee and have a seat briefly – even without having any laundry to wash. While run by a Korean staff, it’s also an English-friendly environment, with the machines all operating in Korean or English. It’s very easy to figure out how the system works – even for the non tech-savvy people out there. Being open 24 hours, you can stop by any time that’s most convenient for you. Hyun picked Soap Shake’s location (over past the o-gori, down the backside

of Haebangchon) based on his attraction to the atmosphere of the area. “I was attracted to the freedom and mix match of different age and cultural groups,” he said. “Operating a laundromat in the area is more than just providing services. It is an act of attributing to the diversity of the area.” It also has unique features that most (if any) other laundromats don’t offer. “It’s the scents,” Hyun said. “We use different types of fabric softeners for each laundry machine… We also sell the perfumes so that our customers may use it in their homes.” You can choose which scent you prefer and use the coordinating washers and dryers to guarantee your entire load smells exactly how you want it to. Even for those who have washers at home, coming by Soap Shake is worthwhile. Spoil yourself and dry a load of towels or sheets, have some well-crafted coffee and a snack, enjoy some free wi-fi, and come see for yourself why Soap Shake is such a great place to check out. “I welcome anyone who has an open mind and can really enjoy this place for what it is,” Hyun said. “Most of all, I just hope everyone has a good time.”





Burlesque production brings drama & tease to the stage



hile at first the idea of all the strong female leaders in the world actually being cats sent from outer space to smash the patriarchy may seem farfetched and a bit odd, it does make for a good show. Running over two weekends in August, burlesque troupe House of Tease joined forces with Lynn Lambert Productions to bring to the stage a unique show that is part theater, part burlesque, and thoroughly enjoyable. It seamlessly blended together comedy and thought pieces that left the audience pondering over the current state of feminism in the world as well as laughing and cheering. P.U.S.S.I. WHIPPED came with the following synopsis: “The CATS have been watching us and they are not happy. For a hundred years, they have sent down esteemed CAT leaders to infiltrate Earth by posing as famous women in politics, entertainment, and academia. Unfortunately their mercy mission to smash the patriarchy has failed. Now, they have returned with their P.U.S.S.I. Fleet to claim what’s rightfully theirs: complete and total rule of the universe.” The show started out with the fleet returning and their leader - played by House of Tease’s Flowerbomb - declaring their mission in a series of meows through the use of a translator in a dog mask and bondage gear. vThe show then ▶



launched into a journey through time, starting with a moving monologue and burlesque performance featuring Hedy Lamarr, a woman most known for her face, but whose scientific contributions led to the development of WIFI. The act was set to the solemn “Radium Girls� by The Orbweavers and accompanied by a slideshow of news clips showcasing the outbreak of radium poisoning in women who worked in factories painting clock faces. From there, the show returned to a more humorous tone, featuring a tango between Hilary Clinton and Eva Peron one of the funniest routines of the show by far - and then a duet with Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, which ended in both being sent back to space for failing in their mission by the cat leader. Another more serious act included visits by feminist leaders of the past led by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, going through the history and progress of feminism throughout the years but ending with the warning that there is still more work to be done.


It seamlessly blended together comedy and thought pieces that left the audience pondering over the current state of feminism in the world as well as laughing and cheering




Overall, the show evoked many things from the audience. While at times serious, others laugh-out-loud funny, and sometimes just downright absurd, it all came together in a weirdly harmonious blend. And of course, there was plenty of sexiness with burlesque hallmarks such as glitter, tease and beautiful costumes. Even the more humorous acts had pockets of seriousness that made important points, such as one of the final acts that tackled the concept of kimchi nyeon. Just because a woman wants to be pretty and feminine and buy pretty or expensive things, doesn’t


mean she’s any less a feminist. The writing was thought-provoking, moving, and got your attention, while each performer brought something a little bit different to the stage with their unique styles - the show also featured an incredibly diverse cast that included drag queens and women of color. Even the stage “dogs” (rather than stage kitties) had their own moment in the spotlight, educating one of their members on how feminism is beneficial for women AND men before ending out the show with a wonderfully hilarious group routine.

The writing was thoughtprovoking, moving and got your attention, while each performer brought something a little bit different to the stage with their unique styles, as well as featuring an incredibly diverse cast that included drag queens and women of color.






Beauty in Identity Somali-American Muslim model teaches us that you can have faith in fashion and vice versa

Story and Styling DIANNE PINEDA-KIM Assisted by ASHLEY ROBBINS Photos DANIEL KIM Clothing TIBAEG




Groove co-editor and I first spotted Ridwan Ibrahim walking nonchalantly along the infamous walkway outside DDP, where last season’s F/W Seoul Fashion Week was held. We were on the hunt for the best-dressed fashion showgoers and spectators to include in our street-style feature. Tall, slender, and with beautiful striking features, she was easily a standout among the many other well-dressed members of the crowd looking to attract photographers with their fresh sartorial wares. With her effortless off-duty look that seemed like she threw on the first thing that came to mind⁠— a casual shirt, jeans, cardigan, beanie, and Converse sneakers⁠—it was obvious that she wasn’t there to impress or be seen; she was there for work. Still, she looked effortlessly chic. We recognized her from having previously seen her on the runways of prominent Korean designer brands Greedilous and Doucan. One thing that is immediately noticeable in her fashion on and off the runway is that she always wears a hat, scarf, or head accessory. “I’m a Muslim,” she told us proudly, “I wore a hat to keep my faith through my fashion.”

“I won’t ever compromise my faith. I have been covering my hair in public since I was in kindergarten, so why would I stop now? It’s what I believe in.”


I got in touch with Ridwan again several months after that encounter for a full feature for this issue, and I wanted to make sure that she was involved in the styling process because I knew I wanted to express not only the latest trends but also a significant part of what she believes in. Fashion is, ultimately, all about collaboration and the exchange of ideas. To bring out the personality of a subject, fashion must seek to complement and enhance what’s already there rather than impose itself on others. To quote the words of fashion writer Bethan Holt: fashion is not “about trends exactly, but how we express ourselves through clothes and the way they work for us.” With this in mind, Ridwan and I chatted back and forth about some customs she must adhere to when it comes to clothing. Here, she tells her narrative not only of her life as an international model living in Seoul but also as a woman of faith. Muslim model in South Korea Korean fashion is undoubtedly one of the fastest-growing and most trendsetting industries in the world. With its young, modern, and global appeal, it has secured a place in the mainstream consciousness of the generally exclusive fashion world. But despite this development over the years, it has been quite slow to adapt to inclusivity and representation when it comes to standards of beauty. “It was a bit hard and is still difficult to model in Korea because I am a Muslim and so I have to wear a scarf to cover my hair, always. I cannot wear certain types of clothes such as shorts, bikinis, and tank tops, among others,” the 22-year-old model shares. “So when I get a gig, I have to know about the concept and talk to them about my restrictions, and I let them decide whether to work with me or not.” Born from a Somalian-American family, growing up and graduating from a university in the US, Ridwan didn’t always dream about modeling. She was always told by friends and acquaintances to give it a shot because she had the height, good looks, and figure for it. But it was when she went to Seoul to do an internship that she considered modeling seriously.

“I know the market in Korea is different because they want a certain look and they are still learning to become open-minded to different cultures,” she says. “But being Muslim and covering your hair is a first for Korea. I know I am worthy of being a model here but because of certain limitations, I am always challenged to prove myself.” Although she has not experienced any discrimination in Korea when it comes to her religion, she says that the industry still has a lot of things to learn. “Most of the time they would ask me, ‘Oh you can’t even take off your scarf for a photoshoot?’ Or when I tell them I am Muslim and I have to cover my hair but they don’t always consider the fact that I have to cover my body as well and book me for a bikini casting call. So sometimes they try and pressure me to see if I will compromise my faith and what I believe.” It is a common mistake in fashion when people, especially those in positions of authority, think that it’s a one-way street. Designers, heads of brands, and production teams often assume that to work in fashion means to set an agenda for the general public to follow. That’s how the direction of a typical trend usually works. But, according to the editor of the magazine Kinfolk, a good design, or good fashion in this case, “not only gets its message across—it also engages us in a conversation.” Ridwan is perhaps one of the first Muslim models to open an important discussion in Korean fashion, sharing a lesson that’s completely basic but oftentimes disregarded: respect is always key. “I won’t ever compromise my faith. I have been covering my hair in public since I was in kindergarten, so why would I stop now? It’s what I believe in.” Breaking Stereotypes Grammy Award-winning R&B soul singer India Arie’s career rose to greater heights when she made a declaration of liberation through her song, “I Am Not My Hair,” with evocative lyrics such as, “I am not my hair, I am not this skin. I am not your expectations. I am a soul that lives within.” ▶






The song’s lines ring true for so many people regardless of age, race, religion, or background. And just like Arie’s song goes beyond its message, Ridwan’s story is not merely a story about hair: it’s about acceptance, diversity, and change. She says, “I wish everyone would be kinder to each other and not think that, because of the action of one person that everyone in that group is bad. Not every Muslim person is a threat to society, and I wish people would understand that concept.” With her presence in the Korean fashion scene, it’s apparent that Korea is gradually opening its doors and giving opportunities for models from around the world to show more than their physical beauty. Ridwan ends, “I want to show other Muslim girls like me that they can go and pursue what they want to do in a different country and still be able to practice their faith and not be pressured to take off their headscarves or do something that would be against their religion. Being a Muslim female model in Korea is hard, but it is possible.”

“I want to show other Muslim girls like me that they can go and pursue what they want to do in a different country and still be able to practice their faith.”





A Natural Perspective Nature, romanticism, and contemporary fashion are this designer’s cup of tea



here’s something profoundly moving about making a cup of tea. The simple act of dunking or steeping the tea leading to the warm water, the earthy colors trickling through the tea bag, and the aromatic fragrance diffusing through the air all combining to create that perfect moment—a moment of stillness and meaningful, hushed conversations. It transports you away from the daily hustle of life, while awakening the mind to the present. The art of making and drinking tea is what gave Seoul-based fashion designer Eunae Cho the idea to

name her brand Ti:baeg, which is known for its soft, sophisticated looks and colorful graphics inspired by nature. “Like a small tea bag that produces a nice color when you put it in the water, the brand Ti:baeg looks better when you wear it,” Cho explains. “I think Ti:baeg shows new flavors and tastes depending on who wears it. It’s our pleasure to draw out the potential appeal of the wearer through our clothes.” The brand’s story resonates with the designer’s vision: “The way a tea bag infuses its rich flavors into water, Ti:Baeg will release the colors within you.”

Clothes with a story The designer’s affection for tea was pretty apparent when we visited her quaint shop and studio that sat in a secluded location just outside Yeonnam-dong. Aside from the colorful array of clothes hanging on the racks, a variety of teas in boxes and cans lined her long table and shelves as though they’re a part of her collection. “I really like tea,” she says with a smile as she welcomed us in. There’s a sense of calmness about her that is quite unexpected from a busy designer who’s also a hands-on mom. ▶



She was also quite shy of being in the spotlight, despite having spearheaded a successful brand with products stocked in some of Korea’s most prestigious department stores, collaborations with big names, and participation in international fashion shows around the world. Her design philosophy goes beyond visually pleasing clothes and trendy aesthetics. “I want to make clothes that I can enjoy, not clothes that I can wear. Clothes that can be beautiful, not just beautiful clothes. Clothes with a clear, personal identity and clothes that are worth it.” Ti:baeg was first launched through the Seoul Fashion Creative Studio to rave reviews. Consumers were immediately drawn to the brand’s honesty and new ideas devoid of pretense. Ti:baeg’s delicate silhouettes and predilection for a romantic look made for a refreshing entrance into the highly competitive world of fast fashion. Through her collections, Cho embraced tea’s “perfect moment,” showing that there is beauty in artistry and simplicity as she creates a narrative behind each piece of clothing. “Romanticism is an essential element in Ti:baeg, a yearning for a beautiful, fresh period of time, a yearning for a mature, elegant woman. I think the brand shows the process of a girl growing up to be a woman.” A love for nature Her 2019 F/W collection offers one example of Ti:baeg’s compelling storytelling that varies and becomes more memorable every season. “The theme for the autumn and winter collection is ‘Melting Clouds.’ I wanted to express the feeling of ecstasy when I saw a cloud-filled landscape from the window of an airplane. We wanted to show the bright colors of that scenery: the blue sky, white clouds, and soft pink of the sunset,” she explains. “It’s very poetic and feminine.” Ti:baeg showed this collection at the last Seoul Fashion Week, with dreamy outfits that are reminiscent of the sky: graphic prints of natural elements intertwining, blue denim made brighter with Swarovski crystals, sheer tulle skirts, beautifully layered outfits, and puffed sleeves that mimicked overlapping fluffy clouds.


Even in the cold winter, Ti:baeg aims to bring forth a feeling of warmth and tranquility through clothes that will hug anyone who wears them. “I have liked clouds since I was young, and I like small plants, green grass, flowers, and breathtaking scenery. I like to travel and take a lot of pictures, most of which eventually become the motifs of Ti:baeg’s prints,” Cho says. Nature will always be weaved into the fabric of Ti:baeg, both in inspiration and actual production of the clothes. The brand’s affinity with nature is consistent with its advocacy for sustainable fashion. Not only has the brand been extended to safe, stylish children’s clothing, it also incorporates environmentally friendly practices that emphasize recycling, waste reduction, and using eco-dyes that have no harmful chemicals. “I get a lot of inspiration from my daughter. Having children adds consideration and responsibility for the next generation,” Cho says. “I can’t do

everything eco-friendly, but I’m trying hard and I’m going to keep doing it.” For Ti:baeg, the clothing is the message itself. “We are constantly trying to show nature through themes, moods, and designs. We are not trying to promote the topic of sustainable fashion just because it is a big issue today. Ultimately, it fits the theme and direction of Ti:baeg.”

“I get a lot of inspiration from my daughter. Having children adds consideration and responsibility for the next generation.”


“Romanticism is an essential element of Ti:baeg, a yearning for a beautiful, fresh period of time, a yearning for a mature, elegant woman. I think the brand shows the process of a girl growing up to be a woman.�




SUIT MAKE A Brand Helping Men Compete at a Higher Level Story LORENA JIMÉNEZ Photos JULIEN BAEK


ell being and looking good seems to be a recent concern for most people. Higher life expectancies, a more demanding working environment, and the desire, sometimes even the need, to create a good first impression are changing the fashion and lifestyle scene. One of the first fields to notice this huge change has been, believe it or not, menswear. Up until recently, men used to barely care about their looks. Putting importance in the outer appearance seemed to be something reserved mostly for women, but now the trend is changing and more and more men are going towards a not so far back past in which men used to always try to look their best in any situation. The traditional male icons and gentlemen that used to take great pride in their outer appearance in the ‘50s and ‘60s are now being replaced by modern male figures that go to the gym, apply skincare, and care about what they are wearing, but what about those males that do not really know how to dress and take care of themselves? How can they learn and improve their outer look to compete in life at all levels? The answer is SUIT MAKE, a brand made specifically for men. Created with the mission to cater all of their needs, even those needs that might up until now have been missing to be covered.

What is SUIT MAKE? SUIT MAKE is a men’s lifestyle brand founded in September 2017 in Seoul with the mission of making men not only look their very best but also feel great through tailoring, grooming, and image consulting services. The company, which has recently launched a digital platform through which they offer lifestyle advice for men and personal branding services, also offers personal image consultations and full custom-made wardrobes to fit the different needs men might have. They have their own partner ateliers in which all types of custom made items are made daily to improve the appearance and life of their clients. All clothing items are made in house with high-quality Italian fabrics and skillful Korean seamsters from start to finish. That might already sound great, but another two important key points, in my opinion, are that these custom-made items are actually created from start to finish to fit only the person and their specific body, in less than 14 days from the day the order is processed until the item is delivered to the client’s door. That together with their affordable prices puts SUIT MAKE within the reach of most people as they believe everyone should have the right to dress well and look their best.



SUIT MAKE is a men’s lifestyle brand with the mission of making men look their best through tailoring, grooming, and image consulting services; they have also recently launched a digital platform through which they offer lifestyle advice for men and personal branding services


Tailored clothing is not affordable in most cases, but this brand has managed to set their prices at almost the level of ready-to-wear clothing while keeping all of the benefits of a personalized item. In its tailoring department, SUIT MAKE produces custom wear for anybody who needs it, no matter if it is women, men, kids, or pets, but all the other services and the brand itself are directed at men only.

• Many items were poorly made but sold at high prices • Men, just like women, have different body types and thus do not fit every item well even if it is their size • Many clothing items need alterations which end up being higher in cost than the item itself • Many men do not have the time to go shopping for the clothing they need.

Discovering what Men Need Jen Auh, the founder and CEO of the brand, started her company as a hobby. She had been working in the fashion and beauty industry for over 20 years when one day she was asked for help by an acquaintance that had been told at work that he needed to improve his appearance to suit his new promotion. After seeing the results of her first “client,” more and more friends started to ask for help and, while helping her friends, she started to realize many things concerning men’s fashion:

That is how the idea for SUIT MAKE came to life, an idea which became reality when Jen was offered to be paid for her services by people that had seen the results of her previous work.

• Many men did not know what suited them best • Different clothing items were not always easily available

Helping Men Compete at a Higher Level When asked what she likes best about her job now, Jen mentioned that she likes the fact that she is helping people. “I think what we do here is not just changing your style; it is more like a life transformation” she commented, explaining that her clients tend to already look and feel different by the end of their first consultation: “They stand a bit taller, and look much more confident after they see themselves in the mirror and they get the first looks and compliments.” She explains that what they do at

SUIT MAKE starts with changing the exterior, what they could call the shallow part, but it does not stop there, as it has a deep impact on the overall life of their clients. “Some of our clients have lost more than 50 pounds, gotten engaged, gotten promotions, and started being way more confident, but all of them have improved their life as they feel more confident and happy in their own skin” Outer looks might be just a shell, but many times that shell is a representation of how you truly feel on the inside, which is why the proper changes could transform your life and, in the meantime, looking good and treating yourself is never a bad idea. If you wish to get yourself a good fitting suit, change your outer look, the way you see yourself, or just the way you are perceived by others, you can contact them at: Webpage: Email: Instagram: Suitmake Or visit them personally at: 790-17 Hannam-Dong #101, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul, Korea 04417 +82 2 6489 1797



A roller rink with st yle ROLLER-GROUND PFAAP! Brings roller rinks into the future Story ROYA CARTLEDGE Photos provided by ROLLER GROUND PFAAP!


eoul is a modern and vibrant city full of endless opportunities in reference to entertainment. There are countless places one can go to enjoy, relax, and unwind. From eclectic museums, to quirky cafes, luxury spas, and historical sites, you are sure to find something that interests in Seoul. However, due to this reality, it can easily become overwhelming to make a decision on where to go and what to do. If you have ever found yourself in this predicament and you’re interested in something a little more off the beaten path, look no further. I’d highly recommend checking out ROLLER-GROUND PFAAP! ROLLER-GROUND PFAAP! is a rollerskating rink located in the Songpa neighborhood of Seoul. Conveniently, just



As you enter the venue you will immediately encounter a lively atmosphere that awakens your senses to roll and bounce

a short walking distance from Geoyeo Station, exit 3 off of the purple line 5. However, PFAAP! is by no means your average roller-skating rink. As you enter the venue you will immediately encounter a lively atmosphere that awakens your senses to roll and bounce. The venue in itself is aesthetically pleasing, it’s obvious that a lot of thought and effort was placed into its design. The interior is super attractive, bright and clean. There is a stage centrally located around the skating rink hosting a DJ both creating a unique and entertaining experience. There are charming light fixtures, a massive disco ball, reflective mirrors, and an impressive sound system that all come together to create a certain je ne sais quoi about the place.

If you don’t own a pair of skates, no problem. For a reasonable price, you can rent a pair of luminous light-up wheel roller skates. In addition, the staff at PFAAF! are truly friendly and approachable. There are different options in lounge areas if you need to take a breather from all the excitement. Also, if by chance you tend to get hungry there is an inhouse snack bar with an array of beverages and foods to quench your thirst and dissipate your hunger. The venue is also dynamic, in the sense that it hosts different events featuring art exhibitions and live performances from various local artists. There are two specific sections within PFAAP! that are used to display art. There is an independent exhibition space and an art tunnel, that change every so often for the amusement of attendees. I must admit I was truly impressed with the place. All in all, ROLLER-GROUND PFAAP! is a place you should check out if you’re in Seoul looking for something to do to beat the heat this summer. Even if you don’t fancy skating, spectators can easily find this place attractive for all it has to offer.

The venue is also dynamic, in the sense that it hosts different events featuring art exhibitions and live performances from various local artists You can follow PFAAF! on Instagram @pfaap or on Facebook @pfaap.official to keep track of their events and schedule.



“Unlike summer romances, his music lasts and leaves you wanting more.”

Bazzi at Seoul Sessions


Bazzi brings us into his Paradise at Seoul Sessions Story and Photos AMY BENHAM


“The moment the lights dimmed, the rain was pouring down at the outdoor venue, and then Bazzi stepped onto the stage.”

My Bazzi Song Picks


once had a summer fling with an attractive charming guy from California who decided to sing ‘Beautiful’ by Bazzi to me as we watched the sun set over Seoul one evening. I don’t know of a more cliche way to be thrown into the world of Bazzi’s music. Anyway, that really set the tone for my initial experience with Bazzi’s music. His first album Cosmic is the perfect soundtrack for summer (and apparently summer romances too…). It was a very hot, humid day at the outdoor venue in Seoul. The moment the lights dimmed, the rain was pouring down, and then Bazzi stepped onto the stage. He went straight into the first song ‘Why’ with such energy. I was immediately blown away by his strong vocals even performing live and jumping all over the stage! Everyone in the crowd went mad; screaming and pushing to get as close as they could to the singer. I also tried to control myself. Shaking from a mix of nerves and excitement, whilst trying to take photos, does not make for quality shots.

The ‘Mine’ hitmaker’s music could be described as Pop’n’B; you can definitely feel the energy of pop music but with the smooth vocals of a sensual RnB singer. His performance at Seoul Sessions was a pleasant balance of both new and old Bazzi, as well as a few comedic covers with his guitarist. Sometimes at festivals with multiple artists the singer will only do a couple of songs and leave, but we were blessed with almost his whole Cosmic album as well as newer songs such as ‘Paradise and ‘I.F.L.Y’. Bazzi went over his allotted time but his performance felt like it was over in a flash, the crowd left wanting more and people screaming for an encore. But sadly I guess that’s not how it works at festivals when there’s another artist waiting to perform... I was pretty surprised at how well the crowd here responded energetically and knew the words to pretty much every song. I read online that BTS are fans of Bazzi and shared his music on their Twitter, exposing

1. 3:15 2. Why 3. Paradise 4. Mine 5. I.F.L.Y

a plethora of Korean fans to his music. So I guess we can partially thank them for Bazzi’s exposure in Korea! Unlike summer romances, his music lasts and leaves you wanting more, so hopefully we’ll see Bazzi back in Korea soon. What an incredible experience it was for everyone there, the rain pouring down kind of made the atmosphere more emotional and thrilling. The same week I’m writing this article, Bazzi is releasing his new album Soul Searching, I have high expectations and can’t wait to see how he grows as an artist. Special thanks to Mixmag for the photography passes and organizing the event.





estled in the shadow of Seorak Mountain in Gangwon Province, you might have found something you least expected - a rock festival that had even grannies bobbing their heads and ska dancing. Kicking off this year on Aug. 16-18 was the Gangwon Rock Festival, and while there were only two stages and the food & drink trucks left a bit to be desired, the little fest has big dreams. Namely, to grow from here and include more artists and attract more people - much like its predecessors Valley Rock Festival and Pentaport Rock Festival.


The weekend lineup included mostly local bands ranging from reggae to hard rock to metal bands, though guests on Sunday were treated to a near complete lineup of Japanese rock on the main stage before headliner - local top band YB - ended the night. Bands included PIA, Kingston Rudieska, No. 1 Korean, Crying Nut and more local acts, with international bands Asterism, Junkies, Deaf Havana, Stratovarius, Namba69 and more. The festival itself had a good setup. The main stage was outdoors on a sports field with plenty of space and even a covered VIP area with tables and seating

Gangwon Rock Fest kicks off first year

that provided an unhindered view of the stage. Just next to it was a special airconditioned gym for campers at night and other attendees who needed a respite from the heat and sun during the day. About a five-minute walk away there was a second stage - which was nearly as big as the main stage - in an indoor gymnasium, with sets between the two stages taking place at 10-minute break intervals so that music fans could easily move back and forth between the two and not miss any music, if they chose. Both stages had excellent sound quality and beautiful visual displays.




Story and Photos EMMA KALKA

Hey-Smith was one of the main highlights of Sunday’s lineup, bringing a fresh almost frenetic energy to the festival that made their hour-long set fly by in a blaze of bright, colorful hair, crazy dancing (both on and off stage), and the blare of their brass section.



But outside the layout, the most important aspect of any music festival is, of course, the music. While the bands on Sunday were predominantly hardcore, punk and metal - I’ll admit straight up, not exactly my cup of tea - all the bands brought good energy to the stage that got most people up and moving around or at very least tapping their feet and bobbing their heads. There was a near-constant mosh pitch going in front of the stage, with everyone from young teens, to little kids, and even elderly ahjummas moving around to the music. The lineup on Sunday was, as mentioned, mostly bands from Japan and each took a moment during their sets to address the elephant on the pitch - the current strained relations between Japan and Korea. Despite the back and forth between the governments, all of the bands


There was a near-constant mosh pitch going in front of the stage, with everyone from young teens, to little kids, and even elderly ahjummas moving around to the music

said that all that mattered to them was that everyone there could bond through music, with some going as far as to share their disagreements with the Japanese government. Osaka ska-punk band Hey-Smith went as far as to read a statement off mid-set in Korean, ensuring Korean attendees that they were happy to be playing in the country to Korean fans and hoped to come back. It was a sentiment that didn’t go unnoticed by the predominantly Korean audience - they all cheered in response to each band’s statement.

Hey-Smith was one of the main highlights of Sunday’s lineup, bringing a fresh almost frenetic energy to the festival that made their hour-long set fly by in a blaze of bright, colorful hair, crazy dancing (both on and off stage), and the blare of their brass section. Even those unfamiliar with the band left loving it. Though Gangwon Rock Festival had a few hiccups - which are to be expected any first year of a fest - they were too small to even mention specifics. And considering the festival was organized in a small span of time, it was a very well put together event that will only grow in the years to come.






Sticky Ricky's Ice Cream A Love Letter to Ice Cream, Made with Every Batch Story NELL ROBBINS Photos JAY DIAZ

S Ice cream is and should be for everybody

ticky Ricky’s is a tiny ice cream parlor tucked away in one of the small back streets by Sookmyeoung Women’s University station. The narrow streets are home to many small neighborhood shops, but under a crisp blue banner, is a treasure nestled among the non-descript mom and pop businesses. Its white interior, while clean, is minimal, a single blue “Sticky Ricky’s” ice cream cone decal decorating one of the walls. But once you start looking at the flavors offered, your interest will most certainly be peaked. Options like Gochujang Chocolate, Magpie Pizza, Cardamom Fig Swirl, Cilantro Lime Time and more have been known to be some of the delicious tastes available. Even flavors like Vampire Blood are offered during the Halloween season.



Flavors Gochujang Chocolate Tteokbokki Cherry/Blueberry/Peach/Pumpkin Pies Thai Green Curry Chunk In The Trunk Salted Caramel Cookie Party Orange/ Lemon Creamsicle Saturday Morning Cartoons Summer At The Movies Cilantro Lime Time (summer only) Cardamom Fig Honey Swirl (autumn only) Cold Toddy (winter only)

Jay grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia. From 17 to 20 he drove an ice cream truck, so you could say this is not his first frozen dairy rodeo. “No ice cream satisfied me here,” he said, talking about ice cream in Korea. “I wanted to make (and eat) something similar to what I grew up with. I learned the basics of the craft and started doing popups and people liked it. We decided to open our shop to further share our ice cream with the community. I’m also still, and always, learning.” He and his wife Eunhee have been operating Sticky Ricky’s since May 2017, and they’re still going strong.

Sticky Ricky’s isn’t your typical ice cream shop. In a country dominated by gelato cafes, Turkish ice cream stands, and commercial chains, Sticky Ricky’s offers up classic American style hard serve ice cream. The flavors are not only unique, but also genuinely crafted. “We wanted to do something different, fun, legit and quality,” Jay said. If you stop by and find yourself lucky enough to catch Jay while he is not busy serving patrons or mixing a new flavorful batch, he’s always happy to give you a breakdown on what makes his ice cream interesting. He has a passion for the process that makes asking about a flavor an added experience. Jay’s knowledge and attention to detail is akin to the way a brewmaster describes beer or a sommelier does wine. It is immediately clear that a lot of work, passion, and dedication goes into producing these interesting and unique flavors. Not only does Sticky Ricky’s make sure to provide unique flavors, but any foreigner will recognize the texture and body of the ice creams being similar to something from home, compared to the Korean ice

cream consistencies. Sticky Ricky’s also works hard to blend together Korean and American flavors. They strive to bring those nostalgic feelings tied to flavors from your childhood. The “tteokbokki” flavored ice cream tastes so much like the genuine thing, you can easily picture Korean elementary school kids stopping by the bun shik jips on their way home from school to grab some of their favorite comfort food to eat after a hard day of classes. The “gochujang chocolate” is the perfect ratio of Korean red chili paste and savory chocolate, creating a rich flavor with a spicy kick that tickles the tongue. No matter what flavor you request, your taste buds are in for a treat at Sticky Ricky’s. Gochujang chocolate and salted caramel cookie party are the most successful flavors and almost always available. Everything else rotates often, and some are seasonal. Sticky Ricky’s makes it a point to have flavors of all kinds that all can enjoy. “Ice cream is and should be for everybody.” Jay says. “We have flavors for all ages and all walks of life.”

Sticky Ricky’s 28 Dutubbawi-ro 1-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울 용산구 두텁바위로 1길 28) Weekdays: 12pm-8pm | Weekends 1pm-8pm Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays @stickyrickys



“Space and light and order. Those are the things that men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep.�



> From Hawaii to Seoul <

Luft Coffee’s new location in Gwanghwamun Story BECKY WHITE Photos AHN DONG HO


harles-Édouard Jeanneret, also known by his moniker Le Corbusier, and one of the pioneers of modern architecture, wrote often on the importance of light, space and the things that transform a structure of physical materials into a place for the living. “You employ stone, wood and concrete,” he wrote in 1923, “and with these materials you build houses and palaces. That is construction. Ingenuity is at work.” Perhaps the most significant things that can change a building are light and space. Warm, natural light that streams in through a wide window reveals the beauty of a single, white-walled room, which otherwise might appear enclosed and frightfully tight. The way space is used dictates how calm or frenzied an interior feels. After those two, crucial foundations, light and space, are properly set, the rest of the room decor are simply embellishments to give personality. “Space and light and order. Those are the things that men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep.”



Where do we find light, space and order in a bustling, cramped, crowded, and noisy city such as ours? I often long to shut out the endless tramping to and fro of strangers and cars to find peace of mind, but wish to remain a part of everything all at once. I have found these sorts of places where one can feel safe from the outside bustle and stress in the oasis-like comfort of beautiful cafes. Perhaps it’s my inclination for minimalism that draws me to particular places, but I begin to wonder if it’s not simply my humanness that brought me to this particular cafe. Humanity’s unanimous love of light and order are met here in Luft Coffee. Two of the four walls are composed of high-reaching glass, allowing light to shamelessly pour into the single, open room. Creamy whites and fair pastels are gentle on the eyes and in contrast give way to the “Hawaii to Seoul” neon sign that beams above the bleacher-like wooden seats. Luft coffee is also a bakery, serving sugar-dusted, colorful buns filled with custard, square breads and flaky croissants. In the morning at opening, the baked goods sit in straight lines on their pans, mirroring the symmetry of the cafe’s interior. It’s quiet inside at this hour. Two cafe workers quietly chat behind the open counter, donning aprons and cheerful demeanors. The high ceiling gives way to space and more space, giving room for the cafe to fill with air and clear sunshine. A large speaker embedded into one of the walls, out of reach without a ladder, plays music that adds warmth to the peaceful interior. I can only smile as I sip my latte. The foam in my cup is formed like a heart. The coalescence of light, space and order in balance do more than make beautiful houses and palaces. Or cafes. “That is construction. Ingenuity is at work,” as Le Corbusier said. Though we cannot stop there. “But suddenly you touch my heart, you do me good, I am happy and I say: “This is beautiful.” That is Architecture. Art enters in.” Luft Coffee in Gwanghwamun is composed of this space, light and order, and here, art enters in.

Luft Coffee 1F, Granseoul, 33 Jongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul Weekdays: 7:30 am - 9:00 pm / Weekends 10:00 am to 9:30 pm Plastic Free: Getting there… they still serve one-use cups for seated customers @luft_coffee


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




Gem of the Philippines:


Eco-friendly tourism - excitement and relaxation without the guilt Story and Photos ANGELICA SLATER


ebu and Boracay are two of the 7,000 islands in the Philippines that the rest of the world rave about as iconic holiday destinations. However, an emerging destination characterized by exclusivity, pristine clear waters, and white sandy beaches is the islands of Palawan. Palawan is a hidden yet evolving travel destination suitable for anyone, and here are the reasons why. The province of Palawan is an archipelago consisting of various islands that each have their own identity. With that being said, although there is a variety of choices to pick from when it comes to deciding on the perfect resort for your relaxing vacation, El Nido Resorts have a selection of four islands to satisfy your needs: Pangulasian Island, Lagen Island, Miniloc Island, and Apulit Island. With the types of accommodation

and activities differing on all islands, El Nido Resorts stay loyal to the theme of sustainability and being an eco-friendly environment. Depending on what suits you the best when it comes to your ideal holiday on the islands of Palawan, one of El Nido’s islands will for sure be able to give you the holiday you’ve been searching for. Fortunately for me, I was able to experience first-hand Eco-Luxury on Pangulasian Island and the Eco-Sanctuary on Lagen Island. Flying to Palawan is no hassle when choosing El Nido due to their chartered flights operated by Airswift that are available six times a day. Once you land at Palawan, you are met with a warm welcome from the El Nido staff and tour guides as you continue on to your chosen island. As you sit tight at the port and enjoy some snacks in the city of Lio, it’s only a

matter of moments until you are off on a boat setting across the ocean to reach your final destination. The tide at the time of your arrival determines what route you take. Just be sure to hold onto your hat and sunglasses to ensure they don’t fall off! As you slowly make your way to the coast of your island, you’re distracted by the beauty of your surroundings. Upon disembarking, you are welcomed by the friendly staff of the El Nido Resort, who offer ice-cold drinks to quench your thirst after the relatively hot journey. After the warm welcome, you are directed to the front desk to check-in, after which a member of the El Nido staff will brief you on the resort’s eco-friendly environment. They ensure that they provide you with items (a bag) to contain all plastics and trash that may be harmful to the island. ▶



They emphasize the necessity of keeping your trash to yourself and leaving it in the ocean or surroundings, especially when out during leisure activities. Alongside these instructions, they hand you an A3 piece of paper with drawings of wildlife that can be found all over the island. You are instructed to take note of whether you come across the animals during your visit to add to their research and stay up to date. After your briefing is over, it’s all under your control. Depending on what time you arrive on your island, you can decide what activity you want to begin with. However, may I suggest enjoying and relaxing in your own room/villa, exploring the resort, and trying out the incredible food that El Nido has to offer, especially their fruit shakes. As you stroll around the resort, don’t forget to be on the lookout for nature and wildlife and to be sure to mark it down on your datasheet!



With several activities available right off the coast of your resort, I suggest the iconic island-hopping adventure, which allows you to discover the lagoon and island attractions of Palawan. It also allows you to meet fellow adventurers and further explore the sister islands of Palawan. With a set departure in the morning, remember to wear a swimsuit, pack your sunglasses, and lather on the sunblock to protect yourself from the Philippine sun. Enjoy the boat ride to the lagoons and cliffs of the Palawan islands. Then prepare to grab a partner and kayak your way to the cliffs to discover the true beauty within. Don’t forget to watch your head! Pay attention to the sky-high cliffs and the colorful fish visible in the clear water with different shades of blue. Be sure to take those Instagram worthy images that most likely need no editing required. Just don’t drop your phone in the water. After you’ve discovered the secret holes and entryways of the cliffs, make your way back to your boat and enjoy a dip in the beautiful water next to where your boat is docked. Take a moment to absorb nature’s true beautiful creations. Finally, as you make your way back, your captain will make a detour where you will get a panoramic view of the famous lagoons of Palawan, giving you the opportunity to capture more Insta-worthy moments. By now, after all the photos and the “gasping in awe”

moments, you have safely reached the resort, where I recommend taking a quick siesta before you decide what activity you want to complete next. Even with just a few hours to spare, a variety of activities are available to you off the island. If you’re intrigued about the other islands of El Nido Resorts, then book a morning trip to one of the sister islands and enjoy the different activities they have to offer there. Also, enjoy lunch with different scenery. At Miniloc, do you fancy snorkeling with jackfish? Or, going for a dive with stingrays at Lagen? Even take a yacht out to the ocean. Or, paddleboard your way just off the coast. The El Nido resorts make everything simple and easy for you when it comes to accommodating your needs. With a large

variety of water sports, there are also activities to satisfy others not so fond of sand in their toes. Go for a morning hike up to the island’s peak to watch the sunrise, or if you’re not a morning person, book the afternoon hike to watch the sunset. Booking and enjoying a holiday has never been easier when traveling to Palawan. You are able to enjoy first-hand what nature has to offer and have the opportunity to take a break from the bustling city life. You are taken care of by all the friendly El Nido staff and wake up to exclusivity and beauty. So convince your family and friends to take a trip down to the islands of the Philippines and enjoy the secret island gem of Palawan.


FAMILY AND 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 Makgyedong, 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 Seochodong, Seocho-gu, Seoul

HEALTH ORIENTAL MEDICINE Lee Moon Won Korean Medicine Clinic 02) 511-1079 • 3rd fl., Lee&You bldg. 69-5 Chungdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Specializes in hair loss and scalp problems and offers comprehensive treatments and services including aesthetic and hair care products. COSMETIC SURGERY MIZAIN plastic surgery Seoul National University College of Medicine graduate doctors offer the best quality medical services • (02) 515 6199 • Dosan-daero 423 (Cheongdam-dong 91-11), Gangnam-gu, Seoul MVP plastic surgery Welcoming environment for foreigners and friendly staff guarantees a pleasant visit for cosmetic surgery related consultations. (02) 3442 6669 •Nonhyeon-ro 819, Gangnam-gu, Seoul JK plastic surgery center Experience the best medical system in Korea. Its superb system allows the minimum efforts for your medical experiences. (02) 777 0337 • 584-2 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul FITNESS Exxl Fitness Gangnam Finance Center, 737 Yeoksamdong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul


UROLOGY & OB Sewum Urology (02) 3482-8575 • 10th fl., Dongil bldg., 429 Gangnam-daero, Seochogu, Seoul Tower Urology (02) 2277-6699 • 5th fl. 119 Jongno 3-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul DENTAL CLINIC Boston Dental Clinic General dentistry / Periodontics / Orthodontics (02) 3482-0028 • 92-12 5F, Banpo 4-dong (Seorae French Village), Seocho-gu, Seoul OPHTHALMOLOGY Dream Eye Center The best eye clinic for LASIK and LASEK. 3,000+ foreign patients over 20+ years of experience with 0 complaints. If you’re considering getting this, make sure to choose the best. • 1588 9881 • 14 fl., Mijin Plaza, 825 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul ANIMAL HOSPITALS Chunghwa Animal Hospital / Korea Animal Transport (02) 792-7602 • 21-1 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul /

MUSEUM AND 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, Jongnogu, Seou 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 Gwangmyeongro, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do Leeum Samsung Museum of Art (02) 2014-6901• 747-18 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul • 10:30 am-6 pm Closed on Mondays, New Year’s Day, Lunar New Year and Chuseok holidays. Gallery Hyundai (02) 734-6111~3 • 22 Sagan-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul The first specialized art gallery in Korea and accommodates contemporary art. • 10 am-6 pm Closed on Mondays, New Year’s Day, Lunar New Year and Chuseok holidays. Plateau (02) 1577-7595 • 50 Taepyung-ro 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul • 10 am-6 p. m. Closed on Mondays. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (MMCA SEOUL) (02) 3701-9500 • 30 Samcheong-ro, Sogyeok-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul Daegu Art Museum (053) 790-3000 • 374 Samdeok-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu Art space for local culture presenting Daegu’s contemporary fine arts and internationally renowned artists.

EMBASSIES American Embassy (02) 397-4114 • 188 Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul Canadian Embassy (02) 3783-6000 • (613) 996-8885 (Emergency Operations Center) Jeongdong-gil (Jeong-dong) 21, Jung-gu, Seoul 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, Jangchung-dong 2-ga Jung gu,Seoul


Novotel Ambassador Gangnam (02) 567-1101 • 603 Yeoksam 1-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Grand Hilton Seoul (02) 3216-5656 • 353 Yeonhui-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul Somerset Palace Seoul (02) 6730-8888 • 85 Susongdong, Jongno-gu, Seoul Park Hyatt Seoul (02) 2016-1244 • 606 Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Lotte Hotel Busan (051) 810-1000 • 772 Gayadaero, Busanjin-gu, Busan Park Hyatt Busan (051) 990-1244 • 51, Marine City 1-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan 612824, Korea


Seoul National University Hospital 1339 • 28-2 Yeongeon-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul Seoul Samsung Hospital 1599-3114 • 50 Irwon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Asan Medical Center 1688-7575 • 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpagu, Seoul Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center (053) 250-7167 (7177 / 7187) • 56 Dalseong-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu

AIRLINES Korean Air 1588-2001

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

Dulwich College Seoul

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

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

Jeju Air 1599-1500

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

British Airways (02) 774-5511

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

Delta Airlines (02) 754-1921

T’way Air 1688-8686 Jin Air 1600-6200 Cathay Pacific Airways (02) 311-2700v Emirates Airlines (02) 2022-8400

Dulwich College Seoul offers an exemplary British-style international education (including IGCSE and IBDP) for over 600 expatriate students aged 3 to 18 from over 40 different countries. 6 Sinbanpo-ro 15-gil, Seocho-gu, Seoul, Korea 02-3015-8500


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