Seoul - 10 (Insadong)


Insadong *was* the largest market of Korean antiques and artworks. It symbolized Korean culture, history and art but has been completely changed by capitalism. Instead of truly showing Korea's history, it's now almost becoming more representative of modern Korean culture. Nevertheless, it's still one of the main tourist locations in Seoul.



The neighborhood.



I actually went to Insadong to go see an art exhibition by an artist named Hyunchul Kim - who taught me the beauty of traditional Korean art.



Part of his new series of paintings. Check out his work here.



I quite liked the atmosphere of the gallery. Neoclassical?



Though Insadong is not what it was, there's still a charm to this place. This is Ssamzie, a place for contemporary artists to show their work.



This photo pretty much sums up Ssamzie's ambience.



Feels very analogue and delicate.



Korean is such a beautiful and minimal language, wish Koreans would utilize it more.



When Insadong started to lose its traditional background, there were protests by people trying to preserve its historical essence. In many ways, the protests have failed. To offend people less, stores have signs written in Korea. "The FaceShop".



"Aritaum". All of these stores would normally have an English only sign.






And no historical neighborhood is complete without a Starbucks. Don't get me wrong, I'm a bit of a Libertarian but I feel that this is entering territory of a "social" issue.



The iPad is finally available in Korea. Apple's North American slogan for the iPad - "A magical and revolutionary product at an unbelievable price" - has been trashed. The Korean slogan is something like "Charming and innovative thinking is here".



Found this coffee shop called Terracotta Coffee and really liked the interior.









Coffee wasn't that great though...



Streets near the City Hall.



Street markets.



Street food.



One of the workers at the office put a black faceplate on his white blackberry. iPhone 3G?



I met up with a friend I met on Twitter. Of course, he has good taste in phones.



Very HTC.



Dinner on a friend's birthday.