The rapid destruction of hanoks was a concern for the Korean government back in the 2000s, instigating a new beautification policy that encouraged people to mend their homes with government support. Since then, not only have hanok-filled neighborhoods around Korea blossomed into historically-rich preservation sites, but their influences have permeated into other design projects around the country.
Recently the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism recognized 11 places in Korea as model examples of hanok-inspired spaces. What is interesting is that ACTUAL hanoks were excluded from this list. Instead the list highlights spaces that have blended the old and the new in a non-home setting. Below are a few entries that made the cut.
Baesangmyun Brewery has taken cues from hanok to create its courtyard space, that holds ceramic stills. The open courtyard is surrounded by wooden, hanok-inspired structures.
Dadam is a high end Korean restaurant operated by Korean conglomerate, CJ Group. It has been popular for hosting foreign visitors and is known for its hanok-influenced restaurant interiors as well as the exquisite Korean serving plates used.
Chosun Hotel has renovated some of its rooms to have hanok-inspired interiors. The entire floor surface was created with plain levels to reinterpret the floors that Koreans lay down to sleep on. Furthermore the open space has a zen-like atmosphere which is representative of hanok style.
As spring has finally arrived on the peninsula, we recommend you get out and experience hanok for yourself. Bukchon (“The North Village”), located in the heart of Seoul, has successfully preserved an urban setting that dates back 600 years. Many of the hanoks found here are currently being used as private homes. Aside from admiring the architecture through walking tours, there are also a string of art galleries, museums and restaurants for you to enjoy. The city has also set up “Bukchon 8 Views” which are designated photo spots that offer the most riveting views of hanoks and their surroundings. For more information, visit http://bukchon.seoul.go.kr/eng/index.jsp.
It is interesting to see where this hanok trend will go. Where would you like to see hanok influence next?
Last week, Korea’s first female president, Park Geun-hye, chose to wear a traditional Korean dress, hanbok, on her inauguration day, February 25, 2013. The vibrant, bold colors and shimmering fabric caught eyes all around the nation and the world, elevating the hanbok to a global stage.
The talented artist behind the outfit was Kim Yeong-seok, one of the best known traditional hanbok couturiers, tailoring for the nation’s President, past first ladies, top celebrities and even Hillary Clinton.
So it is serendipitous to find out that luxury brand, Hermès, is currently holding an exhibition focused on hanbok at its Atelier Hermès located near Dosan Park in Gangnam. We took a trip there this weekend to visit the exhibition titled, “Precious People”, which is currently on view from January 11, 2013, through March 19, 2013.
The exhibition highlights the work of Kim Young-il, a photographer and music producer, who has been capturing portraits of performers of a type of traditional Korean music called gugak, whom he has met over the last twenty years. The portraits include some of the most famous Korean pansori singers such as Park Song-hee and Cho Sun-ae who are both now in their 80s.
The exhibition is composed of four different parts.
Part one is titled “Relationships across 20 years” and presents the photos of gukak artists dressed in hanbok.
Part two, titled “Instant Relationships through SNS”, includes profile pictures of anonymous people dressed in hanbok, sourced from digital photographs posted on social networking sites.
Part three, “Our Clothes: the Original Form, Process and Result of our Music”, highlights the process in producing the hanbok.
Part four is titled “The Hermes Facebook Project: Sharing the Music in the exhibition through SNS” and allows guests to interact with gukak music.
If you are thinking about visiting, we highly recommend going on a Saturday so you can catch one of the live gugak performances. There are weekly gukak performances scheduled for every Saturday at 4PM for the length of the exhibition. These include both pansori as well as instrumental performances.
Walk out to the busy streets of Gangnam and you will see plenty of beautiful Korean women.
Given Korea’s technologically advanced skincare treatments and products, this comes as no surprise. The Korea Food and Drug Administration plans to roll out a Cosmetics and Beauty Expo from May 3 to May 26 in Osong, North Chungcheong Province, to further promote the region as a hub for “K-beauty.”
Korea has been leading trends the cosmetics industry for awhile. A prime example of this is BB cream, which originated in Korea but has now found popularity worldwide. Other big hits from the nation’s cosmetics industry include skin care products made out of unique ingredients such as ginseng and green tea. Yes, Koreans know that what is good for your body will be good for your skin, and they continue to to spread this mantra through the expo.
The expo’s theme is “Healthy Bio, Beautiful Life” and it is expected to attract some 300 companies and around a million visitors.
In addition to the booths and product displays at the exhibition, there will be a variety of other activities including dancing, music, body painting performances and special events for Children’s Day and Parent’s Day. Don’t miss out a chance to learn more about beauty technology and check out the future and vision of the bio-cosmetics and beauty industry!
The 21st century has brought on vast improvements in technology, but with this success has also come a growing list of environmental issues that global leaders must address in order to guarantee a sustainable future. To name a few, there are problems and debate regarding global warming, clean energy, endangered wildlife and managing dirty nuclear waste.
The seriousness and immediate concerns of nuclear waste seem to have been noticed on the global stage. At this year’s World Economic Forum, the Global Agenda Council on emerging technologies identified the top 10 emerging technologies for 2013. Included on this list were fourth generation reactors and nuclear waste recycling.
Strides Toward Nuclear Power Efficiency
Nuclear power reactors today only use 1% of the potential energy available in Uranium. Nuclear waste is the contaminated residual byproduct left behind.
Researchers today are aiming to produce more eco-friendly nuclear fuel that can be 80 percent recycled, a much higher level compared to the current 1 percent. Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co.’s Kori nuclear power site is one such power generating entity that is dedicated to making advances in this field.
While our nuclear waste problems will not likely be solved in one day or one year even, continued research and development in managing nuclear waste will hopefully lead towards a more sustainable future in the long term.
Recognized as one of the world’s most luxurious sporting events, the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, held annually on the Monte Carlo Circuit, is well known amongst avid race fans. So it comes as a surprise that the driving action may soon find its way into Korea. The “world’s first exclusive lifestyle and racing club” is planned to be completed on Yeongjong Island off Incheon, close to Incheon International Airport by 2016.
Who’s behind this playground for billionaires?
Italy’s supercar maker Automobili Lamborghini, England’s Formula One team and engineering firm Williams and London-based investment firm Weingrow Partners.
Though the beautiful natural terrain and European architecture of southern France may be difficult to emulate, the luxury racing center, largely aimed towards the super wealthy in Asia, is expected to have its own long list of perks that will attract jetsetters from across Asia.
According to a report based on a press conference held in Seoul this week, included in the plans announced by Weingrow Partners are:
Advanced driving simulators
High-tech training center
Korea’s first 7-star hotel
Restaurants and bars
The main partners for the project stated that Korea was an ideal location for this initiative because of its central location for potential customers in the region. Who knew? Apparently there are 73,000 supercar owners in Northeast Asia and they are within a four-hour flight from Incheon.
From Korea’s perspective, this may prove to be beneficial towards boosting Korea’s brand image and increasing tourism for the country. While we are reassured that the racetrack in Incheon may be safer than the narrow streets of Monte Carlo, we wonder how successful this project will be.
Will K-Snacks become as popular around the world as K-Pop? In this two-part series we’ll look at some of Korea’s the most delicious and most exported snack foods. Let us know if you find any of these on your local supermarket shelf.
Imagine two soft chocolate-covered cookies, moist inside with just the right amount of chocolate covering them. You bite into it and then taste something. Wait, can it be? Yes, it is soft marshmallow filling that will melt in your mouth. This is the famed Choco Pie, one of the most popular snacks made by Orion. While it was originally famous in Russia it’s now popular in China as well. Thanks to the Choco Pie, Orion forecasts approximately 1.3 trillion won (US$1.19 billion) in revenue this year. Amazing what a small chocolate cake can do!
When I first tried this drink, it felt so wrong but so good at the same time. The best way to describe the taste of Milkis is probably something close to soda + milk.
This unique creamy drink won the hearts of Russians by giving them an experience they never had before. Lotte Chilsung makes about $28 million in annual revenue in Russia and nearly half of it came from Milkis! Lotte made sure to thank Russians by giving them a variety of new flavors to choose from. While Korea only has one flavor (original), there are 10 different flavors in Russia that include strawberry, orange and more exotic options.
For those who don’t know, Hong Cho isn’t the latest K-Pop heart throb. It’s red vinegar. The main ingredients are naturally fermented vinegar with popular antioxidant fruits such as pomegranate, blackberry and blueberry. While this may not sound especially yummy, this drink has a surprisingly fresh “acidy” taste. The best part about Hong Cho is that it is great for your health because it contains dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and also helps anti-aging.
KARA was the model for Hong Cho in Japan and Japanese love this product! It has sold more than 3,000,000 bottles and the manufacturing company expects the sales volume to grow continuously.
Check out the advertisement!
So how should you drink this sourish drink? Don’t just drink it right away. Make sure to mix 1 portion of Hong Cho with 3 to 5 portions of water so the taste will be more subtle. Also be creative! Hong Cho can be mixed with milk or can be used as a salad dressing. You can learn more about various Hong Cho recipes at this website!
The Year of the Snake is soon to slither its way into existence this weekend with the Lunar New Year. Many Koreans will be celebrating this great holiday. Last year we wrote about how there are many different Korean greetings around this time of year and talked a little bit about the food we traditionally eat to ring in the New Year, including delicious ddeokgook (a savory soup with thinly sliced rice cakes).
To reiterate, it’s a long-held Korean belief that you don’t get a year older until you eat ddeokgook after the New Year. Some may frown and remark: “But I don’t want to get old!” But that’s not the point. Like in most other Asian countries, getting older means being wiser so if you ever get a chance to try this soup, please don’t hesitate!
This year is the year of the black Snake, and according to DongA Ilbo, one of the most popular newspapers in Korea, the consumer trend for 2013 can be summarized as SNAKE.
SNAKE Consumers are Smart, with a great Network, Active, Economical and Korean style. To illustrate, many Koreans prefer to shop for clothes at outlet malls instead of luxury department stores, hoping for 70% to 90% discounts. Thanks to the great internet network, people often buy clothes/gadgets directly from international shopping pages. According to Aju Economy, the rate of purchasing products directly from international shopping pages increased 49% compared to 2011. Quite interesting!
The AT&D team sincerely hopes that year 2013 will bring great things to you and your loved ones. For those who celebrate the Lunar New Year, we hope you will get to eat many delicious dishes and have a great time with your family members and friends. Happy Lunar New Year everyone!
It is no surprise that young people often prefer “cool” music genres such as pop, rock, hip hop, house and electronic to classical music. I’ve heard sneers when I admit my own love for compositions made hundreds of years before I was born. One group has set out to change the way young people see classical music.
The Ahn Trio, comprised of twin sisters Lucia (piano) and Maria (cello) and younger sister Angella (violin), were born in Seoul and educated at the Juilliard School of Music. They are on a mission to get younger audiences to connect more closely with classical music. To fulfill this task, they have appeared on MTV television series, MTV Unplugged and regularly visit middle schools, high schools and colleges, giving workshops and master classes.
They have also collaborated with popular DJs to give their music a twist. Check out the below video of Ahn Trio performing with DJ Spooky!
The sparkling Ahn Trio will unite with the famous Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company to put on a concert in New Jersey on February 23rd, so for those who live nearby and are excited to experience the combination of beautiful music and interpretive dance, do check out!
The Ahn Trio also has one of the coolest websites, which kind of has a “Tim Burton” vibe. If you are interested in learning more about this amazing trio, make sure to visit http://www.ahntrio.com/v2/ !
Every year the Korea Grand Sale draws fashionistas from around the world who are looking for great deals on Korean or global designer label fashion. And every year, these fashionistas drag with them friends and significant others who have absolutely no interest in clothing. We think that this spectacular sale can be fun for everyone and we’ve put together a guide for people who are more interested in sleek designs and sleek electronics than the sleek lines on an Andre Kim dress.
As Korea is known for its advanced technology, buying a gadget/device sounds like the right thing to do here. During the Korea Grand sale, you can get discounts and coupons for shops that sell more than just clothing. Want to buy electric home appliances made by Samsung, LG or other Korean companies? Go to The Shilla Duty Free shop and use the 10,000 won (approximately 10 USD) free gift card. For those who want to experience Korean supermarkets and also purchase electronic devices at a cheaper price, visit Homeplus, which offers a 5,000 won (approximately 5 USD) discount coupon and up to 30% discount on home appliances! The discount may not apply to everything so please make sure to ask the salesperson.
There are a lot of other great deals happening so make sure to check out the website before heading out!
As we wrote before, many tourists come to Korea to purchase Korean cosmetics. You can get a 10% discount on popular brands like Etude House, Innisfree, Nature Republic, ARITAUM and many more! For more specific information, visit this page.
Health and Deisgn Goods:
Your shopping spree can continue, even on the day you leave Korea. At the airport, make sure to visit Duty Free Korea. You can get 5 to 15% off when you purchase more than 20 USD and at this place you can buy perfect red ginseng products and Korean handicrafts for your friends and family members back home.
So the big question is, where do you get the coupons to get all these discounts? It is really easy! Just visit the Korea Grand Sale 2013 website and you can either download the mobile coupon or print out the coupon online .
The Korea Grand Sale started on the 11th of November and will run through the 28th of February. If you have plans to visit Seoul within this timeframe, make sure to check it out!