The Korea Herald

ssg
소아쌤

[Well-curated] Jinro Toad store, Andre Brasilier art show and Danish-style sing-along for weekend

By Lee Si-jin, Park Yuna, Park Ga-young

Published : Feb. 24, 2023 - 09:02

    • Link copied

Dookkeop Arcade (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald) Dookkeop Arcade (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

A feast for the eyes

Lovers of Jinro soju and its Jinro Toad mascots will descend onto the streets of Seoul’s bustling Gangnam neighborhood.

Just a two-minute walk from Gangnam Station Exit No. 11, you can see the sky blue and pink Dookkeop Arcade pop-up store. Many people flock to distiller HiteJinro’s megasized iconic mascots -- blue and pink Jinro Toads -- at the store’s entrance.

After a quick ID check to verify visitors are of the legal drinking age, guests can freely browse the two-story building for fancy Jinro Toad merchandise and exciting hands-on activities, including soccer bowling, toad-themed whack-a-mole, air hockey and more.

Ranging from the blue neon lights to eye-catching Jinro Toad installations, every corner of Dookkeop Arcade entices visitors to take out their smartphones and snap pictures for Instagram updates.

A visitor poses for photos at Dookkeop Arcade in Gangnam, southern Seoul. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald) A visitor poses for photos at Dookkeop Arcade in Gangnam, southern Seoul. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)
Visitors wait in a line for a special edition of Visitors wait in a line for a special edition of "Life Four Cuts" at Dookkeop Arcade in Gangnam, Seoul, Monday. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

HiteJinro’s “Soju and Beer License” and “Life Four Cuts” are the two most sought-after activities, in which visitors can receive a "somaek" -- a Korean-style cocktail of beer and soju -- license and get a four-image photo strip with a special frame.

“I heard that the pop-up store offers a unique frame for Life Four Cuts only available at Dookkeop Arcade. My friend told me that the waiting line was very long last week, so I came with another friend today,” a Soongsil University student surnamed Park told The Korea Herald on Monday.

Four different sizes of soju glasses are displayed at Dookkeop Arcade. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald) Four different sizes of soju glasses are displayed at Dookkeop Arcade. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

Though soju glasses were popular items with visitors, the store has various Jinro Toad-themed merchandise on display, ranging from bags, cushions and slippers to hard-side luggage and keyboards.

Dookkeop Arcade is open every day from noon to 9 p.m. The pop-up store runs through March 5.

Love, comfort, elegance in Andre Brasilier's art

If you seek comfort from art, French artist Andre Brasilier’s retrospective is ready to provide it. The 93-year-old painter’s dedication and passion to paintings unfold at “Eternal Moment! Andre Brasilier” at the Hangaram Design Museum of the Seoul Arts Center.

"Soir a Loupeigne" by Andre Brasilier (Andre Brasilier/ ADAGP, Paris - SACK, Seoul)

Brasilier is inspired by nature, music, horses and his muse, who is also his friend and wife Chantal. The way he uses colors is lyrical and warm in a way that immediately immerses people into the paintings. Born in 1929, the artist’s works seem to be inspired by French artists Henri Matisse (1869-1954) and Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), but are also quite different in some ways.

“Poetry, music and painting all spring from the same source of emotions that have penetrated both heart and soul,” the artist once said. Brasilier’s paintings have a unique atmosphere from the hues of elegant pink, mauve, yellow, blue and green that he has enjoyed using for his art.

"Chantal En Noir" by Andre Brasilier (Andre Brasilier/ADAGP, Paris - SACK, Seoul)

He was greatly inspired by horses that appear in many of his paintings, dating back to his early years living with his parents in the countryside. The dynamic, yet elegant movement of horses are depicted well in his art, conveying the free spirit of the animals.

The large-scale retrospective of the artist includes some 120 paintings. It will run through April 9 at the Hangaram Design Museum of the Seoul Arts Center in Seoul.

Dose of Danish sing-along culture

What do you think about when you think about singing? Maybe the ubiquitous karaoke rooms on every street corner? Perhaps the numerous TV competitions that make you feel as if you are tone-deaf. Or maybe singing religious songs loudly along with a group of worshipers.

A group of people participate in a sing-along at Buk Seoul Museum of Art on Oct. 28, 2022. (Lee Hannah) A group of people participate in a sing-along at Buk Seoul Museum of Art on Oct. 28, 2022. (Lee Hannah)

Lee Hannah, author of "Communal Singing Makes People Happy,” a book from a small independent publishing house, believes sing-along culture is behind the happiness of the Danish people and wants to bring that life hack to South Korea.

In Denmark, there is a strong tradition of community singing, which is referred to as "faellessang." Faellessang involves groups of people gathering to sing songs together, typically accompanied by a pianist or other musicians.

Lee spent a year in Denmark amazed by what their singing culture could do. Denmark’s adoration of community singing is reflected in "Folk High School Songbook," Denmark's most popular songbook, which has been a frequent national bestseller over the past century.

"Communal Singing Makes People Happy" by Lee Hannah.

"This is an experiment to explore how Denmark's sing-along culture could potentially influence you and your community. Just bring your willingness to sing and open ears and hearts to listen to the voices of new people," Lee said.

The inaugural meeting will take place at Seoul Community Cultural Center Seogyo near Hapjeong Station at 1 p.m. on Saturday with no admission fee. A pianist and a guitarist will accompany the cozy event, which will last 90 minutes. Songs will be sung in English, Danish and Korean. Send an email to gonah87@gmail.com for registration.