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[From the Scene] ‘Art in Marche’ welcomes spring with fresh greens

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : March 19, 2023 - 17:08

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Vegetables, fruit and flowers are displayed at “Art in Marche” at the National Theater of Korea on Saturday. (Hwang Dong-hee/The Korea Herald) Vegetables, fruit and flowers are displayed at “Art in Marche” at the National Theater of Korea on Saturday. (Hwang Dong-hee/The Korea Herald)

On a lazy Saturday afternoon, the cheerful buzz of crowds and live music filled the air, complimented by fresh vegetable crops and colorful flowers on display in front of the National Theater of Korea's Haeorem Grand Theater, in central Seoul.

Hosted by the National Theater of Korea, the “Art in Marche” is an open-air eco-friendly crop market where some 50 teams of farmers, artisanal food vendors and handicraftsmen offer their products.

This year’s spring chapter of the “Art in Marche” kicked off on Saturday, and is scheduled to open again on April 15 and May 20.

Each yellow stall was brimming with its own special variety, from seasonal fruits and vegetables, to flowers and plants, jams, cooked food and even crafts.

A friendly atmosphere pervaded the market as the vendors were busy explaining their goods and offering samples of their creations to visitors.

Visitors browse the vendors at “Art in Marche” at the National Theater of Korea on Saturday (NTOK) Visitors browse the vendors at “Art in Marche” at the National Theater of Korea on Saturday (NTOK)
An overview of “Art in Marche” at the National Theater of Korea on Saturday (NTOK) An overview of “Art in Marche” at the National Theater of Korea on Saturday (NTOK)

“I visited the market last November,” said Lee Eun-hye, 30s, who lives in Jung-gu. “Today I came with my parents. We already bought some pesto and marmalade. We will definitely come in April as well.”

Besides the fresh vegetables, fruit and flowers that added to the welcoming spring ambience, food products were also available, including artisanal cheese, basil pesto, oil and honey.

After only three hours into opening, some vendors had already seen their crops and items sell out.

A separate table at the market was committed to environmental protection, where people could make vegetable bags out of recycled posters and newspapers.

A woman in her 40s held up two vegetable bags full of lettuce. The bags had been made by her 8-year-old son. “I think it’s good (for the environment) and educational to use recycled bags like this.”

Flower pots are displayed at “Art in Marche” at the National Theater of Korea on Saturday. (NTOK) Flower pots are displayed at “Art in Marche” at the National Theater of Korea on Saturday. (NTOK)
Band LaCapo sings at “Art in Marche” at the National Theater of Korea on Saturday (NTOK) Band LaCapo sings at “Art in Marche” at the National Theater of Korea on Saturday (NTOK)

Meanwhile, live music added to the festive atmosphere of the market.

LaCapo, a six-person band specializing in Latin and Afro-Cuban music, performed their lively rhythms and beats. The Gyepi Sisters, a duo reinterpreting the unique sounds of world folk music with Middle Eastern percussions, and India Road, a duo pursuing creative music based on traditional Indian raga music, bathed the place in an exotic atmosphere.

The market opens from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The April 15 lineup for musicians includes Quartet Rosso, La Promessa and Class, while the May 20 lineup includes HOA, Hwabun and Line & Circle.

Co-hosted by the farmer’s market cooperation “Marche,” the event attracted some 13,000 visitors over six days last year. The fall chapter is expected to resume in September.