So after a quick Google search I found that there are no reviews for this awesome event in Dongdaemun! On my most recent trip to Seoul, Grace and I wanted to check out the newly built, space-aged Dongedaemun Design Plaza. As I said in my last post, we headed to Seoul station, dropped off our stuff in the lockers and then went for a journey on the light blue line. (I think). We went to Myeongdong first and then after we had our deals we made our way to Dongdaemun.
It was early in the evening and we were gawking at the East Gate because it’s so cool to see the old Korea and the new city built right around it… And we slowly made our way to the Design plaza.
Grace had not been to Dongdaemun before and I was familiar with the area because my university was so close. I prefer Dongdaemun to Myeongdong tenfold because it is more spaced out, tends to be less expensive, and now, the design plaza is there. The design plaza is a BEAUTIFUL structure, it kind of looks like a spaceship from the outside but it is an amazingly clean maze on the inside. There are plenty of sculptures and things around it, and the architecture is just something to be marveled at. I want to try to describe it but it is so difficult. If you are ever in Seoul you should check it out. It’s relatively new so right now it isn’t overrun with people haha.
There were two open art events at the moment, one was an Audrey Hepburn photograph exhibit, and the other was Brilliant Memories (sponsored by Hyundai Motors). The Brilliant Memories exhibit was only 5,000w (about $5) and we took that chance. We didn’t have any idea of what the exhibit was going to be, aside from a few pictures the girl at the information desk showed us. We made our way to the art galleries, this made me realize how HUGE Dongdaemun Design Plaza actually was. It took a few minutes to get from the information desk to the galleries, and you kind of have to go down a ramp to get to the galleries. We grab our tickets and headed into the exhibit. So here’s where my review of Brilliant Memories starts…
Brilliant Memories was entirely in Korean, of course because it was set and based in Seoul. BUT You don’t need to understand Korean to see all of the beautiful sculptures. It was a mixed media art exhibit, all pieces used elements from cars or things related to cars. Although it was kind of disappointing that we weren’t able to read the different signs with details, a few of the workers were able to help us. We were even approached a few times asking if we wanted a tour of the exhibit in English. I think they were happy to have some foreigners take an interest! It was really one of the coolest art exhibits I have been too. I was glad Grace and I took the chance. It was split into three zones: moments, memories, and dreams.
The exhibit had different uses of cars but my favourites were these: The vanity made entirely of car parts, the journey that one man sculpted depicting the story of how he and his wife met and ending in the birth of their first child (so cute!), and the butterfly! They also had interactive exhibits where you could colour and make your own car, and a computer system where you could create a little cartoon scene. They also had a story rocker car that moved with the sound of your voice. It was a very interesting exhibit and I really enjoyed myself. They also gave us a canvas bag with Brilliant Memories on it and even gave Grace and I a 1+1 deal because Grace doesn’t use facebook (and you got the bag from posting on facebook.). I grew really attached to my little paper gar and the staff were all impressed by it. They also laughed at me a bit because I kept saying the car would go in my new bag and keep it safe. One of the best parts of the exhibits was watching all the people, young and old, create and colour their own cars. It wasn’t just kids, it was people from all walks of life. And it was great.
The end of the exhibit had many different uses of cars. There were some really cool pieces like a suitcase made from a car seat, and the girl working there told us the story of it. Apparently the woman who owned the car had loved it but she was moving to Canada so she had to sell the car. So when the artist found out she had to get rid of the car, he took the seat from the car and made her a suitcase from the seat, so she’d always have the car with her. It was so nice to hear all the different stories and attachments people have to their cars. It is such a simple thing, driving a car and having a family car, but everyone has stories about their cars. You can at least name one from your past, I know I can. That’s what the basis of the Brilliant Memories exhibit is, our cars house a lot of Brilliant memories. It was awesome to see the three zones working together: moments, memories, and dreams. Unfortunately this was only a limited art engagement and it ended February 17th, but I really hope it happens again or you get a chance to see it.
After we explored the exhibit, we went through the design plaza. It was HUGE. There were countless shops, stores, and restaurants in it. Grace and I headed to Doota shortly after and weboth had super disappointing meals and then we decided to hunt for the Dongdaemun Night market. Well, it turns out in the winter there are FAR fewer booths set up… There were 7 different booths, 4 of them sold socks. I’m looking forward to maybe goingback when it’s warmer and hope to see more booths. I did get some Girl’s Generation socks for my boyfriend’s brother, so it wasn’t a complete failure.
After, Grace and I were exhausted. We had a long day of walking and shopping so we wanted to make our way to bed. Tonight’s bed was in Siloam Sauna near Seoul Station. I have become a big fan of jimjilbangs, something that I really did not expect to happen. I really enjoyed Spa Land, I didn’t really like the jimjilbang in Wonju, but I really liked the jimjilbang in Seoul. The Siloam Sauna is just a short walk from Seoul Station, which made it super easy to get to my train in the morning. But it is a MONSTER! It’s huge, has many different sauna rooms and the BEST sleeping areas (for overnight stays, the best sleeping area is in Busan ahh more on that in a later post.). The top three floors are just the saunas, the basement had the baths. I wasn’t a huge fan of the baths, they only had super hot tubs or super cold. I had a shower and got ready for bed pretty quickly.
The sauna rooms in Siloam are really cool. They had a good variety and the rooms actually committed to their themes. Jade stones on the floor in the jade room, salt floor in the salt room, etc. It was great. And they also had these cool lockers you could keep and charge your phone in. After a good sweat and then shower, we headed to bed. We slept in the woman’s cubby area, and were given big blankets and little block pillows to sleep. I was able to sleep until my alarm went off, which was nice. It wasn’t too loud or disruptive there so I really enjoyed it.
Shortly after waking up, I got ready for the day and headed back to Busan. I enjoyed my weekend jaunt to Seoul, but it’s been almost a month since I went and I don’t know when my next trip will be out there! I do love the city, but I’m really growing to love Busan even more.
See you in my next post, and I do apologize for waiting so long between posts!