In 2006 I produced a travel program to Japan and South Korea for a major art museum in London. On the trip were some of the world's great contemporary art collectors and they were on the hunt for the new story in both countries. Everyone had been to Japan, but South Korea was new territory for most and when we arrived in Seoul for the final two days of the tour, everyone was amazed at the buzz and energy in the air and wanted to extend their stay. Fortunately I have since returned on several occasions and plan to return again for more as the country continues to amaze me in the areas of art, architecture and design.

While visiting with the many of the artists and gallery owners in Seoul, I asked about the very visible and vibrant energy in the contemporary art scene. One artist explained to me what he referred to as the "Tel Aviv affect". When you live in a nation that has at its borders missiles and perhaps nuclear weapons, one comes to the realization that everything can come to an end in a moment's notice. This state of extreme fragility and vulnerability plays heavily on the minds of artists and is played out boldly and often in a very raw and powerful manner. This I could see vividly before my very own eyes. 

Genuine. Historic. Raw. Powerful. Exciting. Intoxicating. Seoul.



Chamsutgol (Pan Asian)
10 Corso Como (Contemporary)
Do Ga Hun (International)
Ganga (Indian)
The Gaon (Pan Asian)
Gorilla in the Kitchen (Pan Asian)
Gran Gusto (Italian)
Jung Sik Dang (Korean)
Myozen (Japanese)
Namu (Pan Asian)
Samwon Garden (Pan Asian)
Sanchon (Vegetarian)
Tosokchon (Pan Asian)
Top Cloud (Brew Pub)
Wood & Brick (Italian)
Youngsusan (Korean)

- Leeum Museum designed by Mario Botta, Jean Nouvel and Rem Koolhaas (my favorite!)
- National Museum of Korea
- The Palaces: Gyeongbokgung, Changgyeonggung, Deoksugung, Gyeonghuigung, and Unhyeongung
- N Seoul Tower on Namsan Mountain for views of Seoul
- Cheongwadae - The Blue House
- The DMZ
- Namsangol Hanok Village
- Shopping along Insa-dong
- Daehang-ro Arts Center
- Kukje Gallery of Contemporary Art
- Shopping at 10 Corso Como Design Seoul
- Nonhyeonh Furniture Street and The Korea Furniture Museum

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