Expert Kang Byung-in demonstrates traditional Korean calligraphy, during a visit by a group of foreigners to his studio Sooltong in Hongdae.
/ Courtesy of SangSang Madang
By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
Everyone knows that the Hongik University area, more popularly known as Hongdae, is the place to have fun at clubs and bars. But there's another side of the area waiting to be discovered.
KT&G SangSang Madang has been organizing walking tours of Hongdae every fourth Sunday of the month since April, but it was conducted only in Korean. Due to popular demand, a special walking tour titled ``Rediscovering Hongdae'' will be conducted for foreigners on Sept. 27.
Organizers said the walking tour aims to ``break the perception that Hongdae is just a place to party, and to reestablish Hongdae's position as a place of art and culture filled with energy and creativity.''
While a similar tour for foreigners was conducted last year, this time the walking tour will include more artistic and cultural spots in Hongdae.
The tour will begin at the SangSang Madang building, which stands out in Hongdae with its butterfly-themed facade. The building has a cinema, concert hall, art gallery, academy, studio and cafe. Participants will have a chance to talk to some of the young artists who are connected with the Sangsangmadang Art Market.
The club [ta:], with its Africa-meets-India-inspired interiors, will open its doors for the tour. Participants will be able to watch an indie rock band's rehearsal at the club and even chat with some members.
A visit to calligraphy studio Sooltong is also included in the tour. Calligraphy expert Kang Byung-in will demonstrate how traditional Korean calligraphy can be used in modern ways.
There will also be stops at the Hongdae Wall Painting Street, where young artists decorate the walls with colorful paintings, and Hongdae Children's Park, the site of the popular weekend flea markets. From March to November, many young artists sell their handicrafts, artworks, jewelry and other items at Free Market on Saturdays and Hope Market on Sundays.
Participants will also visit the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture's Seogyo Arts Experiment Center, and the art cafe Myth Hong. Myth Hong is not just an ordinary coffee shop, but also a venue for art exhibitions and music performances.
Ju-mong, lead singer of indie band Ynot, will be the guide and conduct the tour in English. The course is expected to take three-and-a-half hours.
There are limited slots available for the tour. Interested parties can apply at the Website www.sangsangmadang.com. Send your name, gender, date of birth, nationality, occupation, mobile number, email and reason for wanting to join the tour. Application period is from Aug. 27 to Sept. 11. The fee for participation is 10,000 won.