Top 14 things to see & do in Seoul, South Korea


The capital of South Korea, Seoul, has a fantastic mix of old and new, with great food and amazing sights across the city. The capital has a great many things to do, and today we take a look 14 great places to visit and see in Seoul.

1) Korea Furniture Museum: a bit of an unusual attraction to start, but this museum has over 2000 pieces of traditional furniture, which help you get a real sense of a traditional Korean lifestyle and culture. It’s a great way to spend some time looking at the Korea of old.

2) Insadong: This is a great insight into South Korean culture. The district is home to lots of shops, teahouses and market style booths. Along with this, is many great art galleries and restaurants, a place perfect to eat and drink to your hearts content, and pick up a few souvenirs along the way.

3) Bongeunsa: The temple of Gangnam is a calm place, right in the heart of the city; offering a beautiful and contrasting view between the traditional houses and the modern skyscrapers.

4) Gyeongbokgung Palace (GP): GP is the largest grand palace in Seoul and a must see. It’s a huge complex, and it’s a great idea to leave a few hours to explore the palace properly. Picturesque gardens surround the palace, intricate designs adorn it, and if you wear traditional Korean clothing, you get free entry.

5) Eating in the city: Korean food has seen a recent rise, so in typical fashion, eating in the city is a must do. The best thing to do is to wing it, that means walk around town and eat at wherever takes your fancy. The more locals you see at the restaurant, the better!

6) Jogyesa Temple: Amongst the skyscrapers in the city is this little Buddhist temple. Filled with artwork, statues and figurines, the temple is a spot of quiet amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.

7) Myeongdong: This is known as one of the best streets for shopping in Seoul. It’s a great spot for souvenir shopping and it’s a fantastic place to wonder with an open mind and wallet!

8) N Seoul Tower: If you want an aerial view of the city, then the N Seoul tower is where you want to go. Watching the city transform from the day into night is an amazing view, and one we definitely recommend. Book your spot before sunset to capture the transformation of the city!

9) Bukchon Hanok Village: BH Village is a traditional Korean village, and the perfect way to step back in time to a Korea centuries ago. You can look in the houses and pop into tea houses for traditional rice tea. There’s also a lot of cool shops in the area, and taking the time to weave in and out of the stores and houses is the perfect way to spend an afternoon in the city.

10) Changdeokgung Palace: The palace is a real must see in Seoul due to its history and heritage; so much so, that it’s been declared a UNESCO world heritage site, with elements dating back from the three kingdoms period (57BC to 668AD). When visiting, be sure to check out Huwon, the secret garden. This can only be seen via a tour that is pre-booked, but do leave plenty of time to explore the beautiful secret gardens after you visit the palace.

11) Hangang Park: Located by the banks of the Hangang River, the park has open pathways for visitors to bike along or simply stroll through. If you want a change of pace, or a spot to relax, Hangang Park is the place to head to.

12) Deoksugung Palace: Here is another one of the five grand palaces, and this was home to the Korean royal family until the colonisation of the country by the Japanese Empire. While a smaller palace than the others, Deoksugung Palace is open later than other palaces, and is worth an evening visit.

13) Hangang River: The River is lovely from its banks, and the best way to experience the river is via a boat cruise.

14) Everland: This is the largest theme park in Korea, it’s also one of the most visited in the world. However, don’t let the crowds deter you as Everland is a great way to spend a day in Seoul.

As you can see, Seoul offers so much to do and yet our list only scratches the surface of this modern, yet ancient city. The capital is a diverse place to visit, where a clash of old and new come together to create a uniquely Korean city, where skyscrapers neighbour Hanoks, and business suits mingle with traditional Hanboks.

To read more on what to do in Seoul, click here!

Virtual exhibition: The Jackson Art Open Painting Prize


The Jackson Open Painting Prize is to recognise excellence in original 2D fine art or drawn media. The competition which excludes art generated through computers, manipulated artwork, 3D works and photos offers an online showcase and prizes for contemporary and traditional visual artists, both established and emerging.

Interestingly, although the competition excludes digital art, the exhibition itself is all hosted online. It also means there are no barriers to international entrants, entries from artists in any countries and of any age are welcomed to the Jackson Art Open Painting Prize.

2016 saw Jackson’s run its inaugural major art prize. The competition (JOAP 2016) saw 300 entries submitted from all over the world, with many of the entrants submitting exceptional and original pieces.

The JOAP awards have a 2 tier selection and judging process, with the Jackson selection panel selecting a long list, then a panel of experts (made of Curators, gallerists and artists)  go on to select a short list and then the winners.

There are 4 category prizes (Watercolour, Acrylic, Oil and Drawing/dry media), each winning the prize of £1000. With an overall first place prize of £5000, 2nd place prize of £500 and £500 worth of Jacksons Art Gift vouchers, and third being the same

For more on the JOAP competition, click on the link:

Banksy at the Barbican

banksy-basquiat-barbican-01-720x456Illusive artist Banksy has recently graced London with another 2 pieces of his famous stencil work, and both pieces appearing in Barbican, in central London. The first piece was called ‘Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump’ which shows a character and his dog, standing by two police officers.

This piece also coincided, and was inspired by the Jean-Michel Basquiat show ‘Boom For Real’ which opened a few days later in Barbican Centre. The character or ‘Boy’ was a representation of Basquiat. Later in an Instagram post accompanied with a picture of the artwork, Banksy wrote, ‘Portrait of Basquiat being welcomed by the Metropolitan Police – an (unofficial) collaboration with the new Basquiat show.’

The second artwork which is smaller can be seen on the opposite side of the road. This one featured a stencilled queue of people waiting at a ticket booth, next to a Ferris wheel, with crowns (drawn in chalk), replacing the carriage seats on the fairground ride.

We think the secret identity of Banksy does more the half of the marketing to be honest… The artwork is borderline mediocre and almost repetitive. Let us know what you think about his latest piece. Comment below…

Starter-kit to translating Influencer Marketing to Conversions


A helpful 101 and starter-guide by Shane Barker to understanding what influencer marketing is, what value you can draw from it, pros and cons as well as actionable insights to translate this now multi-million dollar business to conversions for your business. What a wonderful journey we have been on in the past decade – we see this all as a domino-effect. Without the birth of social media, all these new business models would not exist. In our view, the power of influencer marketing is absolutely massive. At the end of the day, we as humans are always looking for connections and finding ways on how we can find relevance in our peers to create new relationships, aspirations and knowledge. Read the guide here.

Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel

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Has anyone gone to see this, this year in Palestine? Rom Levy discusses this in the article here. Loving the ever elusive Banksy… The latest pop up we know about is the one in London by the Barbican. Please comment below if you ever see any Banksy art around London – fingers crossed it’ll be near one of our Ellyot spaces.

For all our artist friends… interesting take on illustration from Jack Stroud

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We’re feeling extra creative today at Ellyot. We tested out the theory by artist Jack Stroud from the article by Dom Carter. Being completely honest, we thought we had a more of a photographic memory but turns out we agree with Dom. Test it out for yourself and send us your pics.

s e a s h o r e — l i b r a r y


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no doubts this is the most strangely strange yet oddly normal location in the whole world you would go to get some wisdom. unfolding feelings. of distance and loneliness.

beijing based studio vector architects built the aptly named seashore library on the white sands of a beach in Nandaihe, a coastal region in eastern china.

this cast-concrete library sits on a stretch of deserted beach facing the East China Sea and features a tiered reading hall topped by a curving ceiling

the cast in-situ concrete walls are imprinted with the grain of their timber formwork – influenced by the rippled markings left behind on the sand by the wind and water

“it implies a mark of memory in time – wood grains are the marks of realisation process that we want to leave on the library.

also, it softens the hardness of concrete with warmth.”


“from outside, it looks like a weathered rock that is pure and solid; but inside, what it contains is the rich feelings and experiences”

“when walking into the space, one starts to feel the light, breezes, and sound of the ocean. In here, everyone can slow down the usual pace, and unfold the feeling of distance and loneliness different from the city life.”

(r)evolution VS fad : gender fluidity

think-outside-the-gender-binary is THE now credo! few happenings:

• the “mx” honorific being this close to be officially included by the oxford dictionary to its next edition,  as a way to represent all those who do not want define as “mr” or “ms”, “over the past two years, ‘mx’ has seen a surge in acceptance and is now recognised on official documents such as driving licenses and bank statements”…

•• we live in the same world where facebook and google+ have added that new ‘infinite’ gender options for users

••• the american comedy-drama television series “transparent”, produced by picrow for amazon studios, debuted on february 6 last year, the story revolves around a LA family and their lives following the discovery that the person they knew as their father Mort is transgender

•••• trans models (from hari nef to andreja pejic), besides the fact that they are trans and models, they are also been found to burn up the runway, mm

••••• selfridge’s ‘agender’ pop-up department, aiming to create a ‘genderless shopping experience’,  is claimed to represent one of the hottest initiatives in fashion this year, and in retail all the more

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last but hey not least, coufme was yesterday part of the freaky funny audience at the official preview of  my model / myself exhibition by (con)temporary artist mx (number one and most well-known representative of the mxs) justin vivian bond (the exhibition is open to visitors from today, may 6) at vitrine gallery, groundbreaking name among the variety of Bermondsey art spaces.

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interesting enough, mx bond draws his/her(?) exposition as “a journey to escape traditional gender roles through a



of self-creation

as a survival


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or a subtle peek into a darwinian evolution chapter?

milan design week 2o15 – top visual experiences

Stand-out exhibits from the Milan Design Week this year span from experiential to immersive, from high-tech to lo-fi, executed and curated in a slightly contemporary and mesmerizing way.

Distortion, reflection ad refraction as leitmotif – yes, we experienced a oh massive use of reflective surfaces, mirrors, prisms and kaleidoscopic effects originating unusual perceptions, didn’t we?

Referencing last year’s elevated minimalism of visual merchandising , luminous materials, ethereal assemblages and subtle kinetic elements create that sense of fragility and lightness.

On the other side, lo-fi everyday objects, curated in a chaotic yet considered manner create a kitch overload of colour and texture.

The trend is re-shaped.

Here are some of the best hits.


Four rooms. The first as a grey space with a central assemblage of black, white and grey stuffed animals alongside a pixelated grey scale backdrop. The next one is a pitch black, aiming to reset visitors’ senses before they enter the (chaotic?) colour room. Last room was white, white, white, with bright neon lights lining the walls and ceiling.

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Centred on a kaleidoscopic mirroring effect, Missoni’s installation was all about reflection. Reflecting the moltitude of colors and patterns throughout the whole installation, this seems a prelude to the Missoni, l’Arte, il Colore Exhibition at MA*GA Museum.

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Marcia Nolte, Stijn Van Der Vleuten and Bob Waanderburg are the three creative thinkers behind We Make Carpets, transforming everyday objects (pasta, plastic cutlery, clothes pegs, sponges) into elaborate assemblages. Around 50 temporary carpets were created over the space of five years, a selection was presented during the design week.

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Here is the number two part of Hunday’s Sculpture in Motion Series (first episode was in 2o13, with Fluidic Installation). This undulating sculpture is the result of a collaborative work, Reuben Marcolin + Hunday Motor Design Center, it celebrates harmony in the organic movement. Recreating the motion of an ocean wave…





Referencing the market in Bogotà, Colombia, Marni transformed its showroom into a colourfull fruit market – exotic goods such like pineapple, guanabana, zapote and curuba. Not too distant from last year’s installation, Animal House, colorful metal and PVC sculptures take inspo from the fruit alongside, spanning from oversize containers to smaller decorative items for centrepieces.


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