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Cool things to do this weekend in Seoul

Discover the cool things to do in Seoul with the ultimate insider's guide

Things to do this weekend

Enjoy Ice Skating at Grand Hyatt Seoul Ice Rink

Known as one of Seoul’s most beautiful skating rinks, the Grand Hyatt Seoul on Namsan transforms their summer outdoor swimming pool area into this romantic wonderland during the winter. Adorned with twinkling lights and decorated trees, the ambiance (especially ravishing at night) makes it a popular attraction for many couples and several proposals have been known to take place on the ice. Those adverse to the cold may find that the best part of skating here is the outdoor heating system that’ll keep you warm even at 20 degrees below zero. Hot beverages and other drinks are available at the outdoor café, so you can always rest your feet and take in the view. 

Dec 2–Feb 28, 2017, 10am–9pm. Mon–Thu 26,000 won, Fri–Sun 30,000 won.

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The Daehan Empire Historical Museum at Seokjojeon Hall, Deoksugung Palace

Inside the palace walls of Deoksugung is Korea’s first European style stone building, the Seokjojeon. The neo-classical architecture, complete with iconic style colonnades and a triangular roof, was built in 1910 and served as a audience hall and sleeping quarters of King Gojong. It presents indeed an interesting dynamic having Korean style palace architecture placed next to a European style chateau. Although the MMCA (National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art) Deoksugung, located next to the Seokjojeon, attracts many visitors to its beautifully curated art exhibitions, it is not very well known to the public that the Seokjojeon serves 8 free tours a day. The only catch is that the 45 minute tour requires a pre-registration online. Starting at the reception room located on the first floor (where the royal elite would meet and converse), the tour takes you to the second floor with the center hall and finally the third floor dedicated to the private bedrooms of the emperor and empress (along with the living room and bathroom). Arched windows along with ivory colored walls detailed with golden ornate decorations reflect the influence of European aesthetics, yet nevertheless exudes an aura of medieval Joseon. Special tours take place twice a day at 9:30am and 3pm every day, with “The Korean Empire through Foreign Eyes” as the theme of November and December special tours. These tours are a little longer, taking around 1 hour and 25 minutes. Non Korean nationals are welcomed t

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Must-see art exhibitions this weekend

David LaChapelle - Inscape of Beauty

David LaChapelle’s powerful as well as controversial yet undeniably alluring collections of images are back for his second solo exhibition in Seoul. With his works spanning from his ‘dark ages’ (which started at the age of 15) to the 2013 Land Scape sculpture series, Ara Museum in Insa-dong has the honor of representing LaChapelle this time. LaChapelle, an artist who did anything to survive in the field of photography, jumped at the opportunity handed to him by Andy Warhol at Interview Magazine. On being a high school dropout, he notes that this phase of his life is his substitute for university. LaChapelle, a self-proclaimed workaholic, worked day and night striving to create new images that the world had never seen. As a result, he was granted the title "Fellini of photography" and a long list of celebrity clients. However, as he grew, he began to question everything he loved doing while his ideas became increasingly ambiguous and distant for the mainstream to grasp. Having burnt himself out, he left the industry with the plan to start a farm in Hawaii. Yet, he was soon invited to showcase his work at a German gallery. The opportunity which was much less commercial in its essence compared to what he had been used to lead LaChapelle to truly embark in his fine arts career with a new dimension of work; He was no longer bound by the constraints of and pressure from the fashion and celebrity photography which he had been known for all along. In such a course, LaChapelle began

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ARA Modern Art Museum Until Sunday April 2 2017

Nick Knight: Image

Traditional fashion photography is digging new realms as Nick Knight tears up the boundaries utilizing digital manipulation, unconventional models, and live broadcasting photo shoots to expose the liveliness of human society. He does not confine himself to rules and looks to the whole processing of creating an image in communicating a simple message of life and humanity. Daelim Museum is presenting Nick Knight's first solo exhibition in Korea, giving a broad overview of the artist’s oeuvre. “Nick Knight: Image” is composed of 110 works catagorized into 6 sub-sections:Skinheads, Portraits, Designer Monographs, Paintings & Politics, Still Life & Kate, and finally Fashion Film. The chronological layout encompasses the never-before exhibited Skinheads series taken in the 70’s, all the way to Knight’s future vision of “Fashion Film.” The show beings with Knight’s “rite of passage” called Skinheads. The black and white series portrays the middle class English subculture, one that Knight was a part of “for the girls, for the music and the clothes.” Although he left the group recognizing its growing fascist approach, the artist views his time as learning about himself; to reject the norms and always go for the extremes. Such tendency eventually started serving as the foundation for all Knight’s proceeding works. His collaborations with Yohji Yamamoto (shown in Designer Monographs), for example, expresses the frustration that the artist experienced in mainstream fashion, while accen

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Sunday March 26 2017