Archive for Places

Sunrat Tattoo

It’s time for another guest post! Spanish illustrator, graffiti & tattoo artist Numi is writing us about Sunrat Tattoo parlor located in Hongdae, Seoul.

Sunrat Tattoo studio is founded by Sunrat. He has been tattooing for 8 years and is really passionate about tattoos, especially old school and American traditional style. This style is characterized by bold stroke line and many solid black and strong shading. Also the colors are very basic, not using more than 5 colors, red, green, yellow…

At Sunrat Tattoo there works Sunrat as a tattoo artist and Numi as a tattoo apprentice and staff. We also have a guest spot at the studio. Famous artists like Hiroyuki (Cotton Pickin, Akita), Horigyn (Sword of Rebel, Nagoya) and Chris Barnett (Good Faith Tattoo, Boston) already have worked at SR.

If you visit Sunrat Tattoo you can find clean and nice place to get a tattoo~ We are so friendly too!

Besides the studio, we also organize Ink Bomb Tattoo Convention Korea, biggest convention in the country. Artists from Japan, America and locals get together for the event. The next Ink Bomb will be held in spring 2012.

Sunrat Tattoo
325-25 2F, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Tel : 82-2-336-5698

All photos: James K Lowe

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Numi Midori / Born 1984. Spain. Illustrator, graffiti & tattoo artist

Numi loves pineapples, riding her fixed gear bicycle around Han gang river and paint graffiti.

She has worked with brands such as Adidas, Puma, MTV Korea, Kid Vanilla, Lomography, Converse and more. Numi also works for Ink Bomb Tattoo Convention. Launched exhibitions in Seoul, Paris, Barcelona, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Rotterdam & Taipei and participated in an art-in-residency programme and does cross over with clothing brands.

Numi is currently living in Seoul and working at Sunrat Tattoo.


Cafe1010 is a travel themed coffee shop in the great neighborhood of Hongdae. Everything from decorations to boarding pass receipts are travel inspired. Cafe1010 has it all: coffee, tea and other beverages as well as lunch sets and desserts. Enjoy reading travel books while having tasty cappuccino or the perfect summer dessert patbingsu. Don’t forget to check out their little shop full of travel goodies and great stationery. Happy travels!
Subway: Hongik Univ.
Address: 358-8 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul

Hangul House

Meet YoungDoo Moon, Seoul-based photographer who doesn’t leave her home without a camera. YoungDoo has a documentary approach to photography that lets her to make precious moments last longer. She takes her inspiration from beautiful things that she discovers on many of her journeys. Below you can read about one of her discoveries.

One sunny day in October last year, while I was walking around Tongui-dong with a couple of friends, I stumbled upon to a few interesting buildings named with Korean alphabets, Ka, Na, and Da. While I was wondering about what the buildings were for, snapping away a few photos of the buildings as I always do, Mr. Gony Kim, the manager of Hangul House, came out and offered us a tour.

When we entered Hangul House, the first thing we encountered was a garden with a wooden table and a small kitchen with an espresso machine where it seemed like a perfect hang out spot on a lazy sunny afternoon.

The rooms at Hangul House were pretty small with traditional Korean/ Japanese style beddings but I guess it might be a good chance for foreigners to experience the traditional side Korean culture. Each room had bathrobes hung tidy on the wall, beddings that looked comfy and clean, and a modern style bathroom with shower booth, towels, and shower products.

Hangul House is located in the central Seoul and has easy access to the major tourist destinations such as Gyeongbok Palace, Insa-dong, Myung-dong, Namdaemun Market, etc. The closest subway station is Gyeongbokgung Station on Line #3 (Orange Line).

For the further information on Hangul House, please check their website:

Paul & Partnets Hangul House
Address: 8 Tongui-dong, Jongro-gu, Seoul, Korea
Tel: +82 (70) 8948 8850
Fax: +82 (2) 720 9906

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YoungDoo Moon

The National Folk Museum of Korea

WOWSAN proudly presents a new series of posts written by guest bloggers. The first guest blogger is Stephanie Cornell of Little Miss Twig whose video you could watch in one of the earlier posts. Stephanie writes about one of the places that inspired her in Seoul.

The National Folk Museum of Korea
Entry is free, and Audio Tours are available for a 1,000 won headset rental fee.
Closed on Tuesdays and New Year’s Day (January 1)

Tucked away in the grounds of Seoul’s Gyeongbukgung Palace, the National Folk Museum of Korea offers one of the most interesting and educational looks at the history of Korean culture and lifestyle. Rather than filling you up with impersonal artifacts and sterile art, this museum gives visitors a glimpse of life in Korea throughout the ages. As an artist, I’ve spent a fair amount of time at Seoul’s galleries and art exhibits, but an afternoon at the Folk Museum is a feast of inspiration.

There are several displays which show what a typical Korean home interior looked like in the past, like this early modern kitchen with electric refrigerator. It’s quite something to witness older Koreans looking at the displays, pointing out things they remember from childhood.

Throughout the museum, there is quite a bit of ephemera from daily life, both in the distant past and in the last century. Pill boxes, medicine tins, playing cards, sewing kits, record players and radios, cigarette boxes. It’s better than any flea market I’ve been to.

You can also see a history of traditional Korean clothing. For anyone with a penchant for Korean historical dramas, seeing variations of traditional hanbok will not be out of the ordinary. But there are some wonderful details too, like the shoe displays and undergarments.

A favorite for me personally are the multiple large-scale dioramas depicting traditional customs. You’ll see the entire lifeline of the Korean person, from marriage to the birth of children, schooling and working, festivals and celebrations, all the way to the funeral and burial. This re-creation is called “Exorcism for Curing Smallpox,” a once common ritual performed by Shamans to cure life-threatening illnesses.

And all that plastic food-model making has been put to good use in the museums extensive collection of traditional Korean cuisine, like this display featuring the many varieties of kimchi.

The museum recently expanded its outdoor exhibition to include a reconstruction of a Seoul street scene in the post-war 60’s and 70’s. I always love a good diorama, especially when it’s lifesize, so I was like a kid in a candy store when I discovered this treasure.

This old dress shop is a replica of a shop that once stood in Myeongdong, which today is still one of the busiest shopping districts in Seoul.

Old movie posters written in hangeul line the walls of the shops on the main street.

At a time when automobiles were selling to those few who could afford them, this babershop had a woodstove inside to heat the water for shaving.

This coffeeshop had a music listening booth and an old Goldstar TV on the wall. More amusing is the modern day No Smoking sign on the rear wall, as a coffeeshop like this was probably filled with cigarette smoke when it was open.

The museum’s exit deposits you directly into Samcheongdong, where you can follow up your visit with some excellent wood-fired pizza at Oz Kitchen or have a drink on the patio at the new branch of aA Design Museum, aA Gallery & Café.

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Stephanie Cornell