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[Well-curated] Beat the heat with street art show, gelato and slick photo shoot

July 22, 2022 - 09:00 By Korea Herald
Tattooist Polyc (right) poses for a photo with Jung Kook of BTS (Urbanbreak2022)
You may have limited experience with graffiti or street art in Seoul -- that can be attributed to the masses of apartment blocks across the city. But Urban Break 2022 offers a unique opportunity to meet graffiti artists and enjoy street art over the weekend at Coex in Gangnam-gu, southern Seoul.

The art fair, in its third edition, was the first show in the country dedicated to street art, a relatively unfamiliar art genre here. Some 3,000 works by 450 artists will be on display at Coex through Sunday. While looking at the art, visitors may have a chance to see the artists’ creations made in real time.

This year’s show brings together tattooists who are expanding their realm into painting and digital art. Tattoo artist Polyc gained popularity after creating cover-up tattoos for Jung Kook from BTS. Specializing in illustration, tattoo artist Lifo showcases artwork themed around Korean identity.

Los Angeles-based illustrator Matt Gondek, famous for painting deconstructed pop icons and cartoon characters, has created a special edition resin sculpture titled “Heart in a Cage,” exclusively available at Urban Break 2022. The special exhibition “Street Chronicles,“ hosted in collaboration with Rom Levy, director of Street Art News, will show works by 20 street artists from across the world. 

Exterior view of Scooper Gelato (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)
Cold desserts at Scooper

If you’re taking a stroll through Bukchon Hanok Village in Jongno, central Seoul, pay a visit to a small gelateria to escape the summer heat.

A five-minute walk from Gyeongbokgung Station Exit No. 2 or 3 on Subway Line No. 3, following the direction to Cheong Wa Dae, four colorful chairs -- and usually a line of people -- signal the entrance to Scooper.

Certified by the Italian government, Scooper offers four varieties of sorbetto and 12 for gelato, including Italian chocolate, basil and Jeju matcha.

The gelateria offers unique seasonal flavors.

A cup of Scooper Gelato (Scooper Gelato)
Two scoops, in either a cup or cone, which comes with an additional spoonful of another flavor, will set you back 5,500 won.

Takeout is also available in three different sizes -- piccolo, medio and grande.

Don’t forget to check Scooper’s Instagram before your visit, as the gelateria posts unique daily offerings on its account.

Scooper is open from noon to 9 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. The store is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

A black-and-white photo with a unique theme shot at Limong (Limong)
Extraordinary photo studio

Limong, a photo studio located near Seoul Station, is out of the ordinary in many ways.

The name of the studio, Limong, meaning “different dreams,” is an apt description of what the studio is for: to make its visitors’ dreams and wild imaginations come true.

A first-time visitor might have a hard time finding the entrance of the studio as there is no signboard. The entrance is next to an In the Line 25 convenience store and an image of Hamsa, a symbol of a palm with an eye in the middle, is hung on the door.

The shop’s interior is also different from ordinary photo studios as it is decorated with unique and somewhat mysterious props, including a head sculpture and a picture of the human anatomy.

A black-and-white photo with a unique theme shot at Limong (Limong)
Visitors can choose from 10 different themes, such as being protagonists in a Hong Kong film, animation characters and the late 19th to early 20th century in Korea.

Customized themes are also possible, according to Limong.

All costumes and accessories are provided free of charge.

Reservations via the KakaoTalk link provided on the studio’s Instagram profile are required. Up to three people can take photos together.

Decorations at the photo studio Limong, located near Seoul Station (Limong)
According to the store, a photo session takes about an hour -- 20 minutes for preparation, 20 minutes for shooting and the remaining 20 minutes for photo selection.

After the photo shoot, visitors can choose between two options -- A and B. Those who select option A receive two printed photos and the digital files and those who select option B receive a poster and digital version of the photo, as well as a digital file of four photos merged into one frame.

Prices range from 80,000 to 100,000 won, depending on the number of people in the photo.