This weekend Seoul Secrets took a trip to the art infused industrial neighbourhood of Mullae-dong. A unique neighbourhood that has a heart of steel fabrication with an injection of artistic flair and yet a strange harmonious existence. This transformation from being just an industrial district to an artists refuge began around 2005. This was when artists began setting up studios in the empty spaces between the foundries. Most of these artists were looking for new studios to hone their skills, as rent prices increased in Hongdae, left many artists looking for a new home. This was when the migration across the river to Yeongdeungpo-gu began, and the start of this unique relationship.
To get here take the Subway to Mullae on Line 2 (green line) and exit 7. Head left out of the exit and continue working till you are greeted by an iron giraffe, this signals you’re on the right path. Behind the giraffe is what looks like a former information booth and a sign the directs you to go left. For everywhere featured in today’s post check the map above for its location.
The first thing you will notice it’s still very much a fully working neighbourhood, even on the weekend the air was filled with metal work fumes, the sound of metal clanking and sparks flying. From here there is a warren of side streets and workshops, with cafes and studios all together ready to be explored!
Depending when you come here will surely change the atmosphere. On the bright warm day we were here, it was as if even the steel works were part of the art. You’ll find unique geometric formations and workshops full of machinery. The workers continue toiling away and are kind of oblivious to your presence, which makes you feel more a spectator of this remarkable neighbourhood.
The first featured place is ‘Jo’ jewellery, across the main road near to the intersection up the alley on the right hand side. A jewellery store that specialises in handmade silver and gemstone pieces. Designed and crafted here in her studio 조새미 has been here for just over one year, after moving from Yeonhui-dong. With eight years experience she produces singular pieces, in all types of styles for any occasion.
To see more of her work check out: http://blog.naver.com/cucurono
After wandering the streets you’ll need somewhere to wet your whistle, and rest your feet. look no further than ‘Cafe About’, located just off the main road back towards the subway exit, look for this art work as a guide:
Cafe About offers a great range of coffees and other beverages, as well as pleasant a range of panini sets in an artsy environment. The decor has artwork from Che Jin Suk , consisting of mixed media canvas’s with a changing light effect. Che Jin Suk is a lecturer at Beakseok University in media and visual art.
To see more of Che Jin Suk’s work check out:
If you’re after something a little stronger than coffee then look no further than 차차, a beer and wine bistro that also sells coffee during the day, can be found on the same main road as the the subway and just around the corner from Cafe About. A great spot to people watch and let the world pass you by.
Go check it out! have fun!