In Berlin we ran into WooChi Jeon, a magazine editor and entrepreneur from Seoul and spoke with him about music, fashion and life in in the South Korean capital
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is WooChi Jeon and I live in Seoul, South Korea. I’m the founder and editor of a creative network enterprise called Eloquence. I produce magazines as well as a variety of of cultural projects. Eloquence started off as a publication company but it now has four strands, with studios for design, media, and cuisine. In 2016, we'll establish music and art studios too.
What do you usually wear?
Recently, I like wearing work clothing. What I’ve got on now are a pair of 15 year old Carhartt overalls and a jean outer that was released in 2015. My shoes are Dr. Martens. I believe work wear will be popular in Seoul soon. During summer, I like to wear clothes by a designer based in Seoul. I always wear the same style; I like to keep my top as a white coloured shirt and bottom as black coloured trousers. I like to try different brands of sunglasses. The one that I’m wearing now is from Rayban. However, I also like to wear Korean brands Gentle Monster and Ashcroft. I always wear sunglasses.
When you have time on your hands, what do you enjoy doing the most?
I walk around the city. Seoul is very interesting and has diverse spaces and stories. Among them, I like to visit art museums, galleries, alternative spaces, shops, design bookstores, and restaurants and bars. I like to walk around the city and observe its culture while listening to music. Of course, if I have more time, I like to go abroad and walk around other international cities. It’s good to walk around Tokyo, Osaka, and Taipei as they are calm and ordered. Although Shanghai, Bangkok, and Hong Kong can be hectic, they are also attractive because they have so much cultural diversity.
How does music play a role within your work and everyday life?
Music not only gives me important inspiration for my work but also helps me relax. Meeting with others is a big part of my daily life. Therefore, when I have some time left in between meetings or when I’m travelling in car, I like to concentrate on music. Then, I’ll feel very calm and get some emotional stability. If music didn’t exist, I might explode by midday!
Top 3 Experiences in Seoul?
1. It makes a difference when you visit Seoul if you do it with a Korean friend – you will come away with more interesting experiences. Regardless of who it is, your Korean friend will most probably protect you through your visit. He/she will treat you a meal and buy you drinks. He/she will introduce his/her friends and he/she might even provide accommodation. Koreans are warm hearted, passionate and good natured.
2. Visit Itaewon, Hongdae, and Seochon. These areas have developed as artistic and cultural districts over the past few years. There are various types of shops and restaurants full of young people for the entire day. I think there's a sense of excitement there that is not easily seen in European countries.
3. Try as much Korean food as possible. There are many different ways to cook Korean food. It involves boiling, steaming, grilling, deep-frying, and stir-frying. The tables are full of different ingredients from mountains, rivers and fields. Most chefs in Korea are middle aged women and when they cook they add an emotion called "Jung" (it’s an emotion that can be translated into “warm-hearted") to their recipe. If you order a main dish in Korea, you get side dishes for free. Korean food culture is a very special one that can’t be seen anywhere else. Koreans call this culture “side dish culture.. It’s always surprising that they are free but look at the numbers of side dishes being served – it’ll probably be so surprising that you’ll end up speechless.
|TRANSLATION: GRACE CHO|
EDITING AND PHOTOS: MIKKEL INUMINEQ & MARIE BRANDT
Born: Seoul, South Korea
Current City: Seoul, South Korea
Occupation: Founder and editor of Eloquence publication