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Culture Station Seoul 284 blends old and new

Former Seoul Station (Historical Site No. 284), which had served as a transportation hub for the past century, was reborn as a major nexus of cultural intersections. After transferring its original functions in 2004 to its express counterpart located next door along with the introduction of high-speed railway service, the space underwent a three-year restoration project. This August, the modern architectural heritage renamed Culture Station Seoul 284 opened its doors to the public as a space for synthetic art, seeking to become the next Musée d’Orsay.

2011 Hanbok Festival

Last Friday, the grounds of the Culture Station Seoul 284 turned into the venue for a Hanbok fashion show held under the motif “Modern Hanbok, Modern Girl.”

The Hanbok Fashion Show was held as part of the 2011 Hanbok Festival (photographed by Hwang Daesun and Hwang Dana).

The fashion show was organized as part of the opening ceremony of the 2011 Hanbok Festival, unveiling gorgeous modern stylings and outfits that sometimes go beyond what comes to mind when you hear the word “Hanbok.” The fashion show imbued a new insight on the ‘venerated’ traditional Korean costume, proving its potential for modern adaptation and globalization, with countless possibilities in material use and construction.

Under the artistic direction of stylist Seo Young-hee, six Hanbok designers including trend-leaders like Kim Young-jin and Park Seon-ok participated in the show. “The Hanbok embraces the designer’s creativity and artistic sensitivity, just like other fashion garments,” said Kim Young-jin, who sent three wedding costumes to the runway, adopting characteristics of Hanbok alongside other designs inspired from floral paintings by Kim Chong Hak. “I believe the Hanbok is the best custom-made outfit,” she added. “It has to be fashionable, while still conveying traditional Korean beauty. In this sense, designers should include a diversity expressed through their clothes.”

The show unveiled gorgeous modern adaptations of the traditional costume (photographed by Hwang Daesun).

One of the pieces shown on the catwalk that day will be featured in the upcoming edition of the International Heritage Show (Salon International du Patrimoine Culturel) slated for November 3 to 6, inside the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris.

Outside the fashion show, the festival offers an unprecedented occasion to discover the vast richness of the Korean traditional costume through exhibitions, seminars, and other side events.

A special exhibition of the 2011 Hanbok Festival (photographed by Hwang Dana)

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has pushed ahead a project to revive cultural heritage through diverse channels, under the slogan “modernization, popularization and globalization of traditional culture.” In this context, the Hanbok fashion show called for the discovery of emerging talents, fostering a shift in generations of Hanbok designers. For more information, please visit the official website at: (Korean only).

Countdown Project continues through February 11, 2012

In the meantime, the newly renovated historic Seoul Station is also hosting its inaugural multi-genre art exhibition project, Countdown, inside its space and Seoul Square Media canvas through February 11, 2012.

Works on view at the Culture Station Seoul 284 (from left above, clockwise) Lee Bul, The Secret Sharer & Gimhongsok, Fountain; Park Mee-na Primary BGRY; Ahn Kyuchul, Sky Bicycle; Jung Yeondoo, Time Capsule II (Photos courtesy of the Korea Craft & Design Foundation)

In celebration of the reopening of the former Seoul Station, Countdown project feature 35 contemporary artists’ site-specific artwork and film screenings, alongside a series of lectures in design, architecture, and humanities.

On October 5, the project unveiled a number of new art pieces and premiered Souvenirs from Earth (, a French-German TV station that broadcasts media and video art, films, and performances for 24 hours a day. The SFE exhibition pays homage to Nam June Paik, who is widely recognized to be the pioneer of video art, bringing the first ever exhibition to take place in his homeland.

Indie bands are set to perform at the Railroad Transportation Office (RTO) inside Culture Station on October 29 and November 26. December 10 will be a year-end indie party, making the finale of the eight performances held since its opening in August. Tickets may be purchased online at and onsite ticket sales will also be available two hours ahead of the actual performance.

Performances at Indie Station 284 (Photos courtesy of the Korea Craft & Design Foundation)

Meanwhile, the Culture Ministry and the Korea Craft & Design Foundation ( decided to postpone the plan to convert the current free admission policy to a paid admission one in order to encourage cultural enjoyment for a wider audience. The admission that was set to be charged from October will remain free of charge until the end of the year. For more information, please visit the official website at:

By Hwang Dana Staff Writer


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